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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 14

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verse 1

This verse makes better sense if for "house" we read "household." Either translation is legitimate.

Verses 1-33

8. Further advice for wise living chs. 14-15

These proverbs are more difficult to group together under a general heading because there are fewer common ideas that tie them together.

Verse 3

The antecedent of "them" (Proverbs 14:3 b) is "the wise" (plural).

"Words come back to roost." [Note: Kidner, p. 106.]

"What people say has a great bearing on how they are received." [Note: Ross, p. 983.]

Verse 12

Without the additional light of divine revelation we might conclude that any number of courses of action will lead to good ends. Nevertheless, God’s Word helps us see the end of some of these paths so that we can avoid them. Salvation by works is one example of this. As someone once told me, "I was climbing the ladder of success, but then I discovered that it was leaning against the wrong wall." This proverb warns that apparently good roads may prove fatal to the moral life (cf. Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 16:25; Matthew 7:13-14) because their destination is wrong.

Verse 14

". . . backslider conveys the wrong impression of an apostate, one who declines from or abandons his own previous position of moral right; the Hebrew expression here implies simply non-adherence to the right." [Note: Toy, p. 290.]

Verse 20

"Neighbor" refers to any person with whom we come in contact, not just someone who may live nearby (cf. Luke 10:31). [Note: See ibid., p. 293.]

Verse 24

The ends of the wise and the foolish are in view.

"The wise are crowned, that is, blessed with wealth (cf. Proverbs 3:16; Proverbs 8:18; Proverbs 8:21; Proverbs 15:6; Proverbs 22:4) because of their diligence (Proverbs 14:23), but foolish conduct results not in blessing but in more folly (cf. Proverbs 14:18)." [Note: Sid S. Buzzell, "Proverbs," in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, p. 936. Cf. Toy, p. 296; and McKane, p. 466.]

Verse 28

It is a credit to a ruler when he rules over many people and they prosper and increase, but it is a discredit to him when his people decline in number and wealth. This is so because part of a governmental leader’s responsibility is to generate prosperity.

Verse 31

"Loving evangelism is the foremost road out of poverty." [Note: Larsen, p. 174.]

Verse 33

A paraphrase of this verse could be, "A wise man does not parade his knowledge; a fool does." [Note: Kidner, pp. 111-12.] Fools may have knowledge but not biblical wisdom.

The influence of human speech occupies much of chapter 15.

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 14". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/proverbs-14.html. 2012.
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