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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Proverbs 24

 

 

Verse 3

XXIV

(3) Through wisdom is an house builded.—See above on Proverbs 14:1.


Verse 4

(4) All precious and pleasant riches.—Not only earthly wealth, but the “true riches” (Luke 16:11), the knowledge and love of God. (Comp. note on Proverbs 23:23.)


Verse 5

(5) A man of knowledge increaseth strength.—For the spiritual sense, comp. 2 Peter 3:18.


Verse 6

(6) Wise counsel.—See above on Proverbs 1:5. In the great spiritual fight also (Ephesians 6:12) we need wise counsel, to see the end to be aimed at, and the means of attaining it.


Verse 7

(7) Wisdom is too high for a fool.—For “wisdom” (literally, wisdoms), comp. note on Proverbs 1:20. He has been too self-willed to learn; so while others express their opinions when the business or justice of his city is being transacted (see above on Proverbs 22:22) he has to remain sheepishly silent.


Verse 9

(9) The thought of foolishness is sin.—Rather, Sin is the contrivance (plotting) of self-will. Sin is the “transgression of the law” of God (1 John 3:4), when we desert the plain rule of duty, and plot how we can indulge our own self-will.


Verse 10

(10) If thou faint in the day of adversity.—And prove unable to help thyself or others; an exhortation to courage (comp. Hebrews 12:12). A “more excellent way” is shown in the following verse.


Verse 11

(11) If thou forbear . . .—Rather, Deliver those that are taken to death, and those that are tottering to the slaughter, stop them!


Verse 12

(12) If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not.—Man being too much inclined to answer after the manner of Cain (Genesis 4:9), “Am I my brother’s keeper?” when he might give aid to those who need it.


Verse 14

(14) So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul.—Rather, Know (or understand) that wisdom is such (equally sweet and good) for thy soul.

A reward.—Literally, a future. (Comp. Proverbs 23:18.)


Verse 16

(16) For a just man falleth seven times and riseth up again.—That is, falls into trouble (not sin, as is often supposed). Therefore thy malice will be of no avail, for God’s protection is about him. (Comp. Job 5:19; Psalms 34:19; Psalms 37:24.)

Seven times—i.e., frequently. (Comp. Matthew 18:21.)


Verse 18

(18) And he turn away his wrath from him.—Upon thee as having sinned more deeply than thine enemy in thus rejoicing at his misfortunes. (Comp. Proverbs 17:5.)


Verse 19

(19) Fret not thyself because of evil men—i.e., at the sight of their prosperity, the same difficulty which occurred to the Psalmist (Psalms 37:1). (Comp. also Psalms 73:3 and Jeremiah 12:1.)


Verse 20

(20) For there shall be no reward.—Literally, future, as in Proverbs 24:15.

The candle of the wicked shall be put out·—See above on Proverbs 13:9.


Verse 21

(21) Them that are given to change.—Perhaps rather, those who think differently.


Verse 22

(22) The ruin of them both—i.e., the rebels against God and the king.


Verse 23

6. SECOND APPENDIX TO “THE PROVERBS OF SOLOMON,” CONTAINING PROVERBS OF VARIOUS LENGTHS, RESEMBLING Proverbs 1:7—9:18, AND THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES (Proverbs 24:23-34).

(23) These things also belong to the wise—i.e., have the wise for their authors. (Comp. Proverbs 1:6; Proverbs 22:17.)


Verse 26

(26) Every man shall kiss his lips . . . Rather, He kisseth the lips that giveth right answers. His words are as pleasant as if he had kissed the inquirer’s lips.


Verse 27

(27) Prepare thy work without . . .—Method in work is here advised; first till the ground, and then build the house which will be maintained by the produce of the field. In the spiritual life, too, we should seek to “perceive and know what things we ought to do,” if we are not to waste time and energy upon unsuitable and unattainable objects.


Verse 28

(28) Without cause—i.e., do not mention thy neighbour’s faults unless for some good reason, not for malice or love of gossip.


Verse 29

(29) Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me.—A wonderful anticipation this of New Testament teaching, very different from the spirit of Leviticus 24:19-20. Comp. Proverbs 20:22, and James 2:13, “For he shall have judgment without mercy that shewed no mercy.”


Verse 30

(30) I went by the field of the slothful . . .—The parable of the vineyard let out to husbandmen for them to render the fruits in due season (Matthew 21:33), and of the thorns which choked the word (ibid., Proverbs 13:7), suggest a spiritual meaning for this passage. It warns us not to allow the weeds of evil habits to spring up in the garden of the soul through sloth, nor to suffer God’s protecting care (the wall) to be withdrawn from us because we have not sought it constantly in prayer.


Verse 34

(34) As one that travelleth.—See above on Proverbs 6:11.

 


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Bibliography Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 24:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-24.html. 1905.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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