Matthew Henry's Commentary
Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
14:1 A woman who has no fear of God, who is wilful and wasteful, and indulges her ease, will as certainly ruin her family, as if she plucked her house down. 2. Here are grace and sin in their true colours. Those that despise God's precepts and promises, despise God and all his power and mercy. 3. Pride grows from that root of bitterness which is in the heart. The root must be plucked up, or we cannot conquer this branch. The prudent words of wise men get them out of difficulties. 4. There can be no advantage without something which, though of little moment, will affright the indolent. 5. A conscientious witness will not dare to represent anything otherwise than according to his knowledge. 6. A scorner treats Divine things with contempt. He that feels his ignorance and unworthiness will search the Scriptures in a humble spirit. 7. We discover a wicked man if there is no savour of piety in his discourse. 8. We are travellers, whose concern is, not to spy out wonders, but to get to their journey's end; to understand the rules we are to walk by, also the ends we are to walk toward. The bad man cheats himself, and goes on in his mistake. 9. Foolish and profane men consider sin a mere trifle, to be made light of rather than mourned over. Fools mock at the sin-offering; but those that make light of sin, make light of Christ. 10. We do not know what stings of conscience, or consuming passions, torment the prosperous sinner. Nor does the world know the peace of mind a serious Christian enjoys, even in poverty and sickness. 11. Sin ruins many great families; whilst righteousness often raises and strengthens even mean families. 12. The ways of carelessness, of worldliness, and of sensuality, seem right to those that walk in them; but self-deceivers prove self-destroyers. See the vanity of carnal mirth. 14. Of all sinners backsliders will have the most terror when they reflect on their own ways. 15. Eager readiness to believe what others say, has ever proved mischievous. The whole world was thus ruined at first. The man who is spiritually wise, depends on the Saviour alone for acceptance. He is watchful against the enemies of his salvation, by taking heed to God's word. 16. Holy fear guards against every thing unholy. 17. An angry man is to be pitied as well as blamed; but the revengeful is more hateful.
He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.
In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.
A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
14:18. Sin is the shame of sinners; but wisdom is the honour of the wise. 19. Even bad men acknowledge the excellency of God's people. 20. Friendship in the world is governed by self-interest. It is good to have God our Friend; he will not desert us. 21. To despise a man for his employment or appearance is a sin. 22. How wisely those consult their own interest, who not only do good, but devise it! 23. Labour of the head, or of the hand, will turn to some good account. But if men's religion runs all out in talk and noise, they will come to nothing. 24. The riches of men of wisdom and piety enlarge their usefulness. 25. An upright man will venture the displeasure of the greatest, to bring truth to light. 26,27. Those who fear the Lord so as to obey and serve him, have a strong ground of confidence, and will be preserved. Let us seek to this Fountain of life, that we may escape the snares of death. 28. Let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, do what they can, that many may be added to his church. 29. A mild, patient man is one that learns of Christ, who is Wisdom itself. Unbridled passion is folly made known. 30. An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health. 31. To oppress the poor is to reproach our Creator. 32. The wicked man has his soul forced from him; he dies in his sins, under the guilt and power of them. But godly men, though they have pain and some dread of death, have the blessed hope, which God, who cannot lie, has given them. 33. Wisdom possesses the heart, and thus regulates the affections and tempers. 34. Piety and holiness always promote industry, sobriety, and honesty. 35. The great King who reigns over heaven and earth, will reward faithful servants who honour his gospel by the proper discharge of the duties of their stations: he despises not the services of the lowest.
The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.