Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
1. (Compare Pr 6:1-5; 10:1, 17).
A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
2. shall eat—that is, obtain (Pr 12:14).
transgressors—as in Pr 2:22.
violence—or, "mischief" to themselves.
He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
3. He … mouth … life—because evil speeches may provoke violence from others.
he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction—On last clause, compare Pr 10:14.
The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
4. (Compare Pr 12:11, 27).
A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
5. loathsome … shame—better, causeth shame and reproach (compare Pr 19:26), by slander, &c., which the righteous hates.
Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
6. A sentiment of frequent recurrence, that piety benefits and sin injures.
There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
7. In opposite ways men act hypocritically for gain of honor or wealth.
The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
8. Riches save some from punishment, while others suffer because they will not heed the rebuke of sloth, which makes and keeps them poor.
The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
9. light … lamp—prosperity; the first, the greater, and it
rejoiceth—burns brightly, or continues, while the other, at best small, soon fails.
Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
10. The obstinacy which attends self-conceit, produces contention, which the well-advised, thus evincing modesty, avoid.
Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
11. by vanity—or, "nothingness," that is, which is vain or useless to the public (as card playing or similar vices).
gathereth … labour—(Compare Margin), little by little, laboriously.
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
12. desire cometh—is realized.
a tree of life—or, "cause of happiness."
Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
13. the word—that is, of advice, or, instruction (compare Pr 10:27; 11:31).
The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
14. (Compare Pr 10:11).
fountain—or, "source of life."
to depart—(compare Pr 1:2-4), or, "for departing," &c., and so gives life.
Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
15. Right perception and action secure good will, while evil ways are difficult as a stony road. The wicked left of God find punishment of sin in sinning.
hard—or, "harsh" (compare Hebrew: De 21:4; Jer 5:15).
Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.
16. dealeth—acts with foresight.
a fool … folly—for want of caution.
A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
17. A wicked—or, "unfaithful"
messenger falleth into mischief—or, "by mischief," or "evil," and so his errand fails. Contrasted is the character of the faithful, whose faithfulness benefits others.
Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
18. (Compare Pr 10:17; 12:1).
The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
19. Self-denial, which fools will not endure, is essential to success.
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
20. The benefits of good and evil of bad society are contrasted.
Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
21. (Compare Pr 11:31).
good … repaid—or, "He (God) will repay good."
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
22. wealth … just—While good men's estates remain in their families, God so orders that the gains of sinners enure to the just (compare Pr 28:8; Ps 37:18, 22, 26, &c.).
Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.
23. The laboring poor prosper more than those who injudiciously or wickedly strive, by fraud and violence, to supersede the necessity of lawful labor.
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
24. spareth—or, "withholds."
hateth—or, acts as if he hated him (compare Pr 3:12; 8:36).
chasteneth … betimes—or, "diligently seeks for him all useful discipline."
The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
25. The comparative temporal prosperity of the righteous and wicked, rather than contentment and discontent, is noted.