|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 31. - The horse is prepared against the clay of battle. The horse is an emblem of military power and activity. To the earlier Jews, who were unaccustomed to its use, and indeed forbidden to employ it (Deuteronomy 17:16), the horse and horse-drawn chariots were objects of extreme terror (Joshua 17:16; Judges 4:3), and though Solomon had largely imported them from Egypt (1 Kings 4:26; 1 Kings 10:26, etc.), these animals were used exclusively for war, and, at this time, their services were never applied to agricultural purposes. The proverb asserts that, though all preparations are made for the battle, and material forces are of the best and strongest description, but safety (victory) is of the Lord (see Psalm 20:7; Psalm 33:16, etc.). Septuagint, "But from the Lord is the help (ἡ βοήθεια)." The great truth here taught may be applied to spiritual matters. The only safety against spiritual enemies is the grace of God; we can cry, with St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:57), "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." "By the name 'horse,'" says St. Gregory ('Moral.,' 31:43), "is understood the preparation of right intention, as it is written, 'The horse is prepared,' etc.; because the mind prepares itself indeed against temptation, but contends not healthfully unless it be assisted from above."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The horse is prepared against the day of battle,.... The horse is a warlike creature, and was much used formerly, as now, in war; these are prepared against the day of battle, to mount the cavalry with; and men are apt to put too great confidence in them: this is mentioned instead of all other military preparations and instruments of war;
but safety is of the Lord; a horse is a vain thing for safety, Psalm 33:17; victory is only of the Lord; salvation depends upon him; it is he that covers men's heads in the day of battle, and gives them victory over their enemies: or "salvation is of the Lord" (o); this is true of spiritual and eternal salvation, as well as of temporal salvation; it is of the Lord, Father, Son and Spirit; and so is the safety of the saints; and their final perseverance to eternal glory, which is owing to the love of God, covenant interest, security in Christ, the grace of the Spirit, and the power of God; see Hosea 14:3.
(o) "a Domino autem (datur) salus". Tigurine version; "Domino est salvatio", Cocceius; "Jehovae est salus", Schultens; so Junius & Tremellius, Mercerus, Gejerus.
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