Proverbs 13:1. A wise son heareth his father’s instruction. This maxim is in substance often repeated, it being of the last importance to hear the wisdom of a father proceeding from so much love, and sanctioned by long experience. And he who hearkens to a wise father is here called a wise son; while he who rejects paternal counsel altogether is branded with the name of a scorner.
Proverbs 13:2. Transgressors shall eat violence. The Septuagint, “Shall perish before their time,” or die by the hand of justice.
Proverbs 13:3. He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life. This is thought primarily to refer to the councils of the state; but it has a secondary bearing on all public parties and questions. A man should know when to be decided in speech and conduct, and when to keep silence.
Proverbs 13:7. There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing. The miser, and the man who lives beyond his income. Or we may read, “that feigneth himself rich.” To affect and make a display of wealth, is pride and ostentation; and if he be about to surrender to his creditors, it is hypocrisy, assumed with a view to impose on the public. A merchant about to break, has been known to enlarge his mansion, and make adjacent plantations at midsummer.
Proverbs 13:8. The ransom of a man’s life are his riches. King Ina’s laws are still extant. He reigned over the West Saxons in Somerset, and other counties. We there find a fine fixed for every crime: the poor were left to pay with the loss of their heads, having no money. This fear awed them from the commission of crimes, which subjected the offender to rebuke and punishment.
Proverbs 13:9. The light of the righteous—the lamp of the wicked. Light and lamp, in the figurative language of scripture, designate wisdom or counsel, prosperity, children or posterity.
Proverbs 13:11. Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished. This was the opinion of the ancient Hebrews; and this also is the opinion of the modern English. In my travels I have often been struck with hearing of the history of fortunes gained by the slavetrade, by privateering, by lotteries, or wanton risks of speculation.
Proverbs 13:12. Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. This is true of the pleasures, honours and riches of the age. But the christian is supported in his heavenly expectations by the earnests of his future hopes.
Proverbs 13:13. The word, divine revelation. The commandment, the law of God. Without the former there is no salvation; but in keeping the latter there is great reward.
Proverbs 13:14. The law of the wise is a fountain of life. A good minister, says Erasmus, has a fountain of eloquence in his own breast. Lib. Ecclesiastes The words of Christ are spirit, and they are life. The promises of God revive the sinner’s soul with hope, with life and righteousness, the earnests of eternal joy.
Proverbs 13:22. The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. Perhaps God will drive him from his seat of wickedness by an untimely death. Good men may then become guardians to his children, or marry his daughters. Perhaps he will run through his fortune, and his industrious neighbours may purchase his lands. Let us hence learn to love righteousness, and to ensure the heavenly inheritance.
Proverbs 13:24. He that spareth the rod, hateth his son. Every child wishes to follow his own inclinations: and if these are to be indulged and confirmed, then every man must quarrel with his family, and quarrel with his neighbours. Children should therefore be taught obedience and submission; and in all cases cheerfully to give up their own will when it is improper to gratify it. We should accustom them to filial obedience by arguments, and all the sweetness of parental influence: but when stubbornness and revolt spring up in the heart, and when our words, like a knife blunted by use, have no effect, then we must use the rod, and maintain the authority of a father in the house. If we neglect this severer duty, we may be said to hate our son, by basely suffering those evils to become so enrooted in his heart as ultimately to prove his ruin. Let us at the same time be reminded, that all the Lord’s chastisements are intended to do us the same good.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 13". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany