|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:9. It is best to shun bitter contention by pouring out the heart before God. For by prudence and patience, with constant prayer, the cross may be removed. 10. The evil desires of a wicked man's heart, lead to baseness in his conduct. 11. The simple may be made wise by punishments on the wicked, and by instructions to those who are willing to be taught. 12. Good men envy not the prosperity of evil-doers; they see there is a curse on them. 13. Such as oppress the poor by beating down wages, such as will not relieve according to their ability those in distress, and those in authority who neglect to do justice, stop their ears at the cry of the poor. But doubtless care is to be used in the exercise of charity. 14. If money can conquer the fury of the passions, shall reason, the fear of God, and the command of Christ, be too weak to bridle them? 15. There is true pleasure only in the practice of religion. 16. Of all wanderers in the ways of sin, those are in the most dangerous condition who turn aside into the ways of darkness. Yet there is hope even for them in the all-sufficient Saviour; but let them flee to him without delay. 17. A life of worldly pleasure brings ruin on men. 18. The righteous is often delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his stead, and so seems as a ransom for him. 19. Unbridled passions spoil the comfort of all relations. 20. The plenty obtained by prudence, industry, and frugality, is desirable. But the foolish misspend what they have upon their lusts. 21. True repentance and faith will lead him that relies on the mercy of God in Christ, to follow after righteousness and mercy in his own conduct. 22. Those that have wisdom, often do great things, even against those confident of their strength. 23. It is our great concern to keep our souls from being entangled and disquieted. 24. Pride and haughtiness make men passionate; such continually deal in wrath, as if it were their trade to be angry. 25,26. Here is the misery of the slothful; their hands refuse to labour in an honest calling, by which they might get an honest livelihood; yet their hearts cease not to covet riches, pleasures, and honours, which cannot be obtained without labour. But the righteous and industrious have their desires satisfied. 27. When holiness is pretended, but wickedness intended, that especially is an abomination. 28. The doom of a false witness is certain. 29. A wicked man bids defiance to the terrors of the law and the rebukes of Providence. But a good man asks, What does God require of me? 30,31. Means are to be used, but, after all, our safety and salvation are only of the Lord. In our spiritual warfare we must arm ourselves with the whole armour of God; but our strength must be in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Verse 26. - St. Jerome and many commentators connect this verse with the preceding, considering the two to form a tetrastich, thus: The desire of the slothful... he coveteth greedily all the day long, but the righteous giveth and spareth not. But in this division of our book there are only pure distichs; and, as Delitzsch observes, to make the contrast, one requires in the first hemistich an expression like, "and hath nothing" (Proverbs 13:4; comp. Proverbs 20:4). So it is correct to consider this distich independent, and to translate, There is that (or one) desireth greedily always, but the righteous giveth and withholdeth not. There are claims made on all sides, demands for help, importunate prayers, such as one would think no man could satisfy; but the righteous has means enough and to spare, he is generous and charitable, he is industrious, and uses his stewardship well (Luke 16:9), and so arranges his expenditure that he has to give to him that needeth (Ephesians 4:28). Septuagint, "An ungodly man devises evil devices all the day long, but the righteous pitieth and showeth compassion unsparingly."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He coveteth greedily all the day long,.... The slothful man does, as he has nothing to do to employ his time and his thoughts with; he is always craving something to eat and drink, or wishing he had such an estate, or so much wealth and riches, that he might live as such and such persons do; and this is what his head runs upon all the day long;
but the righteous giveth and spareth not; not gives to the slothful, which does not restrain his desire, as Aben Ezra interprets it; but to the poor and necessitous, to proper objects; a good man will work with his hands, that he may have a sufficiency for himself and his family, and may have something to give to others that are in want; and "he spares not", or withholds not his hands, neither from working nor from giving.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. The sin of covetousness marks the sluggard, as the virtue of benevolence the righteous.
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