|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 7. - Go from the presence of a foolish man. There is some doubt about the rendering of this passage. The Vulgate gives, vade contra stultum, which is probably to be taken in the sense of the Authorized Version. The Revised Version has, "Go into the presence of a foolish man." The Hebrew מִנֶּגֶד (minneged) may mean "from before," "over against," "in the presence of." Hence arises an ambiguity. The Authorized Version considers the sentence to be an injunction to turn away from a stupid man when you perceive that you can do him no good. The Revised Version is equivalent to "if you go into the presence," etc. When thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge; Revised Version, and thou shalt not perceive in him, etc., which embodies a truism with no special point. The whole sentence is better translated, Go forth from the presence of a foolish man, and thou hast not known the lips of knowledge; i.e., as Nowack explains, "Leave the presence of a fool, and you carry nothing away with you; after all your intercourse with him, you quit his presence without having gained any advance in true knowledge" (see on Proverbs 20:15). The LXX. presents a very different version: "All things are adverse to a foolish man; but wise lips are the arms of knowledge (αἰσθήσεως)." A foolish man, by his inconsiderate, slanderous, or bitter words, makes every one his enemy; a wise man uses his knowledge to good purposes; his words are the instruments by which he shows what he is.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Go from the presence of a foolish man,.... A wicked one; avoid him, shun his company, depart from him, have no fellowship with him, it, being dangerous, infectious, and hurtful;
when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge; when it is observed that his lips pour out foolishness, what is corrupt and unsavoury, unchaste and filthy; what does not minister grace to the hearers, nor is for the use of edifying, nor any ways improving in useful knowledge, but all the reverse: the Targum is,
"for there is no knowledge in his lips,''
in what is expressed by them; some understand this ironically, and render the words thus, "go right against a foolish man" (f); join in company with him, "and thou shalt not know the lips of knowledge", or learn anything by him; if you have a mind to be ignorant, keep company with a foolish man; so Jarchi and Gersom: or rather to this sense the words may be rendered, "go to a foolish man, seeing thou knowest not the lips of knowledge" (g), since thou dost not approve of wise and knowing men, whose lips would teach knowledge; and despisest the Gospel, and Gospel ministers the pope of Rome, as Cocceius on the text serves, and hear him, what his holiness and infallibility says; or some other false teacher.
(f) "e regione viri stulti", De Dieu; so Gussetius, p. 495. and Schultens (g) "Abi ut stes cora in viro stolido", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. Avoid the society of those who cannot teach you.
Proverbs 14:7 Parallel Commentaries
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