|Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible|
Even a child is known by his doings,.... As well as a man; "ye shall know them by their fruits", Matthew 7:16; professors and profane. So a child soon discovers its genius by its actions; it soon shows its inclination and disposition; and some shrewd guesses may be made how it will turn out, a wise man or a fool, a virtuous or a vicious man; though this does not always hold good, yet something may be observed, which may be a direction to parents in the education of their children, and placing them out to what is proper and suitable for them. Some observe, that the word has a quite contrary meaning, that "a child carries himself a stranger by his doings" (e); so that he is not known by them: he so conceals and disguises himself, he acts so fraudulently and deceitfully, and plays the hypocrite, and puts the cheat on men, that they cannot tell what he is, nor what he will be; and if children can thus dissemble, as not to be known by their actions, then much more grown persons;
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
11 Even a child maketh himself known by his conduct,
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
The graces or the faults of children are not trifles. "The child is father of the man;" and the earliest actions are prophecies of the future, whether it will be pure and right, or unclean and evil.
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
Even a child is known by his doings - That is, in general terms, the effect shows the nature of the cause. "A childe is known by his conversation," says Coverdale. A child is easily detected when he has done evil; he immediately begins to excuse and vindicate himself, and profess his innocence, almost before accusation takes place. Some think the words should be understood, every child will dissemble; this amounts nearly to the meaning given above, But probably the principal this intended by the wise man is, that we may easily learn from the child what the man will be. In general, they give indications of those trades and callings for which they are adapted by nature. And, on the whole, we cannot go by a surer guide in preparing our children for future life, than by observing their early propensities. The future engineer is seen in the little handicraftsman of two years old. Many children are crossed in these early propensities to a particular calling, to their great prejudice, and the loss of their parents, as they seldom settle at, or succeed in, the business to which they are tied, and to which nature has given them no tendency. These infantine predilections to particular callings, we should consider as indications of Divine Providence, and its calling of them to that work for which they are peculiarly fitted.
Geneva Study Bible
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
20:11 Is known - The future disposition of a man may be probably conjectured from his childish manners.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. The conduct of children even is the best test of principle (compare Mt 7:16).
Proverbs 20:11 Parallel Commentaries
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible