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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 18

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verse 1


(Proverbs 18)

The Attention Seeker

Verse 1 (RV) suggests the action of one who without factual knowledge or real conviction takes a contrary position to focus attention on himself.

Verse 2

The Egotistical Fool

Verse 2 declares that the fool derives no pleasure from true knowledge and understanding and is more concerned about expressing his own erroneous ideas, Proverbs 13:16; Proverbs 14:7; Proverbs 14:33; Proverbs 15:2; Proverbs 18:6-7.

Verse 3

Fruit of Sin

Verse 3 emphasizes the downward progression of sin with three words for shame: contempt, dishonor, and disgrace. Some of these have eternal consequences, Proverbs 12:8; Proverbs 14:17; Proverbs 3:25; Proverbs 3:33; Proverbs 3:35; Jeremiah 20:11; Jeremiah 23:40; Daniel 12:2.

Verse 4

True Source of Wisdom

Verse 4 appears to contrast the darkness, lack of clarity, in the thoughts of man with divine wisdom clear and pure as a flowing brook, Proverbs 20:5; Psalms 119:2; Ecclesiastes 7:24; Jeremiah 2:13. This suggests that man would be wise to draw from wisdom rather than his own ideas.

Verse 5

Perverted Justice

Verse 5 -See comment on Proverbs 17:15; Proverbs 17:26.

Verse 6

Improper Use of Tongue

Verse 6 affirms that a fool’s tongue involves him in contention that brings punishment, Proverbs 10:13; Proverbs 19:29; Proverbs 26:3.

Verse 7

Verse 7 reveals that continued ill-use of the tongue destroys the fool, Proverbs 10:14; Proverbs 13:3; Psalms 64:8; Ecclesiastes 10:12.

Verse 8

Beware of Talebearing

Verse 8 declares that the destructive words of the talebearer are as tasty morsels eagerly swallowed by the. recipient. Scripture rebukes both bearer and recipient of the whisperer’s tales, Proverbs 11:13; Proverbs 13:3; Proverbs 17:9; Proverbs 16:28; Proverbs 20:19; Proverbs 26:20; Leviticus 19:16; Psalms 34:13; James 1:26; 1 Peter 3:10.

Verse 9

Slipshod Work

Verse 9 affirms that the slipshod worker is as deserving of blame as the deliberate destroyer. A bolt not tightened or electrical connection not made secure, etc., may be as wasteful or dangerous as planned destruction, Proverbs 28:24.

Verse 10

True and False Security

Verse 10 identifies the LORD as the unfailing security of the righteous, 2 Samuel 22:3; 2 Samuel 22:51; Psalms 27:1; Psalms 61:3-4; Psalms 91:2; Psalms 144:1-2.

Verse 11

Verse 11 emphasizes the folly of the rich who trust in their wealth for security. Equally foolish are those who trust in any provision of man for security, Proverbs 10:15; Job 31:24-28.

Verse 12

Humility and Honor Or Arrogance and Destruction

Verse 12-See comment on Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 16:18-19.

Verse 13

Answering Before Listening

Verse 13 emphasizes the importance of listening and understanding the question before giving an answer. To answer without doing so identifies one with folly and shame, Vs 2; Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 17:8; John 7:51.

Verse 14

Sustaining Grace

Verse 14 speaks first of the trusting spirit of the man who looks beyond the wrongs and injuries he has suffered to his faithful LORD and is sustained in his infirmity, as was the Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 4:8-18; 2 Corinthians 7:5-6; Philippians 4:11-13; 2 Timothy 4:6-8. The second line refers to the man whose spirit dwells upon and complains of the wrongs he has experienced, thereby neglecting the one source that would sustain him, Proverbs 18:10; Psalms 27:5.

Verse 15

Seeking Knowledge

Verse 15 suggests that the wise and prudent continue to use all means to gain knowledge, utilizing the ear to hear and the mind to search out the deeper meaning, Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 20:12; Proverbs 25:12; Matthew 13:16; Psalms 4:4; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:15.

Verse 16

Use of Gifts

Verse 16 declares that a man’s gift may open the way for him to have audience with great men. This is not an endorsement of using the bribe for evil or the perverting of justice as in Proverbs 17:23. See also Genesis 32:13-20; Genesis 43:11; 1 Samuel 17:17-18.

Verse 17


Verse 17 suggests that one not be hasty in forming an opinion but rather listen to both sides of an argument before reaching a conclusion, Proverbs 18:2; Proverbs 18:13; Proverbs 21:5; Proverbs 29:20; Ecclesiastes 5:2.

Verse 18

Usefulness of the Lot

Verse 18-See comment on Proverbs 16:33.

Verse 19

Offended Brothers

Verse 19 declarer, that the unseen obstacles which separate an offended brother are more difficult to overcome than a city protected by strong barriers; and contentions are as the barred entrances to a castle or fortress. Care in avoiding and dealing with offenses is directed in the Scriptures, Proverbs 13:10; Proverbs 15:18; Proverbs 26:21; Proverbs 29:22; Proverbs 20:3; Proverbs 25:8; Matthew 18:7-22; Ephesians 4:26-27; Ephesians 4:31-32.

Verses 20-21

Consequence of Man’s Words

Verse 20 affirms that man finds satisfaction in his own words, Proverbs 12:14; Proverbs 14:14.

Verse 21 emphasizes the consequences that result from words, both life and death, and he who speaks is accountable, Proverbs 4:23-24; Proverbs 12:13; Proverbs 13:2-3; Matthew 12:37; Isaiah 3:10; Hosea 10:12-13.

Verse 22

A Wife Jehovah’s Favor

Verse 22, in agreement with Proverbs Genesis 2:18, declares that it is good for man to find a wife, and he who does so obtains favor of the LORD. Other Scripture attests that the LORD’s standard is for a good wife, Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 19:14; Proverbs 31:10-31; Proverbs 19:13; Proverbs 21:9; Proverbs 21:19; Proverbs 27:15.

Verse 23

Reality of Poverty

Verse 23 states life as it is generally. The poor or needy must humble himself and entreat or supplicate, but the rich answer harshly, without compassion, Proverbs 14:20; Proverbs 19:4; Proverbs 22:7; James 5:1; James 5:4-7. God is not unaware. He will deal justly in due time, Proverbs James 5:1-7.

Verse 24

The Best Friend

Verse 24 declares that a man that hath friends must pay the price of friendly ads to sustain that relationship with most; but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, a friend who sticks because of love, not because of favors received. Such a friend was Jonathan to David, 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 1 Samuel 19:1-7; 1 Samuel 23:16-18. To a far greater extent is Jesus the friend that sticketh closer than a brother, John 11:5; John 11:35-36; John 13:23; John 15:15.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 18". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/proverbs-18.html. 1985.
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