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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Proverbs 23



Verses 1-35

CHAPTER 23 Instructions Continued

The opening proverbs of this chapter treat of self-restraint in curbing the appetite and give manners to be observed in the presence of a superior. Warnings against riches and their uncertainty are contained in Proverbs 23:4 and Proverbs 23:5. How well it would be if the great mass of professing Christians, and some true believers also, would consider this instruction: “Labor not to be rich.” But this exhortation as well as the exhortation in1 Timothy 6:1-10 is overlooked, and many who profess to have their riches in Christ, in the heavenly places and never ending glory, weary themselves with earthly gain, and aim to become wealthy. But riches have wings; they can fly away swiftly as does the eagle when he mounts heavenward. This too is mentioned in the epistle to Timothy, in which those who are rich are charged not to be highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but to be rich in good works. The evil eye mentioned in Proverbs 23:6 has nothing to do with the superstitious belief that some person with an evil eye can cast a spell to harm others. It means a dishonest, insincere person, one who is pharisaical. While he urges to eat and drink, puts on a friendly front, in his heart he entertains other thoughts.

Not to envy sinners is commanded in Proverbs 23:17; one who walks in fear of the Lord all the day long looks to their end, though they may prosper now, their prosperity will end, but the expectation of him who fears the Lord will not be cut off.

Beginning with Proverbs 23:22 is another call to hearken. Parents are to be obeyed. The truth is to be bought and never to be sold, as well as wisdom, instruction and understanding. There is a price often to be paid for the possession of the truth. Some have suffered even unto death to possess the truth, and in its defense. Then in Proverbs 23:26 is the familiar exhortation, “My Son, give me thy heart, and let thine eyes delight in my ways.” This word is often misused when applied to sinners, the unsaved. It is addressed to a son. The gospel does not come to the sinner with the exhortation “give”; the sinner has nothing to give. The gospel comes with an offer and if the offer of free grace is accepted, the believing sinner becomes a child of God, a son of God and an heir. Such a one is to yield his whole heart to the Lord, and his eyes are to delight in His ways. Thus Jehovah spoke to Solomon. The chapter ends with proverbs relating to self-indulgence, the sin of intemperance and all that goes with it.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Proverbs 23:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". 1913-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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