Proverbs 28

Listen to Proverbs 28
1 1The wicked flee when no one pursues, but 2the righteous are bold as a lion.
2 When a land transgresses, 3it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue.
3 4A poor man who oppresses the poor is a beating rain that leaves no food.
4 Those who forsake the law 5praise the wicked, but those who keep the law 6strive against them.
5 Evil men 7do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD 8 understand it completely.
6 9Better is a poor man who 10walks in his integrity than a rich man who is 11crooked in his ways.
7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding, but 12a companion of gluttons shames his father.
8 Whoever multiplies his wealth 13by interest and profit[a] 14gathers it for him who is 15generous to the poor.
9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his 16prayer is an abomination.
10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way 17will fall into his own pit, but the blameless 18will have a goodly inheritance.
11 A rich man is wise in his 19own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding 20will find him out.
12 When 21the righteous triumph, there is great glory, but when 22the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
13 Whoever 23conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who 24confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
14 Blessed is the one who 25fears the LORD always, but whoever 26hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15 Like 27a roaring lion or 28a charging bear is 29a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 A ruler who 30lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17 If one is burdened with 31the blood of another, he will be a fugitive until death;[b] let no one help him.
18 32Whoever 33walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
19 34Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich 35will not go unpunished.
21 To show 36partiality is not good, but for 37a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
22 A 38stingy man[c]39hastens after wealth and does not know that 40poverty will come upon him.
23 Whoever 41rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than 42he who flatters with his tongue.
24 Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, "That is no transgression," is 43a companion to a man who destroys.
25 A greedy man 44stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the LORD will 45be enriched.
26 Whoever 46trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27 Whoever 47gives to the poor will not want, but he who 48hides his eyes will get many a curse.
28 When 49the wicked rise, 50people hide themselves, but when they perish, the righteous increase.

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Proverbs 28 Commentary

Chapter 28

Verse 1 Sin makes men cowards. Whatever difficulties the righteous meet in the way of duty, they are not daunted. Verse 2 . National sins disturb the public repose. Verse 3 . If needy persons get opportunities of oppressing, their extortion will be more severe than that of the more wealthy. Verse 4 . Wicked people strengthen one another in wicked ways. Verse 5 . If a man seeks the Lord, it is a good sign that he understands much, and it is a good means of understanding more. Verse 6 . An honest, godly, poor man, is better than a wicked, ungodly, rich man; has more comfort in himself, and is a greater blessing to the world. Verse 7 . Companions of riotous men not only grieve their parents, but shame them. Verse 8 . That which is ill got, though it may increase much, will not last long. Thus the poor are repaid, and God is glorified. Verse 9 . The sinner at whose prayers God is angry, is one who obstinately refuses to obey God's commands. Verse 10 . The success of ungodly men is their own misery. Verse 11 . Rich men are so flattered, that they think themselves superior to others. Verse 12 . There is glory in the land when the righteous have liberty. Verse 13 . It is folly to indulge sin, and excuse it. He who covers his sins, shall not have any true peace. He who humbly confesses his sins, with true repentance and faith, shall find mercy from God. The Son of God is our great atonement. Under a deep sense of our guilt and danger, we may claim salvation from that mercy which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. Verse 14 . There is a fear which causes happiness. Faith and love will deliver from the fear of eternal misery; but we should always fear offending God, and fear sinning against him. Verse 15 . A wicked ruler, whatever we may call him, this scripture calls a roaring lion, and a ranging bear. Verse 16 . Oppressors want understanding; they do not consult their own honour, ease, and safety. Verse 17 . The murderer shall be haunted with terrors. None shall desire to save him from deserved punishment, nor pity him. Verse 18 . Uprightness will give men holy security in the worst times; but the false and dishonest are never safe. Verse 19 . Those who are diligent, take the way to live comfortably. Verse 20 . The true way to be happy, is to be holy and honest; not to raise an estate suddenly, without regard to right or wrong. Verse 21 . Judgment is perverted, when any thing but pure right is considered. Verse 22 . He that hastens to be rich, never seriously thinks how quickly God may take his wealth from him, and leave him in poverty. Verse 23 . Upon reflection, most will have a better opinion of a faithful reprover than of a soothing flatterer. Verse 24 . Here is the wickedness of those who think it no sin to rob their parents, by wheedling them or threatening them, or by wasting what they have, and running into debt. Verse 25 . Those make themselves always easy, that live in continual dependence upon God and his grace, and live by faith. Verse 26 . A fool trusts to his own strength, merit, and righteousness. And trusts to his own heart, which is not only deceitful above all things, but which has often deceived him. Verse 27 . A selfish man not only will not look out for objects of compassion, but will look off from those that call for his attention. Verse 28 . When power is put into the hands of the wicked, wise men decline public business. If the reader will go diligently over this and the other chapters, in many places where at first he may suppose there is least of Christ, still he will find what will lead to him.

Cross References 50

  • 1. Leviticus 26:17; Psalms 53:5
  • 2. Leviticus 26:8; 1 Samuel 17:32
  • 3. [1 Kings 15:27]; See 1 Kings 16:8-28; 2 Kings 15:8-15
  • 4. [Matthew 18:28]
  • 5. Psalms 10:3; Romans 1:32
  • 6. [1 Kings 18:18, 21; Nehemiah 13:11, 15; Matthew 3:7; Matthew 14:4; Ephesians 5:11]
  • 7. Psalms 92:6; [John 12:39, 40]
  • 8. Psalms 119:100; [John 7:17; 1 Corinthians 2:15; James 1:5; 1 John 2:20, 27]
  • 9. Proverbs 19:1
  • 10. ver. 18
  • 11. ver. 18
  • 12. [Proverbs 23:20; Proverbs 29:3]
  • 13. Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:36
  • 14. See Job 27:17
  • 15. Proverbs 14:31
  • 16. [Psalms 109:7]; See Proverbs 15:8
  • 17. See Psalms 7:15
  • 18. [Matthew 6:33]
  • 19. Proverbs 26:5, 16
  • 20. Job 13:9
  • 21. Proverbs 11:10
  • 22. ver. 28; [Proverbs 29:2; Ecclesiastes 10:5, 6]
  • 23. [Job 31:33; Psalms 32:3]; See 1 John 1:8-10
  • 24. Psalms 32:5; 1 John 1:9
  • 25. Proverbs 23:17; Isaiah 66:2; Philippians 2:12
  • 26. See Psalms 95:8
  • 27. Proverbs 19:12; 1 Peter 5:8
  • 28. [2 Kings 2:24]
  • 29. [Ex. 1:14, 16, 22; Matthew 2:16]
  • 30. See Proverbs 6:32
  • 31. [Genesis 9:6]
  • 32. [Proverbs 3:23; Proverbs 10:9]
  • 33. ver. 6
  • 34. Proverbs 12:11
  • 35. Proverbs 16:5
  • 36. See Proverbs 18:5
  • 37. Ezekiel 13:19
  • 38. See Proverbs 23:6
  • 39. [ver. 20]
  • 40. Proverbs 22:16
  • 41. Proverbs 27:5, 6
  • 42. Proverbs 29:5
  • 43. [Proverbs 18:9]
  • 44. See Proverbs 15:18
  • 45. Proverbs 11:25; Proverbs 13:4
  • 46. [1 Corinthians 3:18]
  • 47. [Proverbs 11:24]; See Proverbs 19:17
  • 48. [Proverbs 29:7]
  • 49. See ver. 12
  • 50. Job 24:4

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor
  • [b]. Hebrew until the pit
  • [c]. Hebrew A man whose eye is evil

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we have a short history of the reign of Abijam, 1Ki 15:1-8 and of Asa, 1Ki 14:9-24, both kings of Judah; and of the reigns of Nadab the son of Jeroboam, and of Baasha, who destroyed his family, both kings of Israel, 1Ki 15:25-34.

Proverbs 28 Commentaries

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