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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Proverbs 29

 

 

Verses 1-27

Proverbs 29:1. He that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck. The Greeks have a similar proverb. οι πολλα πταιοντες και μη κολαζομενοι φοβεισθαι και δεδοικεναι οφειλουοιν. αυξεται γαρ αυτοις τα τες τιμοριας δια τες ατιμωρησιας. He who often offends, and is not punished, ought to fear that his punishment augments by the delay of justice. Aged and hardened sinners should remember this; it is the voice of philosophy, the voice of the bible, the voice of God. Some men after smarting for a sin take warning, and will go no more with that company, nor expose themselves to that snare. Others, though reproved inwardly by conscience, and the divine influence of God joined thereto, still repeat their sin. Under the ministry, they tremble; yet they go to their sin, and then shun the light. Thieves, though often admonished, yet return to their courses. Other sinners, God sometimes afflicts, and with repeated strokes; yet they return again to folly. Stripes of this kind are often God’s last measures with the incorrigible. Oh sinner, if this be thy situation, as the Lord thy God liveth, there is but a step between thee and death. Oh stop where thou art, stop in the name of God, for another relapse, and the scale of justice may turn against thee, and thou shalt fall into hell and destruction.

Proverbs 29:12. If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked. Camden, in his Britannia, when describing the county of Sussex, reports a case, which occurred while our Norman kings were in the habit of giving away manors to their knights. The earl of Kent, a known character, fixed his eye on Busham park, which then belonged to his grace the Archbishop of Canterbury. Kent, accompanied by six knights, went to Lambeth; and falling down on both his knees, implored the prelate to give him Busham park. His grace, feeling the insult, gave vent to passion in strong repetitions, I give you Busham park,—I give you Busham park! Kent rose and humbly thanked his grace, and going off immediately to the king, with his six knights, they all deposed that his grace said, I give you Busham park. The grant was registered in the king’s book, and Kent maintained himself in the possession.

Proverbs 29:16. When the wicked are multiplied, and accustomed to rule, good men fear to displease them, and often leave some divine duty unperformed. The conscience is of course ensnared with sin. Sometimes to oblige the wicked they are drawn into sinful compliances, which betray them into actual guilt; and sometimes they have been so weak as to tell but part of the truth, which has afterwards much disgraced them with weakness and want of simplicity. Let us pray that, like the patriarch, out of weakness we may wax strong; and fearing God we may fear none besides. What are the greatest of men but dust; and what are the menaces of the proud but words of worms?

Proverbs 29:18. Where there is no vision, the people perish. Where there is no man of God to awe them by example, to teach them in public, and to pray for them, and guide them in extraordinary cases, they perish for lack of knowledge. What a blessing then is a public ministry, crowded with hearers; what a blessing is the prevailing influence of religious society; and what a blessing is a course of early instruction to the rising age!

Proverbs 29:25. The fear of man bringeth a snare. The fear of man is put here in opposition to the fear of God. By concessions to tyrants, or to factions; by conceding the duties we owe to God, we become entangled, and burdened in conscience to please men, who cannot but perceive our weakness and our sin. The prophets were bold, the apostles had courage, and the martyrs braved the fire, and the sword.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 29:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/proverbs-29.html. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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