صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Temperance, justice, &c.]


tion, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. 16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the


20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh :

21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. 22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.


[strongly recommended.

25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. 28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? (who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a


35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. (A)


(A) Temperance, justice, and other virtaes, strongly recommended. - The first virtue upon the list is temperance, especially at the tables of the great, who were too apt to press their inferiors to indulge in luxuries, which at the same time they grudge them; and perhaps despise, if they do not reproach them, for complying with

their importunities. He therefore counsels such as are fond of the indulgences of the table, to place a powerful restraint upon their appetites, which is the obvious meaning of the metaphorical expression, "Put a knife to thy throat ;" though others extend it to imply a guard upon their words or conversation, which may be equally necessary, though perhaps not here intended.


Ver. 18. There is an end-Marg. "A reward;" rather, "an issue" of punishment to the wicked, and of happiness to the righteous.

Ver. 20. Riotous eaters of flesh.-The Arabs eat but little flesh, and so did the Hebrews, probably, except at their great festivities: gluttons in flesh are here classed with winebibbers and drunkards. Marg. Of their flesh." Some render it (says Mr. Holden) among themselves;" (so Theodetian) 1. e. in their convivial parties.

Ver. 28. As for a prey-Marg. "As a robber." Ver. 39. Mixed wine-that is, mixed with intoxicating ingredients.

Ver. 31. When it giveth his colour — Heb. "Its eye;" i. e. when it sparkles. So Holden, &c.➖➖➖➖ When it moveth itself aright-Holden, "When it gorth down sweetly."

Ver. 32. An adder-Marg. "A cockatrice." Bochart, "A basilisk: some serpent, whose bite was fatal.

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2 For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

3 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:

4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

7 Wisdom is too high for a fool he openeth not his mouth in the gate. 8 He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.

9 The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.

10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

11 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;

12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it?

[envy and fretfulness;

and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

13 My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:

14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it; then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be

cut off.

15 Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place:

16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth.

18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

19 Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked.

20 For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.

21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king and meddle not with them that are given to change.

22 For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

ance. A harlot is a deep pit and narrow, closing upon the unhappy man that may be taken in her snare.

EXPOSITION-Chap. XXIII. Continued. Equally pointed is his caution against that old trick of the oppressor, removing the ancient landmarks, that form the boundaries of their ground, so as to add the fields of the poor to their own domains; a crime expressly forbidden in the Mosaic law, and visited with the curses of the people. (Deut. xix. 14.-xxvii. 17.) Nor is this all their Redeemer is mighty," and will assuredly plead the cause of the poor.


The latter part of the chapter again cautions against lewdness and intemper

The following caveat against intemperance is remarkably beautiful and poetical. "The drunkard is exposed to the same dangers as the mariner, without being able to guard against them: frequently does he get insulted and beaten, without knowing the cause; and so bewitched is he with the vice, that he no sooner recovers from his stupor, than he plunges into it again."

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with exhortations]


23 These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

24 He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:

25 But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.

26 Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.

27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.

28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.

29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.


[to the study of wisdom.

30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.

32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction,

33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man. (B)


THESE are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.


(B) Cautions against envy and fretfulness; with exhortations to the study of wisdom-The first caution here, is against being envious of the prosperity of the wicked, against which the wise man's father had so well argued in the beginning of the 37th psalm. Solomon argues, that wisdom is riches, and strength, and power. It builds the house, and stores it with true wealth; and is even the best defence in war, because it furnishes able counsellors. But wisdom is out of the reach of fools, who are not able to open their lips before the elders and wise men in the gate of the city, where they were wout to assemble.

The thought of foolishness is sin."This is a maxim that requires some explanation. Solomon's fool is not a simple, well-meaning man; but one whose heart is corrupt, and his actions stained by immorality; his thoughts, therefore, arising from a corrupt heart, and leading to such immoral conduct, must be sinful, and no doubt tainted with infidelity.

The two following precepts (ver. 11, 12.) are, as Melancthon remarks, evidently addressed to magistrates, or persons of in

fluence, who are forbidden to connive at injustice and violence; with the assurance that the Most High will not connive at them. (See Ps. lxxxii.)

The remark (ver. 16.) that “ a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again," has occasioned some controversy; and though it be true indeed of moral failures, (for there is no man that sinneth not,' 1 Kings viii. 46.) yet that does not appear to be the sense of this passage, as we infer from the context, wherein the wicked is warned not to lay wait for the righteous; for though he may succeed in his villainy for a time, he shall finally be punished. The righteous may fall under his power time after time, but he shall rise again; but when the wicked fall, he falls into utter ruin. (See Note.)

The close of the chapter contains one of the most beautiful pictures over drawn by the pen of Solomon, that of the Sluggard; and the best commentary on it that we have seen, is Watts's inimitable hymn,

"Tis the voice of the Sluggard, I heard him complain," &c.

which is, or ought to be, learned by every child in the three kingdoms.

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Ver.32. I considered it well-Heb. "Set my heart Ver. 34. An armed man — Heb. "A man of (or with) a shield."

CHAP. XXV. Ver. 1. Which the men of Hezekiah copied out.-Mercier (a celebrated Hebræan of the 16th century) has cited a curious tradition from

Proverbs collected by]

PROVERBS. [the scribes of Hezekiah.

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.

4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:

7 For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not the secret to another:

10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not

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of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him : for he refresheth the soul of his masters.

14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind with-1 out rain.

15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house: lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.

18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

20 As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink :

22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.

23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the house top, than with a


the Talmud, that Hezekiah and his scribes wrote, i. e. "copied out," the books expressed by the mystic word JiMShoK; viz. Isaiah, Proverbs, Canticles, and Ecclesiastes.

Ver. 3. Is unsearchable — Heb. "There is no searching;" meaning, that the thoughts of a king's heart are as inaccessible as the heights of heaven, or the foundations of the earth.

Ver. 4. For (or “to”) the finer to be made into any form he pleases.

Ver. 5. Take away, &c. - Removing the wicked from before the king, is compared to taking away the dross from silver.

Ver. 6. Put not forth, &c.-Heb. "Set not out. the glory," &c.

Ver. 7. For better, &c.-Luke xiv. 10.

Ver. 8. Lest, &c.--that is, lest thou be conquered. Ver. 9. A secret-Rather," The secret," namely, the cause of debate.

Ver. 11. A word filly spoken-Heb. "A word spoken upon the wheels;" alluding to the manufacture of pottery, Jer. xviii. 3.-Apples-or citrons. See Sol. Song, ii. 3. In pictures Bp. Lowth, "Net-work" Dr. Hodgson and Mr. Holden, "Baskets" of silver.

XXV. Con.

Ver. 13. As the cold of snow.-Mr. Harmer says, the Hebrews and other Orientals use snow to cos their wines in summer. Instead of" cold of snow," Dr. Hunt and others, read, "a vessel of snow." See Harmer, vol. ii. 156, (Clarke's Ed.) and Orient Cust. No. 208.

Ver. 16. Eat so much-So much only. Boothroyd "Only what is sufficient."-Lest thou be filledBp. Lowth," Lest thou be satiated therewith, and nauseate it."

Ver. 17. Withdram thy foot Marg. "Let thy foot be seldom in thy neighbour's house.'

Ver. 20. As vinegar upon nitre-Not the substane we call nitre, (which mixes with vinegar) but ne trum,(the nitre of the ancients) which, being an alkali (somewhat similar to pearl-ash) ferments with acids

Ver. 21. If thine enemy, &c.-See Rom. xii. 2, Ver. 23. Driveth away rain-Marg. “Bringet forth rain;" and travellers inform us that this is th fact in Juden. See Holden's Notes in loc, and Orien Lit. No. 842. If we admit the marginal reading & this clause, so must we of the next, which is, “S doth a backbiting (or secret) tongue an angry coun tenance;" which gives an easy and consistent sens and is adopted by the best modern translators.


Sundry observations upon]
brawling woman and in a wide house.
25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul,
so is good news from a far country.
26 A righteous man falling down
before the wicked is as a troubled
fountain, and a corrupt spring.

27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. (C)


AS snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.

[fools, sluggards, &c.

the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.

4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

6 He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool, cutteth off the feet and drinketh damage.

7 The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

8 As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.

9 As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. 3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for rewardeth transgressors.

10 The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and



(C) Proverbs collected by the scribes of Hezekiah.-Solomon, we are told, spake 3000 proverbs, little more than a fourth of which are preserved in the sacred Scriptures; and these were probably gathered from the minutes of learned and pious men, at different times, and inserted in the first four parts of this general collection. Those in this and the four chapters following, appear not to have been added before the time of Hezekiah, whose scribes and learned men (among whom the seers and prophets are to be reckoned) appear to have taken pains to collect the genuine remains of David and Solomon, and to insert them in the books of Psalms and Proverbs for neither all of one, nor of the other, were collected at the same time, or by the same persons. The observations contained in this chapter, are chiefly politi

cal and civil, addressed to princes and rulers; and some of them are clothed in very beautiful figures: as, for instance, the following: "A word fitly spoken," or a parable or figure well wrought up, (alluding to the manufacture of pottery on the wheels) is compared to "apples (or citrous) of gold, in basket (or net) work of silver," in which the fruit and the vehicle, the sentiment and the language, mutually set off each other.

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Ver. 26. A righteous man falling down-Holden, "erring" Parkhurst, "sliding;" Boothroyd, "offeading;" the meaning is, that a religious character falling into immorality, grieves his friends, and disgraces his character, just as dirt and rubbish, thrown into a fountain, defile and render it useless.

Ver. 27. It is not good.-See ver. 16.

Ver. 28. Is like a city ... broken down;-that is, he is thrown off his guard, and exposed to danger.

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So we

Drinketh damage- Marg. "Violence."
read of" drinking wrath," Job xxi. 20.
Ver. 7. Are not equal-Heb." Are lifted up;" i. e.
one shorter than the other. So we speak of a bad
rhyme, or imperfect simile, as lame or halting.

Ver. 8. As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, (to throw it away) so is he, &c.—that is, the honour is thrown away. The margin gives a quite different sense, but it is generally rejected.

Ver. 9. As a thorn, &c. The meaning seems to be, that a fool is no more fit to handle a parable than a drunkard is to handle a thornbush, which requires great ca:e.

Ver. 10. The great God.-This is variously translated, but the common version is preferred by Holden, Boothroyd, &c.

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