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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Proverbs 21



Verses 1-31

Proverbs 21:1 The king"s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Proverbs 21:1Comments- Proverbs 21:1 tells us that God divinely intervenes in the affairs of mankind through its leadership in order to accomplish His plan of redemption for mankind.

Illustrations - One of the great lessons I learned in the mission field is how God anoints leadership positions in our ministry. I have often spoken with my immediate supervisor on international calls and perceived his wisdom and discernment in situations. He often asked questions that needed to be asked without me bringing up issues. I began to learn that God was inspiring him as a business manager by directing his heart.


Exodus 3:19, "And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand."

Exodus 4:21, "And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go."

Joshua 11:20, "For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses."

1 Kings 12:23-24, "Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Song of Solomon , king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD."

2 Chronicles 36:22, "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,"

Nehemiah 1:11, "O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king"s cupbearer."

Nehemiah 2:4, "Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven."

Psalm 105:25, "He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants."

Psalm 106:46, "He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives."

Isaiah 10:5-6, "O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets."

Jeremiah 50:9, "For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain."

Jeremiah 50:41, "Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth."

Ezekiel 7:27, "The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the LORD."

Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

Proverbs 21:2Comments- A man tends to justify his behavior, but the Lord looks at the motive. Jesus was more concerned about how people gave to the temple treasury than how much they gave ( Luke 21:1-4).

Luke 21:1-4, "And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had."

Proverbs 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

Proverbs 21:9Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Proverbs 19:13, "A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping."

Proverbs 21:19, "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman."

Proverbs 25:24, "It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house."

Proverbs 27:15, "A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike."

Proverbs 21:18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.

Proverbs 21:18Comments- The Geneva Bible translation notes read, "God will cause that to fall on their own heads, which they intended against the just by delivering the just, and putting the wicked in their places." 119] Note other translations:

119] The Bible, That Isaiah , the Holy Scriptures Containing the Old and New Testament, Translated According to the Hebrew and Greek, and Conferred With the Best Translations in Divers Languages (London: Robert Barker, 1615), notes on Proverbs 21:18.

Geneva Bible, "The wicked [shall be] a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright."

BBE, "The evil-doer will be given as a price for the life of the good Prayer of Manasseh , and the worker of deceit in the place of the upright."

Illustration- A good example of Proverbs 21:18 is found in the book of Esther , when Haman tried to hang Mordecai, but was himself hanged on the very gallows that himself had built.

God used the nation of Egypt as a ransom for the souls of His children, the nation of Israel. God brought judgment upon the people of Egypt in order to redeem His children from bondage.

Isaiah 43:3, "For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life."

In Acts 12, Peter is delivered from prison and the guards face death in his stead.

Proverbs 21:19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

Proverbs 21:19Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 21:9, "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house."

Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?

Proverbs 21:27Illustrations- Three examples are:

1. Note Cain in Genesis 4.

2. Note Ananias with Sapphira in Acts 5.

3. The children of Israel in Isaiah 1:10-20.

Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 15:8, "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight."

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

Proverbs 21:31Comments- In the history of Israel, the victories were never won on the battlefield, but in the prayer room. The battles may have been fought in the valleys, but the victories were won on the mountaintop. Joshua defeated the Amalekites in the valley while Moses held up the rod on the mountain (see Exodus 17:8-16).

Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Psalm 20:7, "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."


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 21:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

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