Proverbs 20

1 Wine is a mocker; beer a carouser. Those it leads astray won't become wise.
2 A king is as terrifying as a lion's growl. Those who anger him may lose their life.
3 It is honorable to back off from a fight, but fools jump right in.
4 The lazy don't plow during winter; at harvest they look but find nothing.
5 Advice comes from the deep waters of the heart; those with understanding can draw it out.
6 Many people will say that they are loyal, but who can find a reliable person?
7 The righteous live with integrity; happy are their children who come after them.
8 A king who sits on his judgment throne sifts out all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, "I'm innocent to the core; I'm cleansed from my sin"?
10 False weights and measures— the LORD detests them both.
11 Even young people are known by their actions, whether their conduct is pure and upright.
12 Ears to hear and eyes to see— the LORD made them both.
13 Don't love sleep or you will be poor; stay alert and you will have plenty to eat.
14 The buyer says, "Bad, bad," but then goes away and brags.
15 Much gold and many pearls exist, but wise speech is the most precious jewel.
16 Take the garment of the person who secures a loan for a stranger; take his pledge for a foreigner.
17 Stolen bread is sweet, but afterward the mouth is full of gravel.
18 Plans are firmed up by advice; wage wars with good guidance.
19 Gossips reveal secrets; don't associate with those who talk too much.
20 Those who curse their father or mother— their lamp will be snuffed out when it becomes dark.
21 Inheritance gained quickly at first won't bless later on.
22 Don't say, "I'll repay the evildoer!" Wait for the LORD, and he will save you.
23 The LORD detests false weights; deceptive scales aren't right.
24 A person's steps are from the LORD; how then can people understand their path?
25 It is a snare to say rashly, "It is holy," and only reflect after making the promise.
26 A wise king sifts out the wicked, and runs them over with a wheel.
27 The breath of a person is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inmost parts.
28 Kindness and faithfulness protect the king; he supports his throne by kindness.
29 Strength is the glory of young men; gray hair is the splendor of old age.
30 Blows and bruises remove evil; beatings cleanse the inner parts.

Proverbs 20 Commentary

Chapter 20

Verse 1 It seems hard to believe that men of the greatest abilities, as well as the ignorant, should render themselves fools and madmen, merely for the taste or excitement produced by strong liquors. Verse 2 . How formidable kings are to those who provoke them! how much more foolish then is it to provoke the King of kings! Verse 3 . To engage in quarrels is the greatest folly that can be. Yield, and even give up just demands, for peace' sake. Verse 4 . He who labours and endures hardship in his seed-time for eternity, will be properly diligent as to his earthly business. Verse 5 . Though many capable of giving wise counsel are silent, yet something may be drawn from them, which will reward those who obtain it. Verse 6 . It is hard to find those that have done, and will do more good than they speak, or care to hear spoken of. Verse 7 . A good man is not liable to uneasiness in contriving what he shall do, or in reflecting on what he has done, as those who walk in deceit. And his family fare better for his sake. Verse 8 . If great men are good men, they may do much good, and prevent very much evil. Verse 9 . Some can say, Through grace, we are cleaner than we have been; but it was the work of the Holy Spirit. Verse 10 . See the various deceits men use, of which the love of money is the root. The Lord will not bless what is thus gotten. Verse 11 . Parents should observe their children, that they may manage them accordingly. Verse 12 . All our powers and faculties are from God, and are to be employed for him. Verse 13 . Those that indulge themselves, may expect to want necessaries, which should have been gotten by honest labour. Verse 14 . Men use arts to get a good bargain, and to buy cheap; whereas a man ought to be ashamed of a fraud and a lie. Verse 15 . He that prefers true knowledge to riches, follows the ways of religion and happiness. If we really believed this truth, the word of God would be valued as it deserves, and the world would lose its tempting influence. Verse 16 . Those ruin themselves who entangle themselves in rash suretiship. Also those who are in league with abandoned women. Place no confidence in either. Verse 17 . Wealth gotten by fraud may be sweet, for the carnal mind takes pleasure in the success of wicked devices; but it will be bitter in the reflection. Verse 18 . Especially we need advice in spiritual warfare. The word and Spirit of God are the best counsellors in every point. Verse 19 . Those dearly buy their own praise, who put confidence in a man because he speaks fairly. Verse 20 . An undutiful child will become very miserable. Never let him expect any peace or comfort. Verse 21 . An estate suddenly raised, is often as suddenly ruined. Verse 22 . Wait on the Lord, attend his pleasure, and he will protect thee. Verse 23 . A bargain made by fraud will prove a losing bargain in the end. Verse 24 . How can we form plans, and conduct business, independently of the Lord? Verse 25 . The evasions men often use with their own consciences show how false and deceitful man is. Verse 26 . Justice should crush the wicked, and separate them from the virtuous. Verse 27 . The rational soul and conscience are as a lamp within us, which should be used in examining our dispositions and motives with the revealed will of God. Verse 28 . Mercy and truth are the glories of God's throne. Verse 29 . Both young and old have their advantages; and let neither despise or envy the other. Verse 30 . Severe rebukes sometimes do a great deal of good. But such is the corruption of nature, that men are loth to be rebuked for their sins. If God uses severe afflictions, to purify our hearts and fit us for his service, we have cause to be very thankful.

Proverbs 20 Commentaries