Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 16

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-33

1-9. God’s control of human life.

1. Read, ’the preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.’ Man prepares his plans, but the decisive, final word is suggested by God. ’There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, roughhew them as we will.’

2. Cp. 1 Corinthians 4:4.

4. Read, ’The Lord hath made everything for its own end.’ God is the absolute Sovereign (Amos 3:6). The wicked are created for punishment (Exodus 9:16; Ezekiel 38:16; Ezekiel 39:21; Romans 9:17). The truth here pointed to would be expressed in milder terms today: we should say that nothing escapes the control and the judgment of God.

5. Though hand, etc.] read, ’he will assuredly not go unpunished’ (Proverbs 11:21).

6. Sin is expiated by kindness and faithfulness towards others (Isaiah 27:9; Isaiah 40:2; Daniel 4:27; Hosea 6:6).

9. ’Man proposes, God disposes.’

10-15. The vv. relate chiefly to a king’s powers and functions.

10. His sentence has the force of a divine oracle.

11. Probably the word, the ’Lord,’is mistakenly inserted: the human king is meant. The merchant carried his (stone) weights about in a bag. Explorers have found in Palestine ancient weights of hæmatite, limestone, etc.

15. The light of.. countenance] i.e. his friendly regard. The latter rain] is the spring rain, required to ripen the crops.

16-19. The advantages of a right spirit.

17. The road they travel does not lead to misfortune.

20-25. deal with wisdom and its results.

20. He that handleth, etc.] read, ’he that giveth heed to the word’ (of God or of the teacher).

21. The sweetness, etc.] Attractive speech disposes the listener to learn.

22. Instruction] RV ’correction’: their folly is their punishment.

26. Hunger prompts labour. It has been wittily said that every boy should pray that he may be born poor.

30. Read, ’he that shutteth his eyes (as if pondering deeply) does it to devise froward things: he that (scornfully) compresses his lips has brought evil to pass.’ Slanderers and backbiters are meant.

31. RV ’It shall be found,’ etc. The NT. does not teach that the righteous are always rewarded with long life.

32. ’Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules

Passions, desires and fears, is more a king;

And who attains not, ill aspires to rule

Cities of men or headstrong multitudes.’

33. The lot was put in the folds of the garment and then shaken out (Judges 1:3; Isaiah 34:17, etc.).

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 16". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.