Proverbs 14

Listen to Proverbs 14
1 1The wisest of women 2builds her house, but folly with her own hands 3tears it down.
2 Whoever 4walks in uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is 5devious in his ways despises him.
3 By the mouth of a fool comes 6a rod for his back,[a] 7but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
5 8A faithful witness does not lie, but 9a false witness breathes out lies.
6 10A scoffer seeks wisdom 11in vain, but 12knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
7 Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.
9 13Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance.[b]
10 The heart knows its own 14bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.
11 15The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 16There is a way that seems right to a man, but 17its end is the way to death.[c]
13 Even in laughter the heart may ache, and 18the end of joy may be 19grief.
14 The backslider in heart will be 20filled with the fruit of his ways, and 21a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
15 22The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
16 23One who is wise is cautious[d] and 24turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.
17 A man of 25quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated.
18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19 26The evil bow down before the good, the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 27The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, 28but the rich has many friends.
21 Whoever 29despises his neighbor is a sinner, but 30blessed is he who is generous to the poor.
22 Do they not go astray who 31devise evil? Those who devise good meet[e]32steadfast love and faithfulness.
23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk 33tends only to poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.
25 A truthful witness saves lives, but one who 34breathes out lies is deceitful.
26 In the fear of the LORD one has 35strong confidence, and 36his children will have 37a refuge.
27 The fear of the LORD is 38a fountain of life, that one may 39turn away from the snares of death.
28 In 40a multitude of people is the glory of a king, but without people a prince is ruined.
29 Whoever is 41slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
30 A tranquil[f] heart gives 42life to the flesh, but 43envy[g] makes 44the bones rot.
31 Whoever oppresses a poor man 45insults his 46Maker, 47but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
32 48The wicked is overthrown through his evildoing, but 49the righteous finds refuge in his death.
33 Wisdom 50rests in the heart of a man of understanding, but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.[h]
34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
35 A servant who deals wisely has 51the king's favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

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Proverbs 14 Commentary

Chapter 14

Verse 1 A woman who has no fear of God, who is wilful and wasteful, and indulges her ease, will as certainly ruin her family, as if she plucked her house down. Verse 2 . Here are grace and sin in their true colours. Those that despise God's precepts and promises, despise God and all his power and mercy. Verse 3 . Pride grows from that root of bitterness which is in the heart. The root must be plucked up, or we cannot conquer this branch. The prudent words of wise men get them out of difficulties. Verse 4 . There can be no advantage without something which, though of little moment, will affright the indolent. Verse 5 . A conscientious witness will not dare to represent anything otherwise than according to his knowledge. Verse 6 . A scorner treats Divine things with contempt. He that feels his ignorance and unworthiness will search the Scriptures in a humble spirit. Verse 7 . We discover a wicked man if there is no savour of piety in his discourse. Verse 8 . We are travellers, whose concern is, not to spy out wonders, but to get to their journey's end; to understand the rules we are to walk by, also the ends we are to walk toward. The bad man cheats himself, and goes on in his mistake. Verse 9 . Foolish and profane men consider sin a mere trifle, to be made light of rather than mourned over. Fools mock at the sin-offering; but those that make light of sin, make light of Christ. Verse 10 . We do not know what stings of conscience, or consuming passions, torment the prosperous sinner. Nor does the world know the peace of mind a serious Christian enjoys, even in poverty and sickness. Verse 11 . Sin ruins many great families; whilst righteousness often raises and strengthens even mean families. Verse 12 . The ways of carelessness, of worldliness, and of sensuality, seem right to those that walk in them; but self-deceivers prove self-destroyers. See the vanity of carnal mirth. Verse 14 . Of all sinners backsliders will have the most terror when they reflect on their own ways. Verse 15 . Eager readiness to believe what others say, has ever proved mischievous. The whole world was thus ruined at first. The man who is spiritually wise, depends on the Saviour alone for acceptance. He is watchful against the enemies of his salvation, by taking heed to God's word. Verse 16 . Holy fear guards against every thing unholy. Verse 17 . An angry man is to be pitied as well as blamed; but the revengeful is more hateful. Verse 18 . Sin is the shame of sinners; but wisdom is the honour of the wise. Verse 19 . Even bad men acknowledge the excellency of God's people. Verse 20 . Friendship in the world is governed by self-interest. It is good to have God our Friend; he will not desert us. Verse 21 . To despise a man for his employment or appearance is a sin. Verse 22 . How wisely those consult their own interest, who not only do good, but devise it! Verse 23 . Labour of the head, or of the hand, will turn to some good account. But if men's religion runs all out in talk and noise, they will come to nothing. Verse 24 . The riches of men of wisdom and piety enlarge their usefulness. Verse 25 . An upright man will venture the ( proverbs 14:26-27 ) Those who fear the Lord so as to obey and serve him, have a strong ground of confidence, and will be preserved. Let us seek to this Fountain of life, that we may escape the snares of death. Verse 28 . Let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, do what they can, that many may be added to his church. Verse 29 . A mild, patient man is one that learns of Christ, who is Wisdom itself. Unbridled passion is folly made known. Verse 30 . An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health. Verse 31 . To oppress the poor is to reproach our Creator. Verse 32 . The wicked man has his soul forced from him; he dies in his sins, under the guilt and power of them. But godly men, though they have pain and some dread of death, have the blessed hope, which God, who cannot lie, has given them. Verse 33 . Wisdom possesses the heart, and thus regulates the affections and tempers. Verse 34 . Piety and holiness always promote industry, sobriety, and honesty. Verse 35 . The great King who reigns over heaven and earth, will reward faithful servants who honour his gospel by the proper discharge of the duties of their stations: he despises not the services of the lowest.

Cross References 51

  • 1. [Proverbs 9:1; Proverbs 24:3]
  • 2. Deuteronomy 25:9; Ruth 4:11
  • 3. [Proverbs 11:11]
  • 4. Proverbs 19:1; Proverbs 28:6
  • 5. Proverbs 2:15
  • 6. [Jeremiah 18:18]
  • 7. Proverbs 12:6
  • 8. [Exodus 23:1]
  • 9. See Proverbs 6:19
  • 10. [Proverbs 24:7]
  • 11. [Psalms 25:9; 1 Peter 5:5]
  • 12. [Proverbs 8:9; Proverbs 15:14; Proverbs 17:24]
  • 13. [Proverbs 10:23]
  • 14. [1 Samuel 1:10]; See Job 3:20
  • 15. [Proverbs 3:33; Proverbs 15:25; Job 8:15; Job 21:28]
  • 16. Proverbs 16:25; See Proverbs 12:15
  • 17. [Proverbs 5:5; Romans 6:21]; See Proverbs 7:27
  • 18. [Ecclesiastes 2:2; Luke 6:25]
  • 19. Proverbs 10:1
  • 20. [Proverbs 1:31; Matthew 6:2, 5]
  • 21. Proverbs 12:14; Isaiah 3:10
  • 22. See Proverbs 1:4
  • 23. [Proverbs 22:3; Proverbs 27:12]
  • 24. [Proverbs 3:7]; See Job 28:28; Psalms 34:14
  • 25. [ver. 29]
  • 26. [Genesis 42:6; 1 Samuel 2:36]
  • 27. Proverbs 19:7
  • 28. Proverbs 19:4
  • 29. Proverbs 11:12
  • 30. Psalms 41:1
  • 31. See Proverbs 3:29
  • 32. Proverbs 3:3
  • 33. [Proverbs 11:24; Proverbs 21:5; Proverbs 22:16]
  • 34. ver. 5
  • 35. [Proverbs 1:33]
  • 36. [Psalms 73:15]
  • 37. See Psalms 14:6
  • 38. See Proverbs 10:11
  • 39. See Proverbs 13:14
  • 40. [1 Kings 4:20]
  • 41. Proverbs 16:32; Proverbs 19:11; [ver. 17; Ecclesiastes 7:9; James 1:19]
  • 42. See Proverbs 4:22
  • 43. [Psalms 112:10]
  • 44. Proverbs 12:4
  • 45. Proverbs 17:5; [Matthew 25:40, 45]
  • 46. Proverbs 22:2; See Job 35:10
  • 47. Proverbs 28:8
  • 48. Proverbs 24:16
  • 49. Genesis 49:18; Psalms 16:11; Psalms 17:15; Psalms 23:4; 2 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Timothy 4:18; [Numbers 23:10]; See Job 19:25-27
  • 50. Ecclesiastes 7:9; Proverbs 12:16; Proverbs 29:11
  • 51. [Proverbs 16:13; Proverbs 22:11]; See Matthew 24:45-47

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. Or In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride
  • [b]. Hebrew but among the upright is acceptance
  • [c]. Hebrew ways of death
  • [d]. Or fears [the Lord]
  • [e]. Or show
  • [f]. Or healing
  • [g]. Or jealousy
  • [h]. Or Wisdom rests quietly in the heart of a man of understanding, but makes itself known in the midst of fools

Chapter Summary


As in the preceding chapter we have a proof of the wisdom and understanding which the Lord gave to Solomon, as promised, so in this an account is given of the riches and honour he was possessed of; of him, as king over all Israel, and of his princes, 1Ki 4:1-6; of the providers of food for his household in the several parts of the land, 1Ki 4:7-19; of the largeness and extent of his dominions, and of the peace and prosperity thereof, 1Ki 4:20,21,24,25; of his daily provisions for his household and for his cattle, 1Ki 4:22,23,26-28; and of his superior wisdom and knowledge to all others in all nations, which brought some out of all to hear it, 1Ki 4:29-34.

Proverbs 14 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.