Mishle 18

1 8 A man who separates himself seeks his own ta’avah (desire); he defies all tushiyyah (wisdom, sound judgment).
2 A kesil (fool) hath no delight in tevunah (understanding), but only in airing out his lev (mind, opinions).
3 When the rashah cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with dishonor, cherpah (reproach, disgrace).
4 The devarim of a man’s mouth are deep mayim; the makor chochmah is a flowing stream.
5 It is not tov to show partiality to the rashah, to subvert the tzaddik in mishpat.
6 The sfatayim (lips) of a kesil enter into contention, and his peh (mouth) inviteth blows.
7 The peh (mouth) of a kesil is his undoing, and his sfatayim (lips) are the mokesh (snare) of his nefesh.
8 The devarim of a nirgan (gossip, talebearer, slanderer) are like mitlachamim (delicious tidbits), and they go down into the innermost parts of the beten (belly).
9 He also that is slack in his work is brother to him that is ba’al mashchit (master of destruction).
10 The Shem of Hashem is a strong migdal (tower), the tzaddik runneth into it, and is safe.
11 The oisher’s wealth is his strong city, and is a high chomah in his own conceit.
12 Before shever (destruction) the lev ish is haughty, and before kavod is anavah (humility).
13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and kelimmah (reproach, shame) unto him.
14 The ruach ish will sustain him in sickness, but a crushed ruach who can bear?
15 The lev of the prudent acquireth da’as, and the ozen of the chachamim seeketh da’as.
16 The mattan adam (gift of a man) openeth the way for him, and bringeth him before gedolim.
17 He that is harishon (the first) to make his case seemeth tzaddik, but his re’a cometh and doth cross-examine him.
18 The goral (lot) causeth contentions to cease, and keepeth the mighty apart.
19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and their contentious quarrelings are like the bars of an armon (citadel).
20 An ish’s beten shall be filled with the fruit of his peh (mouth), and with the produce of his sfatayim (lips) shall he be satisfied.
21 Mavet and chayyim are in the power of the lashon, and they that love it shall eat the p’ri (fruit) thereof.
22 He who findeth an isha (wife) findeth tov, and obtaineth ratzon (favor) from Hashem.
23 The poor useth entreaties, but the oisher answereth roughly.
24 An ish of many companions may come to ruin, but there is an ohev (friend) that sticketh closer than a brother.

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Mishle 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

Verse 1 If we would get knowledge and grace, we must try all methods of improving ourselves. Verse 2 . Those make nothing to purpose, of learning or religion, whose only design is to have something to make a show with. Verse 3 . As soon as sin entered, shame followed. Verse 4 . The well-spring of wisdom in the heart of a believer, continually supplies words of wisdom. Verse 5 . The merits of a cause ( proverbs 18:6-7 ) do to themselves by their ungoverned tongues! Verse 8 . How base are those that sow contention! and what fatal effects may be expected from small beginnings of jealousy! Verse 9 . Omissions of duty, and in duty, are fatal to the soul, as well as commissions ( proverbs 18:10-11 ) Lord Jesus Christ, forms a strong tower for the believer, who relies on the Lord. How deceitful the defence of the rich man, who has his portion and treasure in this world! It is a strong city and a high wall only in his own conceit; for it will fail when most in need. They will be exposed to the just wrath of that Judge whom they despised as a Saviour. Verse 12 . After the heart has been lifted up with pride, a fall comes. But honour shall be the reward of humility. Verse 13 . Eagerness, with self-conceit, will expose to shame. Verse 14 . Firmness of mind supports under many pains and trials. But when the conscience is tortured with remorse, no human fortitude can bear the misery; what then will hell be? Verse 15 . We must get knowledge, not only into our heads, but into our hearts. Verse 16 . Blessed be the Lord, who makes us welcome to come to his throne, without money and without price. May his gifts make room for him in our souls. Verse 17 . It is well to listen to our enemies, that we may form a better judgment of ourselves. Verse 18 . It was customary sometimes to refer matters to God, by casting lots, with solemn prayer. The profaning the lot, by using it in matters of diversion, or coveting what belongs to others, forms an objection to this now. Verse 19 . Great care must be taken to prevent quarrels among relations and those under obligations to each other. Wisdom and grace make it easy to forgive; but corruption makes it difficult. Verse 20 . The belly is here put for the heart, as elsewhere; and what that is filled with, our satisfaction will be accordingly, and our inward peace. Verse 21 . Many a one has caused his own death, or the death of others, by a false or injurious tongue. Verse 22 . A good wife is a great blessing to a man, and it is a token of Divine favour. Verse 23 . Poverty tells men they must not order or demand. And at the throne of God's grace we are all poor, and must use entreaties. Verse 24 . Christ Jesus never will forsake those who trust in and love him. May we be such friends to others, for our Master's sake. Having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end; and we are his friends if we do whatever he commands us, ( John 15:14 ) .

Mishle 18 Commentaries

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