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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Proverbs 21



Verse 1

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

the rivers of water. Hebrew. palgey mayim = the divisions of water [in a garden], from palag, to divide (Genesis 10:25). The name given to the small channels which divide up an Eastern (walled) garden for purposes of irrigation. See note on "rivers", Psalms 1:3. There is an Ellipsis in the second clause, and the verb must be supplied thus: The king"s heart [is] in the hand of Jehovah, As the palgey mayim [are in the hand of the gardener]. See App-74.

He turneth, &c. i.e. Jehovah directeth [the king"s heart] whithersoever He will [as the gardener directeth the water with his foot] (Deuteronomy 11:10), not needing or deigning to use a tool; so easily is it done. Illustrations: Ahab (1 Kings 18:10. Compare Proverbs 21:40); Ahasuerus (Esther 6:1); Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:27, 2 Kings 19:28, and Isaiah 10:5-7); Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel 29:16. Jeremiah 43:10-12); the Jews (Jeremiah 32:28. 2 Kings 24:3); Cyrus (Ezra 1:1. Isaiah 45:1); Darius (Ezra 6:22); Augustus (Luke 2:1-7. Compare Micah 5:2).

Verse 2

man. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

pondereth = weigheth, and thus testeth. See all the occurrences of takan, to poise, 1 Samuel 2:3. 2 Kings 12:11 ("told"). Job 28:25. Psalms 75:3 (bear up). Proverbs 16:2; Proverbs 21:2 (pondereth); Proverbs 24:12 (pondereth). Isaiah 40:12 (meted), Isaiah 40:13 (directed). In Ezekiel the Niphal is rendered "equal": Proverbs 18:25, Proverbs 18:29; Proverbs 18:33.

Verse 3

justice = righteousness.

more acceptable, &c. Illustrations: Saul (1 Samuel 13:10-13; 1 Samuel 15:22); Israel (Jeremiah 7:22, Jeremiah 7:23. Amos 5:21-24); Judah (Isaiah 1:11-17); Pharisees (Matthew 9:13). Note the contrast, Proverbs 21:4.

Verse 4

And. Omit this "And".

plowing: or tillage. See App-74.

the wicked = lawless ones. Hebrew. rasha". App-44.

sin. Hebrew. chata". App-44. The special word for the sin offering. Render the verse "A lofty look and a proud heart, [which is] the tillage of the lawless, [is more acceptable to them than] the sin offering. "This supply of the Ellipsis (App-6.) from the preceding verse completes the sense, and shows that the two are strictly related.

Verse 5

thoughts = reckonings, or calculatings.

the diligent = a diligent one.

Verse 7

robbery = rapacity. Illustrations: the princes of Judah (Isaiah 1:23, Isaiah 1:24); the Jews (Jeremiah 7:9-11, Jeremiah 7:15; Jeremiah 34:10-22. Micah 3:9-12).

Verse 8

The way, &c. Render, "The way of a man laden with guilt is unsteady". Some codices, with Aramaean and Syriac, read "of a man who is an alien".

pure = upright.

Verse 9

better. See note on Proverbs 8:11.

Verse 10

the wicked = a lawless one.

Verse 11

scorner = scoffer.

instructed = corrected.

Verse 12

wickedness. Hebrew. ra a". App-44. same as "evil" in Proverbs 21:10.

Verse 13

poor = weak. Hebrew. dal. See note on Proverbs 6:11.

heard = answered. Illustrations: the Jews (Zechariah 7:9-14. Jeremiah 34:10-22); Parable (Matthew 18:30-34).

Verse 15

the just = a just one.

Verse 16

man. Hebrew. "adam. App-14.

congregation = assembly.

dead = the Rephaim, who have no resurrection. See note on "deceased" and "dead" in Isaiah 26:14, Isaiah 26:19, and App-25.

Verse 17

poor = destitute. Heb heser. See note on Proverbs 6:11.

wine. Hebrew. yayin. App-27.

Verse 18

the righteous = a righteous one.

transgressor = traitor.

Verse 19

Than, &c. Supply the Ellipsis thus: Than [in a house, or palace].

Verse 20

foolish. Hebrew. kesil. See note on Proverbs 1:7.

spendeth it up = swalloweth it up.

Verse 21

mercy = lovingkindness, or grace.

Verse 22

casteth down. Illustrations: Joshua (Joshua 6:3-21; Joshua 8:4-8); wise woman (2 Samuel 20:16-22. Compare Ecclesiastes 9:13-15).

Verse 23

keepeth = guardeth.

mouth . . . tongue. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for what is uttered by them.

troubles. Some codices, with five early printed editions, Aramaean, Septuagint, and Syriac, read "trouble" (singular)

Verse 26

coveteth greedily = craving he craveth. Figure of speech Polyptoton, for emphasis.

Verse 27

mind = purpose.

Verse 28

shall perish. Illustrations: Pashur(Jeremiah 20:4-6); Hananiah (Jeremiah 28:1-4, Jeremiah 28:10-17); the false prophets (Jeremiah 29:21); Shemaiah (Jeremiah 29:31, Jeremiah 29:32); Amaziah (Amos 7:10-17).

speaketh. Supply the Ellipsis (App-6), "speaketh [the truth] evermore. "

Verse 30

no wisdom . . . against the LORD. Illustrations: Pharaoh (Exodus 1:10. See App-23); Balak (Numbers 24:10); Ahaziah (2 Kings 1:9-17); Sennacherib (2 Chronicles 32:21; Isaiah 30:31); Haman (Esther 5:11-13; Esther 7:10).

Verse 31

safety, &c. = to Jehovah [belongeth] the salvation.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 21:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, September 18th, 2020
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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