16. retaineth--or literally, "lay hold of as a support." Honor is to a feeble woman thus as valuable as riches to men.
17. merciful--kind to others; opposed to cruel. Such benefit themselves by doing good to others (compare Proverbs 24:5 ), while the cruel injure themselves as well as others.
flesh--that is, his body, by penuriousness ( Colossians 2:23 ).
21. The combined power of the wicked cannot free them from just punishment, while the unaided children of the righteous find deliverance by reason of their pious relationship ( Psalms 37:25 Psalms 37:26 ).
23. (Compare Proverbs 10:28 ).
wrath--is that of God.
24-31. The scope of the whole is a comment on Proverbs 11:23 . Thus liberality, by God's blessing, secures increase, while penuriousness, instead of expected gain, procures poverty.
26. Another example of the truth of Proverbs 11:23 ; the miser loses reputation, though he saves corn.
selleth it--that is at a fair price.
27. good [and] mischief--that is, of others.
procureth . . . seeketh--implying success.
29. troubleth--as Proverbs 15:27 explains, by greediness for gain (compare Proverbs 11:17 ).
inherit . . . wind--Even successful, his gains are of no real value. So the fool, thus acting, either comes to poverty, or heaps up for others.
30. a tree of life--Blessings to others proceed from the works of the righteous ( Proverbs 3:18 ).
winneth souls--(Compare Margin) to do them good as opposed to Proverbs 6:25 , Ezekiel 13:18 (compare Luke 5:10 ).
31. Behold--Thus calling attention to the illustrations (compare Proverbs 11:23 ), the sentiment of which is confirmed even in time, not excluding future rewards and punishments.