|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:16. A foolish man is soon angry, and is hasty in expressing it; he is ever in trouble and running into mischief. It is kindness to ourselves to make light of injuries and affronts, instead of making the worst of them. 17. It is good for all to dread and detest the sin of lying, and to be governed by honesty. 18. Whisperings and evil surmises, like a sword, separate those that have been dear to each other. The tongue of the wise is health, making all whole. 19. If truth be spoken, it will hold good; whoever may be disobliged, still it will keep its ground. 20. Deceit and falsehood bring terrors and perplexities. But those who consult the peace and happiness of others have joy in their own minds. 21. If men are sincerely righteous, the righteous God has engaged that no evil shall happen to them. But they that delight in mischief shall have enough of it. 22. Make conscience of truth, not only in words, but in actions. 23. Foolish men proclaim to all the folly and emptiness of their minds. 24. Those who will not take pains in an honest calling, living by tricks and dishonesty, are paltry and beggarly. 25. Care, fear, and sorrow, upon the spirits, deprive men of vigour in what is to be done, or courage in what is to be borne. A good word from God, applied by faith, makes the heart glad. 26. The righteous is abundant; though not in this world's goods, yet in the graces and comforts of the Spirit, which are the true riches. Evil men vainly flatter themselves that their ways are not wrong. 27. The slothful man makes no good use of the advantages Providence puts in his way, and has no comfort in them. The substance of a diligent man, though not great, does good to him and his family. He sees that God gives it to him in answer to prayer. 28. The way of religion is a straight, plain way; it is the way of righteousness. There is not only life at the end, but life in the way; all true comfort.
Verse 19. - The lip of truth shall be established forever. Truth is consistent, invincible, enduring; and the fact belongs not only to Divine truth (Psalm 117:2; Matthew 24:35), but to human, in its measure. Septuagint, "True lips establish testimony," pointing the last word ad as ed. Is but for a moment; literally, while I wink the eye (Jeremiah 49:19; Jeremiah 50:44). Lying never answers in the end; it is soon found out and punished (Proverbs 19:9; Psalm 52:5). Septuagint, "But a hasty (ταχύς; repentinus, Vulgate) witness hath an unjust tongue." One who gives his testimony without due consideration, or influenced by evil motives, readily fails into lying and injustice. With the latter half of the verse we may compare the gnome -
Ἀλλ οὐδὲν ἕρπει ψεῦδος εἰς γῆρας χρόνου
"Unto old age no lie doth ever live." A lie has no legs, is a maxim of wide nationality; and "Truth may be blamed, but shall ne'er be shamed."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The lip of truth shall be established for ever,.... The man that speaks truth is and will be established in his credit and reputation among men; he is uniform and all of a piece, and what he says is believed; truth, though it may be opposed, will prevail against lies and falsehood; the word of truth, the Gospel of Christ, will stand for ever; the ministers of truth and righteousness will be continued to the end of the world; Christ, who is truth itself, abides the same to day, yesterday, and for ever;
but a lying tongue is but for a moment; if a liar speaks truth for once, he does not continue in it long, but quickly returns to his former course; or rather the lie he tells is very short lived, it is soon discovered, and he comes into contempt and disgrace, and loses all his credit and reputation among men of honour and honesty, and is sometimes suddenly snatched away by death, as Ananias and Sapphira; all error and heresy in a short time will cease and be no more; and antichrist, whose coming is with lying wonders, the direct opposite of the lip of truth, will be brought to ruin in a moment. Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, who are followed by some Christian interpreters, as Montanus, and some in Vatablus, render it, "but", or "for ever, I will cause the lying tongue to cease", or "be at rest" from speaking; as if they were the words of God, threatening to cut off the lying tongue; but Jarchi and Gersom render it "for a moment", or a very short time, as we and others do; or, "whilst one winks" (f), in the twinkling of an eye; so soon is such a person removed.
(f) "at dum nictem", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. Words of truth are consistent, and stand all tests, while lies are soon discovered and exposed.
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