Verse 1 If God wounds, who can heal? The word of God warns all to flee from the wrath to come, to the hope set before us in Jesus Christ. Verse 2 . The people have cause to rejoice or mourn, as their rulers are righteous or wicked. Verse 3 . Divine wisdom best keeps us from ruinous lusts. Verse 4 . The Lord Jesus is the King who will minister true judgment to the people. Verse 5 . Flatterers put men off their guard, which betrays them into foolish conduct. Verse 6 . Transgressions always end in vexations. Righteous men walk at liberty, and walk in safety. Verse 7 . This verse is applicable to compassion for the distress of the poor, and the unfeeling disregard shown by the wicked. Verse 8 . The scornful mock at things sacred and serious. Men who promote religion, which is true wisdom, turn away the wrath of God. Verse 9 . If a wise man dispute with a conceited wrangler, he will be treated with anger or ridicule; and no good is done. Verse 10 . Christ told his disciples that they should be hated of all men. The just, whom the blood-thirsty hate, gladly do any thing for their salvation. Verse 11 . He is a fool who tells every thing he knows, and can keep no counsel. Verse 12 . One who loves flatterers, and hearkens to slanderers, causes his servants to become liars and false accusers. Verse 13 . Some are poor, others have a great deal of deceitful riches. They meet in the business of this world; the Lord gives to both the comforts of this life. To some of both sorts he gives his grace. Verse 14 . The rich will look to themselves, but the poor and needy the prince must defend and plead for. Verse 15 . Parents must consider the benefit of due correction, and the mischief of undue indulgence. Verse 16 . Let not the righteous have their faith and hope shocked by the increase of sin and sinners, but let them wait with patience. Verse 17 . Children must not be suffered to go without rebuke when they do amiss. Verse 18 . How bare does a place look without Bibles and ministers! and what an easy prey is it to the enemy of souls! That gospel is an open vision, which holds forth Christ, which humbles the sinner and exalts the Saviour, which promotes holiness in the life and conversation: and these are precious truths to keep the soul alive, and prevent it from perishing. Verse 19 . Here is an unprofitable, slothful, wicked servant; one that serves not from conscience, or love, but from fear. Verse 20 . When a man is self-conceited, rash, and given to wrangling, there is more hope of the ignorant and profligate. Verse 21 . Good usage to a servant does not mean indulgence, which would ruin even a child. The body is a servant to the soul; those that humour it, and are over-tender of it, will find it forget its place. Verse 22 . An angry, passionate disposition makes men provoking to one another, and provoking to God. Verse 23 . Only those who humble themselves shall be exalted and established. Verse 24 . The receiver is as bad as the thief. Verse 25 . Many are ashamed to own Christ now; and he will not own them in the day of judgment. But he that trusts in the Lord will be saved from this snare. Verse 26 . The wisest course is, to look to God, and seek the favour of the Ruler of rulers; for every creature is that to us which God makes it to be. Verse 27 . The just man abhors the sins of the wicked, and shuns their company. Christ exposed the wickedness of men, yet prayed for the wicked when they were crucifying him. Hatred to sin in ourselves and others, is a needful branch of the Christian temper. But all that are unholy, have rooted hatred to godliness.
Proverbs 29:1-27 .
1. hardeneth . . . neck--obstinately refuses counsel ( 2 Kings 17:14 , Nehemiah 9:16 ).
destroyed--literally, "shivered" or "utterly broken to pieces."
without remedy--literally, "without healing" or repairing.
2. (Compare Proverbs 11:10 , 28:28 ).
in authority--(Compare Margin), increased in power.
3. (Compare Proverbs 4:6 Proverbs 4:7 , 10:1 , &c.).
4. by judgment--that is, righteous decisions, opposed to those procured by gifts (compare Proverbs 28:21 ), by which good government is perverted.
5. (Compare Proverbs 26:28 ).
spreadeth . . . feet--By misleading him as to his real character, the flatterer brings him to evil, prepared by himself or others.
6. In--or, "By"
the transgression--he is brought into difficulty ( Proverbs 12:13 ), but the righteous go on prospering, and so sing or rejoice.
7. considereth--literally, "knows," as Psalms 1:6 .
the cause--that is, in courts of justice (compare Proverbs 29:14 ). The voluntary neglect of it by the wicked ( Proverbs 28:27 ) occasions oppression.
8. Scornful men--those who contemptuously disregard God's law.
bring--(Compare Margin), kindle strife.
turn away wrath--that is, "abate wrath."
9. contendeth--that is, in law.
whether . . . laugh--The fool, whether angry or good-humored, is unsettled; or referring the words to the wise man, the sense is, that all his efforts, severe or gentle, are unavailing to pacify the fool.
10. bloodthirsty--(Compare Margin), murderers ( Psalms 5:6 , 26:9 ).
hate, &c.--( Proverbs 1:11 , Genesis 3:4 ).
seek . . . soul--that is, to preserve it.
11. (Compare Proverbs 12:16 , 16:32 ).
mind--or, "spirit," for anger or any ill passion which the righteous restrain.
12. His servants imitate him.
13. (Compare Proverbs 22:2 ).
deceitful man--literally, "man of vexations," an exactor.
the Lord . . . their eyes--sustains their lives ( 1 Samuel 14:27 , Psalms 13:3 ); that is, both depend on Him, and He will do justice.
14. (Compare Proverbs 20:28 , 25:5 ). Such is the character of the King of kings ( Psalms 72:4 Psalms 72:12 ).
15. (Compare Proverbs 13:24 , 23:13 ).
16. (Compare Proverbs 29:2 Proverbs 29:12 , Psalms 12:1-8 ).
shall see . . . fall--and triumph in it ( Psalms 37:34-38 , Psalms 58:10 Psalms 58:11 ).
17. (Compare Proverbs 29:3 Proverbs 29:15 , Proverbs 19:18 ).
give thee rest--peace and quiet (compare Proverbs 29:9 ).
18. no vision--instruction in God's truth, which was by prophets, through visions ( 1 Samuel 3:1 ).
people perish--(Compare Margin), are deprived of moral restraints.
keepeth the law--has, and observes, instruction ( Proverbs 14:11 Proverbs 14:34 , Psalms 19:11 ).
19. A servant--who lacks good principle.
will not answer--that is, will not obey.
20. (Compare Proverbs 21:5 ).
hasty in . . . words?--implying self-conceit ( Proverbs 26:12 ).
21. become his son--assume the place and privileges of one.
22. (Compare Proverbs 15:18 ). Such are delighted by discord and violence.
23. (Compare Proverbs 16:18 , 18:12 ).
honour . . . spirit--or, "such shall lay hold on honor" ( Proverbs 11:16 ).
24. hateth . . . soul--(Compare Proverbs 8:36 ).
heareth cursing--( Leviticus 5:1 ), risks the punishment, rather than reveal truth.
25. The fear . . . snare--involves men in difficulty (compare Proverbs 29:6 ).
shall be safe--(Compare Margin; Proverbs 18:10 ).
26. (Compare Margin; Psalms 27:8 ). God alone will and can do exact justice.
27. (Compare Proverbs 3:32 ). On last clause, compare Proverbs 29:16 , Psalms 37:12 .