|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:19. If we would keep a clear conscience and a quiet mind, we must shun all excitements to anger. And a man who affects a style of living above his means, goes the way to ruin. 20. There is nothing got by ill designs. And many have paid dear for an unbridled tongue. 21. This speaks very plainly what many wise and good men feel very strongly, how grievous it is to have a foolish, wicked child. 22. It is great mercy that God gives us leave to be cheerful, and cause to be cheerful, if by his grace he gives us hearts to be cheerful. 23. The wicked are ready to part with their money, though loved, that they may not suffer for their crimes. 24. The prudent man keeps the word of God continually in view. But the foolish man cannot fix his thoughts, nor pursue any purpose with steadiness. 25. Wicked children despise the authority of their father, and the tenderness of their mother. 26. It is very wrong to find fault for doing what is duty. 27,28. A man may show himself to be a wise man, by the good temper of his mind, and by the good government of his tongue. He is careful when he does speak, to speak to the purpose. God knows his heart, and the folly that is bound there; therefore he cannot be deceived in his judgment as men may be.
Verse 19. - He loveth transgression that loveth strife, because strife leads to many breaches of the commandments (comp. Proverbs 29:22; James 1:20). Septuagint, "He who loveth sin rejoices in battles." And he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. He who builds a sumptuous house and lives in the way that his magnificent surroundings demand draws ruin on himself, either because he affects a state which he is unable to support, or acts so as to provoke reprisals and injurious consequences. The entrance to a Palestinian house would usually be of humble dimensions and sparse ornamentation; any doorway of great architectural pretensions would be uncommon, and would be regarded as a token of extraordinary wealth or reprehensible pride. Aben Ezra, taking "gate" as a metaphor for "mouth," explains the hemistich of the danger of random or excessive speech. This makes a good parallel with the first clause; but it is doubtful whether the words will bear this interpretation (see Hitzig); and the two clauses may present two forms of selfishness, captiousness and ostentation, both of which lead to quarrels and ruin (comp. Proverbs 16:18).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He loveth transgression that loveth strife,.... For strife is transgression, when it flows from a malignant spirit, is with bad views, about things to no profit, and for contention's sake; otherwise to contend earnestly for the truth; to strive together for the faith of the Gospel, for matters of moment and importance, and not mere words; to strive lawfully in a cause that is just, and for truth and justice, is commendable and praiseworthy;
and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction; that opens the door of his lips, and speaks proudly, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra interpret it; who compare it with Micah 7:5; who set their mouths against heaven, and God in it; and whose tongue walks through the earth, and spares none there, Psalm 73:8; as antichrist, who opens his mouth in blasphemy against God and his tabernacle, and exalts himself above all that is called God; and such, sooner or later, bring destruction on themselves, and find it as surely as if they sought for it. Or this may be understood of proud ambitious persons, that build houses more magnificent than their substance will allow of, the gate being put for the whole; by which means they bring themselves to ruin. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, have it in Proverbs 17:16, "he that buildeth his house high"; or who behaves proudly.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. strife—contention is, and leads to, sin.
he that exalteth his gate—gratifies a vain love of costly building.
seeketh—or, "findeth," as if he sought (compare "loveth death," Pr 8:36).
Proverbs 17:19 Parallel Commentaries
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