Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 20:18

Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance.
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Counsel;   Prudence;   War;   Wisdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Advice;   Counsel;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - War, Holy War;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Pardon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Proverbs, Book of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

With good advice make war, - Perhaps there is not a precept in this whole book so little regarded as this. Most of the wars that are undertaken are wars of injustice, ambition, aggrandizement, and caprice, which can have had no previous good counsel. A minister, who is perhaps neither a good nor a great man, counsels his king to make war; the cabinet must be brought into it, and a sufficient number out of the states of the kingdom gained over to support it. By and by, what was begun through caprice must be maintained through necessity. Places must be created, and offices must be filled with needy dependents, whose interest it may be to protract the war, till they get enough to pay their debts, and secure independence for life. And for these most important ends the blood of the country is spilled, and the treasures of the people exhausted! I have met with a fact precisely of this kind under the reign of Louis XIV.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-20.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 20:18

Every purpose is established by counsel.

Counsel

“Of all apostolic habits the most habitual,” writes arehbishop Benson, “was the usage of counsel. The upper chamber, the house, the home of Mary, Jerusalem, Antioch, the school of Ephesus, the Hired House at Rome, were so many conciliabula and scenes of high debate. How full is the Acts of the Apostles of mentions of ‘disputation,’ ‘conference,’ ‘reasoning,’ and of such expressions as these: ‘They came together to consider the matter,’ ‘It pleased the apostles and elders and the whole Church,’ ‘Being assembled together with one accord,’ and the like. How strong are the injunctions ‘to assemble themselves,’ ‘to come together in the assembly,’ ‘to be gathered together with one spirit’!”

1. It is a familiar experience that we can tune ourselves for any work of our own by placing ourselves in touch with some kindred work by a master hand. By this simple method we can in some measure “kindle when we will the fire which in the heart resides.” Our spirits drink in refreshment from those living founts of inspiration. What others have consummately done lends us at least the impulse to go and do likewise.

2. By withdrawing ourselves, if only for a brief space, from the absorbing interests, the keen controversies, of the present into the serener regions of the past, where principles and men and methods can be more impartially studied, by going “back to the Bible” in the modest but unflinching spirit, and with the enriched equipment of scientific research--our minds are tranquillised and balanced as well as quickened and enlightened for dealing with the urgent needs, the burning questions, the conflicting points of view and policies of the hour. So by God’s help may it be with us as we rapidly survey “the type and model” of Christian councils of every kind and degree, and thus look for guiding principles, practical indications, and spiritual tone to “the rock whence we are hewn.” (Bp. Jayne, D. D.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 20:18". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-20.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"Every purpose is established by counsel; And by wise guidance make thou war."

This, and a number of other proverbs, are oriented toward the decisions that would have been required of a monarch, such as Solomon. Christ might have had this in mind when he said, "What king, when he goeth to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand" (Luke 14:31)?

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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 20:18". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-20.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Every purpose is established by counsel,.... Or "the thought"F6מחשבות "cogitationes", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Gejerus; "unaquaeque cogitationum", Piscator, Mercerus, Michaelis. of a man, everyone of them, what he has thought to do, formed a scheme of in his mind, and resolved upon, by taking advice of his friends, and especially by asking counsel of God, who gives, wisdom liberally, and upbraids not; he is confirmed in his good designs; and he cheerfully pursues them, and they are ordered and directed to the glory of God, his own good and the good of others; for this can only be understood of wise and good thoughts and purposes;

and with good advice make war; this should not be entered upon rashly, without first considering whether there is a just and lawful cause of it; and without consulting the necessary charge and expense of it; whether there is a sufficiency of men and money to carry it on; and what may probably be the issue of it. It is right in a king to advise with his privy council, or with the chief council of the nation; but, above all, both he and his people should seek advice of the Lord on such an occasion; see Luke 14:31. This may be applied to our spiritual warfare with sin, Satan, and the world; not that it should be any doubt with whether we should engage in such a war; but we should advise with experienced soldiers, and especially with God and his word, what weapons to take, and how to use them; and consider in whose name and strength we are to fight; and inquire and learn the force, methods, and designs of the enemy, and where to guard against them or attack them. Jarchi interprets it of making war with Satan by repentance, prayer, and fasting.

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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 20:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-20.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(Compare Proverbs 15:22). Be careful and considerate in important plans.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-20.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

18 Plans are established by counsel,

And with prudent government make war.

From the conception of a thought, practically influencing the formation of our own life and the life of the community, to its accomplishment there is always a long way which does not lead to the end unless one goes forward with counsel and strength combined, and considers all means and eventualities. The Niph . of כּוּן means, in a passive sense: to be accomplished or realized (Psalms 141:2). The clause 18a is true for times of war as well as for times of peace; war is disastrous, unless it is directed with strategic skill ( vid ., regarding תּחבּות, Proverbs 1:5). Grotius compares the proverb, Γνῶμαι πλέον δρατοῦσιν ἢ σθένος χειρῶν . In Proverbs 24:6, the necessity of counsel is also referred to the case of war. Ewald would read [the infin.] עשׂה, or עשׂה : with management it is that one carries on war. But why? Because to him the challenge to carry on war appears to be contrary to the spirit of proverbial poetry. But the author of the proverb does certainly mean: if thou hast to carry on war, carry it on with the skill of a general; and the imper. is protected by Proverbs 24:6 against that infin., which is, besides, stylistically incongruous.

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-20.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Note, 1. It is good in every thing to act with deliberation, and to consult with ourselves at least, and, in matters of moment, with our friends, too, before we determine, but especially to ask counsel of God, and beg direction from him, and observe the guidance of this eye. This is the way to have both our minds and our purposes established, and to succeed well in our affairs; whereas what is done hastily and with precipitation is repented of at leisure. Take time, and you will have done the sooner. Deliberandum est diu, quod statuendum est semel - A final decision should be preceded by mature deliberation. 2. It is especially our wisdom to be cautious in making war. Consider, and take advice, whether the war should be begun or no, whether it be just, whether it be prudent, whether we be a match for the enemy, and able to carry it on when it is too late to retreat (Luke 14:31); and, when it is begun, consider how and by what arts it may be prosecuted, for management is as necessary as courage. Going to law is a kind of going to war, and therefore must be done with good advice, Proverbs 25:8. The rule among the Romans was nec sequi bellum, nec fugere - neither to urge war nor yet to shun it.

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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 20:18". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-20.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

Established — The way to bring our purposes to good effect is to manage them with serious consideration.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-20.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 18. Every purpose is established by counsel.] That thy proceedings be not either unconstant or uncomfortable, deliberate long ere thou resolve on any enterprise. (a) Advise with God especially, who hath said, "Woe be to the rebellious children that take counsel, but not of me." [Isaiah 30:1] David had able counsellors about him: but those he most esteemed and made use of were God’s testimonies. "Thy testimonies also are my delight, and the men of my counsel." [Psalms 119:24] Princes had learned men ever with them, called Mνημονες, remembrancers, monitors, counsellors; as Themistocles had his Anaxagoras; Alexander his Aristotle; Scipio his Panaetius and Polybius: of which latter Pausanias (b) testifieth, that he was so great a politician, that what he advised never miscarried. But that is very remarkable that Gellius reports of Scipio Africanus, that it was his custom before day to go into the capital in cellam Iovis, and there to stay a great while, quasi consultans de Rep cum Iove, as if he were there advising with his god concerning the commonwealth. Whence it was that his deeds were pleraque admiranda, admirable for the most part, saith the author. (c) But we have a better example. David in all his straits went to ask counsel of the Lord, who answered him. Do we so, and God will not fail us, for he hath made Christ wisdom unto us, and a "wonderful counsellor." [1 Corinthians 1:30 Isaiah 9:6]

And with good advice make war.] Ahab in this might have been a precedent to good Josiah. He would not go against Ramothgilead, till he had first advised with his false prophets. But that other peerless prince, though the famous prophet Jeremiah was then living, and Zephaniah, and a whole college of seers, yet he doth not so much as once send out of doors to ask, Shall I go up against the king of Egypt? Sometimes both grace and wit are asleep in the holiest and wariest breasts. The soldiers’ rule among the Romans was, Non sequi, non fugere bellum. (d) Neither to fly, nor to follow after war. The Christian motto is, Nec temere nec timide, Be neither temerarious nor timorous. And that is a very true saying of the Greek poet, “η βραδυπους βουλη μεν αμεινων: η δε παχεια αι Aιεν ε φελκουενηενην την μετανοιαν εχει.” - Lucian.

 

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-20.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 18. Every purpose is established by counsel, definite plans should be formulated only after a careful consultation with such as are in a position to advise; and with good advice make war, after considering all emergencies and possibilities. Cf Luk_14:31.

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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-20.html. 1921-23.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Every purpose is established by counsel; the way to bring our purposes and desires to a good effect, is to manage them with serious consideration and good advice. And; or, therefore. This is necessary in every common undertaking, and much more in a thing of such high importance as war is.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-20.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

18.Every purpose, etc. — Or, thou shall establish purposes, plans, enterprises, etc., by counsel — thus thou shall make them sure and successful.

With good advice make war — This is a precept for rulers, guarding them against rash enterprises, and especially against plunging into a war for insufficient reasons, or without due preparations and sufficient resources, or consideration of probable results. The same principles apply, in a private sphere, to litigations in civil courts. Comp. Proverbs 24:6; Proverbs 15:22; Luke 14:31.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-20.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 20:18. Every purpose is established by counsel — “Rashness spoils the best designs, which must be carried on prudently, and with good advice, if we would have them to prove successful.” And with good advice make war Warlike expeditions are not to be undertaken without great deliberation. It should be maturely considered, whether the war ought to be begun or not; whether it be just, whether it be prudent. And, when it is begun, how, and by what arts, it may be successfully prosecuted: for skill is as necessary as courage. Going to law is a kind of going to war, and therefore should not be done without good advice.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-20.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Governments. Or prudence, else the best designs may prove abortive.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-20.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

And with good advice make war - for victory is more often obtained by skill than by strength. First sit down and count the cost, and prepare your plans (Luke 14:31-32). The Lord alone can 'establish purposes' (1 Chronicles 29:18).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-20.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
purpose
15:22; 24:6
and
25:8; Judges 1:1,2; 9:29; 20:7,18,23,26-28; 2 Samuel 2:26,27; 2 Chronicles 25:17-23; Luke 14:31
Reciprocal: Joshua 7:2 - Go up;  Joshua 22:13 - sent;  Judges 18:2 - to spy;  Judges 19:30 - consider;  2 Samuel 2:14 - play before;  1 Kings 1:12 - let me;  1 Kings 20:22 - strengthen;  2 Kings 6:8 - took;  2 Kings 14:8 - Come;  2 Chronicles 32:3 - took counsel;  Proverbs 13:10 - with;  Proverbs 16:12 - for;  Acts 12:20 - but

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-20.html.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Заметьте:

(1) хорошо во всем поступать обдуманно, по крайней мере, размышлять о деле наедине, а в важных вопросах – советоваться с друзьями, прежде чем принять решение; но особенно хорошо спрашивать совета у Бога, просить Его направить и следить за водительством этого глаза. Это способ иметь утвержденный разум и цели, а также успех в своих делах, в то время как мы должны не спеша раскаяться во всем, что сделано в спешке и опрометчиво. Потратьте на это время, и вы закончите быстрее. Deliberandum est diu, quod statuendum est semel – окончательному решению должно предшествовать серьезное размышление.

(2) Наша мудрость особо проявится, если будем осторожны в вопросе войны. Подумайте, выслушайте совет, стоит ли начинать войну, будет ли она справедливой, будет ли это благоразумно, будете ли вы достойным противником для врага и сможете ли продолжать ее, когда отступать будет слишком поздно (Лук.14:31). А когда она начнется, задумайтесь, как и с помощью каких средств ее можно будет довести до конца, ибо управление так же необходимо, как и смелость. Обращение к закону – это царь, собирающийся на войну, и поэтому оно должно сопровождаться добрым советом (Прит.25:8). У римлян было правило: nec sequi bellum, nec fugere – не торопи войну, но и не избегай ее.

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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. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
>
>on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-20.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Especially we need advice in spiritual warfare. The word and Spirit of God are the best counsellors in every point.

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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. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 20:18". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
>
>on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-20.html. 1706.