Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
Buildeth — Maintains and improves her family and estate.
Her hands — By her idleness or sin.
In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
A rod — His insolent speeches as they are like a rod, offensive to others, so, they make a rod for their own backs.
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
The crib — The stable is empty of food for cattle, and much more for man. In the same sense cleanness of teeth is put for famine, Amos 4:6.
The strength — By their labours, or by diligence in husbandry, which then was principally managed by oxen.
A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
Findeth it not — Because he doth not seek it aright.
That understandeth — That is honest and pious.
The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
His way — Consists not in vain speculations, but in a diligent study of his duty, and of the way to eternal happiness.
The folly — The wit of ungodly men, which is really their folly, is employed only in finding out ways of deceiving.
Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
Favour — They find favour both with God and men.
The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
Bitterness — The inward griefs and joys of mens hearts, are not known to any but a man's self.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Right — There are some evil courses which men may think to be lawful and good.
The end — The event shews that they were sinful and destructive.
Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
In laughter — The outward signs of joy are often mixed with real sorrow.
The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
In heart — He who departs from God inwardly.
Filled — With the fruit of his ways, the punishment of his sins.
Satisfied — From the pious temper of his own heart, which cleaves to the Lord, he shall receive unspeakable comfort.
The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
The simple — A foolish man.
Looketh — He orders his dealings in the world with due circumspection, not considering so much what other men say as what he ought to do.
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
Feareth — Trembles at God's judgments when they are either inflicted or threatened.
Rageth — Frets against God; or is enraged against his messengers.
Confident — Secure and insensible of his danger.
He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
Foolishly — His passion hurries him into foolish speeches and actions.
Wicked devices — One who suppresses his passion, but meditates revenge.
Hated — Both by God and men.
The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
Inherit — They possess it as their inheritance, holding it fast, and glorying in it.
Knowledge — The saving knowledge of God and of their own duty.
The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
The evil — Good men shall have the pre-eminency over the wicked.
The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
Hated — Despised and abandoned.
He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
Despiseth — That does not pity and relieve the poor.
In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
The talk — Idle talking will bring a man to poverty.
The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
Riches — They are a singular advantage and ornament to them.
But — As for rich fools, their folly is not cured, but made worse and more manifest by their riches.
A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
Souls — Such as are innocent, from false accusations.
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
To depart — To preserve men from destructive courses.
He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
Exalteth — Heb. lifteth up, like a banner, makes it known and visible to all men.
A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
A sound heart — Free from envy and inordinate passions.
Is life — Procures and maintains the health and vigour of the body.
He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
His maker — Whose image the poor man bears, by whose providence he is made poor, and who hath declared himself to be their protector and avenger.
The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
Driven away — In his death, from God's favour and presence.
Death — In his greatest dangers and distresses, yea even in death itself.
Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.
Resteth — Is laid up and hid there.
In the midst — In the heart.
Made known — They will publish in all times and companies.
The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.
Shame — Both to himself, by his foolish management of the king's affairs, and to the king who made so foolish a choice of a servant.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany