|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:18. Sin is the shame of sinners; but wisdom is the honour of the wise. 19. Even bad men acknowledge the excellency of God's people. 20. Friendship in the world is governed by self-interest. It is good to have God our Friend; he will not desert us. 21. To despise a man for his employment or appearance is a sin. 22. How wisely those consult their own interest, who not only do good, but devise it! 23. Labour of the head, or of the hand, will turn to some good account. But if men's religion runs all out in talk and noise, they will come to nothing. 24. The riches of men of wisdom and piety enlarge their usefulness. 25. An upright man will venture the displeasure of the greatest, to bring truth to light. 26,27. Those who fear the Lord so as to obey and serve him, have a strong ground of confidence, and will be preserved. Let us seek to this Fountain of life, that we may escape the snares of death. 28. Let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, do what they can, that many may be added to his church. 29. A mild, patient man is one that learns of Christ, who is Wisdom itself. Unbridled passion is folly made known. 30. An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health. 31. To oppress the poor is to reproach our Creator. 32. The wicked man has his soul forced from him; he dies in his sins, under the guilt and power of them. But godly men, though they have pain and some dread of death, have the blessed hope, which God, who cannot lie, has given them. 33. Wisdom possesses the heart, and thus regulates the affections and tempers. 34. Piety and holiness always promote industry, sobriety, and honesty. 35. The great King who reigns over heaven and earth, will reward faithful servants who honour his gospel by the proper discharge of the duties of their stations: he despises not the services of the lowest.
Verse 23. - In all labour there is profit. All honest industry has a reward, and all care and pain borne for a good object bring comfort and content (comp. Proverbs 10:22). So the Greek distich says -
Ἅπαντα τὰ καλὰ τοῦ πονοῦντος γίγνεται
"To him who labours all fair things belong." In contrast to the diligent are those who talk much and do nothing. But the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury (Proverbs 21:5). Those who work much get profit; those who talk much and do little come to want. So in spiritual matters Christ teaches that they who think that prayer is heard for much speaking are mistaken; and he adds, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 6:7; Matthew 7:21). Septuagint, "In every one who taketh thought (μεριμνῶντι) there is abundance; he who liveth pleasantly and without pain shall be in want." Cato, 'Dist.,' 1:10 -
"Contra verbosos noli contendere verbis:
Sermo datus cunctis, animi sapientia paucis."
"Against the wordy strive not thou in words;
Converse with all, but to the favoured few
Impart thy heart's deep wisdom." Oriental proverbs: "Sweet words, empty bands;" "To speak of honey will not make the mouth sweet;" "We do not cook rice by babbling" (Lane). Turkish, "The language of actions is more eloquent than the language of words."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In all labour there is profit,.... Or "abundance" (u); much is got by it, food, raiment, riches, wealth, wisdom, honour; either with the labour of the hands or head, and nothing is to be got without labour; and he that is laborious in his calling, whether it be by manual operation, working with his hands that which is good; or by hard study, much reading, and constant meditation, is like to gain much for his own use and the good of others;
but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury; or "want" (w), of food and raiment, the common necessaries of life; a man that spends his time in idle talk, boasting of what he can do and does, and yet does nothing, is in a fair way to come to beggary: so all talk about wisdom, and knowledge, and religion, without making use of the proper means of improvement, tends to the poverty of the mind; and generally they are most empty of knowledge, natural or spiritual, that talk and brag most of it; empty casks make the greatest sound; good discourse, wholesome words, sound doctrine, thoroughly digested, tend indeed to edification, to the enriching of the mind; but vain words, the enticing words of men's wisdom; logomachies, striving about words to no profit; and all great swelling words of vanity, which are all mere lip labour; they tend to spiritual poverty and leanness of soul.
(u) "abundantia", Tigurine version, Baynus, Mercerus, Gejerus. (w) "ad defectum", Pagninus, Montanus; "ad egestatem", Tigurine version, Piscator, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. labour—painful diligence.
talk … penury—idle and vain promises and plans.
Proverbs 14:23 Parallel Commentaries
Proverbs 14:23 NIV
Proverbs 14:23 NLT
Proverbs 14:23 ESV
Proverbs 14:23 NASB
Proverbs 14:23 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible