|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1 A woman who has no fear of God, who is wilful and wasteful, and indulges her ease, will as certainly ruin her family, as if she plucked her house down. 2. Here are grace and sin in their true colours. Those that despise God's precepts and promises, despise God and all his power and mercy. 3. Pride grows from that root of bitterness which is in the heart. The root must be plucked up, or we cannot conquer this branch. The prudent words of wise men get them out of difficulties. 4. There can be no advantage without something which, though of little moment, will affright the indolent. 5. A conscientious witness will not dare to represent anything otherwise than according to his knowledge. 6. A scorner treats Divine things with contempt. He that feels his ignorance and unworthiness will search the Scriptures in a humble spirit. 7. We discover a wicked man if there is no savour of piety in his discourse. 8. We are travellers, whose concern is, not to spy out wonders, but to get to their journey's end; to understand the rules we are to walk by, also the ends we are to walk toward. The bad man cheats himself, and goes on in his mistake. 9. Foolish and profane men consider sin a mere trifle, to be made light of rather than mourned over. Fools mock at the sin-offering; but those that make light of sin, make light of Christ. 10. We do not know what stings of conscience, or consuming passions, torment the prosperous sinner. Nor does the world know the peace of mind a serious Christian enjoys, even in poverty and sickness. 11. Sin ruins many great families; whilst righteousness often raises and strengthens even mean families. 12. The ways of carelessness, of worldliness, and of sensuality, seem right to those that walk in them; but self-deceivers prove self-destroyers. See the vanity of carnal mirth. 14. Of all sinners backsliders will have the most terror when they reflect on their own ways. 15. Eager readiness to believe what others say, has ever proved mischievous. The whole world was thus ruined at first. The man who is spiritually wise, depends on the Saviour alone for acceptance. He is watchful against the enemies of his salvation, by taking heed to God's word. 16. Holy fear guards against every thing unholy. 17. An angry man is to be pitied as well as blamed; but the revengeful is more hateful.
Verse 3. - In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride. חֹטֶר (choter), "rod," or "shoot," is found also in Isaiah 11:1. From the mouth of the arrogant fool proceeds a growth of vaunting and conceit, accompanied with insolence towards others, for which he is often chastised. So the tongue is compared to a sword (e.g. Psalm 57:4; Psalm 64:3; Jeremiah 18:18; Revelation 1:16. St. Gregory ('Mor. in Job.,' 24) applies this sentence to haughty preachers, who are anxious to appear superior to other people, and study more to chide and reprove than to encourage; "they know how to smite sharply, but not to sympathize with humility." Septuagint, "From the mouth of fools cometh a staff of insolence." The lips of the wise shall preserve them - the wise (Proverbs 13:3). These do not abuse speech to insult and injure others; and their words tend to conciliate others, and promote peace and good will (comp. Proverbs 12:6, 18).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride,.... A proud tongue, or a tongue speaking proud and haughty things; with which foolish or wicked men smite others and wound and hurt their reputation and credit, and in the issue hurt themselves also; their tongue is not only a rod to others, but a scourge to themselves, or is the cause of evil coming upon them; such was the tongue of Pharaoh, as Jarchi on the place observes, Exodus 5:2; and of those the psalmist speaks of, Psalm 73:9; and particularly of antichrist, whose mouth is opened in blasphemies against God, and his tabernacle, and his saints, Revelation 13:5;
but the lips of the wise shall preserve them; from speaking such proud and haughty things against God and men; or from being hurt by the tongues of men or their own; yea, what coaxes out of their mouth is confounding and destructive to their enemies, Revelation 11:5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. rod of pride—that is, the punishment of pride, which they evince by their words. The words of the wise procure good to them.
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