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That walketh in his integrity; who is upright in his words and actions.
That is perverse in his lips; that useth to speak wickedly, which proceeds from a wicked heart, and is usually attended with an evil life.
Is a fool; is a hypocrite, or a wicked man, for this is opposed to the upright man in the former clause; yea, though he be rich, which is implied from the same clause.
The soul; which is the principal cause and director of all men’s actions.
Without knowledge; without wisdom or prudence to discern his way, and what and how he ought to act in his several cases and concernments.
It is not good; it is very evil and pernicious.
That hasteth with his feet; that rashly and headily rusheth into actions without serious consideration. So two vices are here censured, the want of knowledge, and the neglect or disuse of knowledge in a man’s actions.
Perverteth his way; either.
1. Enticeth him to sin. Or rather,
2. Crosseth and blasteth his designs and enterprises, and brings losses and miseries upon him. His heart fretteth against the Lord; he ascribes his unhappiness not to his own sin and folly, which is the true cause of it, but to God and his providence, against which he unjustly murmurs.
Is disowned and forsaken by those who are most obliged to help him.
Shall not be unpunished; though he escape the observation and punishment of men, yet he shall not avoid the judgment of God.
That speaketh lies; that accustometh himself to lying, either in judgment or in common conversation.
Of the prince; or, as others, of the liberal or bountiful man; which comes to the same thing, for kings were anciently called benefactors, Luke 22:25.
A friend; not sincerely, as daily experience shows, but in show or profession, or in the outward expressions of it, whereby they may oblige him.
Brethren; his nearest and dearest relations, who are oft called brethren in Scripture, by a common synecdoche.
Hate him, i.e. despise and shun him, as men do any thing which they hate, and as the following words explain it.
His friends; his former companions, who in his prosperity professed friendship to him.
He pursueth them with words, earnestly imploring their pity; or, he urgeth (Heb. pursueth) their words, i.e. allegeth their former promises and professions of friendship. Or, without any supplement, he seeketh words, as the preacher sought to find out acceptable words, Ecclesiastes 12:10, wherewith he might prevail or move them to pity.
They are wanting to him, Heb. they are not; either,
1. His friends are not, to wit, what they pretended to be, friends to him. Or,
2. Their words are vain, and without effect; there is no reality in them.
Loveth his own soul, or loveth himself, because he procures great good to his soul, or to himself, as it follows; as sinners, on the contrary, are said to hate their souls, Proverbs 29:24, because they bring mischief upon them. That keepeth understanding; that observeth and carefully practiseth its precepts, as that phrase is commonly used.
Shall find good; shall have great benefit by it, both for his conduct in this life, and for his happiness in the next.
This was said before, Proverbs 19:5, and seems to be here repeated, either for its great use and weight in human society, and to show how much God abhors such practices; or to show the pernicious effects of this sin, and consequently of all other sins, one eminent kind being put for all the rest, and this in opposition to the good effects of wisdom or piety, which he declared in the foregoing verse.
Delight, to live in pleasure, and plenty, and outward glory,
is not seemly for a fool; it doth not become him, nor suit with him; partly because prosperity corrupts even wise men, and makes fools mad; and partly because it gives him more opportunity to discover his folly, and to do mischief both to himself and others. He implies that a rod or punishment is fitter for him than pleasure, as is noted, Proverbs 10:13; Proverbs 26:3.
A servant; who is of a servile condition and disposition, not much differing from a fool; who is a servant to his lusts, and wholly unfit to rule other men.
Over princes, i.e. over men of better quality than himself; for servants are commonly ignorant, and when they are advanced, they grow insolent, and presumptuous, and intolerable.
This is opposed to the perverse judgment of worldly men, who account it folly and stupidity not quickly to resent a provocation, and a dishonour and reproach not to revenge it.
Are like rain continually dropping upon a house, which by degrees marreth the house and household stuff, and driveth the inhabitants out of it. He compareth her to a
continual dropping, because of that inseparable union and necessary cohabitation of husband and wife together, notwithstanding such contentions.
Is vouchsafed to a man by the singular providence of God, who is the only searcher and ruler of hearts, exactly discerning who are prudent or pious, in which even wise men’s judgments are commonly mistaken, and inclining the minds and hearts of persons one towards another.
Casteth into a deep sleep; maketh a man careless and, negligent, and like one asleep in his business, whereby he cometh to want, as it follows.
The commandment; the commands of God, called by way of eminence the commandment, as the word is oft used emphatically for the word of God, as hath been noted before. fore. His ways; either,
1. His own ways, by not taking heed to his ways, so as to order his conversation aright. Or,
2. The ways of God, who is understood in the former clause.
Lendeth unto the Lord; who takes what is done to them as done to himself, because it is done to them whom God, as to this particular, hath put in his own stead, to be his receivers, and whom God hath in a peculiar manner commended to the care and charity of all other men.
While there is hope; before custom in sin, and thy indulgence, hath made him hard-hearted and incorrigible.
Let not thy soul spare, forbear not to give him due and necessary correction,
for his crying, which oft stirs up a foolish and pernicious pity in parents towards them. This word, with some small difference in the points, is used in this sense Isaiah 24:11. Or, as it is in the margin, to his destruction, intimating that this is a cruel pity, and a likely way to expose him to that death threatened to stubborn sons, Deuteronomy 21:18,Deuteronomy 21:21. But this clause is, and may be, rendered otherwise, yet or but do not lift up thy soul (which signifies a vehement desire, Deuteronomy 24:15; Psalms 25:1; Jeremiah 44:14; let not thy passion or eager desire of chastening him transport thee so far as) to cause him to die, i.e. use moderation in this work.
A man of great wrath; or, he who is of great wrath, of strong passions; which may be understood either,
1. More particularly, of a son of such a temper, who is very impatient of correction, and breaks forth into violent passions upon that occasion; and then the following words contain the parent’s duty, which is to take care to punish him, because if he spare him that thee for his passion, he must do so again and again, the same cause returning upon him, and so must wholly forbear to chasten him. Or,
2. More generally, of any man of a fierce and furious temper and carriage; and then the next words declare only the event, by his great and repeated provocations he will bring punishment upon himself, either from God or men.
If thou deliver him; if either a parent, or another person provoked by him, forbear to punish him. He turneth his speech to the party, as is usual in Scripture and in other authors.
Thou must do it again, Heb. thou must add, to wit, to deliver him again and again, as oft as he shall offend; or, thou wilt add or increase, to wit, his wrath, which thou shouldst subdue.
Before thy death come; which he adds not exclusively, as if he ought not to be wish before, but emphatically, to show that how foolishly soever he had spent his former and younger years, it highly concerned him to be wise before it was too late, or before death came.
There are many devices in a man’s heart; understand out of the opposite clause, which shall not stand, but be disappointed.
The counsel of the Lord; his eternal, and unchangeable, and most wise decree, which ofttimes contradicts, and always overrules, the designs and purposes of men.
Shall stand, i.e. be certainly fulfilled, as this phrase is used, Jeremiah 44:28,Jeremiah 44:29, and elsewhere.
The desire of a man; either,
1. Of any or every man. All men desire, and it is desirable, to be in a capacity of being kind and bountiful to others, whereby they gain love and honour, and many other great advantages. Or,
2. Of the poor man, expressed in the next clause. The hearty will or desire of being kind or liberal to others in necessity is all the kindness which a poor man can show, and is accepted by God, and should be owned by men as a real kindness. Compare 2 Corinthians 8:12. Or,
3. Of the rich man, as may be gathered from the opposition of this man to the poor man in the following clause; such ellipses being very common in this book, as hath been noted again and again. So the sense may be this, There be a sort of rich men all whose kindness and charity consists in good desires and well wishes to persons in misery, saying to them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled, but not giving them those things which are needful, as it is expressed, James 2:16. And this sense seems to agree very well with the following clause. But being singular in this exposition, I submit it to the judicious reader.
A poor man, who is not able to give what he desires to do,
is better than a liar; than a rich man, who feeds the poor with good words and fair promises, but doth not perform what he pretends and is able to do.
Shall abide satisfied; shall want nothing, and shall be fully contented with God’s favour and blessing.
With evil; with any destructive affliction.
Hideth his hand in his bosom; either to keep it warm in cold weather; or to give it rest, being loth to oppress it with the labour of any action. It is a sarcastical hyperbole.
Will not so much as bring it to his mouth again, to wit, to feed himself; he expects that the meat should drop into his mouth.
Smite a scorner; an obstinate and impudent transgressor, who rejects and scorns all admonitions, and therefore is to be taught with blows.
The simple; who sin through ignorance, and imprudence, and infirmity, being possibly drawn to sin by the scorner’s evil counsel or example.
He will understand knowledge; a verbal reproof will be more effectual for his reformation than the severest punishments will be to a scorner.
Wasteth his father, i.e. his father’s estate, by unjust or riotous courses.
Chaseth away his mother; causeth her to avoid and abhor his presence and society, and to go from the house where he is. Bringeth reproach; both to himself, and to his parents and family. But this verse may very well be rendered otherwise, the last words being made the subjects of the proposition, as is usual in Scripture;
A son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach, ( upon himself and his friends by wicked ways,) wasteth his father’s (estate, and health, and comfort) and chaseth or driveth away his mother. These are the effects of his wickedness.
If thou hast formerly, yet do not now any longer hearken to those false doctrines or evil counsels which tend to withdraw thee from the belief or practice of God’s holy word.
Scorneth judgment; hath no reverence to the place of justice, nor to the presence of God there, nor to that sacred and solemn work of executing judgment, but in spite of all gives in a false testimony.
Devoureth iniquity; uttereth with as great greediness, and delight, and ease, as they swallow down delicious meats and drinks. Compare Job 15:16.
Prepared, either by men, or at least by God; although they: be deferred for a thee, yet they are treasured up for them, and shall infallibly be inflicted upon them.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 19". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany