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Proverbs 21:1 . The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; as the rivers of water, he turneth it whithersoever he will. The allusion is probably to the water-meads and the ditches in the corn fields, which irrigate the lands by a diversion of the streams. This doctrine asserts the providence of God over the nations, and over the church. God commissioned the king of Assyria to punish the Jews for idolatry. Isaiah 10:5. How remarkably was the heart of Cyrus, of Darius, and of Artaxerxes turned toward the poor and long-afflicted Jews in Babylon. How remarkably did the Lord turn the hearts of the Catholic kings to favour Luther, and other reformers. Surely the Lord is King of kings. Let Zion fear no more.
Proverbs 21:2 . Every way of a man is right in his own eyes. See on Proverbs 16:25.
Proverbs 21:4 . The plowing of the wicked is sin. The LXX, λαμπτηε δε ασεβων αμαετια , Lucerna impiorum peccatum. The lamp of the wicked is sin. Hebrews נר nar or nair, designates both a yoke for the plow, and a lamp, as in 2 Samuel 22:29. “Thou art my lamp, oh Lord.” Also 1 Kings 11:36. “That David my servant may have a light always before me in Jerusalem.” This reading harmonizes the sense of the verse. The high look, the proud heart, and the blaze of the wicked, in equipage and splendour, is sin in the sight of the Lord.
Proverbs 21:13 . Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry, and, not be heard. See on Proverbs 19:17. Some men’s sins are revealed and visited in the present world, others follow to judgment, where the Lord will exclude from his kingdom all the men devoid of charity. Matthew 25:42.
Proverbs 21:16 . The man that wandereth, despising God and his law, shall be gathered to the congregation of the dead. Hebrew, the Rephaim or giants, as described in Genesis 6:4. Job 26:4-5. Those were the men that scoffed at the ark; that were cowards in death, piling rocks on the hills to gain a short reprieve from the deluge. The wicked who despise religion, and the backslider, who wandereth out of the way, would do well to consider what sort of company they are going to join. If the giants were intolerable neighbours on earth, what will they be in hell!
Proverbs 21:22 . A wise man scaleth the city, though defended by warriors. So David, who could not take the strong city of Zion by war, took it by art; for wisdom is better than might. It is then the first duty, and the best wisdom of man, to seek true religion. Grace will conquer the strong man in the heart.
Proverbs 21:27 . The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination to the Lord. So it proved to Balsam and Balak. God despised their seven altars, and sent the sword to destroy them. The prayers of the wicked are perfumed with the ill savour of their sin. He said to the Jews, Bring no more vain oblations to me: incense is an abomination. Wash you, make you clean; then come, and reason with me, saith the Lord.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 21". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13