|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 5. - The thoughts of the righteous are right; literally, judgments; i.e. just and fair, much more then words and actions. St. Gregory ('Mor. in Job,' lib. 25) takes another view, seeing in "judgments" the stings of conscience, and a rehearsal of the day of account. "The righteous," he says, "approach the secret chambers of the Judge in the recesses of their own hearts; they consider how smartly he smites at last, who long patiently bears with them. They are afraid for the sins which they remember they have committed; and they punish by their tears the faults which they know they have perpetrated. They dread the searching judgments of God, even in those sins which perchance they cannot discover in themselves. And in this secret chamber of inward judgment, constrained by the sentence of their own conduct, they chasten with penitence that which they have committed through pride" (Oxford transl.). But the counsels of the wicked - which they offer to others - are deceit. The mere "thoughts" are contrasted with the mature, expressed "counsels" Septuagint, "The wicked steer (κυβερνῶσι) deceits." (For "counsels," see notes, Proverbs 1:5 and Proverbs 20:18.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The thoughts of the righteous are right,.... Or "judgment" (o). The thoughts of men's hearts are naturally evil, nor can any think a good thought of themselves; but the thoughts of the righteous are directed and influenced by the grace of God, and are formed according to that Word which is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; their thoughts concerning God and religion, concerning Christ and his Gospel, his ways and worship, his truths and ordinances, they are judiciously framed according to the rule of God's word, the revelation he has made, and so are right; and such are their resolutions and designs to serve the Lord their God, and him only, and to cleave to him with full purpose of heart
but the counsels of the wicked are deceit; the designs, schemes, and contrivances of wicked men, are to trick, and overreach, and defraud their neighbours in civil affairs; and of false teachers, to deceive the hearts of the simple in religious ones. The coming of the man of sin was with all deceivableness; and all the gaudy show and pageantry he makes, and pretended miracles he works, are to deceive the inhabitants of the earth; and by his sorceries all nations are deceived, 2 Thessalonians 2:10.
(o) "judicium", Pagninns, Montanus, Mercerus, Cocceius, Gejerus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. thoughts—or, "purposes."
are right—literally, "are judgment," that is, true decisions.
counsels—(Compare Pr 11:14).
deceit—contrary to truth and honesty.
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