corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Proverbs 20



Verses 1-30

Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Proverbs 20:1Comments- Alcohol makes a person either act foolish or angry, one of two ways. Note a similar description of these two people in another version.

BBE, "Wine makes men foolish, and strong drink makes men come to blows; and whoever comes into error through these is not wise."

Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

Proverbs 20:4Comments- The sluggard will not work when circumstances do not favour him, if the weather or health or money or time are not in his favour. But when others are reaping from hard work, he begs for some of their rewards. This is the principle of sowing and reaping life.

Illustration- In grammar school, the class would order books from a book club periodically. It was an exciting moment for the teacher to bring in the newly arrived books and hand them out to those who bought them. I was always disappointed when no books came for me, even though I knew I had not purchased any (sowing). Song of Solomon , no sowing, no reaping.

Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

Proverbs 20:6"Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness:" - Comments- People are constantly promising someone that they will stick to a task, a job of employment, repaying borrowed money, etc. But one who actually does this in rare.

Proverbs 20:6 — "but a faithful man who can find?" - Illustrations- There are a number of illustrations of unfaithfulness in the Scriptures:

Matthew 26:25, "Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said."

Acts 13:13, "Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem."

2 Timothy 4:10, "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."

Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 28:20, "A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent."

Proverbs 20:8 A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.

Proverbs 20:8Comments- The eyes of a king"s heart gives him clear judgment so that he can scatter evil.

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Proverbs 20:9Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Romans 3:9, "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;"

Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

1 John 1:8, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

Proverbs 20:10 Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

Proverbs 20:11Illustration- Jesus, at the age of twelve, was in the Temple.

Luke 2:49, "And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father"s business?"

Proverbs 20:12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.

Proverbs 20:13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

Proverbs 20:14 It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

Proverbs 20:14Word Study on "it is naught" - Holladay says the Hebrew word "it is naught" ( רַע) (H 7451) means, "of bad quantity, inferior, of no value, bad."

Proverbs 20:14Comments- Many times people will tell how they talked a salesperson into giving them a lower price on merchandise. They complain to the salesman that the merchandise is poor, but when they come to you, they boast of how good a deal it really was.

Proverbs 20:15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

Proverbs 20:16 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

Proverbs 20:16Comments- Proverbs 20:16 is repeated in the Second Collection of Solomon"s Proverbs , copied out by Hezekiah ( Proverbs 27:13).

Proverbs 27:13, "Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman."

Proverbs 20:16Illustration- In Africa, it is common for someone who is poor to ask for money. They generally make promises to pay back the loan without any real hope or ability to fulfill the promise. I made several loans, but never saw a payback. I did not really expect the money back and forgave the debt, lest I develop an unforgiving feeling towards that person. I then tried to the principle in this verse. I asked the person to give me a pledge for a loan. I found that the sincere person would give the pledge, and payback would come, and I remained friends with the person.

Therefore, taking a pledge not only ensures a payback, but it saves a friendship, which is otherwise so easily spoiled by a loan.

Proverbs 20:17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

Proverbs 20:17Comments- The strange woman lures her victims into sin by saying, "Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant." ( Proverbs 9:17) However, the voice of wisdom reminds us that sin brings pleasure to the fleshly makeup of Prayer of Manasseh , but only for a season until divine judgment comes. The author of Hebrews calls it "the pleasures of sin," which is but for a season.

Proverbs 9:17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."

Hebrews 11:25, "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;"

Proverbs 20:18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

Proverbs 20:19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

Proverbs 20:19Word Study on "him that flattereth" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "entice" ( פָּתָה) (H 6601) means, "to spread out, to open, to be roomy." Strong says this primitive root word literally means, "to open, to be roomy." In a mental or moral sense, it is used figuratively to mean, "to be made simple or to delude." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 28 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "entice 10, deceive 8, persuade 4, flatter 2, allure 1, enlarge 1, silly one 1, silly 1." From this same primitive root comes the much-used word "simple" ( פֶּתִי) (H 6612), which is found 15 times in the book of Proverbs of its 19 Old Testament uses.

Proverbs 20:20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.

Proverbs 20:21 An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.

Proverbs 20:21Comments- The story of the Prodigal Son is an excellent example of this word of wisdom. This young man wasted his father"s inheritance and found himself eating with the pigs. His father gave him money that he did not earn nor appreciate. (See Luke 15:11-32).

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

Proverbs 20:27Comments- Kenneth Hagin uses Proverbs 20:27 to explain that it is through man"s spirit that God communicates with him, and not through his flesh and mind. God speaks to our inner Prayer of Manasseh , or spirit, when He wants to enlighten us to something. 118]

118] Kenneth Hagin, How You Can Be Led By the Spirit of God (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1986, 1997), 1-2.

Proverbs 20:28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

Proverbs 20:29Comments - If we understand the word "glory" to mean "boasting," then we may interpret Proverbs 20:29 to mean that young men like to talk about how strong they are and grow muscles, and old men like to tell you how old they are and what all they have done in their many years of living. If the word "glory" means "praise from others," then we may interpret this proverb to mean that young men are praised for their strength, while old men are recognized for their wisdom.

Illustration- Note that Paul, the apostle, gloried in the strength of his apostleship as a young missionary (See 2 Corinthians 11:5 and Galatians 1-2). However, in his later epistles, he gloried in his old age.

2 Corinthians 11:5, "For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles."

Philemon 1:9, "Yet for love"s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ."


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 4th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology