Proverbs 12
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

Pr 12:1-28.

1. loveth knowledge—as the fruit of instruction or training (Pr 1:2).

hateth reproof—(Pr 10:17).

brutish—stupid, regardless of his own welfare (Ps 49:10; 73:22).

A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
3. Wickedness cannot give permanent prosperity.

root … not be moved—firm as a flourishing tree—(Ps 1:3; 15:5; Jer 17:8).

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
4. A virtuous woman—in the wide sense of well-disposed to all moral duties (Pr 31:10).

maketh ashamed—that is, by misconduct.

rottenness—an incurable evil.

The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
5. thoughts—or, "purposes."

are right—literally, "are judgment," that is, true decisions.

counsels—(Compare Pr 11:14).

deceit—contrary to truth and honesty.

The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.
6. The words—or, "expressed designs" of the wicked are for evil purposes.

the mouth—or, "words" of the righteous delivering instead of ensnaring men.

The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.
7. Such conduct brings a proper return, by the destruction of the wicked and well-being of the righteous and his family.
A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
8. despised—as opposed to commended (Pr 11:12).

perverse heart—or, "wicked principles," as opposed to one of wisdom.

He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.
9. despised—held in little repute, obscure (1Sa 18:23; Isa 3:5).

hath a servant—implying some means of honest living.

honoureth himself—is self-conceited.

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
10. regardeth—literally, "knoweth" (Ps 1:6).

mercies … cruel—as acts of compassion ungraciously rendered to the needy. The righteous more regards a beast than the wicked a man.

He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
11. The idler's fate is the result of indolence and want of principle (Pr 6:32; 7:7).
The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
12. the wicked … evil—They love the crafty arts of deception.

the root … fruit—their own resources supply them; or, it may be rendered: "He (God) giveth, or, sets (Eze 17:22) the root of the righteous," and hence it is firm: or, the verb is impersonal; "As to the root … it is firm" (Pr 17:19).

The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
13, 14. The wicked is snared, &c.—The sentiment expanded. While the wicked, such as liars, flatterers, &c., fall by their own words, the righteous are unhurt. Their good conduct makes friends, and God rewards them.
A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
15. The way … eyes—The fool is self-conceited (compare Pr 12:1; 1:32; 10:17; Jas 3:17).
A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
16. prudent … shame—He is slow to denounce his insulters (Jas 1:19).
He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
18. speaketh—literally, "speaketh hastily," or indiscreetly (Ps 106:33), as an angry man retorts harsh and provoking invectives.

tongue … health—by soothing and gentle language.

The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
19. Words of truth are consistent, and stand all tests, while lies are soon discovered and exposed.
Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellers of peace is joy.
20. that imagine—or, "plan" (Pr 3:29). They design a deceitful course, to which, with all its evils and dangers to others and themselves, the happiness of peace-makers is opposed (compare Mt 5:9; Ro 12:18).
There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
21. no evil—(as in Ps 91:10), under God's wise limitations (Ro 8:28).

mischief—as penal evil.

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
22. deal truly—or, "faithfully," that is, according to promises (compare Joh 3:21).
A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
23. concealeth—by his modesty (Pr 10:14; 11:13).

heart … proclaimeth—as his lips speak his thoughts (compare Ec 10:3).

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
24. slothful—(Compare Margin), so called because he fails to meet his promises.

under tribute—not denoting legal taxes, but the obligation of dependence.

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
25. a good word—one of comfort.
The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
26. more excellent—(Compare Margin); or, "more successful," while the wicked fail; or, we may read it: "The righteous guides his friend, but," &c., that is, The ability of the righteous to aid others is contrasted with the ruin to which the way of the wicked leads themselves.
The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
27. (Compare Pr 12:24).

took in hunting—or, "his venison." He does not improve his advantages.

the substance … precious—or, "the wealth of a man of honor is being diligent," or "diligence."

precious—literally, "honor" (Ec 10:1).

In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
28. (Compare Pr 8:8, 20, &c.). A sentiment often stated; here first affirmatively, then negatively.
A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown [1882]

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