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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Proverbs 20

Verses 1-30

Proverbs 20. We have still further traces in Proverbs 20:9; Proverbs 20:24 of the sceptical spirit and “ the obstinate questionings of self” characteristic of the later Greek period of Jewish thought.

Proverbs 20:6 a. RV is strained and the Heb. is difficult. Read ( cf. Syr. and Lat.) “ Many a man is called kind.”

Proverbs 20:8 . winnoweth ( mg.) is more literal than RV, and conveys better the idea of personal scrutiny ( cf. the ideal king in Psalms 72 and Isaiah 11).

Proverbs 20:9 . For the growing sense of personal sin as distinct from national responsibility and guilt cf. Job 14:4; Job 15:14; Psalms 51:5.

Proverbs 20:10 f. The LXX places Proverbs 20:10 after Proverbs 20:22; this makes it possible that “ even” in Proverbs 20:11 is a continuation of Proverbs 20:9. The repetition of “ pure” supports this.

Proverbs 20:12 . cf. Exodus 4:11.

Proverbs 20:14 . It is naught: lit. “ bad, bad,” the buyer’ s depreciation of the object he is bargaining for.

Proverbs 20:15 . Probably the three forms of precious possessions mentioned are all to be taken in apposition to “ lips of wisdom.”

Proverbs 20:17 b. cf. Lamentations 3:16.

Proverbs 20:20 . blackest darkness: lit. “ the pupil (of the eye) of darkness,” so in Proverbs 7:9. For the thought cf. Proverbs 30:17. The reference is probably not to the legal penalty of the early codes ( Exodus 21:17).

Proverbs 20:22 . cf. Proverbs 24:29. The Jewish quietist attitude of non-resistance reflected in our Lord’ s saying in Matthew 5:39, grew up in the Hasid movement ( Psalms 4:3 *) in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes.

Proverbs 20:24 . cf. Jeremiah 10:23. The passage seems rather to reflect the growing sense of the antinomy between the belief in predestination and freewill.

Proverbs 20:25 . Very doubtful; rashly to say and to make inquiry are both uncertain. The former may be supported from Job 6:3. The LXX probably conveys the general sense: “ It is a snare for a man hastily to consecrate any of his property, for after vowing comes repentance” ( cf. Deuteronomy 23:21-23, Ecclesiastes 5:4-6).

Proverbs 20:26 . cf. Proverbs 20:8 and Isaiah 28:27 f., where the processes of threshing are described.

Proverbs 20:27 stands alone in the OT in its expression of the Divine element in man as conscience.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Proverbs 20". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.