You Can Provide Clean Water to Persecuted Christians

Proverbs 21

On Life and Conduct

1 The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He 1turns it wherever * * He wishes.
2 2Every man's way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD 3weighs the hearts.
3 To do 4righteousness and justice Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.
4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The 5lamp of the wicked, is sin.
5 The plans of the 6diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone 7who is hasty comes surely to poverty.
6 The 8acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of 9death.
7 The violence of the wicked will drag them away, Because they 10refuse to act with justice.
8 The way of a guilty man is 11crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.
9 It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; His 12neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
11 When the 13scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12 The righteous one considers the house of the wicked, Turning the 14wicked to ruin.
13 He who 15shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be 16answered.
14 A 17gift in secret subdues anger, And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.
15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is 18terror to the workers of iniquity.
16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding Will 19rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 He who 20loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
18 The wicked is a 21ransom for the righteous, And the 22treacherous is in the place of the upright.
19 23It is better to live in a desert land Than with a contentious and vexing woman.
20 There is precious 24treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man 25swallows it up.
21 He who 26pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor.
22 A 27wise man scales the city of the mighty And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 He who 28guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
24 "Proud," "Haughty," "29Scoffer," are his names, Who acts with 30insolent pride.
25 The 31desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work;
26 All day long he is craving, While the righteous 32gives and does not hold back.
27 The 33sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much * more * when he brings it with evil intent!
28 A 34false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.
29 A wicked man 35displays a bold face, But as for the 36upright, he makes his way sure.
30 There is 37no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.
31 The 38horse is prepared for the day of battle, But 39victory belongs to the LORD.

Proverbs 21 Commentary

Chapter 21

Verse 1 The believer, perceiving that the Lord rules every heart as he sees fit, like the husbandman who turns the water through his grounds as he pleases, seeks to have his own heart, and the hearts of others, directed in his faith, fear, and love. Verse 2 . We are partial in judging ourselves and our actions. Verse 3 . Many deceive themselves with a conceit that outward devotions will excuse unrighteousness. Verse 4 . Sin is the pride, the ambition, the glory, the joy, and the business of wicked men. Verse 5 . The really diligent employ foresight as well as labour. Verse 6 . While men seek wealth by unlawful practices, they seek death. Verse 7 . Injustice will return upon the sinner, and will destroy him here and for ever. Verse 8 . The way of mankind by nature is froward and strange. Verse 9 . It is best to shun bitter contention by pouring out the heart before God. For by prudence and patience, with constant prayer, the cross may be removed. Verse 10 . The evil desires of a wicked man's heart, lead to baseness in his conduct. Verse 11 . The simple may be made wise by punishments on the wicked, and by instructions to those who are willing to be taught. Verse 12 . Good men envy not the prosperity of evil-doers; they see there is a curse on them. Verse 13 . Such as oppress the poor by beating down wages, such as will not relieve according to their ability those in distress, and those in authority who neglect to do justice, stop their ears at the cry of the poor. But doubtless care is to be used in the exercise of charity. Verse 14 . If money can conquer the fury of the passions, shall reason, the fear of God, and the command of Christ, be too weak to bridle them? Verse 15 . There is true pleasure only in the practice of religion. Verse 16 . Of all wanderers in the ways of sin, those are in the most dangerous condition who turn aside into the ways of darkness. Yet there is hope even for them in the all-sufficient Saviour; but let them flee to him without delay. Verse 17 . A life of worldly pleasure brings ruin on men. Verse 18 . The righteous is often delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his stead, and so seems as a ransom for him. Verse 19 . Unbridled passions spoil the comfort of all relations. Verse 20 . The plenty obtained by prudence, industry, and frugality, is desirable. But the foolish misspend what they have upon their lusts. Verse 21 . True repentance and faith will lead him that relies on the mercy of God in Christ, to follow after righteousness and mercy in his own conduct. Verse 22 . Those that have wisdom, often do great things, even against those confident of their strength. Verse 23 . It is our great concern to keep our souls from being entangled and disquieted. Verse 24 . Pride and haughtiness make men passionate; such continually deal in wrath, ( proverbs 21:25-26 ) misery of the slothful; their hands refuse to labour in an honest calling, by which they might get an honest livelihood; yet their hearts cease not to covet riches, pleasures, and honours, which cannot be obtained without labour. But the righteous and industrious have their desires satisfied. Verse 27 . When holiness is pretended, but wickedness intended, that especially is an abomination. Verse 28 . The doom of a false witness is certain. Verse 29 . A wicked man bids defiance to the terrors of the law and the rebukes of Providence. But a good man asks, What ( proverbs 21:30-31 ) after all, our safety and salvation are only of the Lord. In our spiritual warfare we must arm ourselves with the whole armour of God; but our strength must be in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Cross References 39

  • 1. Ezra 6:22
  • 2. Proverbs 16:2
  • 3. Proverbs 16:2; Proverbs 24:12; Luke 16:15
  • 4. 1 Samuel 15:22; Proverbs 15:8; Is 1:11, 16, 17; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:7, 8
  • 5. Proverbs 24:20; Luke 11:34
  • 6. Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 13:4
  • 7. Proverbs 28:22
  • 8. Proverbs 13:11; Proverbs 20:21
  • 9. Proverbs 8:36
  • 10. Amos 5:7; Micah 3:9
  • 11. Proverbs 2:15
  • 12. Psalms 52:3; Proverbs 2:14; Proverbs 14:21
  • 13. Proverbs 19:25
  • 14. Proverbs 14:11
  • 15. Matthew 18:30-34; 1 John 3:17
  • 16. James 2:13
  • 17. Proverbs 18:16; Proverbs 19:6
  • 18. Proverbs 10:29
  • 19. Psalms 49:14
  • 20. Proverbs 23:21
  • 21. Isaiah 43:3
  • 22. Proverbs 11:8
  • 23. Proverbs 21:9
  • 24. Psalms 112:3; Proverbs 8:21; Proverbs 22:4
  • 25. Job 20:15, 18
  • 26. Proverbs 15:9; Matthew 5:6; 1 Corinthians 15:58
  • 27. 2 Samuel 5:6-9; Proverbs 24:5; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Ecclesiastes 9:15, 16
  • 28. Proverbs 12:13; Proverbs 13:3; Proverbs 18:21; James 3:2
  • 29. Psalms 1:1; Proverbs 1:22; Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 24:9; Isaiah 29:20
  • 30. Isaiah 16:6; Jeremiah 48:29
  • 31. Proverbs 13:4
  • 32. Psalms 37:26; Psalms 112:5, 9; Matthew 5:42; Ephesians 4:28
  • 33. Proverbs 15:8; Isaiah 66:3; Jeremiah 6:20; Amos 5:22
  • 34. Proverbs 19:5, 9
  • 35. Ecclesiastes 8:1
  • 36. Psalms 119:5; Proverbs 11:5
  • 37. Jeremiah 9:23; Acts 5:38, 39; 1 Corinthians 3:19, 20
  • 38. Psalms 20:7; Psalms 33:17; Isaiah 31:1
  • 39. Psalms 3:8; Jeremiah 3:23; 1 Corinthians 15:57

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. Lit "seekers"
  • [b]. Lit "with a woman of contentions and a house of association"
  • [c]. Lit "simple"
  • [d]. Lit "departed spirits"
  • [e]. Lit "strength of trust"
  • [f]. Lit "desires desire"
  • [g]. Lit "makes firm with his face"

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates a second vision Solomon had at Gibeon, in which he received an answer to his prayer in the preceding chapter, 1Ki 9:1-9 that passed between him and Hiram king of Tyre, 1Ki 9:10-14, the places that Solomon built or repaired, 1Ki 9:15-19, the Canaanitish people that became bondmen to him, and the officers he had among the children of Israel, 1Ki 9:20-23 the removal of Pharaoh's daughter to the house built for her, 1Ki 9:24. Solomon's attention to religious services, 1Ki 9:25 and the navy of ships he employed, which brought him in great riches, 1Ki 9:26-28.

Proverbs 21 Commentaries

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