Proverbs 16

1 The reflections of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.[a]
2 All a man's ways seem right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the motives.[b] [c]
3 Commit your activities to the Lord and your plans will be achieved.[d]
4 The Lord has prepared everything for His purpose- even the wicked for the day of disaster.[e]
5 Everyone with a proud heart is detestable to the Lord;[f] be assured,[g] he will not go unpunished.[h]
6 Wickedness is atoned for by loyalty and faithfulness, and one turns from evil by the fear of the Lord.[i]
7 When a man's ways please the Lord, He[j] makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.[k]
9 A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.[l]
10 God's verdict is on the lips of a king;[m] [n] his mouth should not err in judgment.[o]
11 Honest balances and scales are the Lord's; all the weights in the bag[p] are His concern.[q]
12 Wicked behavior[r] is detestable to kings, since a throne is established through righteousness.[s]
13 Righteous lips are a king's delight, and he loves one who speaks honestly.
14 A king's fury is a messenger of death, but a wise man appeases it.[t]
15 When a king's face lights up, there is life; his favor is like a cloud with spring rain.
16 Acquire wisdom- how much better it is than gold! And acquire understanding- it is preferable to silver.[u]
17 The highway of the upright avoids evil; the one who guards his way protects his life.[v]
18 Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.[w]
19 Better to be lowly of spirit with the humble[x] than to divide plunder with the proud.[y]
20 The one who understands a matter finds success, and the one who trusts in the Lord will be happy.[z]
21 Anyone with a wise heart is called discerning, and pleasant speech[aa] increases learning.[ab]
22 Insight is a fountain of life[ac] for its possessor, but folly is the instruction of fools.
23 A wise heart instructs its mouth and increases learning with its speech.[ad] [ae]
24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste[af] and health to the body.[ag][ah]
25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it is the way of death.[ai]
26 A worker's appetite works for him because his hunger[aj] urges him on.
27 A worthless man digs up evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.[ak]
28 A contrary man spreads conflict, and a gossip separates friends.[al]
29 A violent man lures his neighbor, leading him in a way that is not good.[am]
30 The one who narrows his eyes is planning deceptions; the one who compresses his lips brings about evil.[an]
31 Gray hair is a glorious crown;[ao] it is found in the way of righteousness.
32 Patience is better than power, and controlling one's temper,[ap] than capturing a city.[aq]
33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.[ar]

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Proverbs 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

Verse 1 The renewing grace of God alone prepares the heart for every good work. This teaches us that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think or speak any thing wise and good. Verse 2 . Ignorance, pride, and self-flattery render us partial judges respecting our own conduct. Verse 3 . Roll the burden of thy care upon God, and leave it with him, by faith and dependence on him. Verse 4 . God makes use of the wicked to execute righteous vengeance on each other; and he will be glorified by their destruction at last. Verse 5 . Though sinners strengthen themselves and one another, they shall not escape God's judgments. Verse 6 . By the mercy and truth of God in Christ Jesus, the sins of believers are taken away, and the power of sin is broken. Verse 7 . He that has all hearts in his hand, can make a man's enemies to be at peace with him. Verse 8 . A small estate, honestly come by, will turn to better account than a great estate ill-gotten. Verse 9 . If men make God's glory their end, and his will their rule, he will direct their steps by his Spirit and grace. 10. Let kings and judges of the earth be just, and rule in the fear of God. Verse 11 . To observe justice in dealings between man and man is God's appointment. Verse 12 . The ruler that uses his power aright, will find that to be his best security. Verse 13 . Put those in power who know how to ( proverbs 16:14-15 ) the favour of an earthly prince, throw themselves out of God's favour. Verse 16 . There is joy and satisfaction of spirit, only in getting wisdom. Verse 17 . A sincerely religious man keeps at a distance from every appearance of evil. Happy is the man that walks in Christ, and is led by the Spirit of Christ. Verse 18 . When men defy God's judgments, and think themselves far from them, it is a sign they are at the door. Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves. Verse 19 . Humility, though it exposes to contempt in the world, is much better than high-spiritedness, which makes God an enemy. He that understands God's word shall find good. Verse 21 . The man whose wisdom dwells in his heart, will be found more truly prudent than many who possess shining talents. Verse 22 . As waters to a thirsty land, so is a wise man to his friends and neighbours. Verse 23 . The wise man's self-knowledge, always suggests something proper to be spoken to others. Verse 24 . The word of God cures the diseases that weaken our souls. Verse 25 . This is caution to all, to take heed of deceiving themselves as to their souls. Verse 26 . We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish. ( proverbs 16:27-28 ) be needful to do good. The whisperer separates friends: what a ( proverbs 16:29-30 ) mischief they can by force and violence, and are blind to the result. Verse 31 . Old people especially should be found in the way of religion and godliness. Verse 32 . To overcome our own passions, requires more steady management, than obtaining victory over an enemy. Verse 33 . All the disposal of Providence concerning our affairs, we must look upon to be the determining what we referred to God; and we must be reconciled to them accordingly. Blessed are those that give themselves up to the will of God; for he knows what is good for them.

Footnotes 44

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of the building of the temple, for which preparations were before made and begins with the time of its building, 1Ki 6:1; gives the dimensions of it and the porch before it, 1Ki 6:2,3; observes the windows in it and chambers about it, 1Ki 6:4-10; and while it was building, Solomon had a word from the Lord relative to it, 1Ki 6:11-14; and then the account goes on concerning the walls of the house, and the flooring of it, 1Ki 6:15-18; and the oracle in it, and the cherubim in that, 1Ki 6:19-30; and the doors into it, and the carved work of them, 1Ki 6:31-36; and the chapter is concluded with observing the time when it was begun and finished 1Ki 6:37,38.

Proverbs 16 Commentaries

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