Verse 1 If we would get knowledge and grace, we must try all methods of improving ourselves. Verse 2 . Those make nothing to purpose, of learning or religion, whose only design is to have something to make a show with. Verse 3 . As soon as sin entered, shame followed. Verse 4 . The well-spring of wisdom in the heart of a believer, continually supplies words of wisdom. Verse 5 . The merits of a cause ( proverbs 18:6-7 ) do to themselves by their ungoverned tongues! Verse 8 . How base are those that sow contention! and what fatal effects may be expected from small beginnings of jealousy! Verse 9 . Omissions of duty, and in duty, are fatal to the soul, as well as commissions ( proverbs 18:10-11 ) Lord Jesus Christ, forms a strong tower for the believer, who relies on the Lord. How deceitful the defence of the rich man, who has his portion and treasure in this world! It is a strong city and a high wall only in his own conceit; for it will fail when most in need. They will be exposed to the just wrath of that Judge whom they despised as a Saviour. Verse 12 . After the heart has been lifted up with pride, a fall comes. But honour shall be the reward of humility. Verse 13 . Eagerness, with self-conceit, will expose to shame. Verse 14 . Firmness of mind supports under many pains and trials. But when the conscience is tortured with remorse, no human fortitude can bear the misery; what then will hell be? Verse 15 . We must get knowledge, not only into our heads, but into our hearts. Verse 16 . Blessed be the Lord, who makes us welcome to come to his throne, without money and without price. May his gifts make room for him in our souls. Verse 17 . It is well to listen to our enemies, that we may form a better judgment of ourselves. Verse 18 . It was customary sometimes to refer matters to God, by casting lots, with solemn prayer. The profaning the lot, by using it in matters of diversion, or coveting what belongs to others, forms an objection to this now. Verse 19 . Great care must be taken to prevent quarrels among relations and those under obligations to each other. Wisdom and grace make it easy to forgive; but corruption makes it difficult. Verse 20 . The belly is here put for the heart, as elsewhere; and what that is filled with, our satisfaction will be accordingly, and our inward peace. Verse 21 . Many a one has caused his own death, or the death of others, by a false or injurious tongue. Verse 22 . A good wife is a great blessing to a man, and it is a token of Divine favour. Verse 23 . Poverty tells men they must not order or demand. And at the throne of God's grace we are all poor, and must use entreaties. Verse 24 . Christ Jesus never will forsake those who trust in and love him. May we be such friends to others, for our Master's sake. Having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end; and we are his friends if we do whatever he commands us, ( John 15:14 ) .
Proverbs 18:1-24 .
1. Through desire . . . seeketh--that is, seeks selfish gratification.
intermeddleth . . . wisdom--or, "rushes on" ( Proverbs 17:14 ) against all wisdom, or what is valuable ( Proverbs 2:7 ).
2. that his heart . . . itself--that is, takes pleasure in revealing his folly ( Proverbs 12:23 , 15:2 ).
3. So surely are sin and punishment connected ( Proverbs 16:4 ).
wicked, for "wickedness," answers to
ignominy, or the state of such; and
contempt, the feeling of others to them; and to
reproach, a manifestation of contempt.
4. Wise speech is like an exhaustless stream of benefit.
5. accept the person--(Compare Psalms 82:2 ). "It is not good" is to be supplied before "to overthrow."
6, 7. The quarrelsome bring trouble on themselves. Their rash language ensnares them ( Proverbs 6:2 ).
8. (Compare Proverbs 16:28 ).
as wounds--not sustained by the Hebrew; better, as "sweet morsels," which men gladly swallow.
innermost . . . belly--the mind, or heart (compare Proverbs 20:27-30 , Psalms 22:14 ).
9. One by failing to get, the other by wasting wealth, grows poor.
waster--literally, "master of washing," a prodigal.
10. name of the Lord--manifested perfections ( Psalms 8:1 , 20:2 ), as faithfulness, power, mercy, &c., on which men rely.
is safe--literally, "set on high, out of danger" ( Psalms 18:2 , 91:4 ).
11. contrasts with Proverbs 18:10 (compare Proverbs 10:15 ). Such is a vain trust (compare Psalms 73:6 ).
12. (Compare Proverbs 15:33 , 16:18 ).
13. Hasty speech evinces self-conceit, and ensures shame ( Proverbs 26:12 ).
14. infirmity--bodily sickness, or outward evil. The spirit, which sustains, being wounded, no support is left, except, as implied, in God.
15. (Compare Proverbs 1:5 Proverbs 1:15 Proverbs 1:31 ).
16. (Compare Proverbs 17:8 Proverbs 17:23 ). Disapproval of the fact stated is implied.
17. One-sided statements are not reliable.
searcheth--thoroughly ( Proverbs 17:9 Proverbs 17:19 ).
18. The lot--whose disposal is of God ( Proverbs 16:13 ), may, properly used, be a right mode of settling disputes.
19. No feuds so difficult of adjustment as those of relatives; hence great care should be used to avoid them.
20. (Compare Proverbs 12:14 , 13:2 ). Men's words are the fruit, or, increase of his lips, and when good, benefit them.
satisfied with--(Compare Proverbs 1:31 , 14:14 ).
21. Death and life--or, the greatest evil and good.
that love it--that is, the tongue, or its use for good or evil.
eat . . . fruit--(Compare Proverbs 18:19 , 1:19 ).
22. The old versions supply "good" before the "wife," as the last clause and Proverbs 19:14 imply (compare Proverbs 31:10 ).
23. the rich . . . roughly--He is tolerated because rich, implying that the estimate of men by wealth is wrong.
24. A man . . . friendly--better, "A man . . . (is) to, or, may triumph ( Psalms 108:9 ), or, shout for joy ( Psalms 5:11 ), that is, may congratulate himself." Indeed, there is a Friend who is better than a brother; such is the "Friend of sinners" [ Matthew 11:19 , Luke 7:34 ], who may have been before the writer's mind.