|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:12. The ruler that uses his power aright, will find that to be his best security. 13. Put those in power who know how to speak to the purpose. 14,15. Those are fools, who, to obtain the favour of an earthly prince, throw themselves out of God's favour. 16. There is joy and satisfaction of spirit, only in getting wisdom. 17. A sincerely religious man keeps at a distance from every appearance of evil. Happy is the man that walks in Christ, and is led by the Spirit of Christ. 18. When men defy God's judgments, and think themselves far from them, it is a sign they are at the door. Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves. 19. Humility, though it exposes to contempt in the world, is much better than high-spiritedness, which makes God an enemy. He that understands God's word shall find good. 21. The man whose wisdom dwells in his heart, will be found more truly prudent than many who possess shining talents. 22. As waters to a thirsty land, so is a wise man to his friends and neighbours. 23. The wise man's self-knowledge, always suggests something proper to be spoken to others. 24. The word of God cures the diseases that weaken our souls. 25. This is caution to all, to take heed of deceiving themselves as to their souls. 26. We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish.
Verse 22. - Understanding is a well spring of life unto him that hath it (Proverbs 10:11; Proverbs 13:14). The possessor of understanding has in himself a source of comfort and a vivifying power, which is as refreshing as a cool spring to a thirsty traveller. In all troubles and difficulties he can fall back upon his own good sense and prudence, and satisfy himself therewith. This is not conceit, but the result of a well grounded experience. But the instruction of fools is folly; i.e. the instruction which fools give is folly and sin; such is the only teaching which they can offer. So the Vulgate, doctrina stultorum fatuitas; and many modern commentators. But musar is better taken in the sense of "discipline" or "chastisement" (as in Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 7:22; Proverbs 15:5), which the bad man suffers. His own folly is the scourge which punishes him; refusing the teaching of wisdom, he makes misery for himself, deprives himself of the happiness which virtue gives, and pierces himself through with many sorrows. Septuagint, "The instruction of tools is evil."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it,.... "The master" or "owner of it" (k). As he only is to whom an understanding is given; for, whatever understanding men may have of natural and civil things, they have none of things spiritual and divine, unless it be given them by Christ. This is no other than the grace of the Spirit of God, who is a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ; and this is a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life, and it issues in it; with the knowledge of Christ, and God in Christ, eternal life is connected, John 4:14; and as this knowledge and understanding of things is communicated by wise and knowing men, they are the means and instruments of the spiritual life of those to whom they minister, and are made useful;
but the instruction of fools is folly; the best instruction they are capable of giving is downright folly, and issues in death.
(k) "domini sui", Pagninus; "domino suo", Mercerus, Gejerus; "dominorum suorum", Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. Understanding—or, "discretion," is a constant source of blessing (Pr 13:14), benefiting others; but fools' best efforts are folly.
Proverbs 16:22 Parallel Commentaries
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