|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 26. - In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence. The fear of God casts out all fear of man, all despairing anticipations of possible evil, and makes the believer confident and bold. St. Gregory ('Moral.,' 5:33), "As in the way of the world fear gives rise to weakness, so in the way of God fear produces strength. In truth, our mind so much the more valorously sets at naught all the terrors of temporal vicissitudes, the more thoroughly that it submits itself in fear to the Author of those same temporal things. And being stablished in the fear of the Lord, it encounters nothing without it to fill it with alarm, in that whereas it is united to the Creator of all things by a righteous fear, it is by a certain powerful influence raised high above them all." Comp. Psalm 27:1 and St. Paul's words, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). Septuagint, "In the fear of the Lord is hope of strength." And his children shall have a place of refuge (Psalm 46:1). There is an ambiguity as to whose children are meant. The LXX. renders, "And to his children he will leave a support." Thus many refer the pronoun to the Lord named in the first clause - God's children, those who love and trust him, and look up to him as a Father, an expression used more specially in the New Testament than in the Old. But see Psalm 73:15, and passages (e.g. Hosea 11:1) where God calls Israel his son, a type of all who are brought unto him by adoption and grace. Others, again, refer the pronoun to "the fear of the Lord," "its children," which would be quite in conformity with Hebrew idiom; as we have "sons of wisdom," "children of obedience," equivalent to "wise," "obedient," etc. But most modern commentators explain it of the children of the God-fearing man, comparing Exodus 20:6 and Psalm 103:17. Such a one shall confer lasting benefits upon his posterity (ch. 13:22; 20:7). So God blessed the descendants of Abraham and David; so he shows mercy unto thousands i.e. the thousandth generation of them that love him and keep his commandments (see Genesis 17:7, etc.; Exodus 34:7; 1 Kings 11:12, etc.; Jeremiah 33:20, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence,.... Such who fear the Lord may be confident that he has a love to them, a delight in them; that his eye is upon them, and his heart towards them; and will communicate every needful good to them, and protect and defend them: or the Lord himself that is feared, who is the object of fear, called the fear of Isaac, Genesis 31:42; he is a strong tower, a place of defence to those that fear him and trust in him, Proverbs 18:10;
and his children shall have a place of refuge; the children of God, as those that fear him are; the Lord is a place of refuge to them, from the avenger of blood, from the vindictive justice of God; from the storm and tempest of divine wrath, and from the curses of a righteous law; as well as from the rage and persecutions of men.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. The blessings of piety descend to children (Pr 13:22; 20:7; Ex 20:6).
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