Verse 1 The renewing grace of God alone prepares the heart for every good work. This teaches us that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think or speak any thing wise and good. Verse 2 . Ignorance, pride, and self-flattery render us partial judges respecting our own conduct. Verse 3 . Roll the burden of thy care upon God, and leave it with him, by faith and dependence on him. Verse 4 . God makes use of the wicked to execute righteous vengeance on each other; and he will be glorified by their destruction at last. Verse 5 . Though sinners strengthen themselves and one another, they shall not escape God's judgments. Verse 6 . By the mercy and truth of God in Christ Jesus, the sins of believers are taken away, and the power of sin is broken. Verse 7 . He that has all hearts in his hand, can make a man's enemies to be at peace with him. Verse 8 . A small estate, honestly come by, will turn to better account than a great estate ill-gotten. Verse 9 . If men make God's glory their end, and his will their rule, he will direct their steps by his Spirit and grace. 10. Let kings and judges of the earth be just, and rule in the fear of God. Verse 11 . To observe justice in dealings between man and man is God's appointment. Verse 12 . The ruler that uses his power aright, will find that to be his best security. Verse 13 . Put those in power who know how to ( proverbs 16:14-15 ) the favour of an earthly prince, throw themselves out of God's favour. Verse 16 . There is joy and satisfaction of spirit, only in getting wisdom. Verse 17 . A sincerely religious man keeps at a distance from every appearance of evil. Happy is the man that walks in Christ, and is led by the Spirit of Christ. Verse 18 . When men defy God's judgments, and think themselves far from them, it is a sign they are at the door. Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves. Verse 19 . Humility, though it exposes to contempt in the world, is much better than high-spiritedness, which makes God an enemy. He that understands God's word shall find good. Verse 21 . The man whose wisdom dwells in his heart, will be found more truly prudent than many who possess shining talents. Verse 22 . As waters to a thirsty land, so is a wise man to his friends and neighbours. Verse 23 . The wise man's self-knowledge, always suggests something proper to be spoken to others. Verse 24 . The word of God cures the diseases that weaken our souls. Verse 25 . This is caution to all, to take heed of deceiving themselves as to their souls. Verse 26 . We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish. ( proverbs 16:27-28 ) be needful to do good. The whisperer separates friends: what a ( proverbs 16:29-30 ) mischief they can by force and violence, and are blind to the result. Verse 31 . Old people especially should be found in the way of religion and godliness. Verse 32 . To overcome our own passions, requires more steady management, than obtaining victory over an enemy. Verse 33 . All the disposal of Providence concerning our affairs, we must look upon to be the determining what we referred to God; and we must be reconciled to them accordingly. Blessed are those that give themselves up to the will of God; for he knows what is good for them.
Proverbs 16:1-33 .
in man--or literally, "to man," belonging, or pertaining to him.
the answer . . . Lord--The efficient ordering is from God: "Man proposes; God disposes."
2. clean--or, "faultless."
weigheth--or, "tries," "judges," implying that they are faulty ( Proverbs 21:2 , 24:12 ).
3. (Compare Margin). Rely on God for success to your lawful purposes.
4. for himself--"for its answer," or "purpose," that is, according to God's plan; the wicked are for the day of evil ( Psalms 49:5 , Jeremiah 17:18 ); sinning and suffering answer to each other, are indissolubly united.
5. (Compare Proverbs 3:32 ).
6. By mercy and truth--that is, God's ( Psalms 85:10 ); He effects the atonement, or covering of sin; and the principles of true piety incline men to depart from evil; or, "mercy" and "truth" may be man's, indicative of the gracious tempers which work instrumentally in procuring pardon.
purged--expiated (as in Leviticus 16:33 , Isaiah 27:9 , Hebrew).
7. Persecutions, of course, excepted.
8. (Compare Proverbs 15:6 Proverbs 15:16 Proverbs 15:17 ).
9. (Compare Proverbs 16:3 ).
10. The last clause depends on the first, expressing the importance of equity in decisions, so authoritative.
11. are the Lord's . . . his work--that is, what He has ordered, and hence should be observed by men.
12. Rulers are rightly expected, by their position, to hate evil; for their power is sustained by righteousness.
13. A specification of the general sentiment of Proverbs 16:12 .
14. This wrath, so terrible and certain, like messengers of death ( 1 Kings 2:25 ), can be appeased by the wise.
15. light of . . . countenance--favor ( Psalms 4:6 ).
life--preserves it, or gives blessings which make it valuable.
the latter rain--fell just before harvest and matured the crop; hence specially valuable ( Deuteronomy 11:14 ).
16. (Compare Proverbs 3:16 , 4:5 ).
17. The highway--A common, plain road represents the habitual course of the righteous in departing from evil.
18, 19. (Compare Proverbs 15:33 ). Haughtiness and pride imply self-confidence which produces carelessness, and hence
a fall--literally, "sliding."
19. divide the spoil--that is, conquer. Avoid the society of the proud ( James 4:6 ).
20. handleth a matter--wisely considers "the word," that is, of God (compare Proverbs 13:13 ).
trusteth--(Compare Psalms 2:12 , Psalms 118:8 Psalms 118:9 ).
21. wise in heart--who rightly consider duty.
sweetness of the lips--eloquent discourse, persuades and instructs others.
22. Understanding--or, "discretion," is a constant source of blessing ( Proverbs 13:14 ), benefiting others; but fools' best efforts are folly.
23. The heart is the source of wisdom flowing from the mouth.
24. (Compare Proverbs 15:26 ). Gentle, kind words, by soothing the mind, give the body health.
25. (Compare Proverbs 14:2 ).
26. Diligence is a duty due to one's self, for his wants require labor.
27. ungodly man--(Compare Proverbs 6:12 ).
diggeth up evil--labors for it.
in his lips . . . fire--His words are calumniating ( James 3:6 ).
28. (Compare Proverbs 6:14 , 10:31 ).
whisperer--prater, talebearer ( Proverbs 18:8 , 26:20 ).
29. violent man--or, "man of mischief" ( Proverbs 3:31 ).
enticeth--( Proverbs 1:10 ).
30. He shutteth his eyes--denoting deep thought ( Psalms 64:6 ).
moving his lips--or, "biting his lips"--a determined purpose ( Proverbs 6:13 ).
31. (Compare Proverbs 20:29 ).
if--or, which may be supplied properly, or without it the sense is as in Proverbs 3:16 , 4:10 , that piety is blessed with long life.
32. (Compare Proverbs 14:29 ).
taketh a city--that is, by fighting.
33. Seemingly the most fortuitous events are ordered by God.