|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:23. A bargain made by fraud will prove a losing bargain in the end. 24. How can we form plans, and conduct business, independently of the Lord? 25. The evasions men often use with their own consciences show how false and deceitful man is. 26. Justice should crush the wicked, and separate them from the virtuous. 27. The rational soul and conscience are as a lamp within us, which should be used in examining our dispositions and motives with the revealed will of God. 28. Mercy and truth are the glories of God's throne. 29. Both young and old have their advantages; and let neither despise or envy the other.
Verse 29. - The glory of young men is their strength. That which makes the ornament (tiphereth) of youth is unimpaired strength and vigour, which can only be attained by due exercise combined with self-control. The moralist (Ecclesiastes 11:9) bids the young man rejoice in his youth, and let his heart cheer him in those happy days, but at the same time remember that he is responsible for the use which he makes of his powers and faculties, for for all these things God will bring him to judgment. The Greek gives a needful warning -
Μέμνησο νέος α}ν ὡς γέρων ἔσῃ ποτέ
"In youth remember thou wilt soon be old." Septuagint, "Wisdom is an ornament to young men." But koach is bodily, not mental, power. The beauty of old men is the grey head (Proverbs 16:31). That which gives an honorable look to old age is the hoary head, which suggests wisdom and experience (comp. Ecclus. 25:3-6). On the other hand, the Greek gnomist warns -
Πολιὰ χρόνου μήνυσις οὐ φρονήσεως.
"Grey hairs not wisdom indicate, but age."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The glory of young men is their strength,.... That is the excellent thing in them, and it is to their honour when it is employed in the service of their king and country, and especially in the service of God and religion; though it does not become them to glory in it, Jeremiah 9:23;
and the beauty of old men is the gray head; an index of wisdom and prudence; see Job 12:12. The design of the proverb is to show that both have their excellencies and usefulness, young men and old men, and should not despise one another; nor either of them be despised in a commonwealth, both being useful in it, the one for strength, the other for counsel; and so in the church of Christ; see 1 John 2:13.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
29. The glory of young men … the beauty of old men—Each age has its peculiar excellence (Pr 16:31).
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