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9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. 15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
16 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly and a man of wicked de vices is hated.
18 The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 19 The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
24 The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
28 In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh but envy the rottenness of the bones.
31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
33 Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.
34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
35 The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame. (O)
(0) More general observations.—"As the foregoing chapter began with the character of a wise son, so this with that of a good mother, who, by her prudent care, makes the family flourish, when a foolish
woman throws all into confusion and distress for so the wise man observes, "She pulls down the house with her own hands," that is, ruins the family without any other help. There needs no more than a bad wife to undo a family." Bishop Patrick.
Ver. 20. But the rich hath many friends-Heb.
Ver. The fear of the Lord.-See chap. xiii. 14.
Ver. 30. A sound heart-that is, " an honest and good heart." Luke viii, 15.
Ver. 32. Hath hope in his death.-See Exposition, chap. x.
Ver. 33. That which is in the midst, &c.- that is, a fool soon discovers his own emptiness.
2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. 4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.
7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righte
10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the
hearts of the children of men?
12 A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.
13 A merry heart maketh a cheer ful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolish
15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
19. The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.
21 Folly is joy to him that is des
EXPOSITION-Chap. XIV. Continued.
In the sixth verse, Solomon observes, "A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not;" on which the great Lord Bacon hath made this useful gloss, "He that comes to seek after knowledge, with a mind (disposed) to scorn and censure, shall be sure to find matter enough for his humour, but none for his instruction:" the grand reason of which is, the want of that humble disposition which our Lord declares necessary to constitute a disciple of Wisdom's school, and a subject of the Saviour's kingdom. (Mark x. 15.) He that would be truly wise, must not be wise in his own conceit.
One other passage is too important to he passed over: "The backslider in heart," who secretly revolts from God, and turns back into the ways of sin," shall be filled with his own ways:" he shall have enough of it," as we proverbially say: he shall" eat of the fruit of his own doings, and be filled with his own devices," (chap. i. 31.) and the good man who perseveres in the way of truth and righteousness, he also shall be satisfied from himself;" or rather, as Mr. Holden and Dr. Boothroyd render it, "from his ways:" that is, the testimony of a good conscience, and the assurance of the divine favour and blessing.
CHAP. XV. Ver. 2. Poureth out-Heb. " belcheth, or bubbleth." Ver. 4. A wholesome tongue-Heb. “The healing. of the tongue," or, as Boothroyd, "The healing tongue."
Ver. 10. Correction-Marg. "Instruction." So' it is rendered, chap. i. 2, and below, ver. 52, 33. The word bears both senses.
Ver. 11. Hell and destruction.-See Job xxvi. 6, and Note. Ver. 13. A merry-a lively, rejoicing heart. So ver. 15.
Ver. 17. A dinner of herbs-that is, sallads.-——————A stalled ox-An ox fatted in the stall.
Ver. 19. Is made plain-Heb. “ Raised up, as a causey."
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.
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.)
Ver.27. Greedy of gain.-See chap. i. 19. & Note. Ver. 30. Maketh the bones fat-that is, makes a man cheerful and content.
Ver. 32. Instruction.-See Note on ver. 10.——He
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.
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 humblespirit 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.
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
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
Ver. 10. A divine sentence-Heb. " Divination." This had reference, probably, to what has been called "The judgment of Solomon," 1 Kings iil. 28. Ver. 11. All the weights-Heb. "Stones."
Ver. 14. Messengers of death-The king's executioners. See Orient, Cust, No. 1:9.
Ver. 15. As a cloud of the latter rain — which promises an abundant harvest. Bp. Patrick.
Ver. 17. The highway of the upright--Ch. xv. 19, 24. Ver. 20. He that handleth, &c.—Marg. " He that understandeth a matter."
Ver. 21. The sweetness of the lips-is eloquence, which if it do not increase the learning of the speaker, wonderfully increases his reputation for it with the hearers. Compare ver. 23,
The Hebrew runs literally
"Toman (belongeth) the dispositions of the heart; But to Jehovah the answer of the tongue:"
Ver. 23. Teacheth - Heb. "Maketh wise" his mouth.
Ver. 26. He that laboureth-Heb. "The soul of the labourer laboureth for himself; for his mouth boweth unto him." Holden," Layeth this burden on him." So Boothroyd.
Ver. 27. An ungodly man-Heb. "A son of Belial," diggeth up evil; i, . studies and labours to find some ground of contention or revenge. See Bp. Patrick.
Ver. 30. Moving his lips that is, muttering
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 secketh 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 directe th 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
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 some angry controversy, foreign to the text, of which, to us the meaning appears, in harmony with the context-" that the Lord hath 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.