Proverbs 18

1 One who isolates himself pursues [selfish] desires; he rebels against all sound judgment.
2 A fool does not delight in understanding, but only wants to show off his opinions.[a]
3 When a wicked man comes, shame does also, and along with dishonor, disgrace.
4 The words of a man's mouth are deep waters,[b] a flowing river, a fountain of wisdom.
5 It is not good to show partiality to the guilty by perverting the justice due the innocent.[c]
6 A fool's lips lead to strife, and his mouth provokes a beating.
7 A fool's mouth is his devastation, and his lips are a trap for his life.[d]
8 A gossip's words are like choice food that goes down to one's innermost being.[e] [f]
9 The one who is truly lazy in his work is brother to a vandal.[g] [h]
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected.[i] [j]
11 A rich man's wealth is his fortified city; in his imagination it is like a high wall.[k]
12 Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but before honor comes humility.[l]
13 The one who gives an answer before he listens- this is foolishness and disgrace for him.[m]
14 A man's spirit can endure sickness, but who can survive a broken spirit?[n]
15 The mind of the discerning acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks it.[o]
16 A gift opens doors[p] for a man and brings him before the great.[q]
17 The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.[r]
18 [Casting] the lot ends quarrels and separates powerful opponents.
19 An offended brother is [harder to reach][s] than a fortified city, and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.
20 From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is satisfied; he is filled with the product of his lips.[t]
21 Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.[u]
22 A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.[v]
23 The poor man pleads, but the rich one answers roughly.
24 A man with many friends may be harmed,[w] but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.[x]

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Proverbs 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

Verse 1 If we would get knowledge and grace, we must try all methods of improving ourselves. Verse 2 . Those make nothing to purpose, of learning or religion, whose only design is to have something to make a show with. Verse 3 . As soon as sin entered, shame followed. Verse 4 . The well-spring of wisdom in the heart of a believer, continually supplies words of wisdom. Verse 5 . The merits of a cause ( proverbs 18:6-7 ) do to themselves by their ungoverned tongues! Verse 8 . How base are those that sow contention! and what fatal effects may be expected from small beginnings of jealousy! Verse 9 . Omissions of duty, and in duty, are fatal to the soul, as well as commissions ( proverbs 18:10-11 ) Lord Jesus Christ, forms a strong tower for the believer, who relies on the Lord. How deceitful the defence of the rich man, who has his portion and treasure in this world! It is a strong city and a high wall only in his own conceit; for it will fail when most in need. They will be exposed to the just wrath of that Judge whom they despised as a Saviour. Verse 12 . After the heart has been lifted up with pride, a fall comes. But honour shall be the reward of humility. Verse 13 . Eagerness, with self-conceit, will expose to shame. Verse 14 . Firmness of mind supports under many pains and trials. But when the conscience is tortured with remorse, no human fortitude can bear the misery; what then will hell be? Verse 15 . We must get knowledge, not only into our heads, but into our hearts. Verse 16 . Blessed be the Lord, who makes us welcome to come to his throne, without money and without price. May his gifts make room for him in our souls. Verse 17 . It is well to listen to our enemies, that we may form a better judgment of ourselves. Verse 18 . It was customary sometimes to refer matters to God, by casting lots, with solemn prayer. The profaning the lot, by using it in matters of diversion, or coveting what belongs to others, forms an objection to this now. Verse 19 . Great care must be taken to prevent quarrels among relations and those under obligations to each other. Wisdom and grace make it easy to forgive; but corruption makes it difficult. Verse 20 . The belly is here put for the heart, as elsewhere; and what that is filled with, our satisfaction will be accordingly, and our inward peace. Verse 21 . Many a one has caused his own death, or the death of others, by a false or injurious tongue. Verse 22 . A good wife is a great blessing to a man, and it is a token of Divine favour. Verse 23 . Poverty tells men they must not order or demand. And at the throne of God's grace we are all poor, and must use entreaties. Verse 24 . Christ Jesus never will forsake those who trust in and love him. May we be such friends to others, for our Master's sake. Having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end; and we are his friends if we do whatever he commands us, ( John 15:14 ) .

Footnotes 24

Proverbs 18 Commentaries