Proverbs 20

1 Wine is a luxurious thing, and drunkenness riotous: whosoever is delighted therewith, shall not be wise.
2 As the roaring of a lion, so also is the dread of a king: he that provoketh him, sinneth against his own soul.
3 It is an honour for a man to separate himself from quarrels: but all fools are meddling with reproaches.
4 Because of the cold the sluggard would not plough: he shall beg therefore in the summer, and it shall not be given him.
5 Counsel in the heart of a man is like deep water: but a wise man will draw it out.
6 Many men are called merciful: but who shall find a faithful man?
7 The just that walketh in his simplicity, shall leave behind him blessed children.
8 The king, that sitteth on the throne of judgment, scattereth away all evil with his look.
9 Who can say: My heart is clean, I am pure from sin?
10 Diverse weights and diverse measures, both are abominable before God.
11 By his inclinations a child is known, if his works be clean and right.
12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made them both.
13 Love not sleep, lest poverty oppress thee: open thy eyes, and be filled with bread.
14 It is naught, it is naught, saith every buyer: and when he is gone away, then he will boast.
15 There is gold and a multitude of jewels: but the lips of knowledge are a precious vessel.
16 Take away the garment of him that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge from him for strangers.
17 The bread of lying is sweet to a man: but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
18 Designs are strengthened by counsels: and wars are to be managed by governments.
19 Meddle not with him that revealeth secrets, and walketh deceitfully, and openeth wide his lips.
20 He that curseth his father, and mother, his lamp shall be put out in the midst of darkness.
21 The inheritance gotten hastily in the beginning, in the end shall be without a blessing.
22 Say not: I will return evil: wait for the Lord, and he will deliver thee.
23 Diverse weights are an abomination before the Lord: a deceitful balance is not good.
24 The steps of men are guided by the Lord: but who is the man that can understand his own way?
25 It is ruin to a man to devour holy ones, and after vows to retract.
26 A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth over them the wheel.
27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, which searcheth all the hidden things of the bowels.
28 Mercy and truth preserve the king, and his throne is strengthened by clemency.
29 The joy of young men is their strength: and the dignity of old men, their grey hairs.
30 The blueness of a wound shall wipe away evils: and stripes in the more inward parts of the belly.

Proverbs 20 Commentary

Chapter 20

Verse 1 It seems hard to believe that men of the greatest abilities, as well as the ignorant, should render themselves fools and madmen, merely for the taste or excitement produced by strong liquors. Verse 2 . How formidable kings are to those who provoke them! how much more foolish then is it to provoke the King of kings! Verse 3 . To engage in quarrels is the greatest folly that can be. Yield, and even give up just demands, for peace' sake. Verse 4 . He who labours and endures hardship in his seed-time for eternity, will be properly diligent as to his earthly business. Verse 5 . Though many capable of giving wise counsel are silent, yet something may be drawn from them, which will reward those who obtain it. Verse 6 . It is hard to find those that have done, and will do more good than they speak, or care to hear spoken of. Verse 7 . A good man is not liable to uneasiness in contriving what he shall do, or in reflecting on what he has done, as those who walk in deceit. And his family fare better for his sake. Verse 8 . If great men are good men, they may do much good, and prevent very much evil. Verse 9 . Some can say, Through grace, we are cleaner than we have been; but it was the work of the Holy Spirit. Verse 10 . See the various deceits men use, of which the love of money is the root. The Lord will not bless what is thus gotten. Verse 11 . Parents should observe their children, that they may manage them accordingly. Verse 12 . All our powers and faculties are from God, and are to be employed for him. Verse 13 . Those that indulge themselves, may expect to want necessaries, which should have been gotten by honest labour. Verse 14 . Men use arts to get a good bargain, and to buy cheap; whereas a man ought to be ashamed of a fraud and a lie. Verse 15 . He that prefers true knowledge to riches, follows the ways of religion and happiness. If we really believed this truth, the word of God would be valued as it deserves, and the world would lose its tempting influence. Verse 16 . Those ruin themselves who entangle themselves in rash suretiship. Also those who are in league with abandoned women. Place no confidence in either. Verse 17 . Wealth gotten by fraud may be sweet, for the carnal mind takes pleasure in the success of wicked devices; but it will be bitter in the reflection. Verse 18 . Especially we need advice in spiritual warfare. The word and Spirit of God are the best counsellors in every point. Verse 19 . Those dearly buy their own praise, who put confidence in a man because he speaks fairly. Verse 20 . An undutiful child will become very miserable. Never let him expect any peace or comfort. Verse 21 . An estate suddenly raised, is often as suddenly ruined. Verse 22 . Wait on the Lord, attend his pleasure, and he will protect thee. Verse 23 . A bargain made by fraud will prove a losing bargain in the end. Verse 24 . How can we form plans, and conduct business, independently of the Lord? Verse 25 . The evasions men often use with their own consciences show how false and deceitful man is. Verse 26 . Justice should crush the wicked, and separate them from the virtuous. Verse 27 . The rational soul and conscience are as a lamp within us, which should be used in examining our dispositions and motives with the revealed will of God. Verse 28 . Mercy and truth are the glories of God's throne. Verse 29 . Both young and old have their advantages; and let neither despise or envy the other. Verse 30 . Severe rebukes sometimes do a great deal of good. But such is the corruption of nature, that men are loth to be rebuked for their sins. If God uses severe afflictions, to purify our hearts and fit us for his service, we have cause to be very thankful.

Proverbs 20 Commentaries