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Miscellaneous proverbs]



titute of wisdom: but a man of under- spiseth his own soul: but he that hearstanding walketh uprightly. eth reproof getteth understanding.

22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. 23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

25 The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.

26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words. 27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

29 The LORD is far from the wicked: : but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart and a good report maketh the bones fat.

31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

32 He that refuseth instruction de


33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. (P)


THE preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. 4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right. 9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.


(P) More general observations.-This chapter opens with wise counsels as to the use and government of the tongue-an art of no little difficulty and importance. Some excellent instructions are then given relative to public worship. "The sacrifice of the wicked," however large, however costly, "is an abomination to the Lord," because the offerer himself, while a wicked man, cannot be accepted. Nor is there any possibility of deceiving the Almighty: 'For hell and destruction are before the

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Lord: how much more then the hearts of the children of men!" (Comp. Ps. cxxxix.)

When "a merry heart" is recommended, we must not understand it of a giddy or a thoughtless heart, but a cheerful and contented one, in opposition to that "sorrow of heart" which breaks and overwhelms the spirit. To whom "folly is joy," (ver. 21.) he "is destitute of wisdom."

"A word spoken in due season," may be either a word of admonition or of consolation the former may save from ruin, the latter from despair. (See chap. xxv. 11.)


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that heareth-Marg." Obeyeth the truth, possesseth an heart;"the heart being understood to be the seat of knowledge.

CHAP. XVI. Ver. 1. The preparations-Marg. "The disposings" of the heart. See Exposition.

Ver. 3. Commit-Heb. " Roll." So Ps. xxxvii. 5. Ver. 4. The Lord hath made- Not "created," but prepared, provided, appointed;" as Exod. xv. 17; Ps. xxxi. 19. Gill's Cause of God, vol. i. p. 224. Ver. 5. Unpunished Heb. " Held innocent." Chap. xi. 21.

Miscellaneous proverbs]


- 10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

11 A just weight and balance are the LORD's: all the weights of the bag are his work.

12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.

14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.

15 In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.

16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold? and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver?

17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

19 Better it is to be of an humble

spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.


[continued, 22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.

23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.

24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.

26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil and in his lips there is as a burning fire.

28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.

30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.

31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD. (Q)


(Q) Miscellaneous proverbs continued. The first apothegm, though it admits of a pious interpretation, is not an accurate

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Farther miscellaneous]



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2 A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.

6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.

7 Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince. 8 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.


9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

10 A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.

11 An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

12 Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.

13 Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.

16 Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

18 A man void of understanding

EXPOSITION-Chap. XVI. Continued.

And this exactly corresponds to the doc- Psalm xxxvii. 5. " Commit thy way," &c.; trine of the 9th verse;

"A man's heart deviseth his way; But the Lord directeth his steps." The Scriptures would furnish many facts illustrative of this, one of which we shall quote. Balaam's heart was disposed to curse Israel for reward; but his tongue was not under his own control. "How

can I curse whom God hath not cursed?" (See Num. xxiii. 35; xxiv. 5—8.)

The maxims in the former part of this chapter belong chiefly to the doctrine of providence, and their practical tendency is comprised in this verse,

"Commit thy works unto the Lord, And thy thoughts shall be established." This we consider as exactly parallel to

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the doctrine is, that after all due prudence and consideration, we must leave the result of all our affairs in the hand of God, who alone can insure success.

The 4th verse, hath, indeed, stirred up text, of which, to us the meaning apsome angry controversy, foreign to the pears, in harmony with the context" that the Lord bath wrought (or disposed) all things for his own glory," and even the wicked for the day of evil; whereby we may understand either present affliction or future judgment; the evils of this world or of the next, to which the impenitent are certainly appointed, as it is much more strongly expressed, both by the patriarch Job, and by St. Peter. (Job xxi. 30; 2 Peter ii. 9.)


CHAP. XVII. Ver. 1. Full of sacrifices-Holden, "Sacrificial banquets," meaning peace offerings. See chap. vii. 14.

Ver. 5. Unpunished-Heb. " Held innocent." Ver. 7. Excellent speech-Heb. "A lip of excellency."Lying lips-Heb. A lip of lying." Ver. 8. A gift is as a precious stone-Heb. "A stone of grace," or favour.

Ver. 9. Seeketh love-Marg. "Procureth." So Holden.

Ver. 10. A reproof entereth more into, &c.-In modern language, "affects more deeply." So Boothroyd.

Ver. 12. A bear robbed.-See 2 Sam. xvii. 8. Ver. 18. A man void of understanding · "heart." See chap, vi. L.-xi. 15,


Maxims of justice]




FALSE balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame but with the lowly is wisdom. 3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.

8 The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.

9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

10 When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

{and equity.

12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

15 He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretyship is sure.

16 A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

17 The merciful man doeth good his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

20 They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.

21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

22 As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

EXPOSITION-Chap. X. Continued. dom and folly, virtue and vice; and point out the preference of the former, both in itself and in its consequences. As these Proverbs are mostly detached from each her, it will be impossible for us to notice em individually. We can only offer a brief remark ou some of the most striking, and remove difficulties in our Notes.

Long life and prosperity were the sanc tions of the Old Testament dispensation;

yet the hopes of believers were not confined to the present life, for "the righteous hath an everlasting foundation," (verse 25.) to which it is very difficult to attach any meaning without admitting the hope of everlasting life." The days of the wicked, in the present life, are often shortened by their vices, and of "another and better world" they have no prospect. (Comp. chap. xi. 7.)


CHAP. XI. Ver. 1. A false balance-Heb. "Bnlances of deceit."--A just weight-Heb. “ A perfect stone;" stones were undoubtedly used original y as weights.

Ver. 4. Righteousness delivereth.-See chap. x. 2. Ver. 5. Shall direct (Heb. " rectify") his way. Ver. 7. When a wicked man, &c.-This assertion strongly implies that "the righteous hath hope in his. death," as in chap. xiv. 32.

Ver. 12. Void of wisdom →→ Heb. "Destitute of heart."

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Ver. 13. A tale bearer revealeth, &c.-Heb. He that walketh, being a tale-bearer;" or rather, as Dr. Hodgson renders it, "A tale-bearer, walking about, revealeth secrets."

Ver. 15. Shall smart for it-Heb. "Shall be sore broken," or alieted.- Suretyship-Heb." Those that strike hands." See chap. vi. Î, &c.

Ver. 16. A gracious woman-that is, a benevolent, kind-hearted woman. Compare next verse,

Ver. 21. Though hand join in hand - that is, though wicked men combine their power and interest.


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27 He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

29 He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner. (L)




WHOSO loveth instruction loveth

knowledge but he that hateth

reproof is brutish.

2 A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

3 A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh

ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.

6 The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.

7 The wicked are overthrown, and are not but the house of the righteous shall stand.

8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

9 He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.


(L) Maxims of justice and equity.-This chapter contains many general observations on these topics, and on the means of happiness. It begins with an admonition concerning justice in our dealings with each other, without which society cannot be preserved. In the next place, the wise man gives a caution against pride, as a certain forerunner of ruin this, showing itself in forgetfulness of God, confidence in themselves, and despising others, naturally leads men to destruction.

Solomon next commends sincerity and

charity, and represents the vast difference there is between virtue and vice, both in order to men's private safety, and to the public security. After which follow many wise and pithy observations, with such remarks on sundry virtues and vices, as are calculated to invite to the one, and deter from the other. Among the most striking is, (ver. 22.) "A fair woman who has departed from discretion (or virtue) is compared to a ring of gold in a swine's snout. That is, beauty sunk into licentiousness is perverted from its just end, as a golden ring routing in the filth of a pigstye.


Ver. 25. The liberal soul (Heb. “the soul of blessing") shall be made fat-that is, enriched with blessings.

Ver. 29. He that troubleth his own house (probably by bis penuriousness) shall inherit the wind-that is, he shall get nothing by it. See ver. 24.

Ver. 30. The fruit of the righteous. This we apprehend to be an elliptical expression, "the fruit of the righteous is like the fruit of the tree of life." See chap. iii. 18.He that winneth-catcheth, or taketh; an aliusion to hunters.

-Ver. 31. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth; much more-This does not imply that the Almighty is more just to one class

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