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Wednesday, April 17th, 2024
the Third Week after Easter
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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 13

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Verse 1

Proverbs 13:1. A wise son, &c.— A wise son regardeth the instruction of his father, but a son who is a scorner heareth not rebuke. Houbigant.

Verse 7

Proverbs 13:7. There is that maketh himself rich See 2Co 6:10 where St. Paul says, We are as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing all things. The literal sense of this verse seems to be, "There are those who are rich in their poverty, because they are content; desire nothing more, and use generously and charitably what they have; and there are others, who, in the midst of their riches, are really poor and in necessity, because of their insatiable covetousness or profusion." Some suppose the meaning to be, that there are those, who have the vanity to desire to appear rich, though they are poor; and others who make themselves poor, and would pass for such, though they have abundance. The Latins say well, Semper avarus eget. "The covetous man is always in want." See Calmet.

Verse 8

Proverbs 13:8. The ransom of a man's life are his riches Houbigant renders this, A man hath in his riches whence he may redeem himself; but the poor man findeth no redemption. Bishop Patrick paraphrases the passage thus: "Rich men are not always so happy as they are imagined, for their wealth sometimes only serves to make them accused of high crimes, and then to bring them off for a large sum of money, which they pay to save their lives: but nobody is apt to find fault with the poor, or to bring any charge against them." We may read the latter clause, The poor heareth no disturbance.

Verse 9

Proverbs 13:9. The light of the righteous rejoiceth See chap. Proverbs 4:18-19. Schultens renders it, The light of the righteous shall shine forth joyfully; but the darkening lamp of the wicked shall be put out. If there was a difference anciently, as there is now, in Egypt, between the lamps of the poor and of the prosperous, as to the brightness and agreeableness of the scent of the several kinds of oil which they burnt, possibly Solomon might refer to that circumstance in these words. The light of the righteous rejoiceth; he uses the brightest burning and most agreeable scented kind of oil; he prospers: But the lamp of the wicked shall be put out; he shall not only be poor, but be destroyed, and his house become desolate. It may, however, very possibly refer to the great number of lights which the righteous burned, which might be as numerous almost as those of an illumination in a time of public rejoicing, the families of the wealthy in these countries being extremely numerous; and, according to Maillet, every inhabited apartment has a light burning in it: whereas the wicked shall sink in his circumstances, and have hardly a servant to attend him; yea, shall absolutely perish, and his house become desolate. See Observations, p. 108.

Verse 10

Proverbs 13:10. Only by pride, &c.— The Greeks have a proverb, "A mountain cannot mix with a mountain," i.e. two proud men will never agree together: and the Latins have an excellent saying, Crede mihi, sapere est, non multum sapere, "Believe me; to be wise, is not to be overwise;" for they whose minds are infected with a vain opinion of themselves, either cannot see the truth, if it be opposite to their ideas; or if they do, they will not acknowledge it, for fear they should yield, and confess themselves overcome. See Bishop Patrick.

Verse 15

Proverbs 13:15. Good understanding giveth favour, &c.— A good understanding granteth favour, but the demeanor of the insolent is pertinacious. Schultens. The meaning of the verse seems to be this, says Bishop Patrick; "If a man have understanding enough to be thoroughly good, he will find things favourable to his honest desires; but they who take evil courses meet with great difficulties, and are forced to go backward and forward, and wind and turn every way, to bring about their ends, or to save themselves perhaps from ruin."

Verse 19

Proverbs 13:19. The desire accomplished is sweet An honest desire is sweet to the soul, but to depart from evil is hateful to fools. Houbigant.

Verse 23

Proverbs 13:23. Much food is in the tillage of the poor Much food is to the tillage of the poor; but the very substance is quite spent by want of judgment. Schultens. The LXX read, The just shall dwell in riches many years, but the unrighteous shall perish in a short time. Melancthon has it, There is much food in the furrows of the poor; and others heap up without measure; i.e. to no purpose, when a little will suffice; which, however, does not seem to be very agreeable to the Hebrew.

Verse 24

Proverbs 13:24. Chasteneth him Instructeth him, is the rendering of several versions. As the chapter begins with an admonition to hearken to reproof, especially from parents, which is repeated again in the 13th and 18th verses; so here again advice is given to parents not to spare the rod, if reproof will not do. The Lacedemonians, out of an universal love and care for each others good, made it lawful for any man to correct the child of another person, if he saw him do amiss: and if the child complained of it to his father, it was looked upon as a fault in the father if he did not correct him again for making that complaint. For they did not, says Plutarch, look every man after his own children, servants, and cattle; but every man looked upon what was his neighbour's as his own; that there might be, as much as possible a communion among them; and they might take care of what belonged to others, as if they were their own proper goods.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 13". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/proverbs-13.html. 1801-1803.
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