Proverbs 28

1 The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.
3 A ruler[a] who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.
4 Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them.
5 Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.
6 Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse.
7 A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.
8 Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.
9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.
10 Whoever leads the upright along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.
11 The rich are wise in their own eyes; one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.
13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.
15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.
16 A tyrannical ruler practices extortion, but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign.
17 Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder will seek refuge in the grave; let no one hold them back.
18 The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit.[b]
19 Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.
20 A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.
21 To show partiality is not good— yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread.
22 The stingy are eager to get rich and are unaware that poverty awaits them.
23 Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue.
24 Whoever robs their father or mother and says, “It’s not wrong,” is partner to one who destroys.
25 The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the LORD will prosper.
26 Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.
27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.
28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.

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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 34

  • 1. S 2 Kings 7:7
  • 2. S Leviticus 26:17; Psalms 53:5
  • 3. S Psalms 138:3
  • 4. Proverbs 19:1
  • 5. Proverbs 23:19-21
  • 6. S Exodus 18:21; Ezekiel 18:8
  • 7. S Job 27:17; Proverbs 13:22
  • 8. S Job 3:15; Psalms 112:9; Proverbs 14:31; Luke 14:12-14
  • 9. S Psalms 66:18; Psalms 109:7; S Proverbs 15:8; S Isaiah 1:13
  • 10. S Psalms 57:6; S Proverbs 26:27
  • 11. S 2 Kings 11:20
  • 12. ver 28; Job 24:4; Proverbs 11:10; Proverbs 29:2
  • 13. S 2 Samuel 12:13; S Job 31:33
  • 14. S Leviticus 5:5
  • 15. Psalms 32:1-5; Daniel 4:27; 1 John 1:9
  • 16. Genesis 9:6; 1 Samuel 30:17; 1 Kings 20:20; Jeremiah 41:15; Jeremiah 44:14
  • 17. Jeremiah 39:18
  • 18. S Esther 6:13; Proverbs 10:9
  • 19. Proverbs 12:11
  • 20. ver 22; Proverbs 10:6; 1 Timothy 6:9
  • 21. S Leviticus 19:15
  • 22. S Psalms 94:21; S Proverbs 18:5
  • 23. Ezekiel 13:19
  • 24. ver 20; Proverbs 23:6
  • 25. S Proverbs 27:5-6
  • 26. Proverbs 19:26
  • 27. S Proverbs 18:9
  • 28. S Proverbs 14:17
  • 29. Proverbs 29:25
  • 30. S Psalms 4:5; Proverbs 3:5
  • 31. 1 Corinthians 3:18
  • 32. S Deuteronomy 15:7; Deuteronomy 24:19; S Proverbs 19:17; Proverbs 22:9
  • 33. S Psalms 109:17
  • 34. S ver 12; S Job 20:19

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "A poor person"
  • [b]. Syriac (see Septuagint); Hebrew "into one"

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