Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.CHAPTER 19:1-19 Further Proverbs on Personal Instruction
One may be poor, but walking in integrity, he is far ahead of him who is perverse in his lips and is a fool. Then we find proverbs about fretting against the Lord; warning against false witness and speaking lies and other matters. We call special attention to Proverbs 19:12.
The King’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion.
But his favour is as dew upon the grass.
It may be applied to Him who is The Lamb of God and also the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Some day He will roar in His displeasure and manifest the wrath, so well deserved by the world. But even then His grace will be revealed, for in wrath He will remember mercy, the mercy promised to Israel. “I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth its roots as Lebanon” Hosea 14:5).
We then read of a foolish son, a contentious wife, concerning houses and riches, a prudent wife. There is a warning against slothfulness, and exhortation to keep the commandments and to pity the poor, for giving to the poor means lending to the Lord. The son is to be chastened as long as there is hope and a warning against sinful wrath. This verse marks the end of this section of proverbs.
Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.III. INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO SOLOMON
Beginning with the twentieth verse of chapter 19 the personal address begins again and we read repeatedly the phrase “My son” up to the twenty-fifth chapter. This section corresponds therefore with the first nine chapters, containing the instructions which Solomon received from the Lord and which he records in these chapters.
Once more there is the call, like in the opening chapters, to hear, to give attention. “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” The Lord knew beforehand what “the latter end” of Solomon would be. The wise man who warned against the fool, the backslider, the unjust and the man who forsakes counsel and the Lord, himself illustrates the truths given in these proverbs by turning away from the Lord. Alas! he did not hear counsel, and therefore instead of being wise in his latter days he became a fool. The truth expressed in Proverbs 19:22 was Solomon’s portion as long as the fear of the Lord governed his conduct. He was satisfied, had peace and prosperity; but when he no longer feared the Lord, evil came upon his kingdom and it was divided. “Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou has not kept My covenant and My statutes which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant” 1Kings 11:11).