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v. 1. A wise son heareth his father's instruction, is the object and product of his father' s corrective training; but a scorner heareth not rebuke, no matter how earnestly he is reproved, it makes no impression upon him.
v. 2. A man shall eat good, himself enjoy the benefits, by the fruit of his mouth, as the result of his speaking always with the benefit of others in mind; but the soul of the trangressors shall eat violence, they are satisfied only if they can exercise violence upon others and thus satisfy their appetite for spoil.
v. 3. He that keepeth his mouth, that no evil, sinful speeches issue therefrom, keepeth his life; but he that openeth wide his lips, permitting the evil thoughts of his heart to issue in the form of malignant speeches, shall have destruction, bringing it upon himself as the inevitable consequence of his foolish or sinful indiscretion.
v. 4. The soul of the sluggard desireth, he is always ready to discourse on what he wants and ought to have, and hath nothing, he has no success, because he is too lazy to work for it; but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat, as a result of their industry they possess in abundance what they need.
v. 5. A righteous man hateth lying, deceitful language as well as deceitful matters; but a wicked man is loathsome, all his acts being done in baseness, and cometh to shame, literally, "maketh offensive," he brings disgrace upon every one with whom he comes in contact.
v. 6. Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way, protecting those whose conduct is straightforward, being itself a gift of the Lord; but wickedness overthroweth the sinner, since his sin becomes a snare to his feet, and plunges him into destruction.
v. 7. There is that maketh himself rich, making a pretense of wealth, trying to impress others with the greatness of his resources, yet hath nothing, all his show being idle boasting, empty vaunting; there is that maketh himself poor, making no show of his wealth, which does not necessarily infer deceitful concealment, yet hath great riches. cf Proverbs 12, 9.
v. 8. The ransom of a man's life, that with which he may buy immunity for himself and possibly even save his life, are his riches; but the poor heareth not rebuke, that is, no warning or threatening will have any effect in his case, because he has nothing to give up to the robber or blackmailer.
v. 9. The light of the righteous rejoiceth, burning brightly and cheerfully; he enjoys true happiness no matter what befalls him; but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out, they shall not enjoy true prosperity.
v. 10. Only by pride cometh contention, for those who are arrogantly ambitious always fear rivalry and therefore are always picking quarrels; but with the well-advised, those who are willing to accept counsel, is wisdom.
v. 11. Wealth gotten by vanity, gained by deceit and fraud, shall be diminished, since the blessing of the Lord does not rest upon it; but he that gathereth by labor, by hard, steady, and honest work, shall increase.
v. 12. Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, since the unfulfilled longing is too great a strain for a person; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life, giving new vigor and strength, renewing a person's youth.
v. 13. Whoso despiseth the Word shall be destroyed, even if a person thinks he can mock the will and Word of the Lord, he is still bonded to it and cannot escape the obligation laid on him; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded, he will enjoy blessing and peace.
v. 14. The law of the wise is a fountain of life, his teaching being like a spring which yields new understanding and strength every day, to depart from the snares of death, for wisdom enables him to recognize and to avoid such snares.
v. 15. Good understanding giveth favor, that is, proper prudence, true culture, causes men to have a high and kindly regard for those who possess it; but the way of transgressors is hard, the selfishness of the ungodly and malicious causes them to be hard, utterly lacking in sympathy, and therefore also desolate and unfruitful.
v. 16. Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge, with a careful weighing of all facts as presented to him; but a fool layeth open his folly, exposing it, spreading it before the eyes of all men, showing off his folly.
v. 17. A wicked messenger falleth into mischief, causing his errand to fail; but a faithful ambassador is health, like healing medicine to a smarting wound or like a tonic to the weary person, his faithful energy yielding such pleasant benefits.
v. 18. Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction, declining to accept correction and moral training; but he that regarded reproof, observing it carefully, accepting it willingly, shall be honored.
v. 19. The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, if it is fulfilled and appeased, the resulting gratification is most pleasant; but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil, because they desire only the morally objectionable and refuse to consider anything else.
v. 20. He that walketh with wise men, making them his companions and listening to their counsel, shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed, or, lie who attendeth fools tendeth to folly," and therefore becomes base, partaking of their meanness.
v. 21. Evil pursueth sinners, as their well-merited punishment; but to the righteous good shall be repaid, that is, God rewards him in mercy for his efforts on the way of sanctification.
v. 22. A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children, his estate being transmitted to them complete, as a result of God's blessing upon him; and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just, the latter eventually becoming the possessor of that which the sinner squanders.
v. 23. Such food Is in the till-age of the poor, that is, he who with much labor clears and breaks up land, tilling it with all diligence, will be rewarded with a rich harvest; but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment, for lack of uprightness, attempting to gain by fraud and violence what he ought to obtain by lawful labor.
v. 24. He that spareth his rod hateth his son, for it is not love, but the lack of love, which causes parents to forget and set aside their parental power and duty in correcting their children, if necessary, with the rod; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes, applying correction in the measure required by the occasion, Proverbs 3:12; Proverbs 23:13-14; Proverbs 29:15.
v. 25. The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul, the Lord granting him enough to satisfy all his needs; but the belly of the wicked shall want, not only because the Lord often punishes their wickedness with a lack of the necessities of life, but because their enjoyment of them is often not attended with true happiness.
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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 13". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany