Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Proverbs 16

Verse 1

preparations — schemes.

in man — or literally, “to man,” belonging, or pertaining to him.

the answer … Lord — The efficient ordering is from God: “Man proposes; God disposes.”

Verse 2

clean — or, “faultless.”

weigheth — or, “tries,” “judges,” implying that they are faulty (Proverbs 21:2; Proverbs 24:12).

Verse 3

(Compare Margin). Rely on God for success to your lawful purposes.

Verse 4

for himself — “for its answer,” or “purpose,” that is, according to God‘s plan; the wicked are for the day of evil (Psalm 49:5; Jeremiah 17:18); sinning and suffering answer to each other, are indissolubly united.

Verse 5

(Compare Proverbs 3:32).

Verse 6

By mercy and truth — that is, God‘s (Psalm 85:10); He effects the atonement, or covering of sin; and the principles of true piety incline men to depart from evil; or, “mercy” and “truth” may be man‘s, indicative of the gracious tempers which work instrumentally in procuring pardon.

purged — expiated (as in Leviticus 16:33; Isaiah 27:9, Hebrew).

Verse 7

Persecutions, of course, excepted.

Verse 8

(Compare Proverbs 15:6, Proverbs 15:16, Proverbs 15:17).

Verse 9

(Compare Proverbs 16:3).

directeth — establisheth.

Verse 10

The last clause depends on the first, expressing the importance of equity in decisions, so authoritative.

Verse 11

are the Lord‘s … his work — that is, what He has ordered, and hence should be observed by men.

Verse 12

Rulers are rightly expected, by their position, to hate evil; for their power is sustained by righteousness.

Verse 13

A specification of the general sentiment of Proverbs 16:12.

Verse 14

This wrath, so terrible and certain, like messengers of death (1 Kings 2:25), can be appeased by the wise.

Verse 15

countenance — favor (Psalm 4:6).

life — preserves it, or gives blessings which make it valuable.

the latter rain — fell just before harvest and matured the crop; hence specially valuable (Deuteronomy 11:14).

Verse 16

(Compare Proverbs 3:16; Proverbs 4:5).

Verse 17

The highway — A common, plain road represents the habitual course of the righteous in departing from evil.

keepeth — observes.

Verse 18-19

(Compare Proverbs 15:33). Haughtiness and pride imply self-confidence which produces carelessness, and hence

a fall — literally, “sliding.”

Verse 19

divide the spoil — that is, conquer. Avoid the society of the proud (James 4:6).

Verse 20

handleth a matter — wisely considers “the word,” that is, of God (compare Proverbs 13:13).

trusteth — (Compare Psalm 2:12; Psalm 118:8, Psalm 118:9).

Verse 21

wise in heart — who rightly consider duty.

sweetness of the lips — eloquent discourse, persuades and instructs others.

Verse 22

Understanding — or, “discretion,” is a constant source of blessing (Proverbs 13:14), benefiting others; but fools‘ best efforts are folly.

Verse 23

The heart is the source of wisdom flowing from the mouth.

Verse 24

(Compare Proverbs 15:26). Gentle, kind words, by soothing the mind, give the body health.

Verse 25

(Compare Proverbs 14:2).

Verse 26

Diligence is a duty due to one‘s self, for his wants require labor.

Verse 27

ungodly man — (Compare Proverbs 6:12).

diggeth up evil — labors for it.

in his lips  …  fire — His words are calumniating (James 3:6).

Verse 28

(Compare Proverbs 6:14; Proverbs 10:31).

whisperer — prater, talebearer (Proverbs 18:8; Proverbs 26:20).

Verse 29

violent man — or, “man of mischief” (Proverbs 3:31).

enticeth — (Proverbs 1:10).

Verse 30

He shutteth his eyes — denoting deep thought (Psalm 64:6).

moving his lips — or, “biting his lips” - a determined purpose (Proverbs 6:13).

Verse 31

(Compare Proverbs 20:29).

if — or, which may be supplied properly, or without it the sense is as in Proverbs 3:16; Proverbs 4:10, that piety is blessed with long life.

Verse 32

(Compare Proverbs 14:29).

taketh a city — that is, by fighting.

Verse 33

Seemingly the most fortuitous events are ordered by God.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.