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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 28

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verse 1

ANXIETY OR ASSURANCE

(Proverbs 28)

Anxiety or Assurance

Verse 1 contrasts the anxiety of the wicked conscious of his sin with the assurance of the righteous, compare Numbers 32:23; Psalms 53:5 with Psalms 23:4-6; Psalms 27:3; Isaiah 12:2.

Verse 2

Wisdom Prolongs Governments

Verse 2 emphasizes the importance of understanding and knowledge in the stability of governments. In the Kingdom of Judah all the rulers except Athaliah (the usurper) were in the direct line of David and there were no revolutions resulting in a change of dynasties. In the Northern kingdom nine different dynasties ruled and there were frequent revolutions. Hosea 7:7; Hosea 8:4, and Hosea 13:11 underscore conditions in the closing years of the Northern kingdom. See also Proverbs 15:5; Proverbs 29:4; Proverbs 29:14.

Verse 3

Poor Oppressors of the Poor

Verse 3 affirms that for a poor man, one who well understands the ills of poverty, to oppress the poor is particularly grievous, like the rain that floods and sweeps away all planted food crops, Matthew 18:28-30.

Verse 4

Regard for Divine Law

Verse 4 declares that to forsake the law is to commend and stand with the wicked; but they who keep the law take a stand against evil, Psalms 10:3; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Kings 18:18; 1 Kings 18:21; Proverbs 28:9; Nehemiah 13:11; Nehemiah 13:15; Psalms 40:8; Matthew 3:7; Matthew 14:4; Ephesians 5:11; Proverbs 29:18.

Verse 5

Understanding God’s Law

Verse 5 declares that the evil man does not understand what is right (for reasons explained in Psalms 92:5-6; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 1:21; Romans 1:28); but they who seek the LORD in earnest understand all things, Psalms 119:100; John 7:17; 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27.

Verse 6

When Poverty Is Better Than Riches

Verse 6 declares that the poor man who walks uprightly is better off than the rich man who is dishonest in his ways, Proverbs 14:2; Proverbs 19:1; Proverbs 20:7; Proverbs 28:18; Psalms 26:8-11; Psalms 62:10; 1 Timothy 6:9.

Verse 7

Wise Or Foolish Sons

(Verse 7-See comment on Proverbs 23:19-21 and Proverbs 23:22-25.)

Verse 8

Unjust Gain

Verse 8 warns that he who takes advantage of the poor and increases by unjust gain will eventually pass it to others who will pity the poor, Proverbs 13:22; Job 27:16-17; Ecclesiastes 2:26; Proverbs 22:7 comment for explanation of usury.

Verse 9

Prayers Not Heard

Verse 9 affirms that he who will not obey the word of the LORD cannot pray; even the attempt is an abomination, Proverbs 15:8; Proverbs 15:26; Proverbs 15:29; Proverbs 21:27; Psalms 66:18; Zechariah 7:11-13.

Verse 10

Leading Others Astray

Verse 10 warns that whoso causeth another to go astray in some evil shall himself suffer appropriate punishment, Proverbs 26:27. See Peter’s statement 2 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Peter 2:9-19 and other specific examples such as giving strong drink (Amos 2:12); breaking commandments and teaching others to do so (Matthew 5:19); causing children to stumble (Matthew 18:6); making proselytes (Matthew 23:15); leading captive silly women (2 Timothy 3:6). Note that the upright who withstand such temptation shall be blessed, Vs 10; Matthew 6:33-34.

Verse 11

Man’s True Measure

Verse 11 suggests that wealth appeals to pride and inflates the ego of the rich to a false sense of their wisdom; but the poor that have understanding are able to discover their true state, Proverbs 18:17; Proverbs 25:27. A prudent course for all is to seek the evaluation of the LORD in the spirit of Psalms 139:23-24.

Verse 12

The Righteous An Asset- Wicked A Liability

Verse 12-Seecomment on Proverbs 11:10-11.

Verse 13

Concealment Or Confession of Sin

Verse 13 contrasts the man who conceals his sins and fails to prosper with one who confesses and forsakes his transgressions and is forgiven. David experienced both aspects of this, knowing first the misery of concealment, Psalms 32:3-4; then ’the merciful relief of confession and forgiveness, Psalms 32:5; Psalms 32:1-2. See also 1 John 1:6-9.

Verse 14

Awe and Defiance of the Lord

Verse 14 assures a happy or blessed state for the man whose life is dominated by holy awe of the LORD and His teachings, Proverbs 23:17; Nehemiah 5:14-15; Job 1:5; Psalms 16:8-9; Philippians 2:12-18; but he who hardens his heart in defiance of the LORD shall fall into wickedness and its resulting misery, Proverbs 13:15; Proverbs 5:21-23; Romans 2:8-9; Romans 3:16-18.

Verse 15

Misuse of Authority

Verse 15 portrays the destructive attitude of wicked rulers or superiors toward defenseless poor as like that of a ferocious lion or bear. Similar illustrations in Proverbs 19:12; Proverbs 20:2; Daniel 7:1-8; and specific statements in Exodus 1:14; Exodus 1:16; Exodus 1:22 and Luke 22:24-25 reveal that the LORD takes careful note of such oppression.

Verse 16

Authority With and Without Understanding

Verse 16 declares that princes or persons in authority who lack understanding are also great oppressors (Ecclesiastes 10:16 and Isaiah 3:12); but he who hates schemes for dishonest gain (because he has understanding) shall enjoy prolonged life, Proverbs 3:13-16; Proverbs 4:10; Proverbs 9:11; Proverbs 10:27.

Verse 17

Punishment For Willful Murder

Verse 17 forbids any help to spare a willful murderer. He . is hastening to the pit which means death and what lies beyond and the stern provisions of Numbers 35:31; Exodus 21:14; Genesis 9:6; are to be allowed to take their course.. For examples of the "pit," see Proverbs 1:12; Isaiah 14:15; Isaiah 14:19; Isaiah 38:18.

Verse 18

Consequences For Upright and Perverse

Verse 18-See comment on Proverbs 10:9 and Proverbs 10:25.

Verse 19

Honest Labor Vs Dubious Schemes

Verse 19 - See comment on Proverbs 12:11-12.

Verse 20

Faithfulness Vs Greed

Verse 20 repeats assurance that blessings attend the faithful man; but warns that he who makes haste to be rich shall not be innocent (unpunished) for his improper acts, Proverbs 10:6; Proverbs 13:11; Proverbs 20:21; Proverbs 21:6; Proverbs 28:22; 1 Timothy 6:9.

Verse 21

Bribed By A Pittance

Verse 21 emphasizes the shamefulness of a judge or man of any position who for a bribe is willing to act contrary to what is right and just, Proverbs 18:5; Ezekiel 13:19. The example cited in Proverbs 28:21 of the bribe of no more than a piece of bread suggests the extreme vulnerability of man to the temptation to act’ first to his own advantage. Many Scriptures condemn such, Exodus 23:8; Proverbs 17:23; Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 5:23; Isaiah 33:15; Amos 5:12.

Verse 22

Consequence of Greed

Verse 22 repeats the warning of Proverbs 28:20 b against haste to be rich and reveals that such leads to a grudging spirit that dominates the life and eventually results in poverty. Haste tempts to dishonest schemes that bring judgment rather than the prosperity of legitimate efforts, Proverbs 10:6; Proverbs 13:11; Proverbs 20:21; Proverbs 21:6; 1 Timothy 6:9.

Verse 23

Timely Rebuke

Verse 23 suggests that a rebuke when circumstances warrant may not be warmly received at first; but will afterward be appreciated more than vain flattery, Proverbs 15:5; Proverbs 25:12; Proverbs 27:5-6; Psalms 141:5; Ecclesiastes 7:5; Galatians 2:11-14; 1 Timothy 5:20.

Verse 24

Robbery of Parents

Verse 24 declares that he who robs father or mother is just as guilty as the lawless robber who steals and destroys. The N.T. also interprets the child’s duty to aging parents as a strict obligation to provide (not destroy) that needed for their care, Proverbs 18:9; Proverbs 23:22; Proverbs 20:20; Proverbs 19:26; Exodus 21:15; Mark 7:9-13; 1 Timothy 5:4; 1 Timothy 5:8.

Verse 25

Pride and Arrogance Vs Humble Faith

Verse 25 contrasts the proud person, self satisfied, contemptuous of others, who stirs up strife as Haman did when Mordecai bowed not to him (Ezra 3:5), with he who puts his trust in the LORD and prospers. The result of these traits are often stated in the Scriptures. Pride engenders strife and destruction, Proverbs 13:10; Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 21:4. Trust in the LORD brings blessing, Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalms 37:3; Psalms 37:5; Psalms 32:10; Psalms 34:22; Isaiah 26:3.

Verse 26

Trust In Self Vs Trust In Lord

Verse 26 affirms that man is a fool for trusting his own heart. Other Scripture confirms that if he trusts his riches he will fall (Proverbs 11:28); if he trusts in man or horses or mischief, woes and a curse will afflict him (Proverbs Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 31:3; Jeremiah 17:5) and God will destroy him (Psalms 52:1-7). In contrast, verse 26 declares that he who walks wisely, trusting the LORD, shall be delivered from the evils that destroy the fool. He is assured of divine direction (Proverbs 3:5-6), that mercy surrounds him (Psalms 32:10), and that he shall never be desolate (Psalms 34:22).

Verse 27

Helping Or Ignoring the Poor

Verse 27 affirms that he who gives to the poor shall not lack, Proverbs 11:25; Proverbs 19:17; Proverbs 22:9; Psalms 41:1; Isaiah 58:10-11; Luke 6:38; but he who ignores a cry of the poor he is able to relieve shall himself cry to the LORD to no avail. See Proverbs 21:13; Deuteronomy 15:7-11; Zechariah 7:10-14; Matthew 7:2.

Verse 28

The Righteous An Asset-Wicked A Liability

Verse 28- See comment on Proverbs 11:10.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 28". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/proverbs-28.html. 1985.
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