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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 14:9

Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is good will.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Fool;   God;   Scoffing;   Sin;   Wicked (People);   Thompson Chain Reference - Fools;   Wisdom-Folly;   The Topic Concordance - Foolishness;   Mockery;   Righteousness;   Sin;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fools;   Sin;  
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Pardon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Proverbs, Book of;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Fool;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Favor;   Fool;   Mock;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse Proverbs 14:9. Fools make a mock at sin — And only fools would do so. But he that makes a sport of sinning, will find it no sport to suffer the vengeance of an eternal fire. Some learned men by their criticisms have brought this verse into embarrassments, out of which they were not able to extricate it. I believe we shall not come much nearer the sense than our present version does.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Hidden feelings and motives (14:1-35)

Wisdom builds, but folly destroys. People’s actions reveal their attitude to God (14:1-2). The wisdom of their speech and their commitment to hard work are among the things that determine whether they progress or come to ruin (3-5). Those who think they know everything can never become truly wise and therefore can never have right discernment in the moral issues of life (6-8).
Good people may prosper and evil people may suffer loss, but outward appearances do not tell the full story. Hidden within the heart there may be a joy or a sadness that no one can share (9-14). Those who believe anything, who throw away caution, or who act in quick temper are only increasing their folly (15-18). The wicked may have a secret respect for those who are genuinely good, but they despise the poor, because they know they can get nothing from them (19-21).
The next five proverbs urge pure motives, hard work, wisdom, truthful speech and reverence for God (22-27). No one can live without depending on others; even a king cannot exist without his people (28). Bad temper affects people’s health as well as their personality, but oppressing the poor affects their relation with God (29-31). Righteousness and wisdom bring benefits in whatever sphere they are practised, whether in private life or in the political affairs of the nation (32-35).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:9". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"A trespass-offering mocketh fools; But among the upright there is good will."

"A trespass-offering (or any kind of worship) mocks all worshippers who are willfully wicked. Expecting God's favor, they do not get it."[11] In the second clause, the American Standard Version marginal reference changes `there is good will' to `there is favor of God.'

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:9". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Fools make a mock - The verb in the Heb. is singular, the noun plural. The King James Version assumes that the number is altered to individualize the application of the maxim. Others translate it: “Sin mocks the fools who are its victims,” i. e., disappoints and ruins them; or, “A sin-offering does but mock the worshippers when they are willfully wicked:” they expect to gain God’s favor, and do not gain it. So taken it becomes parallel to Proverbs 15:8; Proverbs 21:7.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter 14

Continuation of the contrasting of goodness and evil.

Every wise woman ( Proverbs 14:1 )

And wise and foolish contrasted always, too.

Every wise woman builds her house ( Proverbs 14:1 ):

She takes care. She takes pain. She takes effort to really build her house. A wise woman. It, to me, is a very tragic thing that today there is so much pressure upon women to be something other than good wives and keepers of the home. It's almost made a downer to a woman if she's just a good mother and housekeeper. "Oh, you're just a housekeeper? Oh, you know. You don't have a career? Oh, you know."

The other day my wife and daughter signed up for exercise class at the Y.M.C.A. And the woman just kept talking to my daughter and almost ignoring my wife, just, you know, and was just so interested in my daughter. And my wife got upset, she said. She later on said to my daughter, "You know, that woman was extremely rude to me. She was just spending so much time with you, it's just because you're young and I'm old. And I don't appreciate the fact that people just ignore a person when they get older and all and giving you so much time." And Jan sort of said, "Well, Mom, you know," and trying to pass it off. And finally Jan says, "Well, Mom, if you want to know the truth," she said, "On the application where it says occupation I put down writer, you put down housewife. That's why she was paying so much attention, because, you know, career." And the world you know, "Oh, you're a writer. Oh my! You know, blah, blah, blah. Oh, you're a housewife?"

"But a wise woman builds her house." I'll tell you, there's no greater reward in all the world than to see the fruit of a wise woman who has built a house in which there is love and security for the children, who can grow up in that kind of an environment and blossom forward into manhood and womanhood. What a reward and what a blessing! "The wise woman builds her house."

but the foolish plucks it down with her hands. He that walks in his uprightness fears the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despises him. In the mouth of the foolish is the rod of pride: but the lips of the wise will preserve them. Where you have no ox, the corn crib is clean: but with much increase is by the strength of the ox ( Proverbs 14:1-4 ).

You know, don't brag because your corn crib is so clean. It could be that you have no oxen.

A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. A scorner seeks wisdom, and cannot find it: but knowledge is easy to him that understandeth ( Proverbs 14:5-6 ).

It used to be always after the test in school someone would say, "Well, was it a hard test?" And I'd always respond, "Not if you know the answers." Only hard when you don't know the answers, you know. Then it's tough, because, man, you got to think of something and make up something. That makes a hard test. But if you know the answers, the test isn't hard at all. So, "The knowledge is easy unto him who understands." No problem if you understand it.

Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you perceive that there is no knowledge in his lips ( Proverbs 14:7 ).

Some guy just spouting off, and you perceive the guy's a nut; just walk away. Don't subject yourself to him.

The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favor ( Proverbs 14:8-9 ).

Oh, how fools love to mock at sin. How much we see today the mocking of sin. "Oh, I suppose I'm a sinner," you know, and people mock at it.

The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger does not intermeddle with his joy. The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tent of the upright shall flourish. There is a way which seems right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death ( Proverbs 14:10-12 ).

So what is the way that seems right to man but ends in death? Is it narrow and is it straight? Or is it broad? Jesus said, "Strive to enter in at the straight gate. Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it. But broad is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, many there are that go in thereat" ( Matthew 7:13-14 ).

"There is a way that seems right unto man." You hear people today say, "Well, all roads lead to God." Not according to Jesus Christ. He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Me" ( John 14:6 ). All roads may lead to God, but which god? You see, there's only one path that leads to the Father. There's only one way to the Father--that's through Jesus Christ. So, "There is way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death."

If you are walking in any other way other than Jesus Christ, you're walking in a path that's going to ultimate in death. Separation from God. There's only one way, Jesus Christ.

Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness ( Proverbs 14:13 ).

That is, for the man who is walking in the path of death.

The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. The simple believes every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going. A wise man fears, and departs from evil: but the fool rages, and is confident. He that is soon angry deals foolishly ( Proverbs 14:14-17 ):

How many times we have made foolish mistakes in a fit of anger. We've responded, we've reacted in anger. And we've done foolishly. He that is soon angry, quick-tempered, will deal foolishly. You do foolish things with that quick temper.

and a man of wicked devices is hated. The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous. The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich hath many friends. He that despises his neighbor sins: but he that has mercy on the poor, happy is he. Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good. In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tends only towards penury. The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly. A true witness delivers souls: but a deceitful witness speaks lies. In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. In the multitude of people is the king's honor: but in want of people is the destruction of the prince. He that is slow to wrath is of good understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalts folly. A sound heart is the life of the flesh ( Proverbs 14:17-30 ):

This is an interesting thing. How did Solomon know that?

but envy is the rottenness of the bones ( Proverbs 14:30 ).

Envy can destroy. Sound heart, it's just life to your flesh.

He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker: but he who honors him has mercy on the poor ( Proverbs 14:31 ).

If you really honor God, you'll have mercy on the poor. Now, there is much the Bible says in Proverbs concerning the poor and the attitude that we should have towards the poor. And God's attitude towards the poor. Again, you might look that up through your concordance.

The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope even in his death ( Proverbs 14:32 ).

You bet I do. A living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Wisdom rests in the heart of him that has understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known. Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people ( Proverbs 14:33-34 ).

If I had anything to do about that kind of thing, I would have this over the Capitol, over the Supreme Court, over the White House. I would have this all through Washington, D.C., and in every state capital. This motto, "Righteousness exalts a nation: sin is a reproach to any people." The history of the nation of Israel, oh that we could read it and study it and benefit by it, because it was all written for our examples. God put the whole thing there as an example to us that we might learn. And what is the lesson to be learned from the history of the nation of Israel? Whenever they honor the Lord and sought the Lord, God blessed them and prospered them and they were strong and they subdued their enemies and they lived in happiness and prosperity and peace. Whenever they turned from the Lord and turned to the flesh and lived after the flesh, then they were subjugated by their enemies. They came into bondage and they were destroyed. Oh, how important that a nation be established in righteousness. "Righteousness exalts a nation."

The king's favor is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him those that cause shame ( Proverbs 14:35 ). "

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:9". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Fools make a mock at sin,.... At sinful actions, their own or others; they make light of them, a jest of them, call evil good, and good evil; take pleasure in doing them themselves, and in those that do them; yea, sport themselves with the mischief that arises from them unto others; they make a mock at reproofs for them, and scoff at those that instruct and rebuke them; and laugh at a future state, and an awful judgment they are warned of, and in a scoffing manner say, "where is the promise of his coming?" Some, as Aben Ezra observes, render it "a sin offering"; and interpret it of the sin offerings and sacrifices under the law, as derided by wicked men; but may be better applied to the sin offering or sacrifice of Christ, who made his soul an offering for sin, to make satisfaction and atonement for the sins of his people; this is mocked at by false teachers, who deny it; and is exposed to derision and contempt by the Papists, by their bloodless sacrifice of the mass, and by their merits and works of supererogation, which they prefer to the sacrifice and satisfaction of Christ. The words may be rendered, "sin makes a mock of fools" h; it deceives them, it promises them pleasure, or profit, or honour, but gives them neither, but all the reverse;

but among the righteous [there is] favour: they enjoy the favour of God and man; or "there is good will" i, good will towards men; they are so far from making a mock at sin, and taking delight in the mischief that comes by it to others, that they are willing to do all good offices unto men, and by love to serve their friends and neighbours: or "there is acceptance" k; they are accepted with God upon the account of the sin offering, sacrifice, and satisfaction of Christ, which fools mock and despise.

h אוילים יליץ אשם φρονας χλευαζει πλημμελεια, Aquila Theodotion in Drusius "delictum illudit fatuos", Gejerus. i רצון "benevoleatia", Montanus, Baynus, Piscator, Mercerus, Gejerus. k "Acceptatio", Cocceius, Gussetius.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

      9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

      See here, 1. How wicked people are hardened in their wickedness: they make a mock at sin. They make a laughing matter of the sins of others, making themselves and their companions merry with that for which they should mourn, and they make a light matter of their own sins, both when they are tempted to sin and when they have committed it; they call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20), turn it off with a jest, rush into sin (Jeremiah 8:6) and say they shall have peace though they go on. They care not what mischief they do by their sins, and laugh at those that tell them of it. They are advocates for sin, and are ingenious at framing excuses for it. Fools make a mock at the sin-offering (so some); those that make light of sin make light of Christ. Those are fools that make light of sin, for they make light of that which God complains of (Amos 2:13), which lay heavily upon Christ, and which they themselves will have other thoughts of shortly. 2. How good people are encouraged in their goodness: Among the righteous there is favour; if they in any thing offend, they presently repent and obtain the favour of God. They have a goodwill one to another; and among them, in their societies, there is mutual charity and compassion in cases of offences, and no mocking.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 14:9". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". 1706.