Proverbs 18:20
A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
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(20) A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth.—See above on Proverbs 12:14.

Proverbs 18:20. A man’s belly shall be satisfied, &c. — Wise and edifying discourses tend to the comfort and satisfaction of the speaker, as well as to the good of the hearers.18:19. Great care must be taken to prevent quarrels among relations and those under obligations to each other. Wisdom and grace make it easy to forgive; but corruption makes it difficult. 20. The belly is here put for the heart, as elsewhere; and what that is filled with, our satisfaction will be accordingly, and our inward peace. 21. Many a one has caused his own death, or the death of others, by a false or injurious tongue. 22. A good wife is a great blessing to a man, and it is a token of Divine favour. 23. Poverty tells men they must not order or demand. And at the throne of God's grace we are all poor, and must use entreaties. 24. Christ Jesus never will forsake those who trust in and love him. May we be such friends to others, for our Master's sake. Having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end; and we are his friends if we do whatever he commands us, Joh 15:14.The general sense is plain. A man must for good or evil take the consequence of his words, as well as his deeds. Compare the marginal reference. 20. (Compare Pr 12:14; 13:2). Men's words are the fruit, or, increase of his lips, and when good, benefit them.

satisfied with—(Compare Pr 1:31; 14:14).

Wise and edifying discourses tend to the comfort and satisfaction of the speaker, as well as to the good of the hearers. A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth,.... With his own words and discourses, when they are prudent, pious, and savoury; when they are with grace, and minister it; they are satisfying to himself, to his own mind and conscience, and to his family; to all within his house, which is, as it were, his belly; but, if otherwise, it will not be profitable nor satisfying to either; and therefore, if a man would keep conscience easy, and be useful to others, he ought to take care what he says; see Proverbs 12:14;

and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled; the same thing as before, expressed in different words, alluding to the sowing, of seed in the earth, and the increase of it; as a man sows he reaps, and enjoys the fruits of his labour; according to what a man sows with his lips, such is his harvest he is afterwards a partaker of.

A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
Verse 20. - With the first clause, comp, Proverbs 12:14, and with the second, Proverbs 13:2. A man's belly; i.e. himself, his mind and body, equivalent to shall he be filled, or satisfied, in the second clause. A man must accept the consequences of his words, good or evil. The next verse explains this. 14 The spirit of a man beareth his sickness;

     But a broken spirit, who can bear it?

The breath of the Creator imparting life to man is spoken of as spiritus spirans, רוּח (רוּח חיּים), and as spiritus spiratus, נפשׁ (נפשׁ חיּה); the spirit (animus) is the primary, and the soul (anima) the secondary principle of life; the double gender of רוח is accounted for thus: when it is thought of as the primary, and thus in a certain degree (vid., Psychol. p. 103ff.) the manly principle, it is mas. (Genesis 6:3; Psalm 51:12, etc.). Here the change of gender is in the highest degree characteristic, and אישׁ also is intentionally used (cf. 1 Samuel 26:15) instead of אדם, 16a: the courageous spirit of a man which sustains or endures (כּלכּל R. כל, comprehendere, prehendere; Luther, "who knows how to contain himself in his sufferings;" cf. Psalm 51:12, "may the free Spirit hold me") the sickness [Siechthum] (we understand here "siech" in the old meaning equals sick) with self-control, is generis masculini; while, on the contrary, the רוּח נכאה (as Proverbs 15:13; Proverbs 17:22), brought down from its manliness and superiority to disheartened passivity, is genere feminino (cf. Psalm 51:12 with Proverbs 18:19). Fleischer compares the Arab. proverb, thbât âlnfs bâlghdhâ thbât alrwh balghnâ, the soul has firmness by nourishment, the spirit by music.

(Note: In the Arab. language, influenced by philosophy, rwh, the anima vitalis, and nfs, the anima rationalis, are inverted; vid., Baudissin's Translationis antiquae Arab. libri Jobi quae supersunt (1870), p. 34.)

The question מי ישּׂאנּה is like Mark 9:50 : if the salt becomes tasteless, wherewith shall one season it? There is no seasoning for the spice that has become insipid. And for the spirit which is destined to bear the life and fortune of the person, if it is cast down by sufferings, there is no one to lift it up and sustain it. But is not God the Most High the lifter up and the bearer of the human spirit that has been crushed and broken? The answer is, that the manly spirit, 14a, is represented as strong in God; the discouraged, 14b, as not drawing from God the strength and support he ought to do. But passages such as Isaiah 66:2 do not bring it near that we think of the רוח נכאה as alienated from God. The spirit is נשׂא, the bearer of the personal and natural life with its functions, activities, and experiences. If the spirit is borne down to powerless and helpless passivity, then within the sphere of the human personality there is no other sustaining power that can supply its place.

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