Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
1. A good name—(Job 30:8, Hebrew); "good" is supplied here from Ec 7:1.
loving favour—kind regard, that is, of the wise and good.
The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
2. Before God all are on the same footing (Pr 14:31; 17:5).
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
3. are punished—that is, for their temerity; for the evil is not necessarily punitive, as the prudent might otherwise be its objects.
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
4. humility and the fear of the Lord—are in apposition; one produces the other. On the results, compare Pr 3:16; 8:18.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.
5. he that … them—Those who properly watch over their own souls are thus preserved from the dangers which attend the way of perverse men (Pr 16:17).
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
6. Train—initiate, or early instruct.
the way—literally, "his way," that selected for him in which he should go; for early training secures habitual walking in it.
The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
7. The influence of wealth sets aside moral distinctions is implied, and, of course, disapproved (compare Pr 19:6; 21:14, &c.).
He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
8. (Compare Pr 11:18; Ps 109:16-20; Ga 6:7, 8).
the rod … fail—His power to do evil will be destroyed.
He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
9. a bountiful eye—that is, a beneficent disposition.
for he giveth … poor—His acts prove it.
Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
10. Cast out—or drive away. Scorners foster strife by taunts and revilings.
He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.
11. (Compare Margin).
pureness of heart—and gentle, kind words win favor, even from kings.
The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.
12. preserve—or guard.
knowledge—its principles and possessors.
overthroweth—utterly confounds and destroys the wicked.
The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
13. Frivolous excuses satisfy the indolent man's conscience.
The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.
14. The mouth—or flattering speeches (Pr 5:3; 7:5) ensnare man, as pits, beasts. God makes their own sin their punishment.
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
15. is bound—or firmly fixed. Chastisement deters from crime and so leads to reformation of principle.
He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
16. These two vices pertain to the same selfish feeling. Both are deservedly odious to God and incur punishment.
Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
17. Here begins another division of the book, marked by those encouragements to the pursuit of wisdom, which are found in the earlier chapters. It will be observed that at Pr 22:22-24:12, the proverbs are generally expressed in two verses instead of one (see Introduction).
For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.
18. These lessons must be laid up in the mind, and
fitted—or better, "fixed" in the lips so as to be ever ready.
That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
19. That … Lord—This is the design of the instruction.
Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
20. excellent things—or probably of former times.
counsels and knowledge—both advice and instruction.
That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
21. Specially he desires to secure accuracy, so that his pupil may teach others.
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
22, 23. Here follow ten precepts of two verses each. Though men fail to defend the poor, God will (Pr 17:5; Ps 12:5).
in the gate—place of public gathering (Job 5:4; Ps 69:12).
For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
24, 25. (Compare Pr 2:12-15; 4:14).
Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
25. a snare … soul—The unsuspecting are often misled by bad company.
Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
26, 27. (Compare Pr 6:1; 17:18).
If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?
27. should he take, &c.—that is, the creditor.
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
28. (Compare Pr 23:10). Do not entrench on others (De 19:14; 27:17).
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
29. Success rewards diligence (Pr 10:4; 21:5).