Darby's Bible Synopsis
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
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.
For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.
A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.
Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.
The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.
When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.
The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.
A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.
Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.
He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.
A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.
He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.
He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.