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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 21

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole BibleCommentary Critical




Verse 1

1. rivers—irrigating channels (Psalms 1:3), whose course was easily turned (compare Deuteronomy 11:10). God disposes even kings as He pleases (Proverbs 16:9; Psalms 33:15).

Verse 2

2. (Compare Proverbs 14:2; Proverbs 16:2-25).

Verse 3

3. (Compare Psalms 50:7-15; Isaiah 1:11; Isaiah 1:17).

Verse 4

4. high look—(Compare Margin; Psalms 131:1).

proud heart—or, "heart of breadth," one that is swollen (compare Psalms 131:1- :).

ploughing—better "lamp," a frequent figure for prosperity (Psalms 131:1- :); hence joy or delight.

Verse 5

5. The contrast is between steady industry and rashness (compare :-).

Verse 6

6. The getting—or, "what is obtained" (compare Job 7:2; Jeremiah 22:13, Hebrew).

vanity . . . to and fro—as fleeting as chaff or stubble in the wind (compare Proverbs 20:17-21; Psalms 62:10). Such gettings are unsatisfactory.

them . . . death—act as if they did (Proverbs 8:36; Proverbs 17:19).

Verse 7

7. robbery—or, "destruction," especially oppression, of which they are authors.

shall destroy—literally, "cut with a saw" ( :-), that is, utterly ruin them. Their sins shall be visited on them in kind.

to do judgment—what is just and right.

Verse 8

8. of man—any one; his way is opposed to truth, and also estranged from it. The pure proves himself such by his right conduct.

Verse 9

9. corner—a turret or arbor on the roof.

brawling—or contentious.

wide house—literally, "house of fellowship," large enough for several families.

Verse 10

10. So strongly does he desire to do evil (Psalms 10:3; Ecclesiastes 8:11), that he will not even spare his friend if in his way.

Verse 11

11. (Compare :-). That which the simple learn by the terrors of punishment, the wise learn by teaching.

Verse 12

12. (Compare Psalms 37:35-38; Psalms 73:17; Psalms 73:20).

house—family or interests.

overthroweth—either supply "God" (compare Psalms 73:20- :), or the word is used impersonally.

Verse 13

13. The principles of retribution, often taught (compare Psalms 18:26; Matthew 7:1-12).

Verse 14

14. The effect of bribery ( :-) is enhanced by secrecy, as the bribed person does not wish his motives made known.

Verse 15

15. But the just love right and need no bribes. The wicked at last meet destruction, though for a time happy in concealing corruption.

Verse 16

16. the way of understanding—(Compare Proverbs 12:26; Proverbs 14:22).

remain—that is, rest as at a journey's end; death will be his unchanging home.

Verse 17

17. Costly luxuries impoverish.

Verse 18

18. (Compare :-). By suffering what they had devised for the righteous, or brought on them, the wicked became their ransom, in the usual sense of substitutes (compare Joshua 7:26; Esther 7:9).

Verse 19

19. (Compare :-).

wilderness—pasture, though uninhabitable ground ( :-).

Verse 20

20. The wise, by diligence and care, lay up and increase wealth, while fools

spend—literally, "swallow it up," greedily.

Verse 21

21. He who tries to act justly and kindly (Psalms 34:14) will prosper and obtain justice and honor.

Verse 22

22. "Wisdom is better than strength" (Ecclesiastes 7:19; Ecclesiastes 9:15).

strength . . . thereof—that in which they confide.

Verse 23

23. (Compare Proverbs 13:2; Proverbs 13:3; James 3:6-10).

Verse 24

24. The reproachful name is deserved by those who treat others with anger and contempt.

Verse 25

25. desire—that is, of ease and idleness brings him to starvation.

Verse 26

26. The sin of covetousness marks the sluggard, as the virtue of benevolence the righteous.

Verse 27

27. God regards the heart, and hypocrisy is more odious than open inconsistency.

wicked mind—or, "design" (Proverbs 1:4).

Verse 28

28. (Compare :-).

that heareth—or heeds instruction, and so grows wise.

speaketh constantly—or sincerely (compare Habakkuk 1:5), and hence is believed (Proverbs 12:19; James 1:19).

Verse 29

29. hardeneth his face—is obstinate.

directeth . . . way—considers it, and acts advisedly.

Verse 30

30, 31. Men's best devices and reliances are vain compared with God's, or without His aid (Proverbs 19:21; Psalms 20:7; Psalms 33:17).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/proverbs-21.html. 1871-8.
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