|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:7. A good man is not liable to uneasiness in contriving what he shall do, or in reflecting on what he has done, as those who walk in deceit. And his family fare better for his sake. 8. If great men are good men, they may do much good, and prevent very much evil. 9. Some can say, Through grace, we are cleaner than we have been; but it was the work of the Holy Spirit. 10. See the various deceits men use, of which the love of money is the root. The Lord will not bless what is thus gotten. 11. Parents should observe their children, that they may manage them accordingly. 12. All our powers and faculties are from God, and are to be employed for him. 13. Those that indulge themselves, may expect to want necessaries, which should have been gotten by honest labour. 14. Men use arts to get a good bargain, and to buy cheap; whereas a man ought to be ashamed of a fraud and a lie. 15. He that prefers true knowledge to riches, follows the ways of religion and happiness. If we really believed this truth, the word of God would be valued as it deserves, and the world would lose its tempting influence. 16. Those ruin themselves who entangle themselves in rash suretiship. Also those who are in league with abandoned women. Place no confidence in either. 17. Wealth gotten by fraud may be sweet, for the carnal mind takes pleasure in the success of wicked devices; but it will be bitter in the reflection. 18. Especially we need advice in spiritual warfare. The word and Spirit of God are the best counsellors in every point. 19. Those dearly buy their own praise, who put confidence in a man because he speaks fairly. 20. An undutiful child will become very miserable. Never let him expect any peace or comfort. 21. An estate suddenly raised, is often as suddenly ruined. 22. Wait on the Lord, attend his pleasure, and he will protect thee.
Verse 15. - There is gold, and a multitude of rubies. For peninim, which is rendered "rubies," "pearls," or "coral," see on Proverbs 3:15. There is gold which is precious, and there is abundance of pearls which are still more valuable. But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel, and worth more than all. We had the expression, "lips of knowledge," in Proverbs 14:7; it means lips that utter wisdom. Keli, often translated "jewel" in the Authorized Version, also boars the meaning of "vessel," "utensil." So here the Vulgate, vas pretiosum; and the wise man's lips are called a vessel because they contain and distribute the wisdom that is within. (On the excellence and value of wisdom, see ch. Proverbs 3:14, etc; Proverbs 8:11, etc.) Connecting this with the preceding verse, we are led to the thought of buying, and the Lord's parable of the merchant seeking goodly pearls, and bartering all his wealth to gain possession of a worthy jewel (Matthew 13:45, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
There is gold, and a multitude of rubies,.... A man may have a large quantity of either, or of both of thorn, as some men have; for there is much of them in the world, not only in mines and quarries, but in the houses and cabinets of men;
but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel; knowledge even of things natural, and a gift of elocution to express it by, are a rare jewel, and much more precious than gold and rubies, than a multitude of them; these are not to be mentioned with it, it is not equalled by them, it is greatly superior to them; see Job 28:12; and much more spiritual knowledge, and a capacity of expressing that to the edification of others; and especially Christ, the Wisdom of God, and the knowledge of him, who is more precious than rubies, and all desirable things, in comparison of which all things are loss and dung, Proverbs 3:14.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. The contrast denotes the greater value of knowledge (compare Pr 3:14-16).
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