Mishle 12

1 2 He who loveth musar loveth da’as, but he that hateth tokhakhat (reproof, correction) is ba’ar (a boorish, ignorant person).
2 A tov (good man) obtaineth ratzon (favor) from Hashem, but an ish mezimor (a man of crafty devices) will He condemn.
3 An adam shall not be made secure by resha, but the shoresh tzaddikim (root of the righteous ones) shall not be moved. [T.N. Cf 12:4 and 31:10.]
4 An aishes chayil (a woman of valor, an excellent wife) is an ateret to her ba’al, but she that bringeth shame is like rottenness in his atzmot.
5 The thoughts of the tzaddikim are right, but the tachbulot (guidance) of the resha’im are mirmah (deceitful).
6 The devarim of the resha’im are to lie in wait for dahm, but the peh (mouth) of the yesharim (upright ones) shall deliver them.
7 The resha’im are overthrown, and are no more, but the bais tzaddikim shall stand.
8 An ish shall be commended according to his seichel, but he that is of a perverse mind shall be despised.
9 He that is lightly esteemed, and hath an eved, is better than he that honoreth himself, and lacketh lechem.
10 A tzaddik regardeth the nefesh (life) of his behemah (beast), but the compassion of the reshaim is cruel.
11 He that worketh his adamah shall be satisfied with lechem, but he that chaseth after worthless persons is devoid of lev [of understanding].
12 The resha coveteth the catch of ra’im (evil men), but the shoresh (root) of the tzaddikim yieldeth fruit.
13 The rah is ensnared by the peysha (transgression) of his sfatayim (lips), but the tzaddik shall escape from tzoros.
14 An ish shall be filled with tov by the fruit of his peh (mouth), and the recompence of the hands of adam shall be rendered unto him.
15 The derech of a fool is yashar (right) in his own eynayim, but he that payeth heed unto etzah is chacham (wise).
16 A fool’s wrath is known immediately, but a prudent man covereth kalon (shame, disgrace, shameful nakedness).
17 He that speaketh emunah declareth tzedek, but an ed shekarim, mirmah.
18 There is one who speaketh rash words like the wounding of a cherev, but the lashon of the chachamim promotes marpeh (healing).
19 The lip of emes shall be established forever, but a lashon sheker is but for a moment.
20 Mirmah (deceit) is in the lev of them that plot rah, but to the counsellors of shalom is simchah.
21 There shall no harm befall the tzaddik, but the resha’im shall be filled with rah.
22 Sfatayim (lips) of sheker are to’evah to Hashem, but they that deal emunah (faithfully, truthfully) are His delight.
23 A prudent man concealeth da’as, but the lev kesilim (mind of fools) preaches folly.
24 The yad of the kharutzim (diligent ones) shall rule, but the remiyyah (deceitfully lazy man) shall be put to forced labor.
25 Anxiety in the lev ish causeth depression, but a davar tov cheers it up.
26 The tzaddik prevaileth advantageously over his neighbor, but the derech resha’im leads them astray.
27 The remiyyah (deceitfully lazy man) roasteth not that which he took in hunting, but diligence is the precious possession of man.
28 In the orach tzedakah (way of righteousness) is chayyim, and in the derech netivot (pathway) thereof there is no mavet.

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Mishle 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.

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.

Mishle 12 Commentaries

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