Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 1st, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
Take our poll

Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 18

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-24

Chapter 18

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeks and intermeddleth with all wisdom. A fool has no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. When the wicked comes, then comes also contempt, and with ignominy reproach. The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook. It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment. A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes ( Proverbs 18:1-6 ).

That is, the fool's lips enters into contention, and by his mouth, the strokes is really, is blows.

A fool's mouth is his destruction, his lips are a snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. He also that is slothful in his work is a brother to him that is a great waster ( Proverbs 18:7-9 ).

Now Solomon has quite a bit to say about the slothful or the lazy person. The man who is lazy, slothful in his work, he's a brother to him that is a great waster.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe ( Proverbs 18:10 ).

What a strong tower the name Jehovah is. How many times we have run into it to find safety.

The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as a high wall in his own conceit. Before destruction the heart of man is haughty ( Proverbs 18:11-12 ),

That's again, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before the fall." "Before destruction the heart of man is haughty."

and before honor is humility ( Proverbs 18:12 ).

Humble thyself; He shall exalt thee. Exalt thyself; He'll abase you. So same concept, another proverb.

He that answers a matter before he hears it, it's a folly and a shame ( Proverbs 18:13 ).

So many times we answer a person before we really understand completely what they're asking for. They're starting to explain their situation and we assume that, "Oh, yes, this is what they want to know," and we start giving out all these worthless information.

Like the little child who came in to her mother one day and said, "Mother, where did I come from?" And the mother thought, "Uh-oh, this is it. Time for the story of the birds and the bees and all." She said, "Well, honey, you go outside and play for a little while and then come on in and Mother will tell you." So she sent the little girl out and she got into this psyche books on how to explain the facts of life to your child and all and boned them all up. And then called the little girl in and sat her down and started through and explained to her the whole process of life and procreation and everything else. And she said, "Well, now, honey, do you think you understand?" She said, "Oh yes, Mommy." She said, "The little girl next door said she came from Missouri and I just wondered where I came from."

So it's possible to answer a matter before you really know what the matter is. And he that answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and a shame to him.

The spirit of a man will sustain his weakness; but a wounded spirit who can bear? ( Proverbs 18:14 )

Oh, how hard it is when your spirit has been wounded. And yet, if you have a strong spirit, how it can bear the infirmities, the weaknesses, the sicknesses.

The heart of the prudent gets knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men ( Proverbs 18:15-16 ).

Actually, he's saying that by giving gifts you can open a lot of doors. It gives a place for you. It will bring you before great men. It actually brought me before Begin last week. I'd never be able to see Begin if we didn't have a gift for him, for Israel.

He that is first in his own cause seems just; but his neighbor comes and searches him. The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parts between the mighty ( Proverbs 18:17-18 ).

So the casting of the lot. You're arguing over this thing. Let's cast lots for it. Stops the argument. It's idea of flipping a coin, you know. Same idea. Let's flip a coin. Can't agree on something, we'll flip a coin. Heads, we will. Tails, we won't. And so it stops the contentions.

A brother who is offended is harder to be won than a strong city ( Proverbs 18:19 ):

So the idea is, don't offend your brother.

and their contentions are like the bars of a castle ( Proverbs 18:19 ).

You can't get through them.

A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled ( Proverbs 18:20 ).

This is, I think, quite an important proverb, the next one.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Whoso findeth a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the LORD ( Proverbs 18:21-22 ).

So Solomon found a thousand of them. He surely learned an awful lot about women.

The poor useth entreaties; but the rich answereth roughly ( Proverbs 18:23 ).

The poor man has to entreat; sort of beg.

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly ( Proverbs 18:24 ):

That's basic now. If you want to have friends, you've just got to show yourself friendly. A lot of people complain, "Oh, we don't have any friends." Well, you're not you're not showing yourself friendly. You if you're going to have friends, you've got to just be friendly.

and there is a friend [there is a special friend] who will stick closer than a brother ( Proverbs 18:24 ).

That, of course, is Jesus Christ. That's an important proverb to me. A man to have friends has to show himself friendly. But there is one friend who will stick closer than a brother. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Proverbs 18". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/proverbs-18.html. 2014.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile