|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:7. Both the just and the wicked must die; but between their souls there is a vast difference. 8. The wise in heart puts his knowledge in practice. 9. Dissemblers, after all their shuffling, will be exposed. 10. Trick and artifice will be no excuse for iniquity. 11. The good man's mouth is always open to teach, comfort, and correct others. 12. Where there is hatred, every thing stirs up strife. By bearing with each other, peace and harmony are preserved. 13. Those that foolishly go on in wicked ways, prepare rods for themselves. 14. Whatever knowledge may be useful, we must lay it up, that it may not be to seek when we want it. The wise gain this wisdom by reading, by hearing the word, by meditation, by prayer, by faith in Christ, who is made of God unto us wisdom. 15. This refers to the common mistakes both of rich and poor, as to their outward condition. Rich people's wealth exposes them to many dangers; while a poor man may live comfortably, if he is content, keeps a good conscience, and lives by faith. 16. Perhaps a righteous man has no more than what he works hard for, but that labour tends to life. 17. The traveller that has missed his way, and cannot bear to be told of it, and to be shown the right way, must err still. 18. He is especially a fool who thinks to hide anything from God; and malice is no better. 19. Those that speak much, speak much amiss. He that checks himself is a wise man, and therein consults his own peace. 20,21. The tongue of the just is sincere, freed from the dross of guile and evil design. Pious discourse is spiritual food to the needy. Fools die for want of a heart, so the word is; for want of thought.
Verse 15. - His strong city (Proverbs 18:11). Wealth is a help in many ways, securing from dangers, giving time and opportunity for acquiring wisdom, making one independent and free in action (Ecclesiastes 7:12; Ecclus. 40:25, etc.). The destruction of the poor is their poverty. The poor are crushed, exposed to all kinds of evil, moral and material, by their want of means. The word for poor is here dal, which implies weakness and inability to help one's self; the other word commonly used for "poor" is rash, which signifies rather "impecuniosity," opposed to "wealthy." So in the present passage the LXX. renders ἀσθενῶν, "the feeble." The poor were but lightly regarded till Christ pronounced the benediction, "Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God" (Luke 6:20). The view of Theoguis ('Paraen.,' 177) will speak the experience of many -
Καὶ γὰρ ἀνὴρ πενίῃ δεδμημένος οὔτέ τι εἰπεῖν Οὔθ ἕρξαι δύναται γλῶσσα δὲ οἱ δέδεται
"A man, by crushing poverty subdued,
Can freely nothing either say or do -
His very tongue is tied."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The rich man's wealth is his strong city,.... What a fortified city is to persons in time of war, that is a rich man's wealth to him; by it he can defend himself from the injuries of others, and support himself and family in times of public calamity; for money is a defence, and answers all things, Ecclesiastes 7:12. Or his wealth is so in his own apprehension and conceit; he puts his trust and confidence in it, and thinks himself safe and secure by it; when he is trusting to uncertain riches, which will fail him; these may fly away from him in life, and leave him exposed to distress and danger; and, however, will not secure him at death from the wrath of God and everlasting destruction. Or he is lifted up with his riches, is in high spirits, and despises others; thinking himself safe, as in a strong castle, and fears nothing, distresses, diseases, or death;
the destruction of the poor is their poverty: or their poverty is their consternation, as the word (h) signifies, it frightens them; they, knowing their circumstances, are afraid of everybody and of every thing; not being able to defend themselves against their enemies, or support themselves in times of public calamity, as war, famine, or pestilence.
(h) "consternatio", Mercerus, Gejerus, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. Both by trusting in "uncertain riches" (1Ti 6:17), or by the evils of poverty (Pr 30:9), men, not fearing God, fall into dangers.
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