Verse 1 We should be more careful to do that by which we may get and keep a good name, than to raise or add unto a great estate. Verse 2 . Divine Providence has so ordered it, that some are rich, and others poor, but all are guilty before God; and at the throne of God's grace the poor are as welcome as the rich. Verse 3 . Faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners, and looks to Jesus Christ as the sure refuge from the storm. Verse 4 . Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. Verse 5 . The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. Verse 6 . Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour. Verse 7 . This shows how important it is for every man to keep out of debt. As to the things of this life, there is a difference between the rich and the poor; but let the poor remember, it is the Lord that made the difference. Verse 8 . The power which many abuse, will soon fail them. Verse 9 . He that seeks to relieve the wants and miseries of others shall be blessed. Verse 10 . Profane scoffers and revilers disturb the peace. Verse 11 . God will be the Friend of a man in whose spirit there is no guile; this honour have all the saints. Verse 12 . God turns the counsels and designs of treacherous men to their own confusion. Verse 13 . The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him. Verse 14 . The vile sin of licentiousness commonly besots the mind beyond recovery. Verse 15 . Sin is foolishness, it is in the heart, there is an inward inclination to sin: children bring it into the world with them; and it cleaves close to the soul. We all need to be corrected by our heavenly Father. Verse 16 . We are but stewards, and must distribute what God intrusts to our care, according to his will. ( 17-21 ) . To these words, to this knowledge, the ear must be bowed down, and the heart applied by faith and love. To live a life of delight in God and dependence on him, is the foundation of all practical religion. The way to know the certainty of the ( proverbs 22:22-23 ) that robs and oppresses the poor, does so at his peril. And if ( proverbs 22:24-25 ) hearts have so much tinder in them, that it is dangerous to have to do with those that throw about the sparks of their passion. ( proverbs 22:26-27 ) those are not so, who, by folly or other carelessness, waste what they have. Verse 28 . We are taught not to trespass on another man's right. And it is hard to find a truly industrious man. Such a man will rise. Seest thou a man diligent in the business of religion? He is likely to excel. Let us then be diligent in God's work.
Proverbs 22:1-29 .
1. A good name--( Job 30:8 , Hebrew); "good" is supplied here from Ecclesiastes 7:1 .
loving favour--kind regard, that is, of the wise and good.
2. Before God all are on the same footing ( Proverbs 14:31 , 17:5 ).
3. are punished--that is, for their temerity; for the evil is not necessarily punitive, as the prudent might otherwise be its objects.
4. humility and the fear of the Lord--are in apposition; one produces the other. On the results, compare Proverbs 3:16 , 8:18 .
5. he that . . . them--Those who properly watch over their own souls are thus preserved from the dangers which attend the way of perverse men ( Proverbs 16:17 ).
6. Train--initiate, or early instruct.
the way--literally, "his way," that selected for him in which he should go; for early training secures habitual walking in it.
7. The influence of wealth sets aside moral distinctions is implied, and, of course, disapproved (compare Proverbs 19:6 , 21:14 , &c.).
8. (Compare Proverbs 11:18 , Psalms 109:16-20 , Galatians 6:7 Galatians 6:8 ).
the rod . . . fail--His power to do evil will be destroyed.
9. a bountiful eye--that is, a beneficent disposition.
for he giveth . . . poor--His acts prove it.
10. Cast out--or drive away. Scorners foster strife by taunts and revilings.
11. (Compare Margin).
pureness of heart--and gentle, kind words win favor, even from kings.
12. preserve--or guard.
knowledge--its principles and possessors.
overthroweth--utterly confounds and destroys the wicked.
13. Frivolous excuses satisfy the indolent man's conscience.
14. The mouth--or flattering speeches ( Proverbs 5:3 , 7:5 ) ensnare man, as pits, beasts. God makes their own sin their punishment.
15. is bound--or firmly fixed. Chastisement deters from crime and so leads to reformation of principle.
16. These two vices pertain to the same selfish feeling. Both are deservedly odious to God and incur punishment.
17. Here begins another division of the book, marked by those encouragements to the pursuit of wisdom, which are found in the earlier chapters. It will be observed that at Proverbs 22:22-24:12', the proverbs are generally expressed in two verses instead of one
18. These lessons must be laid up in the mind, and
fitted--or better, "fixed" in the lips so as to be ever ready.
19. That . . . Lord--This is the design of the instruction.
20. excellent things--or probably of former times.
counsels and knowledge--both advice and instruction.
21. Specially he desires to secure accuracy, so that his pupil may teach others.
22, 23. Here follow ten precepts of two verses each. Though men fail to defend the poor, God will ( Proverbs 17:5 , Psalms 12:5 ).
in the gate--place of public gathering ( Job 5:4 , Psalms 69:12 ).
24, 25. (Compare Proverbs 2:12-15 , 4:14 ).
25. a snare . . . soul--The unsuspecting are often misled by bad company.
26, 27. (Compare Proverbs 6:1 , 17:18 ).
27. should he take, &c.--that is, the creditor.
28. (Compare Proverbs 23:10 ). Do not entrench on others ( Deuteronomy 19:14 , 27:17 ).
29. Success rewards diligence ( Proverbs 10:4 , 21:5 ).