|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:4. The well-spring of wisdom in the heart of a believer, continually supplies words of wisdom. 5. The merits of a cause must be looked to, not the person. 6,7. What mischief bad men do to themselves by their ungoverned tongues! 8. How base are those that sow contention! and what fatal effects may be expected from small beginnings of jealousy! 9. Omissions of duty, and in duty, are fatal to the soul, as well as commissions of sin. 10,11. The Divine power, made known in and through our Lord Jesus Christ, forms a strong tower for the believer, who relies on the Lord. How deceitful the defence of the rich man, who has his portion and treasure in this world! It is a strong city and a high wall only in his own conceit; for it will fail when most in need. They will be exposed to the just wrath of that Judge whom they despised as a Saviour. 12. After the heart has been lifted up with pride, a fall comes. But honour shall be the reward of humility. 13. Eagerness, with self-conceit, will expose to shame. 14. Firmness of mind supports under many pains and trials. But when the conscience is tortured with remorse, no human fortitude can bear the misery; what then will hell be? 15. We must get knowledge, not only into our heads, but into our hearts. 16. Blessed be the Lord, who makes us welcome to come to his throne, without money and without price. May his gifts make room for him in our souls.
Verse 13. - He that answereth a matter, etc. Thus Ecclus. 11:8, "Answer not before thou hast heard the, cause; neither interrupt men in the midst of their talk." A reminiscence of the passage occurs in the Talmud ('Aboth.' 5. 10), "I weighed all things in the balance, and found nothing lighter than meal; lighter than meal is the betrothed man who dwells in the house of his intended father-in-law; lighter than he is a guest who introduces a friend; and lighter than he is the man who answers before he has heard the other's speech" (Dukes, p. 72, § 21). So Menander -
Ὁ προκαταγιγνώσκων δὲ πρὶν ἀκοῦσαι σαφῶς
Αὐτὸς πονηρός ἐστι πιστεύσας κακῶς. Seneca, 'Medea,' 199 -
"Qui statuit aliquid, parte inaudita altera,
AEquum licet statuerit, haud aequus erit."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it,.... Who is impatient, and cannot wait to hear it out, but breaks in upon the speaker before he has finished what he has to say; or is rash and precipitate, and returns an answer at once, without weighing and considering, and thoroughly understanding, what is said:
it is folly and shame unto him; his answer must be a foolish one, and bring shame and confusion upon him; men should be "swift to hear", and "slow to speak", James 1:9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Hasty speech evinces self-conceit, and ensures shame (Pr 26:12).
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