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Wednesday, July 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 21

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verse 1


(Proverbs 21)

Divine Will Prevails

Verse 1 declares that as the farmer directs water from the stream into irrigation channels as needed, so the LORD directs the free choices of the king to accomplish the Divine will, Genesis 41:37-45; Isaiah 10:5-7; Isaiah 41:2-4; Ezra 7:21.

Verse 2

The Lord Knows

Verse 2 affirms that man is inclined to think that his ways are right though they are wrong; but the LORD judges motives and knows what is right, Proverbs 16:2; Proverbs 24:12; 1 Samuel 16:7; Jeremiah 17:10; Luke 16:15

Verse 3

Better Than Sacrifice

Verse 3 - See comment on Proverbs 15:8, also 1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:11; Hosea 6:6; Matthew 12:7.

Verse 4

Unconcerned Wicked

Verse 4 (AV margin and RV render the second line as applying to the lamp or light of the wicked). The verse suggests that the proud look, proud heart, and arrogant life of the unconcerned are all sinful. Other references show the LORD’s view as an abomination; and the eventual consequences as death, Proverbs 6:16-18; Proverbs 13:9; Proverbs 24:20.

Verse 5

Sound Planning

Verse 5 suggests that careful investigation and planning before beginning a venture will tend to assure success and profit; but hasty, ill-conceived schemes, will likely .fail, wasting time and substance invested, Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 12:5; Proverbs 13:4; Proverbs 16:3; Proverbs 28:20; Proverbs 29:20.

Verse 6

Ill Gotten Gain

Verse 6 declares that treasure obtained by a lying tongue is an action by one who seeks death. There may be an illusion of getting away with it for a season, but He who said "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not bear false witness" will bring offenders to judgment in due time, Proverbs 8:36; Proverbs 10:2; Proverbs 13:11; Proverbs 20:21; Proverbs 28:20; 1 Timothy 6:9; 2 Peter 2:3.

Verse 7

Self Destroyers

Verse 7 declares that because the wicked refuse to do justly, they shall be destroyed by the violence with which they seek to destroy others, Proverbs 10:25; Jeremiah 30:23; Amos 5:7. (See illustration of this principle in the men of Shechem and Abimelech destroying each other, Judges 8:30 to Judges 9:54.)

Verse 8

The Guilty and the Upright

Verse 8 as rendered by RV declares that the way of the guilty man is crooked or devious; but the way of the innocent is straight or upright, Proverbs 2:12-15; Proverbs 2:10-12.

Verse 9

The Intolerable Wife

Verse 9 declares that it is better that a man live on the roof, subject to unpleasant weather, and other inconveniences, than to dwell in a large house with a quarrelsome woman. Verse 19 states that to live in the wilderness would also be a better alternative, Proverbs 19:13; Proverbs 25:24; Proverbs 27:15-16; 1 Chronicles 15:29; Ephesians 5:22-24;1 Peter 3:1-5.

Verse 10

Dominated By Evil

Verse 10 emphasizes the depravity of the wicked man. There is within him a dominant desire for evil; his neighbor’s need receives no sympathy from him, Proverbs 6:16; Proverbs 6:18; Proverbs 2:12-14; Proverbs 14:21; Jeremiah 17:9; Ecclesiastes 9:3.

Verse 11

The Value of Punishment

Verse 11- See comment on Proverbs 19:25.

Verse 12

Ruin of the Wicked

Verse 12 unquestionably declares the ruin of the wicked. The word "man" in the first line has been supplied and is questionable. It is the opinion of some that "righteous" should be capitalized and the verse read: "The Righteous one considers the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin"; a teaching supported by much Scripture, Proverbs 3:33; Proverbs 6:12-15; Proverbs 14:11; Proverbs 24:19-20; Job 8:11-15.

Verse 13

Verse 13 warns those insensitive to the valid cries of the poor of a time when they too will cry for help but shall not be heard. This counsel is emphasized by Proverbs 24:11-12, also Proverbs 25:21 which applies it to one’s enemy. See also James 2:13; 1 John 3:17.

Verse 14

Bribes and Gifts

Verse 14-See comment on Proverbs 15:27; Proverbs 17:23; Proverbs 18:16.

Verse 15

Two Sides of Justice

Verse 15 suggests that it is joy to the righteous when justice is done; but such is fearful to the wicked because justice means punishment or destruction for them, Proverbs 10:29; Proverbs 29:1; Psalms 1:4-6; Psalms 18:2; Psalms 28:7.

Verse 16

The Rejecter

Verse 16 refers to the man who wanders away from the way of understanding to which he is repeatedly called (Proverbs 4:5-8; Proverbs 1:20-23; Proverbs 8:1-6). The consequence is sad, the wandering stops and he remains (shall rest) in the congregation (assembly) of the dead, Proverbs 1:24-29; Proverbs 11:7; Proverbs 12:28; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:19-31.

Verse 17

The High Cost of Vain Pleasure

Verse 17 declares that he who loves and seeks pleasure in feasting, wine drinking, and the use of fragrant oil as a perfume, indulges in an extravagance which leads to poverty, Proverbs 23:20-21; Proverbs 27:9. The ointment Mary used to anoint the feet of Jesus had a value equal to the pay of a laborer for 300 days, John 12:3-5; Matthew 20:2.

Verse 18

The Wicked As a Ransom

Verse 18 declares that the wicked are a ransom for the righteous in the sense that punishment is visited upon the wicked in order to deliver the righteous from undeserved punishment, Proverbs 28:10. Thus was Israel delivered as the Egyptians drowned in the Red Sea, Exodus 14:26-30. In like manner Mordecai was delivered from the gallows and. Haman hanged, Ezra 7:10.

Verse 19

The Intolerable Wife

Verse 19 - See comment on verse 9 and Proverbs 19:13-14.

Verse 20

Values Material and Spiritual

Verse 20 suggests that the wise will live within their means, taking care to lay up for the future a portion of oil and other staples produced (Deuteronomy 8:8; Deuteronomy 22:4; Psalms 112:3); but the foolish use or spend all in haste, with no provision for the future, Vs 17; Proverbs 12:27; Job 20:15; Job 20:18; Luke 15:13.

Verse 21

Verse 21 suggests the spiritual values gained by those who pursue true righteousness and mercy (lovingkindness) as Abraham did, Romans 4:1-10. the treasures gained are LIFE (Psalms 16:11; Proverbs 14:32), RIGHTEOUSNESS (Romans 4:3-5) and HONOR (Psalms 91:15; John 12:26).

Verse 22

Wisdom Triumphs

Verse 22 emphasizes that the wise man, using Divine wisdom, will accomplish more than the brute strength of many, Proverbs 24:5-6. David, Gideon and others are examples of this truth, 1 Samuel 17:32-37; 1 Samuel 17:45-50; Judges 7:12; Judges 7:22.

Verse 23

Tongue Control

Verse 23- See comment on Proverbs 13:2-3.

Verse 24

The Proud Scorner

Verse 24 provides a further view of the scorner. He is not only proud and arrogant, but one who scorns the LORD and repeatedly deals in wrath (stirs up trouble) of which he is proud, Proverbs 22:10; Proverbs 24:9; Proverbs 29:8; Proverbs 13:1; Proverbs 19:25; Proverbs 3:34.

Verses 25-26

The Sluggard and the Righteous

Verses 25 and 26 contrast the slothful who wastes his life with unsatisfied desires for that he will not labor to gain (Proverbs 13:4; Proverbs 19:24; Proverbs 20:4), with the righteous who gives freely and is- not disfurnished, Proverbs 11:25; Proverbs 22:9; Proverbs 28:27; Matthew 5:42. (Christians are not to be slothful, 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13.)

Verse 27

Detestable Sacrifices

Verse 27 repeats the previous declaration (Proverbs 15:8 a) that the sacrifice of the wicked is abomination; and adds that it is even more offensive to the LORD when it is done with intent to aid an evil purpose, see comment and references under Proverbs 15:8 a.

Verse 28

False and True Witnesses

Verse 28 repeats the decree of certain punishment for the false witness (Proverbs 19:5; Proverbs 19:9) and emphasizes in contrast, that he who hears and speaks truth, speaks constantly; speaks that which endures forever, Psalms 119:142; Psalms 146:6. See comment on Proverbs 12:19; Proverbs 19:5. See Jeremiah 20:1-6; Jeremiah 28:1-17; Jeremiah 29:21; Jeremiah 29:31-32 for examples of false witnesses who perished.

Verse 29

Wisdom the Better Way

Verse 29 declares that a wicked man steels himself against rebukes of truth and conscience and pursues desired evil with a brazen face; but the upright man considers and plans his ways according to wisdom and understanding, Vs 10; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 12:5; Proverbs 15:28; Proverbs 24:3; Proverbs 4:7-8; Proverbs 4:14-17.

Verse 30

God Cannot Be Successfully Opposed

Verse 30 affirms that the LORD cannot be successfully opposed by any device or strategy. Men may think otherwise but the LORD has His way at the time He chooses. Some of many examples of this are: Balak’s plan, Numbers 24:10; Ahaziah’s disregard of the LORD, 2 Kings 1:1-17; Haman’s plot, Ezra 5:11-13; Ezra 7:19; and the opposition to the LORD Jesus, Acts 4:26-28.

Verse 31

Victory Is of the Lord

Verse 31 further emphasizes that although there are many things man can use with the LORD’s blessing, none is important if the LORD bless them not, because his safety is of the LORD, Psalms 20:7; Psalms 33:16-21; Isaiah 31:1-3; Jeremiah 3:23.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 21". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/proverbs-21.html. 1985.
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