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Bible Commentaries

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 Pro 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; 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": Pro 18:25 , Pro 18:29 ; Pro 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; 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; 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; 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.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 21". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/proverbs-21.html. 1909-1922.