|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:1 Those who have grace, will delight in the instructions given them. Those that stifle their convictions, are like brutes. 2. The man who covers selfish and vicious designs under a profession of religion or friendship, will be condemned. 3. Though men may advance themselves by sinful arts, they cannot settle and secure themselves. But those who by faith are rooted in Christ, are firmly fixed. 4. A wife who is pious, prudent, and looks well to the ways of her household, who makes conscience of her duty, and can bear crosses; such a one is an honour and comfort to her husband. She that is the reverse of this, preys upon him, and consumes him. 5. Thoughts are not free; they are under the Divine knowledge, therefore under the Divine command. It is a man's shame to act with deceit, with trick and design. 6. Wicked people speak mischief to their neighbours. A man may sometimes do a good work with one good word. 7. God's blessing is often continued to the families of godly men, while the wicked are overthrown. 8. The apostles showed wisdom by glorying in shame for the name of Christ. 9. He that lives in a humble state, who has no one to wait upon him, but gets bread by his own labour, is happier than he that glories in high birth or gay attire, and wants necessaries.
Verse 1. - Instruction; correction, discpline, which shows a man his faults, gives him a lowly opinion of himself, and opens his mind to receive knowledge, especially the knowledge of himself and of all moral obligations. Is brutish; is as insensible to higher aspirations, to regret for the past or hope of amendment, as a brute beast (comp. Proverbs 30:2). On this point St. Augustine is quoted: "Quicumque corripi non vis, ex eo sane corripiendus es quia corripi non vis. Non vis enim tua tibi vitia demonstrari; non vis ut feriantur, fiatque tibi utilis dolor, quo medicum quaeras; non vis tibi tu ipse ostendi, ut cum deformem te vides, reformaturum desideres, eique supplices ne in illa remaneas foeditate" ('De Corrept. et Grat.,' 5). Such conduct is unworthy of one who is possessed of an immortal soul and infinite capacity for progress and improvement.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whose loveth instruction loveth knowledge,.... That loves the instruction of Wisdom, or Christ, Proverbs 4:13; the means of instruction, the Scriptures, which are profitable for instruction in righteousness, and are written for our learning; the Gospel, which instructs into the person, office, and grace of Christ; the ministers of the word, who are so many instructors in Christ; and even the rod of afflictions, by which men are taught their duty, and the will of God: and these are to be loved; and he that loves them clearly shows that he loves knowledge; since the means of instruction, making use of them, and getting instruction by them, are attended with labour, trouble, and difficulty; which a man would not choose, had he not a love unto and a desire after knowledge, and an increase of it; as the knowledge of God, of Christ, and of his truths. Aben Ezra inverts the words;
"he that loves knowledge loves instruction;''
but the sense is much the same;
but he that hateth reproof is brutish; or a "beast" (k): as the man that is willing to be instructed, in order to gain knowledge, shows himself to be a wise and understanding man; so he that hates the reproof the word of God gives, or the ministers of it, or God by them, appears to be no better than a brute, than the horse or mule that want understanding: so the man of sin hates the Scriptures, the Gospel, and the ministers of it, and the reproofs and convictions they give of his idolatry, superstition, and will worship; nor does he care that his doctrines and practices should be brought to this test, or that the people should have knowledge of them; but keeps them from them, and sets up his own infallibility as the rule of judgment; and it is one character of his followers, that they "receive not the love of the truth", 2 Thessalonians 2:10; and both he and they are represented by a beast, Revelation 13:1; and are more brutish than any man; see Proverbs 5:11.
(k) "instar bruti indocilis est", Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1. loveth knowledge—as the fruit of instruction or training (Pr 1:2).
hateth reproof—(Pr 10:17).
brutish—stupid, regardless of his own welfare (Ps 49:10; 73:22).
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