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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 22

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verse 1


(Proverbs 22)

Deserved Good Reputation

Verse 1 suggests that to be loved and esteemed because of manifested faith and upright conduct is better than possession of great riches, Proverbs 10:7; Psalms 112:5-6; Ecclesiastes 7:1; Romans 1:8; Hebrews 11:1-2; 3 John 1:12.

Verse 2

Regard For the Poor

Verse 2 emphasizes that rich and poor live together and the LORD is maker of both. Other Scripture reveals that the LORD is concerned about the poor. He is reproached when they are oppressed and regards it as honor to Himself when mercy is shown to them (Proverbs 14:31; Proverbs 19:17). He who ignores the cry of the poor shall also cry, but shall not be heard (Proverbs 21:13). Job recognized a responsibility for the less fortunate (Job 31:15-22). Jesus preached compassionate response to their cry (Matthew 5:42). See also Deuteronomy 15:7-11.

Verse 3

The Wise and Foolish

Verse 3 repeats the contrast of prudent and simple in Proverbs 14:15-16, with emphasis on the consequences. The prudent act wisely and attain security; the simple dally and are punished. (See comment on Proverbs 14:15-16).

Verse 4

Riches, Honor and Life

Verse 4 declares that riches, honor, and life are rewards of humility and fear of the LORD. The blessings in view are tremendous, extending beyond this life to the hereafter (see Psalms 112:1-3), and subject to the wisdom of the LORD and various conditions embraced by true humility and fear (submissive reverence ,for) the LORD. It is not a blanket promise that all shall be made materially rich in this life. See comments on Proverbs 10:4-5; Proverbs 10:15; Proverbs 10:22; Proverbs 3:13-16; Proverbs 11:28; Proverbs 13:7; Proverbs 14:24; Proverbs 22:1; Proverbs 22:16; Proverbs 24:3-4; Proverbs 27:24; Proverbs 28:6; Proverbs 28:22; Proverbs 30:7-9.

Verse 5

Thorns and Snares in Path of Wicked

Verse 5 warns that there are thorns and snares in the way of the wicked; he who would avoid the hurt and guilt of evil will keep away from this path, Proverbs 13:15; Proverbs 15:9; Proverbs 21:23; 1 John 5:18.

Verse 6

Mandate For Child Training

Verse 6 commands the parent to train the child in the way he should go, with the promise that he will not depart from such when he is old. Both command and promise are in accord with Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:15.

Verse 7

The Bondage of Debt

Verse 7 affirms the bondage of indebtedness. Israelites were forbidden to charge interest from fellow Israelites, Exodus 22:25-27; Leviticus 25:35-37. The prohibition was ignored however, in the days of the captivities, and excessive rates were charged fellow Jews. See Nehemiah 5:3-13; Ezekiel 18:8; Ezekiel 18:13; Ezekiel 18:17 which denounced this practice. Gratuitous giving is encouraged in the New Testament (Luke 6:30-31), but reasonable interest is not forbidden, Matthew 25:27; Luke 19:23. The bondage of debt is recognized, however, in the admonition to "owe no man anything," Romans 13:8.

Verse 8

The Harvest of Wickedness

Verse 8 declares that he who wickedly mistreats or oppresses others will eventually reap trouble as the effort of his anger fails and he reaps as he has sown, Job 4:8; Psalms 125:3; Isaiah 14:6; Hosea 8:7; Hosea 10:13; Galatians 6:7-9.

Verse 9

Gifts To the Poor

Verse 9 affirms that he who has an eye for and gives to the need of the poor shall be blessed, see comment on Proverbs 19:17; Proverbs 28:27.

Verse 10

Discipline of Troublemakers

Verse 10 suggests expulsion of the contentious person who will not listen to reason. Compare Matthew 18:15-17.

Verse 11

Men Who Delight Kings

Verse 11 (marginal rendering) suggests that the king favors men of clean hearts and gracious speech, Vs 29; Proverbs 14:35; Proverbs 16:13. Jesus said the pure in heart are blessed, Matthew 5:8.

Verse 12

Jehovah Preserves Truth

Verse 12 declares that the LORD (JEHOVAH) is the ever watchful preserver of truth, and in His own way counteracts the falsehoods of the transgressor, Proverbs 21:12; Romans 2:6-9. See examples 2 Samuel 17:14; 2 Samuel 17:23; Nehemiah 6:1-2; Nehemiah 6:14-16.

Verse 13

The Sluggard’s Excuse

Verse 13-See comment on Proverbs 26:13-16.

Verse 14

Warnings Against the Adulteress

Verse 14-See comment on Proverbs 2:16-22; Proverbs 5:1-23; Proverbs 6:24-35; Proverbs 7:6-27.

Verse 15

Correction Of Children

Verse 15- See comment on Proverbs 13:24.

Verse 16

Robbing the Poor

Verse 16 (without italicized words) suggests that he who oppresses the poor for gain will eventually be required to give to the rich, to his own loss, Proverbs 22:22-23.

Verses 17-21



Proverbs 22:17 to Proverbs 24:34

Introduction to Words of the Wise

Verse 17 emphasizes the need to give close attention to the words of the wise (Proverbs 5:1); to hide them in the heart (Proverbs 23:12).

Verse 18 stresses the importance of readiness to communicate to others the pleasant facts of knowledge hidden in the heart (Proverbs 2:10).

Verse 19 emphasizes that the words of knowledge are made known to the end that trust in the LORD may be strengthened (Proverbs 2:10-11; Proverbs 3:5-6).

Verse 20 stresses that the words of the wise relate to excellent things, counsels and knowledge, more valuable than silver or choice gold (Proverbs 8:6; Proverbs 8:10).

Verse 21 declares that the further purpose of imparting these words is to convince the recipient of the "certainty" of the words of truth; and awaken him to his responsibility to convey the words of truth to others (Proverbs Luke 1:3-4; Proverbs 25:13).

Verses 22-23

Defender of Poor and Afflicted

Verses 22 and 23 assure Divine protection for the poor and afflicted and warns that the LORD will take action against those who would rob or oppress the disadvantaged, Proverbs 23:10-11; Exodus 23:6; Zechariah 7:10; Malachi 3:5; Psalms 12:5; Psalms 35:10; Psalms 68:5; Psalms 140:12.

Verses 24-25

Friendships to Avoid

Verses 24 and 25 advise against friendship with quick tempered or easily angered people, lest their conduct be an adverse influence, Proverbs 15:17-18; Proverbs 29:22; 1 Corinthians 15:33.

Verses 26-27

Beware of Co-signing

Verses 26-27-See comment on Proverbs 6:1-5.

Verse 28

Sanctity of Property Boundaries

Verse 28 forbids encroachment upon the property rights of another by moving the landmark that established the boundary. Strict laws governed the land, Deuteronomy 19:14; Numbers 36:7. Divine judgment and wrath was decreed for those who violated property rights, Deuteronomy 27:17; Hosea 5:10; Proverbs 23:10-11.

Verse 29

The Diligent Excel

Verse 29 suggests that the man who is diligent in the conduct of his business or performance of his work will be observed, and will advance to higher levels. He will not remain among the obscure who complain, make excuses and lack initiative and will to strive for a worthy goal, Romans 12:11; Genesis 41:38-44; Proverbs 13:4; Proverbs 18:9; Proverbs 24:30-31; Proverbs 26:16.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 22". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/proverbs-22.html. 1985.
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