Verse 1 A woman who has no fear of God, who is wilful and wasteful, and indulges her ease, will as certainly ruin her family, as if she plucked her house down. Verse 2 . Here are grace and sin in their true colours. Those that despise God's precepts and promises, despise God and all his power and mercy. Verse 3 . Pride grows from that root of bitterness which is in the heart. The root must be plucked up, or we cannot conquer this branch. The prudent words of wise men get them out of difficulties. Verse 4 . There can be no advantage without something which, though of little moment, will affright the indolent. Verse 5 . A conscientious witness will not dare to represent anything otherwise than according to his knowledge. Verse 6 . A scorner treats Divine things with contempt. He that feels his ignorance and unworthiness will search the Scriptures in a humble spirit. Verse 7 . We discover a wicked man if there is no savour of piety in his discourse. Verse 8 . We are travellers, whose concern is, not to spy out wonders, but to get to their journey's end; to understand the rules we are to walk by, also the ends we are to walk toward. The bad man cheats himself, and goes on in his mistake. Verse 9 . Foolish and profane men consider sin a mere trifle, to be made light of rather than mourned over. Fools mock at the sin-offering; but those that make light of sin, make light of Christ. Verse 10 . We do not know what stings of conscience, or consuming passions, torment the prosperous sinner. Nor does the world know the peace of mind a serious Christian enjoys, even in poverty and sickness. Verse 11 . Sin ruins many great families; whilst righteousness often raises and strengthens even mean families. Verse 12 . The ways of carelessness, of worldliness, and of sensuality, seem right to those that walk in them; but self-deceivers prove self-destroyers. See the vanity of carnal mirth. Verse 14 . Of all sinners backsliders will have the most terror when they reflect on their own ways. Verse 15 . Eager readiness to believe what others say, has ever proved mischievous. The whole world was thus ruined at first. The man who is spiritually wise, depends on the Saviour alone for acceptance. He is watchful against the enemies of his salvation, by taking heed to God's word. Verse 16 . Holy fear guards against every thing unholy. Verse 17 . An angry man is to be pitied as well as blamed; but the revengeful is more hateful. Verse 18 . Sin is the shame of sinners; but wisdom is the honour of the wise. Verse 19 . Even bad men acknowledge the excellency of God's people. Verse 20 . Friendship in the world is governed by self-interest. It is good to have God our Friend; he will not desert us. Verse 21 . To despise a man for his employment or appearance is a sin. Verse 22 . How wisely those consult their own interest, who not only do good, but devise it! Verse 23 . Labour of the head, or of the hand, will turn to some good account. But if men's religion runs all out in talk and noise, they will come to nothing. Verse 24 . The riches of men of wisdom and piety enlarge their usefulness. Verse 25 . An upright man will venture the ( proverbs 14:26-27 ) Those who fear the Lord so as to obey and serve him, have a strong ground of confidence, and will be preserved. Let us seek to this Fountain of life, that we may escape the snares of death. Verse 28 . Let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, do what they can, that many may be added to his church. Verse 29 . A mild, patient man is one that learns of Christ, who is Wisdom itself. Unbridled passion is folly made known. Verse 30 . An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health. Verse 31 . To oppress the poor is to reproach our Creator. Verse 32 . The wicked man has his soul forced from him; he dies in his sins, under the guilt and power of them. But godly men, though they have pain and some dread of death, have the blessed hope, which God, who cannot lie, has given them. Verse 33 . Wisdom possesses the heart, and thus regulates the affections and tempers. Verse 34 . Piety and holiness always promote industry, sobriety, and honesty. Verse 35 . The great King who reigns over heaven and earth, will reward faithful servants who honour his gospel by the proper discharge of the duties of their stations: he despises not the services of the lowest.
Proverbs 14:1-35 .
1. Every wise, &c.--literally, "The wisdoms" (compare Proverbs 9:1 ) "of women," plural, a distributive form of speech.
buildeth . . . house--increases wealth, which the foolish, by mismanagement, lessen.
2. uprightness--is the fruit of fearing God, as falsehood and ill-nature ( Proverbs 2:15 , 3:32 ) of despising Him and His law.
3. rod of pride--that is, the punishment of pride, which they evince by their words. The words of the wise procure good to them.
4. crib is clean--empty; so "cleanness of teeth" denotes want of food (compare Amos 4:6 ). Men get the proper fruit of their doings ( Galatians 6:7 ).
5. A faithful witness, &c.--one tested to be such.
utter lies--or, "breathe out lies"--that is, habitually lies ( Proverbs 6:19 ; compare Acts 9:1 ). Or the sense is, that habitual truthfulness, or lying, will be evinced in witness-bearing.
6. An humble, teachable spirit succeeds in seeking ( Proverbs 8:9 , John 7:17 , James 1:5 James 1:6 ).
7. Avoid the society of those who cannot teach you.
8. Appearances deceive the thoughtless, but the prudent discriminate.
9. Fools make a mock at sin--or, "Sin deludes fools."
righteous . . . favour--that is, of God, instead of the punishment of sin.
10. Each one best knows his own sorrows or joys.
11. (Compare Proverbs 12:7 ). The contrast of the whole is enhanced by that of house and tabernacle, a permanent and a temporary dwelling.
12. end thereof--or, "reward," what results (compare Proverbs 5:4 ).
ways of death--leading to it.
13. The preceding sentiment illustrated by the disappointments of a wicked or untimely joy.
14. filled . . . ways--receive retribution ( Proverbs 1:31 ).
a good man . . . himself--literally, "is away from such," will not associate with him.
15. The simple . . . word--He is credulous, not from love, but heedlessness ( Proverbs 13:16 ).
16. (Compare Proverbs 3:7 , 28:14 ).
rageth--acts proudly and conceitedly.
17. He . . . angry--literally, "short of anger" (compare Proverbs 14:29 , opposite idea).
man . . . hated--that is, the deliberate evildoer is more hated than the rash.
18. inherit--as a portion (compare Proverbs 3:35 ).
are crowned--literally, "are surrounded with it," abound in it.
19. Describes the humbling of the wicked by the punishment their sins incur.
20. This sad but true picture of human nature is not given approvingly, but only as a fact.
21. For such contempt of the poor is contrasted as sinful with the virtuous compassion of the good.
22. As usual, the interrogative negative strengthens the affirmative.
mercy and truth--that is, God's ( Psalms 57:3 , 61:7 ).
23. labour--painful diligence.
talk . . . penury--idle and vain promises and plans.
24. (Compare Proverbs 3:16 ).
foolishness . . . folly--Folly remains, or produces folly; it has no benefit.
25. Life often depends on truth-telling.
a deceitful . . . lies--He that breathes out lies is deceit, not to be trusted ( Proverbs 14:5 ).
26. The blessings of piety descend to children ( Proverbs 13:22 , 20:7 , Exodus 20:6 ).
27. (Compare Proverbs 13:14 ).
fear of the Lord--or, "law of the wise," is wisdom ( Psalms 111:10 ).
28. The teaching of a true political economy.
29. slow . . . understanding--(Compare Proverbs 14:17 ).
hasty--(Compare Proverbs 14:17 ).
exalteth folly--makes it conspicuous, as if delighting to honor it.
30. A sound heart--both literally and figuratively, a source of health; in the latter sense, opposed to the known effect of evil passions on health.
31. reproacheth his Maker--who is the God of such, as well as of the rich ( Proverbs 22:2 , Job 31:15 ; and specially 1 Samuel 2:8 , Psalms 113:7 ).
32. driven--thrust out violently (compare Psalms 35:5 Psalms 35:6 ).
hath hope--trusteth ( Proverbs 10:2 , 11:4 , Psalms 2:12 ), implying assurance of help.
33. resteth--preserved in quietness for use, while fools blazon their folly ( Proverbs 12:23 , 13:16 ).
34. Righteousness--just principles and actions.
exalteth--raises to honor.
is a reproach--brings on them the ill-will of others (compare Proverbs 13:6 ).
35. wise--discreet or prudent.
causeth shame--( Proverbs 10:5 , 12:4 ) acts basely.