1. Every wise, &c.--literally, "The wisdoms" (compare Proverbs 9:1 ) "of women," plural, a distributive form of speech.
buildeth . . . house--increases wealth, which the foolish, by mismanagement, lessen.
3. rod of pride--that is, the punishment of pride, which they evince by their words. The words of the wise procure good to them.
5. A faithful witness, &c.--one tested to be such.
utter lies--or, "breathe out lies"--that is, habitually lies ( Proverbs 6:19 ; compare Acts 9:1 ). Or the sense is, that habitual truthfulness, or lying, will be evinced in witness-bearing.
7. Avoid the society of those who cannot teach you.
8. Appearances deceive the thoughtless, but the prudent discriminate.
9. Fools make a mock at sin--or, "Sin deludes fools."
righteous . . . favour--that is, of God, instead of the punishment of sin.
10. Each one best knows his own sorrows or joys.
11. (Compare Proverbs 12:7 ). The contrast of the whole is enhanced by that of house and tabernacle, a permanent and a temporary dwelling.
12. end thereof--or, "reward," what results (compare Proverbs 5:4 ).
ways of death--leading to it.
13. The preceding sentiment illustrated by the disappointments of a wicked or untimely joy.
14. filled . . . ways--receive retribution ( Proverbs 1:31 ).
a good man . . . himself--literally, "is away from such," will not associate with him.
15. The simple . . . word--He is credulous, not from love, but heedlessness ( Proverbs 13:16 ).
17. He . . . angry--literally, "short of anger" (compare Proverbs 14:29 , opposite idea).
man . . . hated--that is, the deliberate evildoer is more hated than the rash.
18. inherit--as a portion (compare Proverbs 3:35 ).
are crowned--literally, "are surrounded with it," abound in it.
19. Describes the humbling of the wicked by the punishment their sins incur.
20. This sad but true picture of human nature is not given approvingly, but only as a fact.
21. For such contempt of the poor is contrasted as sinful with the virtuous compassion of the good.
23. labour--painful diligence.
talk . . . penury--idle and vain promises and plans.
24. (Compare Proverbs 3:16 ).
foolishness . . . folly--Folly remains, or produces folly; it has no benefit.
25. Life often depends on truth-telling.
a deceitful . . . lies--He that breathes out lies is deceit, not to be trusted ( Proverbs 14:5 ).
28. The teaching of a true political economy.
30. A sound heart--both literally and figuratively, a source of health; in the latter sense, opposed to the known effect of evil passions on health.
34. Righteousness--just principles and actions.
exalteth--raises to honor.
is a reproach--brings on them the ill-will of others (compare Proverbs 13:6 ).