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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 19

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and HomileticalLange's Commentary

Verses 1-29

δ) Admonition to humility, mildness, and gentleness

Chap. 19

1     Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity

than he that is perverse in speech and is a fool.

2     Where the soul hath no knowledge there likewise is no good,

and he that is of a hasty foot goeth astray.

3     The foolishness of man ruineth his way,

yet against Jehovah is his heart angry.

4     Wealth maketh many friends,

but the poor is parted from his friend.

5     A false witness shall not go unpunished,

and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.

6     Many court the favor of the noble,

and every one is friend to him that giveth.

7     All the brethren of the poor hate him,

how much more doth his acquaintance withdraw;—
he seeketh words (of friendship) and there are none.

8     He that getteth understanding loveth his soul,

he that keepeth wisdom shall find good.

9     A false witness shall not go unpunished,

he that speaketh lies shall perish.

10     Luxury becometh not the fool,

much less that a servant rule over princes.

11     The discretion of a man delayeth his anger,

and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

12     The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion,

but as dew upon the grass is his favor.

13     A foolish son is trouble upon trouble to his father,

and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

14     House and riches are an inheritance from fathers,

but from Jehovah cometh a prudent wife.

15     Slothfulness sinketh into inaction,

and an idle soul shall hunger.

16     He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his soul,

he that despiseth his ways shall die.

17     He lendeth to the Lord, that hath pity on the poor,

and his bounty will He requite for him.

18     Correct thy son while there is still hope,

but to slay him thou shalt not seek.

19     A man of great wrath suffereth punishment,

for if thou wardest it off thou must do it again.

20     Hearken to counsel and receive instruction,

that thou mayest be wise afterward.

21     There are many devices in a man’s heart,

but Jehovah’s counsel, that shall stand.

22     A man’s delight (glory) is his beneficence,

and better is a poor man than a liar.

23     The fear of Jehovah tendeth to life;

one abideth satisfied, and cannot be visited of evil.

24     The slothful thrusteth his hand in the dish,

and will not even raise it to his mouth again.

25     Smite the scorner and the simple will be wise,

reprove the prudent and he will understand wisdom.

26     He that doeth violence to his father, and chaseth away his mother,

is a son that bringeth shame and causeth disgrace.

27     Cease, my son, to hear instruction

to depart from the words of wisdom.

28     A worthless witness scoffeth at judgment,

and the mouth of the wicked devoureth mischief.

29     Judgments are prepared for scorners,

and stripes for the back of fools.


Proverbs 19:15. Altogether unnecessarily Hitzig proposes to read תֹּכִיל instead of תַּפִּיל and תְּרָדִים instead of תַּרְדֵמָה, and translates “slothfulness gives tasteless herbs to eat.” [K. calls this a “remarkable alteration of the text;” and Rueetschi pronounces it “nothing but a shrewd fancy of Hitzig’s”].

Proverbs 19:16. Instead of the K’thibh יוּמַת, “shall be put to death,” (the familiar expression of the Mosaic law for the infliction of the death penalty), the K’ri reads more mildly יָמוּת, which is probably original in Proverbs 15:10, but not here.—Instead of בֹּוזֶה Hitzig reads in accordance with Jeremiah 3:13 פּוֹזֵר: “He that scattoreth his ways,” but by this process reaches a meaning undoubtedly much too artificial, which furthermore is not sufficiently justified by an appeal to Proverbs 11:24; Job 31:7. [While Gesen. makes the primary meaning of בָּזָה “to tread under foot,” Fuerst makes it “to scatter, divide, waste,” and interprets the “dividing one’s ways” as a want of conformity to the one established worship. This is in his view the antithesis to “keeping the commandment.” The only other passage in which he finds this literal meaning of the verb is Psalms 73:20, where De Wette (see Comm. in loco) admits that this would be a simpler completion of the verse, but thinks himself obliged to take the verb, as has usually been done, in the sense of “despise.” Fuerst’s rendering and antithesis seem preferable.—A.].

Proverbs 19:19. Instead of the K’thibh גְּרָל (which would probably require to be explained by “hard” or “frequent,” as Schultens and Ewald explain it from the Arabic), we must give the preference to the K’ri, which also has the support of the early translators. [Fuerst takes the same view]. Hitzig’s emendation, גֹמֵל instead of גְדָל (he that dealeth in anger) is therefore superfluous.

Proverbs 19:23. רַע “Calamity, evil” is attached to the passive verb יִפָּקֵד as an accusative of more exact limitation.—Hitzig reads instead of יִפְחַד יפקד, so that the resulting meaning is: “one stretches himself (?) rests, fears no sorrow” (?).

Proverbs 19:25. הוֹכִיחַ in clause b is either to be regarded as an unusual Imperative form (= הוֹכֵחַ), [so B., M., S.], or, which is probably preferable, as a finito verb with an indefinite pronoun to be supplied as its subject (τις, quisquam, Einer, one); so Mercer, Hitzig. [Fuerst calls it an Inf. constr., and Bött. would without hesitation read תּוֹכִיחַ (§ 1051, d).—A.].

Proverbs 19:27. Hitzig alters לִשְׁמֹעַ to לִשְׁמֹץ which according to Arabic analogies is to be interpreted “to be rebellious, to reject.”


1.Proverbs 19:1-7. Admonitions to meekness and tenderness as they are to be manifested especially toward the poor.—Better is a poor man that walketh in his integrity than he that is perverse in speech and is a fool. The “crooked in lips” (comp. the crooked or perverse in heart, Proverbs 11:20; Proverbs 17:20) is here doubtless the proud man who haughtily and scornfully misuses his lips; for to refer the expression to strange and false utterances is less natural on account of the antithesis to “the poor” in clause a. The ideas contrasted are on the one hand that of the “poor” and therefore humble, and “perverse of lips,” and on the other hand the predicates to these conceptions, “walking in innocence,” and the “fool” (i.e., foolish and ungodly at the same time, the direct opposite of humble innocence). There is therefore no need of substituting some such word as עָֹשִׁיר (rich, mighty) for כְּסִיל (the fool), as the Syr., Vulg. and Hitzig do, nor yet of conceiving of the fool as the “rich fool,” as most of the later interpreters judge. Proverbs 28:6, where, with a perfect identity in the first clauses, the “rich” is afterward mentioned instead of the “fool,” cannot decide the meaning of this latter expression, because the second member differs in other respects also from that of the proverb before us, “his ways” being mentioned instead of “his lips.”

Proverbs 19:2. Where the soul hath no knowledge there likewise is no good. גַם, also, stands separated by Hyperbaton from the word to which it immediately relates, as in Proverbs 20:11 (see remarks above on Proverbs 13:10); the “not-knowing” of the soul, is by the parallel “of hasty foot,” in clause b, more exactly defined as a want of reflection and consideration; the soul finally, is here essentially the desiring soul, or if one chooses, the “desire,” the very longing after enjoyment and possession (comp. Proverbs 13:2; Proverbs 16:26). So likewise “he that hasteth with his feet” is undoubtedly to be conceived of as one striving fiercely and passionately for wealth; comp. the “hasting to be rich,” Proverbs 27:20, and also 1 Timothy 6:9-10.

Proverbs 19:3. The foolishness of man ruineth his way. The verb סַלֵּף is not “to make rugged or uneven” (Umbreit, Elster) but præcipitare, “to hurl headlong, throw prostrate, bring suddenly down,” which is its ordinary meaning; comp. Proverbs 13:6; Proverbs 21:12. The verb in clause b is to rage, to murmur, i.e., here to accuse Jehovah as the author of the calamity; comp. Exodus 16:8; Lamentations 3:39; Sir 15:11 sq.

Proverbs 19:4. Comp. Proverbs 14:20; also, below, Proverbs 19:6 sq.—But the poor is parted from his friend, that is, because the latter wishes to have no further acquaintance with him, separates his way wholly from him; comp. Proverbs 19:7, b.

Proverbs 19:5. A false witness shall not go unpunished; comp. Proverbs 17:5, and for the expression “uttereth or breatheth out lies” in clause b, comp. Proverbs 6:19; Proverbs 14:5. The entire proverb occurs again in Proverbs 19:9, literally repeated as far as the “shall not escape” at the conclusion, for which in the second instance there appears “shall perish.” Hitzig it is true proposes also the exchange for the phrase “he that speaketh lies” in 9, b, “he that breatheth out evil;” but the LXX can hardly be regarded as sufficiently reliable witnesses for the originality of this divergent reading.

Proverbs 19:6. Many court the favor of the noble, lit. “stroke the face,” i.e., flatter him (Job 11:19) who is noble and at the same time liberal, him who is of noble rank (not precisely “a prince” in the specific sense, Elster) and at the same time of noble disposition, comp. Proverbs 17:7; Proverbs 17:26. If accordingly the “noble” expresses something morally valuable and excellent, the “gift” in clause b cannot express anything morally reprehensible, but must rather be employed in the same good sense as in Proverbs 18:16. “The man of a gift” will therefore be the generous, he who gives cheerfully, and the “aggregate” or “mass” of friends (כָּל־הָרֵעַ) whom he secures by his gifts, will be lawfully gained friends and not bribed or hired creatures. The right conception is expressed as early as the translation of the Vulg., while the LXX, Chald. and Syr., embodying the common assumption which finds in the verse a censure of unlawful gifts for bribery, go so far as to read כָּל־הָרָע “every wicked man” (πᾶς ὁ κακὸς, etc.).

Proverbs 19:7. Comp. Proverbs 19:4, b.—How much more do his acquaintance withdraw from him. מֵרֵעַ (comp. remarks on Proverbs 12:26) we shall be obliged to take here as an abstract with a collective sense (“his friendship”= his friends), for only in this way is the plural of the verb to be explained (for which Hitzig arbitrarily proposes to write יִרְחַק).—He seeketh words (of friendship)—and there are none. In some such way as this we must explain the third clause, with which this verse seems remarkably enriched (comp. Umbreit and Elster on the passage); the K’thibh is to be adhered to, [so Bött. II., p. 60, n. 4) which evidently gives a better meaning than the K’ri, לוֹ ה׀ in interpreting which so as to conform to the context expositors have vainly labored in many ways (e.g. Ewald: “he that seeketh words, to him they belong;” in like manner Bertheau).—The LXX instead of this third clause, which does indeed stand in an exceptional form, like the fragmentary remnant of a longer proverb, have two whole verses; the second of these: ὁ πολλὰ κακοποιῶν τελεσιουργεῖ κακίαν, ὅς δὲ ἐρεθίζει λόγους, οὐ σωθήσεται [“he that does much harm perfects mischief; and he that uses provoking words shall not escape:” Brenton’s Transl. of the LXX], seems at least to come tolerably near to the original sense of the passage. Hitzig through several emendations obtains from this the sense

“He that is after gossip hatcheth mischief,
hunting after words which are nothing.”
Others, as Bertheau, e.g., infer from the οὐ σωθήσεται of the LXX, that the original text instead of לֹא חֵמָּה (they are not) exhibited לֹא יִמָּלֵט (shall not escape), but they supply no definite proof that this is original. At any rate we must conclude that our present text is defective, inasmuch as verses of three members in the main division of the Book of Proverbs which is now before us occur nowhere else. (This is otherwise, it is true, in Division I.; see remarks above on Proverbs 7:22-23, and also in the supplement of Hezekiah’s men: Comp. Introd., § 14).

2.Proverbs 19:8-17. Further admonitions to mildness, patience, pity, and other prominent manifestations of true wisdom.—He that getteth understanding (comp. Proverbs 15:32) loveth his soul; comp. the opposite, Proverbs 8:36; Proverbs 29:24. For the construction of the predicate לִמְצֹא טוֹב in clause b compare notes on Proverbs 18:24; for the expression of Proverbs 16:20, etc.

Proverbs 19:9. Comp. notes on Proverbs 19:5.

Proverbs 19:10. Luxury becometh not the fool. Comp. Proverbs 17:7; Proverbs 26:1; and for clause b, Proverbs 30:22; Ecclesiastes 10:7; Sir 11:5.—Inasmuch as luxury naturally and originally belongs only to princes and the like exalted personages, clause b stands as the climax of a. That “servants rule over princes” will, it is true, not readily occur among common slaves in their relation to their masters; it may however the more easily happen at the courts of oriental despots, who frequently enough exalt their favorites of humble rank above all the nobles of the realm.

Proverbs 19:11. The discretion of a man delayeth his anger, makes him patient, lit. “lengthens, prolongs his anger,” [in the sense of defers rather than extends it; his patience is what is “lengthened out” and not his passion]; comp. Isaiah 48:9, as well as Proverbs 14:17, above, in regard to impatience as the token of a fool.—And his glory is to pass over transgression, lit., “to go away over transgression,” comp. Micah 7:18.

Proverbs 19:12. Roaring like that of a lion is the wrath of a king; comp. Proverbs 26:2; also Proverbs 16:14; Proverbs 28:15. With the figure of the sweetly refreshing dew in clause b compare Proverbs 16:15; Psalms 72:6.

Proverbs 19:13. A foolish son is stroke upon stroke to his father. The plural “troubles, calamities,” expresses the repetition, the succession of many calamities; Umbreit and Hitzig therefore will translate “ruin upon ruin;” comp. also Ziegler “a sea of evils.”—And the brawling of a wife is a continual dropping; for this latter phrase see also Proverbs 27:15; a pertinent figure, reminding of the distilling of the dew in 12, b, although contrasted with it in its impression. The scolding words of the bad wife are as it were the single drops of the steady rain, as her perpetual temper pours itself out.

Proverbs 19:14. Comp. Proverbs 18:22, and the German and English proverb according to which “marriages are made in heaven” [“a proverb which,” says Archbishop Trench, “it would have been quite impossible for all antiquity to have produced, or even remotely to have approached”].

Proverbs 19:15. Slothfulness sinketh into torpor; lit., “causeth deep sleep to fall” (comp. Genesis 2:21), brings upon man stupor and lethargy; comp. Proverbs 6:9-10.—With clause b compare Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 12:23.

Proverbs 19:16. With clause a comp. Proverbs 16:17; Ecclesiastes 8:5.—He that taketh no heed to his ways shall die.—See critical notes.

Proverbs 19:17—With clause a compare Proverbs 14:31; with b, Proverbs 12:14; with the general sentiment (which appears also in the Arabic collection of Meidani), Ecclesiastes 11:1; Matthew 25:40; Luke 6:30-35.

3.Proverbs 19:18-21. Admonition to gentleness in parents and children, with respect to the work of education.—Correct thy son while there is still hope,—that is, that he may reform and come to the true life. This last phrase “while there is hope” appears also in Job 11:18; Jeremiah 31:16 sq.—With b compare Proverbs 23:13. [Rueetschi calls attention to the deep import of this second clause, ordinarily misunderstood. It is not a caution against excess of severity, but against the cruel kindness that kills by withholding seasonable correction. He suggests as further parallels Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 3:12; Proverbs 22:15; Sir 30:1.—A.]

Proverbs 19:19. A man of great wrath suffereth punishment.—One “great of wrath” is one who has great wrath (Daniel 11:44; 2 Kings 22:13); comp. Jeremiah 32:19 : “One great in counsel.”—For if thou wardest it off thou must do it again.—For this use of חִצִּיל, lit., “deliver,”—with reference to the ruinous action of angry and contentious men specifically to “avert or ward off” (Hitzig), comp. 2 Samuel 14:6. [But this very passage favors more the common rendering; for the object is personal, which requires the meaning “take away, i.e., deliver,” while the rendering preferred by Z. and Hitzig demands for the object the עֹנֶשׁ, punishment, of clause a. De W., B., N., S., M., W. agree with this view, while K. supports the general idea of Z.—A.] The last phrase can express only the idea that such an interposition must be frequently repeated, and therefore that in spite of all efforts to the contrary the wrathful man must still at last fall into calamity and punishment. The entire verse accordingly gives a reason for the dissuasion in Proverbs 19:18 against too violent passion in the correction of disobedient children [but see the supplementary note in regard to the true meaning of clause b]; yet this is not done in any such way that the “thou must do it again” would refer to frequent corrections, and so to the sure prospect of real reformation, as many of the older expositors maintain.

Proverbs 19:20. Comp. Proverbs 12:15. Afterward—lit., in thy future, comp. Job 3:7; Job 42:12.

Proverbs 19:21 gives the constant direction toward God which the wise conduct of the well trained son must take during his later life. Comp. Proverbs 16:1; Proverbs 16:9.

4.Proverbs 19:22-29. Miscellaneous admonitions, relating especially to humanity, truthfulness, the fear of God, etc.A man’s delight is his beneficence.—חֶסֶד (comp. note on Proverbs 3:3) is here to be taken in the sense of the active manifestation of love, or charitableness, for it is not the loving disposition, but only its exhibition in liberal benefactions and offerings prompted by love to others, that can be the object of man’s longing, desire or delight: [Fuerst renders “Zier,” ornament, honor.] Comp. Acts 20:35 : “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” With this conception of clause a the preference expressed in b best corresponds,—that of the poor and lowly to the “man of lies,” i.e., the rich man who promises aid, and might give it, but as a selfish, hard-hearted man, still fails to render it.—The LXX and Vulg. deviate somewhat in the first clause from the literal rendering of the original. From their readings, which moreover differ somewhat the one from the other, Hitzig has by combination reached what he represents as the original meaning: “From the revenue (?) of a man comes his kind gift.”

Proverbs 19:23. With a compare Proverbs 14:27.—One abideth satisfied and cannot be visited of evil,—because Jehovah does not suffer such as fear Him to hunger (Proverbs 10:3), but in every way protects, promotes and blesses them (Proverbs 10:29; Proverbs 14:26; Proverbs 18:10, etc.). The subject of the verbs in clause b is strictly the possessor of the fear of God, the devout man.

Proverbs 19:24. The slothful thrusteth his hand in the dish, etc.—An allusion to the well-known method of eating among Oriental nations, which needs no knife and fork. A similar figure to characterize the slothful is found in Proverbs 12:27. Compare also the proverb in Proverbs 26:15, which in the first half corresponds literally with the one before us.

Proverbs 19:25. Smite the scorner and the simple will be wise.—Since the scorner, according to Proverbs 13:1 (see notes on this passage), “heareth not rebuke,” but is absolutely irreclaimable, the simple who “becometh wise” in view of the punishment with which the other is visited, will be such a one as is not yet quite a scorner, but is in danger of becoming so, and therefore must be deterred by fear of the penalty. In contrast with this “simple” one who walks in the right way only by constraint (comp. remarks on Proverbs 1:4), the “man of understanding,” he who is really prudent, learns at once on mere and simple reproof, because he has in general finer powers to discriminate between good and evil (Hebrews 5:14), and has moreover a reliable tendency to good.

Proverbs 19:26. He that doeth violence to his father.—The verb שִׁדֵּד signifies “to assail violently, roughly, to misuse,” as in Proverbs 14:15; Psalms 17:9.—הִבְרִיחַ is then “to cause to flee, thrust or chase away.”—With b compare Proverbs 13:5; with מֵבִישׁ in particular Proverbs 10:5.

Proverbs 19:27. Cease, my son, to hear instruction to depart from the words of wisdom.—Two conceptions are possible: 1) The “instruction” is that of wisdom itself, and therefore a good, wholesome discipline that leads to life; then the meaning of the verse can be only ironical, presenting under the appearance of a dissuasion from discipline in wisdom a very urgent counsel to hear and receive it (so Ewald, Bertheau, Elster). [To call this “ironical” seems to us a misnomer. “Cease to hear instruction only to despise it.” What can be more direct or literally pertinent? Cease to hear “for the departing,” i.e., to the end, with the sole result of departure.—A.] 2) The “instruction” is evil and perverted, described in clause b as one that causes departure from the words of wisdom. Then the admonition is one seriously intended (thus most of the old expositors, and Umbreit [W., H., N., S., etc.]). We must choose for ourselves between the two interpretations, although the connection in which the proverb stands with the preceding verse seems to speak decidedly for the former of the two.

Proverbs 19:28. A worthless witness scoffeth at judgmenti.e., by the lies which he utters.—And the mouth of the wicked devoureth mischief,i.e., mischief is the object of his passionate desire; it is a real enjoyment to him to produce calamity; he swallows it eagerly as if it were a sweet fruit (Job 20:12; Isaiah 28:4): he “drinketh it in like water” (Job 15:16). Thus apprehended the expression “to devour mischief or wrong” has nothing at all offensive in it, and we do not need either with the Chaldee (comp. Geier, etc.) to get rid of it by exchanging the idea of “devouring” for that of “uttering,” or in any other way; nor with Hitzig (following the LXX) to read instead of “mischief” (אָוֶן) “justice (דִּין), and to translate accordingly “and the mouth of the wicked devoureth justice.”

Proverbs 19:29. Judgments are prepared for scorners and stripes for the back of fools.—The “scorners” are quite the same as the “fools,” as the first clause of Proverbs 19:25 shows; and the “stripes” (the term the same as in Proverbs 18:6) are a special form of “judicial penalties or judgments.” The verse as a whole, with which Proverbs 14:3; Proverbs 26:3 should be compared, stands in the relation of an explanation to the preceding, especially to the idea that the wicked eagerly devours calamity. [Their eagerness is not forgotten by a just God, and fitting judgments await them.—A.]


In the considerably rich and varied contents of the chapter, that which stands forth most conspicuously as the leading conception and central idea is the idea of the gentleness and mildness to be manifested in intercourse with one’s neighbors. Gentleness and an humble devotion, ready even for suffering, man ought to exhibit first of all toward God, against whom it is not proper to complain even in calamity (Proverbs 19:3), who is in all things to be trusted (Proverbs 19:14; Proverbs 19:17), according to whose wise counsels it is needful always to shape the life (Proverbs 19:21), and in whose fear one should ever walk (Proverbs 19:23). Not less is a gentle demeanor a duty for the married in their mutual intercourse (Proverbs 19:13-14); for parents in the training of their children (Proverbs 19:18-19; Proverbs 19:25); for children toward their parents (Proverbs 19:20; Proverbs 19:26): for the rich in dispensing benefactions among the poor (Proverbs 19:1; Proverbs 19:4; Proverbs 19:7; Proverbs 19:22); for rulers and kings toward their subjects (Proverbs 19:12; comp. Proverbs 19:6; Proverbs 19:10); for men in general in their intercourse with their neighbors (Proverbs 19:11; comp. Proverbs 19:19; Proverbs 19:27-28). By far the larger number of the proverbs in the chapter are therefore arranged with reference to this leading and underlying conception of gentleness; the whole presents itself as a thorough unfolding of the praises and commendations of meekness in the New Testament, which are well known; e.g., Matthew 5:5; James 1:20-21.—Only some single proverbs are less aptly classified in this connection, such as the warning against hasty, inconsiderate, rash action (Proverbs 19:2); that against untruthfulness (Proverbs 19:9; Proverbs 19:28); against slothfulness (Proverbs 19:15; Proverbs 19:24); against folly and a mocking contempt of the holy (Proverbs 19:8; Proverbs 19:16; Proverbs 19:29). And yet these interspersed sentences of a somewhat incongruous stamp do not by any means essentially disturb the connection of the whole which is maintained and ruled by the fundamental idea of gentleness.

Therefore we may very suitably, in the homiletical treatment of the chapter as a whole, take this as the general subject: The praise of meekness, as it is to be exhibited, 1) in respect to God, by the quiet reception of His word (James 1:21), and bringing forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:15): 2) in relation to one’s neighbors, by humility, obedience, love, compassion, etc.—Comp. Stöcker: Against contempt of poor neighbors: 1) Dissuasion from this peculiarly evil fruit of wrath and uncharitableness (Proverbs 19:1-15); 2) enumeration of some of the chief means to be used against wrath in general (remedia, s. relinacula iræ, Proverbs 19:16-29).—Wohlfarth: On contempt of the poor, and the moderation of anger.

Proverbs 19:1-7. Geier (on Proverbs 19:1): To the pious poor it may impart a strong consolation, that notwithstanding their poverty they are better esteemed in the sight of God than a thousand ungodly and foolish rich men.—Berleburg Bible (on Proverbs 19:1): He who has nothing that is his own, who accounts himself the poorest of all men, who sees nothing good in himself, and yet with all this stands in the uprightness of his heart and in all simplicity, is far more pleasing to God than the souls that are rich in endowments and in learning, and yet despise and deride the simple.—Starke (on Proverbs 19:4): Art thou forsaken by thy friends, by father and mother, by all men, be of good comfort! if it be only on account of goodness, God will never forsake thee.—(On Proverbs 19:6-7): We often trust in men more than in God, but find very often that this hope in men is abortive, and is brought to shame.—[Robert Hall (on Proverbs 19:2): Sermon on the advantages of knowledge to the lower classes.—T. Adams (on Proverbs 19:4): Solomon says not the rich man, but riches; it is the money, not the man, they hunt.]

Proverbs 19:8-17. [Muffet (on Proverbs 19:8): Every one hath a heart, but every one possesseth not his heart. He possesseth his heart that, furnishing it with knowledge of the truth, holdeth his heart firm and fast therein, not suffering his courage to fail, nor losing that good possession which he hath gotten.—Chalmers (on Proverbs 19:10): With all the preference here expressed for virtuous poverty—the seemliness of rank and the violence done by the upstart rule of the lower over the higher, are not overlooked.]—Melanchthon (on Proverbs 19:10): The ungoverned and uneducated are in prosperous conditions only the more insolent and base, as, e.g., Rehoboam, when he became king, Alexander the Great after his great victories, etc.Tübingen Bible (on Proverbs 19:11): It is great wisdom to bear injustice with patience, and to overcome and even to gain over one’s persecutors with benefits, 1 Peter 2:19; Matthew 5:44 sq.—(On Proverbs 19:13-14): God’s wise providence manifests itself very specially in the bestowal of good and pious partners in marriage.—Von Gerlach (on Proverbs 19:17): The poor the Lord regards as specially His own, and therefore adjusts those debts of theirs which they cannot pay.—Berleb. Bible: With that which the righteous man dispenses in benefactions to the poor, he is serving God in his counsels with respect to men.—[Lord Bacon (on Proverbs 19:11): As for the first wrong, it does but offend the law; but the revenge of that wrong putteth the law out of office. Certainly, in taking revenge a man is but even with his enemy, but in passing it over he is superior.—Trapp (on Proverbs 19:11): The manlier any man is, the milder and readier to pass by an offence. When any provoke us we say, We will be even with him. There is a way whereby we may be not even with him, but above him, and that is, forgive him.—Arnot: The only legitimate anger is a holy emotion directed against an unholy thing. Sin, and not our neighbor, must be its object; zeal for righteousness, and not our own pride, must be its distinguishing character.—Muffet (on Proverbs 19:17): The Lord will not only pay for the poor man, but requite him that gave alms with usury, returning great gifts for small. Give, then, thy house, and receive heaven; give transitory goods, and receive a durable substance; give a cup of cold water and receive God’s Kingdom.—W. Bates: As there are numerous examples of God’s blasting the covetous, so it is as visible He prospers the merciful, sometimes by a secret blessing dispensed by an invisible hand, and sometimes in succeeding their diligent endeavors in their callings.]

Proverbs 19:18-21. Tübingen Bible: Cruelty to children is no discipline. Wisdom is needful, that one in the matter of strictness may do neither too much nor too little to them.—Zeltner: Too sharp makes a notched edge, and too great strictness harms more than it helps, not only in the discipline of children, but in all stations and relations.—Starke (on Proverbs 19:21): God is the best counsellor. Who ever enters upon His cause with Him must prosper in it.—[J. Foster: The great collective whole of the “devices” of all hearts constitutes the grand complex scheme of the human race for their happiness. Respecting the object of every device God has His design. There is in the world a want of coalescence between the designs of man and God; an estranged spirit of design on the part of man. God’s design is fixed and paramount, and “shall stand.”]

Proverbs 19:22-29. Melanchthon (on Proverbs 19:25): Not all, it is true, are improved by the warning example of the correction which comes upon the wicked, but some, that is, those who are rational and not insane, those who hearken to admonition and follow it.—Starke (on Proverbs 19:25): The final aim of all penalty should be the improvement as well of him who is punished as of others who may there see themselves mirrored—(On Proverbs 19:26): He who would not experience shame and sorrow of heart from his children, let him accustom them seasonably to obedience, to the fear of God and reverence—J. Lange: God’s word is the right rule and measure of our life. Whosoever departs from this, his instruction is deceitful and ruinous.—Hasius (on Proverbs 19:29): Every sin, whether great or small, has by God’s ordinance its definite penalty. Happy he who recognizes this, and knows how to shun these punishments.

[Bp. Hall (on Proverbs 19:22): That which should be the chief desire of a man is his beneficence and kindness to others; and if a rich man promise much and perform nothing, a poor man that is unable either to undertake or perform is better than he.—Arnot: A poor man is better than a liar; a standard has been set up in the market place to measure the pretences of men withal, and those who will not employ it must take the consequences.—Chalmers (on Proverbs 19:23): Religion may begin with fear, but will end in the sweets and satisfactions of a spontaneous and living principle of righteousness.—Bp. Sherlock (on Proverbs 19:27); Since the fears and apprehensions of guilt are such strong motives to infidelity, the innocence of the heart is absolutely necessary to the freedom of the mind. We must answer for the vanity of our reasonings as well as the vanity of our actions, and if we take pains to invent vain reasoning to oppose to the plain evidence that God has afforded us of His being and power, and to undermine the proofs and authority on which religion stands, we may be sure we shall not go unpunished.]

Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Proverbs 19". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lcc/proverbs-19.html. 1857-84.
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