Proverbs 16:31
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
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(31) If it be found in the way of righteousness.—Rather, it is found; old age being promised as the reward of obedience. (Comp. Proverbs 3:1-2; Proverbs 3:16; Proverbs 4:10; Proverbs 9:11; Proverbs 10:27.)

Proverbs 16:31. The hoary head is a crown of glory — A great honour and ornament, as it is a singular blessing of God, and a token of great experience and prudence; if it be found in the way of righteousness — If it be accompanied with true piety, otherwise an old sinner is accursed, Isaiah 65:20. “Old age,” says Bishop Patrick, “is very venerable, when a man’s past life has been truly virtuous and useful; which is the best way also to prolong one’s days, and bring one to that great honour, which is due to those who have long done much good to mankind.”

16:27,28. Ungodly men bestow more pains to do mischief than would be needful to do good. The whisperer separates friends: what a hateful, but how common a character! 29,30. Some do all the mischief they can by force and violence, and are blind to the result. 31. Old people especially should be found in the way of religion and godliness. 32. To overcome our own passions, requires more steady management, than obtaining victory over an enemy. 33. All the disposal of Providence concerning our affairs, we must look upon to be the determining what we referred to God; and we must be reconciled to them accordingly. Blessed are those that give themselves up to the will of God; for he knows what is good for them.Omit "if." Literally, "it (i. e., the hoary head) is found in the way of righteousness," comes as the reward of righteousness. 31. (Compare Pr 20:29).

if—or, which may be supplied properly, or without it the sense is as in Pr 3:16; 4:10, that piety is blessed with long life.

A crown of glory; a great honour and ornament, as it is a singular blessing of God, a token of great experience and prudence, as it comes nearest to God, who is called

the Ancient of days, Daniel 7:9. If it be found in the way of righteousness; if it be accompanied with true piety, otherwise an old sinner is accursed, Isaiah 65:20. Heb. it shall be found, &c. This is a privilege promised to righteous persons, Exodus 20:12 Proverbs 3:16 4:22; whereas ungodly men shall not live out half their days, Psalm 55:23.

The hoary head is a crown of glory,.... Gray hairs, white locks through age are very ornamental; look very beautiful, bespeak gravity, wisdom, and prudence, and command reverence and respect; with the ancient Romans (s), greater honour was paid to age than to family or wealth; and the elder were revered by the younger next to God, and in the stead of parents; See Gill on Leviticus 19:32;

if it be found in the way of righteousness; that is, if such who are old and stricken in years are like Zacharias and Elisabeth, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless; when they are found in Christ, having on his righteousness; and when they live soberly, righteously, and godly; when they walk in the ways of God and true religion; keep up family worship, and private devotion; as well as constantly attend the ministry of the word and ordinances; then are they very venerable and respectable; their old age is a good old age; and in a short time they shall have the crown of glory which fadeth not away: but otherwise a sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed; an old man in the open ways of sin and vice, laden with iniquity, is a very contemptible and shocking sight.

(s) Vid. A. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 2. c. 15.

The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of {o} righteousness.

(o) That is, when it is joined with virtue, or else the older that the wicked are, the more they are to be abhorred.

31. if it be found] Rather, it shall be found, R.V. text. “Decus et ornamentum est senectus, senectus vero præmium virtutis,” Maur. Comp. Proverbs 3:2; Proverbs 3:16.

Verse 31. - The hoary head is a crown of glory (Proverbs 20:29). (For "crown," see on Proverbs 17:6.) Old age is the reward of a good life, and therefore is an honour to a man (comp. Proverbs 3:2, 16; Proverbs 4:10; Proverbs 9:11; Proverbs 10:27). If it be found - rather, it shall be found - in the way of righteousness; the guerdon of obedience and holiness; whereas "bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days" (Psalm 55:23). It is well said in the Book of Wisdom (4, 5, etc.), "Honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years. But wisdom is the grey hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age." Proverbs 16:31Proverbs 16:31

31 A bright diadem is a hoary head,

     In the way of righteousness it is found -

namely, this bright diadem, this beautiful crown (Proverbs 4:8), which silver hair is to him who has it as the result of his advanced age (Proverbs 20:29), for "thou shalt rise up before the hoary head," Leviticus 19:32; and the contrast of an early death is to die in a good old age, Genesis 15:15, etc., but a long life is on one side a self-consequence, and on another the promised reward of a course of conduct regulated by God's will, God's law, and by the rule of love to God and love to one's neighbour. From the N.T. standpoint that is also so far true, as in all the world there is no better established means of prolonging life than the avoidance of evil; but the clause corresponding to the O.T. standpoint, that evil punishes itself by a premature death, and that good is rewarded by long life, has indeed many exceptions arising from the facts of experience against it, for we see even the godless in their life of sin attaining to an advanced old age, and in view of the veiled future it appears only as a one-sided truth, so that the words, Wisd. 4:9, "discretion is to man the right grey hairs, and an unstained life is the right old age," which is mediated by life experiences, such as Isaiah 57:1., stand opposed to the above proverb as its reversed side. That old Solomonic proverb is, however, true, for it is not subverted; and, in contrast to self-destroying vice and wickedness; calling forth the judgment of God, it is and remains true, that whoever would reach an honoured old age, attains to it in the way of a righteous life and conduct.

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