|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1 The believer, perceiving that the Lord rules every heart as he sees fit, like the husbandman who turns the water through his grounds as he pleases, seeks to have his own heart, and the hearts of others, directed in his faith, fear, and love. 2. We are partial in judging ourselves and our actions. 3. Many deceive themselves with a conceit that outward devotions will excuse unrighteousness. 4. Sin is the pride, the ambition, the glory, the joy, and the business of wicked men. 5. The really diligent employ foresight as well as labour. 6. While men seek wealth by unlawful practices, they seek death. 7. Injustice will return upon the sinner, and will destroy him here and for ever. 8. The way of mankind by nature is froward and strange.
Verse 3. - To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. The superiority of moral obedience to ceremonial worship is often inculcated (see note on Proverbs 15:8, and below, ver. 27; and comp. Micah 6:6-8 and Matthew 12:7). "Justice" and "judgment" (tsedakah and mishpat) are combined in Genesis 18:19; 2 Samuel 8:15; Job 37:23; Isaiah 56:1, etc. They imply equity and justice proceeding, not from bare regard to law, but from the principle of love. Septuagint, "To do justify and to speak the truth are more pleasing to God than the blood of sacrifices."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To do justice and judgment,.... The moral duties of religion, what is holy, just, and good, which the law requires; what is agreeably to both tables, piety towards God, and justice to men; that which is just and right between man and man; which, especially if done from right principles and with right views,
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice; not than any sacrifice; than the sacrifice of a broken heart, or the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, or of acts of goodness and beneficence, or of a man's whole self to the Lord; but than ceremonial sacrifices; which, though of divine institution, and typical of Christ, and when offered up in the faith of him, were acceptable to God, while in force; yet not when done without faith and in hypocrisy, and especially when done to cover and countenance immoral actions; and, even when compared with moral duties, the latter were preferable to them; see 1 Samuel 15:22.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. (Compare Ps 50:7-15; Isa 1:11, 17).
Proverbs 21:3 Parallel Commentaries
Proverbs 21:3 NIV
Proverbs 21:3 NLT
Proverbs 21:3 ESV
Proverbs 21:3 NASB
Proverbs 21:3 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible