Proverbs 12

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.
2 A 1good man will obtain favor from the LORD, But He will condemn a man who devises evil.
3 A man will 2not be established by wickedness, But the root of the 3righteous will not be moved.
4 An 4excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like 5rottenness in his bones.
5 The thoughts of the righteous are just, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6 The 6words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, But the 7mouth of the upright will deliver them.
7 The 8wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the 9house of the righteous will stand.
8 A man will be praised according to his insight, But one of perverse mind will be despised.
9 Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant Than he who honors himself and lacks bread.
10 A 10righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
11 He 11who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.
12 The 12wicked man desires the booty of evil men, But the root of the righteous 13yields fruit.
13 An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the 14righteous will escape from trouble.
14 A man will be 15satisfied with good by the fruit of his words, And the 16deeds of a man's hands will return to him.
15 The 17way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
16 A 18fool's anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor.
17 He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit.
18 There is one who 19speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the 20tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips will be established forever, But a 21lying tongue is only for a moment.
20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy.
21 22No * harm befalls the righteous, But the wicked are filled with trouble.
22 23Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight.
23 A 24prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims folly.
24 The hand of the diligent will rule, But the slack hand will be 25put to forced labor.
25 26Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, But a 27good word makes it glad.
26 The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, But the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27 A lazy man does not roast his prey, But the 28precious possession of a man is diligence.
28 29In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.

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Proverbs 12 Commentary

Chapter 12

Verse 1 Those who have grace, will delight in the instructions given them. Those that stifle their convictions, are like brutes. Verse 2 . The man who covers selfish and vicious designs under a profession of religion or friendship, will be condemned. Verse 3 . Though men may advance themselves by sinful arts, they cannot settle and secure themselves. But those who by faith are rooted in Christ, are firmly fixed. Verse 4 . A wife who is pious, prudent, and looks well to the ways of her household, who makes conscience of her duty, and can bear crosses; such a one is an honour and comfort to her husband. She that is the reverse of this, preys upon him, and consumes him. Verse 5 . Thoughts are not free; they are under the Divine knowledge, therefore under the Divine command. It is a man's shame to act with deceit, with trick and design. Verse 6 . Wicked people speak mischief to their neighbours. A man may sometimes do a good work with one good word. Verse 7 . God's blessing is often continued to the families of godly men, while the wicked are overthrown. Verse 8 . The apostles showed wisdom by glorying in shame for the name of Christ. Verse 9 . He that lives in a humble state, who has no one to wait upon him, but gets bread by his own labour, is happier than he that glories in high birth or gay attire, and wants necessaries. Verse 10 . A godly man would not put even an animal to needless pain. But the wicked often speak of others as well used, when they would not endure like treatment for a single day. Verse 11 . It is men's wisdom to mind their business, and follow an honest calling. But it is folly to neglect business; and the grace of God teaches men to disdain nothing but sin. Verse 12 . When the ungodly see others prosper by sin, they wish they could act in the same way. But the root of Divine grace, in the heart of the righteous, produces other desires and purposes. Verse 13 . Many a man has paid dear in this world for the transgression of his lips. Verse 14 . When men use their tongues aright, to teach and comfort others, they enjoy acceptance through Christ Jesus; and the testimony of their conscience, that they in some measure answer the end of their being. Verse 15 . A fool, in the sense of Scripture, means a wicked man, one who acts contrary to the wisdom that is from above. His rule is, to do what is right in his own eyes. Verse 16 . A foolish man is soon angry, and is hasty in expressing it; he is ever in trouble and running into mischief. It is kindness to ourselves to make light of injuries and affronts, instead of making the worst of them. Verse 17 . It is good for all to dread and detest the sin of lying, and to be governed by honesty. Verse 18 . Whisperings and evil surmises, like a sword, separate those that have been dear to each other. The tongue of the wise is health, making all whole. Verse 19 . If truth be spoken, it will hold good; whoever may be disobliged, still it will keep its ground. Verse 20 . Deceit and falsehood bring terrors and perplexities. But those who consult the peace and happiness of others have joy in their own minds. Verse 21 . If men are sincerely righteous, the righteous God has engaged that no evil shall happen to them. But they that delight in mischief shall have enough of it. Verse 22 . Make conscience of truth, not only in words, but in actions. Verse 23 . Foolish men proclaim to all the folly and emptiness of their minds. Verse 24 . Those who will not take pains in an honest calling, living by tricks and dishonesty, are paltry and beggarly. Verse 25 . Care, fear, and sorrow, upon the spirits, deprive men of vigour in what is to be done, or courage in what is to be borne. A good word from God, applied by faith, makes the heart glad. Verse 26 . The righteous is abundant; though not in this world's goods, yet in the graces and comforts of the Spirit, which are the true riches. Evil men vainly flatter themselves that their ways are not wrong. Verse 27 . The slothful man makes no good use of the advantages Providence puts in his way, and has no comfort in them. The substance of a diligent man, though not great, does good to him and his family. He sees that God gives it to him in answer to prayer. Verse 28 . The way of religion is a straight, plain way; it is the way of righteousness. There is not only life at the end, but life in the way; all true comfort.

Cross References 29

  • 1. Proverbs 3:4; Proverbs 8:35
  • 2. Proverbs 11:5
  • 3. Proverbs 10:25
  • 4. Proverbs 31:11; 1 Corinthians 11:7
  • 5. Proverbs 14:30; Habakkuk 3:16
  • 6. Proverbs 1:11, 16
  • 7. Proverbs 14:3
  • 8. Job 34:25; Proverbs 10:25
  • 9. Matthew 7:24-27
  • 10. Deuteronomy 25:4
  • 11. Proverbs 28:19
  • 12. Proverbs 21:10
  • 13. Proverbs 11:30
  • 14. Proverbs 11:8; Proverbs 21:23; 2 Peter 2:9
  • 15. Proverbs 13:2; Proverbs 15:23; Proverbs 18:20
  • 16. Job 34:11; Proverbs 1:31; Proverbs 24:12; Isaiah 3:10, 11; Hosea 4:9
  • 17. Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:2; Proverbs 21:2
  • 18. Proverbs 14:33; Proverbs 27:3; Proverbs 29:11
  • 19. Psalms 57:4
  • 20. Proverbs 4:22; Proverbs 15:4
  • 21. Psalms 52:4, 5; Proverbs 19:9
  • 22. Psalms 91:10; Psalms 121:7; Proverbs 1:33; 1 Peter 3:13
  • 23. Revelation 22:15
  • 24. Proverbs 10:14; Proverbs 11:13; Proverbs 13:16; Proverbs 15:2; Proverbs 29:11
  • 25. Genesis 49:15; Judges 1:28; 1 Kings 9:21
  • 26. Proverbs 15:13
  • 27. Isaiah 50:4
  • 28. Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 13:4
  • 29. Deuteronomy 30:15; Deuteronomy 32:46; Jeremiah 21:8

Footnotes 12

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of the charge David gave to his son Solomon, a little before his death, to walk in the ways of the Lord, 1Ki 2:1-4; and of some instructions delivered to him concerning some particular persons he should either show favour to, or execute justice on, 1Ki 2:5-9; and the next account in it is concerning his death and burial, and the years of his reign, 1Ki 2:10,11; after which it relates an address of Bathsheba to Solomon in favour of Adonijah, which was refused, and the issue of it was his death, 1Ki 2:12-25; and the deposition of Abiathar from the priesthood, 1Ki 2:26,27; and the putting of Joab to death for his treason and murders, 1Ki 2:28-34; in whose post Benaiah was put, as Zadok was in the place of Abiathar, 1Ki 2:35; and lastly the confinement of Shimei in Jerusalem, who had cursed David, 1Ki 2:36-38; who upon transgressing the orders given him was put to death, 1Ki 2:39-46.

Proverbs 12 Commentaries

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