Darby's Bible Synopsis
The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
The following commentary covers Chapters 10 through 31.
In chapter 10 begin the details which teach those who give ear how to avoid the snares into which the simple might fall, the path to be followed in many cases, and the consequences of men's actions: in short, that which characterises wisdom in detail, what may be prudence for man, divine discretion for the children of God; and also, the result of God's government, whatever appearances may be for awhile. It is well to observe, that there is no question of redemption or propitiation in this book; it proposes a walk according to the wisdom of God's government.
In the final chapter we have the character of a king according to wisdom, and that of the woman in her own house-the king who does not allow himself that which, by darkening his moral discernment through the indulgence of his lusts, would make him unfit to govern. In the woman we see the persevering and devoted industry which fills the house with riches, brings honour to its inhabitants, and removes all the cares and anxieties produced by sloth. The typical application of these two specific characters is too evident to need explanation. The example of the woman is very useful, as to the spirit of the thing, to one who labours in the assembly.
Although in this book the wisdom produced by the fear of Jehovah is only applied to this world, it is on that very account of great use to the Christian, who, in view of his heavenly privileges, might, more or less, forget the continual government of God. It is very important for the Christian to remember the fear of the Lord, and the effect of God's presence on the details of his conduct; and I repeat that which I said at the beginning, that it is great grace which deigns to apply divine wisdom to all the details of the life of man in the midst of the confusion brought in by sin. Occupied with heavenly things, the Christian is less in the way of discovering, by his own experience, the clue to the labyrinth of evil through which he is passing. God has considered this, and He has laid down this first principle, "wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil." Thus the Christian may be ignorant of evil (if a worldling were so, he would fall into it), and yet avoid it through his knowledge of good. The wisdom of God gives him the latter; the government of God provides for all the rest. Now, in the Proverbs, we have these things in principle and in detail. I have not dwelt on the figurative character of the forms of evil. They are rather principles than figures. But the violent man of the last days is continually found in the Psalms; and Babylon is the full accomplishment of the woman who takes the simple in her snares and leads them down to death; just as Christ is the perfect wisdom of God which leads to life. But these two things which manifest evil proceed from the heart of man at all times since the fall: only we have seen that there is an active development of the wiles of the evil woman, who has her own house and her own arrangements. It is not simply the principle of corruption, but an organised system, as is that of sovereign wisdom.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are his work.
It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.
Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.
The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.
In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.
How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.
The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.
An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.
A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.
He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.