|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1 We should be more careful to do that by which we may get and keep a good name, than to raise or add unto a great estate. 2. Divine Providence has so ordered it, that some are rich, and others poor, but all are guilty before God; and at the throne of God's grace the poor are as welcome as the rich. 3. Faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners, and looks to Jesus Christ as the sure refuge from the storm. 4. Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. 5. The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. 6. Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour. 7. This shows how important it is for every man to keep out of debt. As to the things of this life, there is a difference between the rich and the poor; but let the poor remember, it is the Lord that made the difference. 8. The power which many abuse, will soon fail them. 9. He that seeks to relieve the wants and miseries of others shall be blessed. 10. Profane scoffers and revilers disturb the peace. 11. God will be the Friend of a man in whose spirit there is no guile; this honour have all the saints. 12. God turns the counsels and designs of treacherous men to their own confusion. 13. The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him. 14. The vile sin of licentiousness commonly besots the mind beyond recovery. 15. Sin is foolishness, it is in the heart, there is an inward inclination to sin: children bring it into the world with them; and it cleaves close to the soul. We all need to be corrected by our heavenly Father. 16. We are but stewards, and must distribute what God intrusts to our care, according to his will.
Verse 13. - The slothful man saith, There is a lion without (Proverbs 26:13). The absurd nature of the sluggard's excuse is hardly understood by the casual reader. The supposed lion is without, in the open country, and yet he professes to be in danger in the midst of the town. I shall be slain in the streets. Others consider that the sluggard makes two excuses for his inactivity. If work calls him abroad, he may meet the lion which report says is prowling in the neighbourhood; if he has to go into the streets, he may be attacked and murdered by ruffians for motives of plunder or revenge. "Sluggards are prophets," says the Hebrew proverb. Septuagint, "The sluggard maketh excuses, and saith, A lion is in the ways, there are murderers in the streets." Lions, though now extinct in Palestine, seem to have lingered till the time of the Crusades, and such of them as became man eaters, the old or feeble, were a real danger in the vicinity of villages (comp. Jeremiah 49:19; Jeremiah 50:44).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The slothful man saith, there is a lion without,.... Or, "in the street". This he says within himself; or to those who call out to him, and put him on doing the business of his proper calling, whether in the field or elsewhere, which, through his slothfulness, he has a disinclination to; and therefore frames excuses, and suggests this and that difficulty or danger in the way, expressed by a "lion without"; and which shows the folly and weakness of his excuses, since lions do not usually walk in cities, towns, and villages, and in the streets of them, but in woods and mountains;
I shall be slain in the streets; by the lion there; or I shall never be able to get over the difficulties, and through the dangers, which attending to business will expose me to. Some apply this to the difficulties that slothful persons imagine in the learning of languages, arts, and sciences; as Jarchi applies it to the learning of the law.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Frivolous excuses satisfy the indolent man's conscience.
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