|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 4. - The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters. "Man" (ish) here means the ideal man in all his wisdom and integrity, just as in Proverbs 18:22 the ideal wife is intended under the general term "wife." Such a man's words are as deep waters which cannot be fathomed or exhausted. The metaphor is common (see Proverbs 20:5; Ecclesiastes 7:24; Ecclus. 21:13). For "mouth," the Septuagint reads "heart:" "Deep water is a word in a man's heart." The second hemistich explains the first: The well spring of wisdom as a flowing (gushing) brook. A man's words are now called a well spring of wisdom, gushing forth from its source, the wise and understanding heart, pure, fresh, and inexhaustible. Septuagint, "And it leapeth forth (ἀναπηδύει) a river and a fountain of life." Or we may, with Delitzsch, take the whole as one idea, and consider that a man's words are deep waters, a bubbling brook, and a fountain of wisdom.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters,.... The words of a great and mighty man; of an excellent and valuable man, as Jarchi; or of a wise man, as Aben Ezra. The doctrines which such a man has imbibed, and his heart is full of and his mouth utters, are like to "waters", pure, purifying, and refreshing; to "deep waters", which make no noise, and cannot be easily fathomed: such are the deep mysteries of grace, the wisdom of God in a mystery, spoken among them that are perfect; of which a good man makes no boast, but humbly declares; out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks;
and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook; there is a spring of spiritual wisdom and knowledge in him; a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life; and from thence it flows freely and constantly; communicating itself liberally unto others, and ministering grace to the hearers, for their edification.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. Wise speech is like an exhaustless stream of benefit.
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