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The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
Here begins the second part of the whole book, and extends to the close of Proverbs 24:1-34. It differs from the first part, which forms a connected maashaal (H4912) or Parabolic commendation of wisdom, in its being a series of loosely connected maxims, except that from Proverbs 22:17 to the end of Proverbs 24:1-34 there is a more continuous and connected Mashal enclosed between an introductory recommendation of wisdom (Proverbs 22:17-21), and a closing brief collection of maxims (Proverbs 24:23-34). The first part is the porch leading into the interior of the book, the Proverbs proper. As the first part was addressed to the young, and was therefore in a more ornamental and flowing style, so this second part is addressed to men, and is therefore in a brief, business-like style, compressing a great deal in a short compass, for the right conduct of life. Proverbs 10:1-32, weighty sentences, generally distichs - i:e., two sentences in one verse, mutually illustrating one another. The general scope is the blessedness here and hereafter of the ways of goodness, the misery of the ways of badness.
The Proverbs of Solomon. The same preface as in Proverbs 1:1; thus it here marks the division.
A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son (is) the heaviness of his mother. 'And a glad mother' is to be supplied in the first clause; 'and of his father' is to be supplied in the second clause. The father, however, is specially said to be gladdened by "a wise son," as he is of a more severe nature, and not so likely to form a partial estimate, and therefore not so easily gladdened as the mother; so that it is the stronger praise of the wise son to say that not only the mother, but also the father, is gladdened by him. On the other band, the mother is apt, through fondness, to ignore the errors of her son, and even to encourage them by indulgent connivance. The wise man admonishes her that she is laying up "heaviness" in store for herself. This verse is an admonition alike to parents and to children.
Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. "Profit nothing" - namely, Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. "Profit nothing" - namely, in the day of wrath (Proverbs 11:4); or at death, as the parallel clause suggests. They did not profit the rich fool so as to deliver him from the second death, which is death indeed (Luke 12:19-20). All the profit that Ahab got out of Naboth's vineyard was the curse of God (1 Kings 21:19-24). Judas' thirty pieces of silver, gained by betraying the Lord, were the source of despair and remorse, ending in suicide and eternal perdition. Gehazi's two talents and two changes of raiment, obtained by fraud from Naaman, brought on him Naaman's leprosy (2 Kings 5:20-27). Righteousness flowing from faith (Jeremiah 23:6; Daniel 9:24) - i:e., faith evidencing itself in righteousness (Daniel 4:27) - does deliver from death eternal. Righteousness is the characteristic of the truly "wise" (Proverbs 10:1). This righteousness includes mercy and liberality to others (Proverbs 10:4), and brings the Lord's mercy with it (Psalms 41:1-2; Psalms 112:9; 2 Corinthians 9:9; Daniel 4:27).
The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.
The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish - (Psalms 37:25-26.) Not that the righteous are exempted from hungering with want at times. David was hungry (1 Samuel 21:3); so was Paul and the apostles (1 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 11:27), and the martyrs (Hebrews 11:37). But if God suffer His people to want temporal things for a time, it is that He may give them better and eternal things in the end. Ordinarily, He who fed Elijah by the ministration of ravens, at the Brook Cherith, does not let His people be without food for the body (1 Kings 17:4-6).
But he casteth away the substance of the wicked. So the Chaldaic and Syriac, which the contrast to the first clause favours. "Substance" [ hawat (H1942), from haawaah, to be]. But others take it in the sense wrong-doing [from howiy, woe] - i:e., wrongly-gotten wealth (Mercer). (Compare Psalms 52:7, end, margin) Maurer takes it here, and in Micah 7:3, 'the desire,' answering to "the soul," in the first member. The Septuagint, and Arabic take it 'the life.' The English version is best.
He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. "Dealeth" -
i.e., doeth his work (cf. Proverbs 12:24; Proverbs 12:27). "A slack hand" - Hebrew, a hand of deceit or negligence, (Jeremiah 48:10, margin) "The diligent" (Hebrew, chaaruwtsiym (H2742), from chaarats (H2782), to cut short, or settle), those who are decisive in all things, who economize their time and means; prompt in movement.
He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.
He that gathereth in summer is a wise son. A characteristic of "wise son" who "maketh a glad father" (Proverbs 10:1). The "summer" or "harvest" time (as the second clause explains it) here represents the seasonable time for providing for ourselves. The time of youth and manhood; not deferring until old age. Also the time of health; not putting off until the time of sickness.
(But) he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame - both to his parents and to himself at the last. Wisdom is similarly opposed to causing shame in Proverbs 14:35; Proverbs 17:2.
Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked - (cf. Proverbs 10:11.) All pray for blessings to descend on the head of the just; and they do so descend. But the penalty of the "violence" of the wicked (namely, the accumulated curses of God and of man) 'covereth their mouth,' so that, covered with shame, they have nothing to say in answer to their enemies, whom they have brought on themselves by their violence. (Psalms 107:42, "All iniquity shall stop her mouth;" cf. Psalms 69:7; Psalms 44:15; Micah 7:10). Haman's face was covered before his execution (Esther 7:8)
The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.
The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot - (cf. Proverbs 10:6, note; Psalms 112:6.) 'Whosoever.' says Rabbi Isaac, 'makes mention of the just, and does not bless him; or of the wicked, and does not curse him, transgresses the affirmative precept here.' The Hebrews use this formula concerning their dead. The name, i:e., the memory, of the wicked shall be treated as a rotten and loathsome thing (Psalms 9:5-6; Ecclesiastes 8:10).
The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
The wise in heart will receive commandments - namely, those of God, and of the servants of God, as to the right regulation of his heart and life (Proverbs 9:9).
But a prating fool shall fall - one who pertinaciously defends his folly, and who can speak nothing except what betrays his folly-literally, 'a fool of lips.' The fool's lips, which are his prominent characteristic, are opposed to the wise man's heart, which is his characteristic. The fool is void of heart - i:e., understanding; therefore, in his self-sufficiency, he will not hear the commandments of God and of His servants; whereas the wise man, conscious of his own weakness, gladly hears the instructions of others.
He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.
He that walketh uprightly walketh surely. "Uprightly," "in integrity" or 'sincerity,' as David did (1 Kings 9:4). "Walketh surely;" safe from the reality and from the apprehension of danger. Hypocrites are in continual danger, and are in fear, of their secret wickedness becoming "known."
But he that perverteth his ways shall be known. He that takes tortuous, crooked ways, like a fox, to prevent himself from being tracked out, shall, with all his pains, be detected. However studiously he conceals his ways, he and they shall be brought to light for punishment (Proverbs 14:33; Ezekiel 19:7). With God to know sin (and He does know all things) is to punish it. The ungodly fancy the straightforward path the path of danger, and that by a crooked course they shall be safe; but the case is just the reverse. Maurer, after Rabbi Salomon, takes it, 'shall be made to know' by punishment (Judges 8:16).
He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.
He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow. "Winketh-namely, with malicious intent (Proverbs 6:13, note). Feigning kindliness to his neighbour, but all the while giving a secret hint or sign to his accomplices to cheat or rob him.
But a prating fool shall fall - Hebrew, 'a fool in lips' (cf. Proverbs 10:8). The connection of the clauses is, To speak feignedly, and to speak rashly, are both alike dangerous: to do the former hurts others, to do the latter hurts one's self. When we avoid cunning and feigned speaking, we are not to run into the opposite extreme of prating folly.
The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life. He speaks words which issue in life (in the highest sense) to himself and to others.
But violence covereth the mouth of the wicked - (note, Proverbs 10:6.) Whereas the righteous man's words issue in life, the wicked man's own violence of words issues in silencing his mouth in death (Psalms 107:42). His violence (ordinarily covert) had been as a stagnant "well" 'covered' over (cf. Proverbs 10:10, note), which sent forth its deadly streams in overt words and acts at every opportunity. Now it shall cover his own mouth. It is striking how often Solomon dwells upon sins of the tongue; no member is so hard to control; none more surely indicates the man.
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. "Stirreth up" - literally, as one lifting up a spear which before had been at rest. So the Hebrew [ `owreer (H5782)] in 2 Samuel 23:18. So hatred disturbs the existing quiet by railings; stirs up dormant quarrels on mere suspicions and trifles, and by unfavourable constructions put on everything, even upon acts of kindness. As hatred by quarrels exposes the faults of others, so 'love covers' them; except in so far as brotherly correction requires their exposure. The reference is not to the covering of our sins before God, but the covering of our fellow-men's sins in respect to others. Love condones, yea, takes no notice of a friend's errors. The disagreements which "hatred stirreth up," love allays; and the offences which are usually the causes of quarrel, it sees as though it saw them not, and excuses them (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). It gives to men the forgiveness which it daily craves from God. It condones past offences, covers present, and guards against future ones (Gejer). (1 Peter 4:8, note.) To abuse this precept into a warrant for silencing all faithful reproofs of sin in others would be to ascribe to charity the office of a procuress (T. Cartwright). Leviticus 19:17-18, plainly tells us in the same context, "Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer ... Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself," and (as the act of true love) "Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him."
In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.
In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding. "Wisdom - i:e., wise speech-brings no rod to the speaker: hut unwise speech brings "a rod" upon "him that is void of understanding." "Wisdom," moreover, is to be learnt from the wise speaker; but you must search for it until it "is found." The wise man's words attest his wisdom; the fool's stripes attest his folly. He who will not be taught understanding by words must be taught it by the "rod." The wise man carries the ornament of his wisdom in his "lips;" the fool shall bear the disgrace of his folly on his "back".
Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. After "the lips" (Proverbs 10:13), the bringers forth of knowledge, follows the mind or memory, its storehouse. The wise lay it up in the mind, so as to bring it forth at the seasonable time (not at random, like fools, but) for the temporal and spiritual benefit of themselves and others (Matthew 12:35; Matthew 13:52) By his spiritual knowledge he wards off from himself and others the destruction which is the result of sin (Psalms 119:11). But the "foolish" has always "near" and reply in his mouth speech such as brings "destruction" on himself as well as on others (Proverbs 12:23). It is a considerable part of wisdom to know when to speak, and when to be silent.
The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty - i:e., in the estimation of the rich and the poor respectively. Though the feelings are distinct, the elated feeling of "the rich," because he has "wealth," and the depressed feeling of the poor, because he has none-yet both alike are guilty of the same error; they overestimate wealth. The rich fancy that their wealth, as their "strong city," will keep them safe from all evil; and the poor are so overwhelmed by poverty as to fear "destruction" by it. But rich and poor forget that "the name of the Lord is" the only "strong tower" (Proverbs 18:10-12; Isaiah 26:1; Psalms 52:5-7).
The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.
The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin. This contrasts with men's false view of riches being a stronghold, and poverty "destruction" (Proverbs 10:15) - the true view of what brings life and what brings destruction. "The labour" or 'reward,' answering in parallelism to "the fruit" - i:e., the revenue or produce from the wicked man's ways (cf. Isaiah 49:4). The words are fitly chosen: "labour" in honest industry is the righteous man's ordinary way of living. 'Revenue' not gained by honest labour is frequently the wicked man's livelihood. The righteous man may or may not acquire by labour a splendid livelihood; but he certainly receives from God the "life" of grace here and of glory hereafter. On the other hand, though the wicked have a large revenue, yet, as they abuse it to "sin," there result is death, begun here in the soul, and consummated in soul and body hereafter, not only to themselves, but to others also by their influence and example.
He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
He (is in) the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth - rather, as margin, 'causeth to err;' and then, for the sake of correspondence, the parallel clause will be, 'The way to life (is) he that keepeth disciplinary instruction' - i:e., he shows the way to life (Maurer). But the Chaldaic takes it much as the English version-`The way of life keepeth disciplinary instruction, and he that leaveth reproof erreth.' Gejer translates the first clause as the English version, or else 'The way of life (is) to keep (the Hebrew participle standing for the infinitive) disciplinary instruction'-namely, the instruction that shows one's errors in faith or life, whether on the part of God by chastisements or on the part of ministers by reproofs. To 'keep disciplinary instruction' is to admit it willingly into the ears, weigh it well in the heart, and show approval of it by obedience. The transitive sense is the more usual of the Hebrew in the latter clause, 'causeth others to err,' as well as erring fatally himself. 'To refuse,' or, literally, 'leave reproof,' is to avoid all occasions where one fears that one's sins will he laid bare-sermons, the faithful reproofs of the godly; and also to shrink from disciplinary chastisement, which God lays on His believing people.
He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
He that hideth hatred (with) lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool - rather, as the verses generally are distichs - i:e., composed of two parallel sentences-`He that hideth (i:e., dissembleth) hatred (is) of lying lips;' i:e., he speaks falsely, in order to hide his hatred, and to deceive his neighbour (Proverbs 12:6, and especially Proverbs 26:24, "He that hateth dissembleth with his lips;" Leviticus 19:17) The slanderer is "a fool," wise as he thinks himself, because he has no control over his evil-speaking tongue, which shall at last cause his perdition. The antithetical contrast is between him that "hideth hatred" and him that "uttereth a slander;" also between him that is of "lying lips" and a "fool." Two faults are here censured, seemingly opposite, but in reality often connected; because hatred is hidden in order that it may break out in slander. It is an abuse of the tongue when one either flatters, while he 'hides hatred' within, or "slanders," with hatred breaking forth.
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. "Refraineth," as with a bridle; because we must by force bridle our tongue as an untameable member (James 3:2-8). People often speak scandal or uncharitableness for want of anything else to say. Xenocrates, in 'Valerius Maximus,' says, 'I have been sometimes sorry that I spoke; I never have been sorry that I was silent.' 'We seldom return to silence without injury to conscience' (Thomas a Kempis, 'Imitation of Christ,' Proverbs 1:10). Not a multitude of words spoken for edification is condemned, but a multitude of words on subjects profane, unprofitable, not sufficiently known, undigested words, truth mixed with falsehood, evil with good, words idle and unseasoned with the salt of grace (cf. Ezekiel 35:13).
The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. "The tongue of the just" is precious, because of the choice and valuable words it utters. "The heart of the wicked" stands in opposition to "the tongue of the just," because the heart is the fountain of the speech (Matthew 12:34). The wicked man's heart, and therefore his speech, is to be despised as nothing worth.
The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.
The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom. "Feed" with instruction, guidance, and consolation (Jeremiah 3:15) "But fools" not only do not spiritually feed others, but themselves "die for want of wisdom?" "The lips of the righteous," full of wisdom, are opposed to the fool's "want of wisdom" in heart, and therefore in speech. "Feed" is opposed to "die." The righteous feed others, and therefore shall live eternally (Daniel 12:3). 'Fools want wisdom,' and therefore shall "die" eternally.
The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it - i:e., with His blessing (Psalms 127:2, note, 'So He giveth (wealth) to His beloved, in sleep' - i:e., without anxiety on their part). "It" is emphatic. "It," and it alone, is the true source of wealth: industry and skill are only means. The blessing of the Lord (including His favour) teaches not only how to obtain and how to keep, but also how cheerfully to use riches (Ecclesiastes 2:24; Ecclesiastes 2:26; Ecclesiastes 3:13; Ecclesiastes 5:17-18). God addeth to the objects of His blessing exemption from the "sorrow" - i:e., anxiety, harass [ `etseb (H6089)] - such as the covetous experience. Solomon received His riches by the special "blessing" of the Lord, without even asking (1 Kings 3:13). So Isaac (Genesis 26:12).
It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom - as his "sport." What he knows by understanding ought to be done, that by wisdom he does. "Wisdom" dictates to him to do just the reverse of the fool: to be serious in avoiding occasions of sin, in warning others against it, and in hating it sternly. So the parallelism requires the sense to be. "Mischief" - literally (Hebrew, zimmah), premeditated and heinous wickedness, as in Judges 20:6. Instead of penitential tears, such as the godly shed, foolish sinners regard sin as "sport," which they openly delight and glory in (Proverbs 14:9; Proverbs 15:21; Isaiah 3:9).The good man's play, recreation, and delight, is to do good: so the Model Man, Messiah (John 4:34).
The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted - literally, '(God) will grant.' The wicked and the righteous respectively shall receive the reward of their course; the wicked what (through the instinct of conscience) he fears; the righteous what he wishes for (through faith and well-grounded hope, Romans 2:6). Though the wicked "sport" (Proverbs 10:23) in doing mischief, yet soon the feeling of sport flees, and there comes in its place fear, through the stings of conscience. Their fear does not drive them to prayer; so their fear proves to be well grounded, because the apprehended destruction comes upon them. On the other hand, the righteous, having a good conscience through faith, have no continuous fear, but a well-grounded desire and hope: and believing prayer ensures the fulfillment of their desire (Psalms 145:19; 1 John 5:14-15; 1 John 3:22-23).
As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.
As the whirlwind passeth, so (is) the wicked no (more) - as rapidly as the whirlwind passes. No wind is more violent or less lasting. So the wicked, the more violent and mischievous they are, the more quickly they fall (cf. Proverbs 1:27).
But the righteous (is) an everlasting foundation. He becomes like the foundation on which he rests, the everlasting God (Matthew 7:24-25; Psalms 15:5, end). He is solid, immovable, always consistent, and his happiness well-founded and eternal (Maimonides). The righteous is the foundation of the world; the world stands for the sake of the righteous.
As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.
As vinegar (is hurtful) to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so (is) the sluggard (hurtful) to them that send him. The sluggard, as a messenger, causes detriment to his employer by either not executing his commission at all, or else executing it badly.
The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
The fear of the Lord prolongeth days - namely, the days of the righteous, beyond the term of life assigned to others (note, Proverbs 9:11). The days of the righteous, by virtue of God's gift of eternal life, shall be forever.
But the years of the wicked shall be shortened - (Psalms 55:23.) Though the sinner's days sometimes seem 'prolonged,' they are at best but a 'shadow, because he feareth not before God.' In estimating length of years, we need to take into the account the eternal years which are before us (Ecclesiastes 8:12-13).
The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
The hope of the righteous (shall be) gladness - i:e., shall have a glad and joyful issue. Though they have many blessings now, their chief portion is in "hope" (Romans 8:24).
But the expectation of the wicked shall perish - i:e., shall be disappointed, and so shall bring not "gladness," but eternal mourning.
The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
The way of the Lord's (is) strength to the upright - i:e., The Lord's appointed way of holiness wherein the upright walk, (is) strength (literally, a stronghold: Hebrew, maa`howz (H4581)) to the upright (literally, to uprightness - i:e., to the man of uprightness): because God protects and upholds them in it, and gives them strength to overcome all fears, misfortunes, and temptations (Psalms 18:30).
But destruction (shall be) to the workers of iniquity - (Psalms 1:6; Psalms 37:20;) namely, because they forsake "the way of the Lord." Mercer, Maurer, etc., take it, 'The way of the Lord is strength to the upright, but destruction to the workers of iniquity.' The same Law of God which is salvation to the godly is destruction to the ungodly (John 5:45; 2 Corinthians 2:16; Hosea 14:9, "The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shah fall therein"). But Gejer thinks the antithesis of the parallel clauses is better marked in the English version. "The way of the Lord" stands in opposition to 'the way of the iniquitous,' understood; "strength," to "destruction;" "the upright," to "the workers of iniquity" (Proverbs 21:15).
The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
The righteous shall never be removed - or disturbed from his strong position of faith in God here, much less from his coming "habitation" and blessed inheritance hereafter. So the antithesis to the succeeding clause requires the sense (John 5:24; Psalms 37:11).
But the wicked shall not inhabit the earth - permanently; in contrast to the righteous meek, who shall inhabit the regenerated earth (Proverbs 2:21; Matthew 5:5).
The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
The mouth of the just bringeth forth, [as fruit produced from a good tree, yaanuwb (H5107 ); Psalms 92:14 ; Matthew 7:17 ] wisdom. It is not by one or two good words that the righteousness of a man is to be estimated, but by continual usage, when one habitually cultivates purity of speech from love of and zeal for the truth (T. Cartwright).
But the froward tongue shall be cut out - as a corrupt tree, which is bringing forth evil fruit, is hewn down and cast into the fire (Matthew 7:17; Matthew 7:19). As "the mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom," and therefore abideth forever, so "the froward tongue," inasmuch as it brings forth folly and sin, "shall be cut off."
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable. "Know" - i:e., have the power, through the divine teaching of the mind and heart, to speak what is acceptable to God, and even to Man_1:-1 :e., to speak spiritual truth in the moat acceptable form (Ecclesiastes 12:10-11; Malachi 2:7).
But the mouth of the wicked (speaketh) frowardness - not things acceptable to God and man, but only froward things, even as he knows nothing but frowardness.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany