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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 18

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Verses 1-2

Proverbs 18:1-2. Through desire, &c.— The opinions of commentators on these two verses are much divided. Houbigant renders them as follows: He who prepares dissention seizes all occasions: he leaves nothing untried: Proverbs 18:2. A fool loveth not to be ruled by counsel, but to be carried on rashly and turbulently. Another reads, A hair-brained man followeth fancy, and intermeddleth in every thing: Proverbs 18:2. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but in rovings, or ramblings of his heart. If we understand the text in a bad sense, it may be paraphrased thus: "An inconstant man desires many things, and seeks satisfaction; but whatsoever he seeks he never meets with; but is defeated and disappointed in all his designs: Proverbs 18:2. And this is a certain character of a fool; that he never fixes on any thing; but chooses to wander up and down, and rove from one inquiry to another, rather than give his mind to true wisdom and prudence, in which he hath no pleasure." If we take the words in a good sense, they may be thus paraphrased, "He who lives retired, and sequesters himself from all company and business, out of a true affection to wisdom, endeavours to have a sound knowledge and understanding of things: Proverbs 18:2. But a vain man addicts himself to study for no other end, than to boast himself in a show of wisdom which he doth not love." See Bishop Patrick.

Verse 3

Proverbs 18:3. When the wicked cometh, &c.— When the wicked entereth, contempt entereth with him; and with a reproachful man, reproach. See Schultens. Instead of ignominy, we may read, turpitude, scandalous behaviour.

Verse 5

Proverbs 18:5. To accept the person, &c.— This phrase has principally, if not always, a judicial meaning. See Leviticus 19:15.Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 16:19. The propriety of the expression will appear, when we find that it is applied to such qualifications as have no relation to the cause; namely, riches, friendship, or family connections. These are visible like the face of one man to another: but the merits of the cause are not apparent till investigated. See Grotius, and Foster's Sermons, vol. 3: p. 12.

Verse 8

Proverbs 18:8. The words, &c.— The words of a rancorous person are like morsels greedily swallowed; they sink into the lower parts of the belly. Schultens, see his note. Houbigant renders it, The words of a talebearer are indeed smooth and soft; but they afterwards go down, &c.

Verse 12

Proverbs 18:12. Before destruction, &c.— Before destruction a man is haughty, as before honour he is modest, or humble. Houbigant.

Verse 14

Proverbs 18:14. Who can bear? Or, Who can raise it up?

Verse 17

Proverbs 18:17. He that is first in his own cause "He that speaks first in any cause will undoubtedly set his side in the most favourable and most plausible light; but when the defendant replies, all his arguments will be brought to the test, and all his sophisms laid open and confuted." This and the following proverbs relate to judicial proceedings. See Grotius and Calmet.

Verse 19

Proverbs 18:19. A brother offended As a fortified city is a brother assisted by a brother; and they who mutually love one another, are like the bars of a castle. Houb. following the Vulgate. The author of the Observations, remarking that these bars were frequently of brass or iron, says, "According to this, there may be something more in the emphasis of the following passage than has been remarked. Their contentions are like the bars of a castle; not merely hard to be removed, on account of their size, but on account of the materials of which they were made; as not being of wood, but of iron or brass." See 1 Kings 4:13.Isaiah 45:2; Isaiah 45:2.

Verse 22

Proverbs 18:22. Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing He who findeth a good wife, findeth a good thing. Houbigant, after many of the versions. See chap. Proverbs 19:14. The LXX and Vulgate read at the end of this verse, He that putteth away a good wife putteth away a good thing, but he who retains an adulteress is foolish and wicked.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 18". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/proverbs-18.html. 1801-1803.
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