|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 8. - The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way. The wisdom of the prudent is shown by his considering whither his actions lead, the motives from which they spring, the results that attend them. As the apostle enjoins (Ephesians 5:15), "See that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise." Or the clause may be taken as enjoining a wise choice in life, a selection of such a calling or occupation as best suits one's capabilities, station, and opportunities. The folly of fools is deceit. This is not self-deceit, which the word does not denote, but deceit of others. Stupid persons show their folly in trying to cheat others, though they are sure to be detected, and their fraud recoils on themselves. In the case of fools, what they would call wisdom is folly; hence the wording of the sentence.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way,.... The way of his calling, in which he should abide, and how to manage it in the best manner; the way of his duty, that he may walk inoffensively both towards God and men; and the way of life and salvation, which is by Jesus Christ, which to understand and to walk in is the highest wisdom and prudence;
but the folly of fools is deceit: or "the wisdom of fools", which the opposition requires, and is meant, and is what the Holy Ghost calls "folly", as elsewhere, 1 Corinthians 3:19; this is itself "deceit"; it is science, falsely so called; it lies in tricking and deceiving; and the issue of it is, not only the deceiving of others, but themselves also: such is the folly of the man of sin and followers, which lies in deceiving the inhabitants of the earth with their sorceries and superstitions, with their lying wonders and miracles; see 2 Thessalonians 2:10, Revelation 13:14.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Appearances deceive the thoughtless, but the prudent discriminate.
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