Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.
For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
24:2 Destruction - How they may oppress and destroy others.
Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:
24:3 Through wisdom - There is no need that thou shouldest raise thy family by ruining others, which thou mayest more effectually do by wisdom.
And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
24:4 By knowledge - Which in scripture phrase includes the love and practice of what we know.
A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
24:5 Is strong - Is courageous and resolute, and able by wisdom to do greater things than others can accomplish by strength.
For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellers there is safety.
24:6 Thy war - War is better managed by wisdom than by strength.
Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
24:7 A fool - For a wicked man, whose sins enfeeble his mind, and make it incapable of wisdom. Openeth not - He knows not how to speak acceptably, and profitably in the publick assembly.
He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.
24:8 Shall be called - Though he cover his wicked devices with fair pretences, he shall be branded with that infamy which is due to him.
The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
24:9 The thought - The very inward thought or contrivance of evil, is a sin in God's sight.
If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;
24:11 Deliver - When it is in thy power. Drawn - By the violence of lawless men.
If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
24:12 Consider - That this is only a frivolous excuse.
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:
24:13 Eat - This is not a command, but a concession, and is only here expressed to illustrate the following verse . Honey in those parts was an usual food.
So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
24:14 A reward - It is not only sweet for the present, but brings a sure and everlasting reward.
Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place:
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
24:16 Falleth - Into calamities, of which he evidently speaks both in the foregoing verse , and in the following branch of this verse . Fall - Frequently into irrecoverable destruction.
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
24:17 Falleth - Into mischief.
Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
24:18 From him - Understand, upon thee, which is implied in the Hebrew phrase.
Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;
For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
24:20 No reward - All his happiness shall quickly and eternally perish. The candle - All their comfort and glory shall cease.
My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
24:21 To change - That are unstable in their obedience to God or to the king.
For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
24:22 Who knoweth - Who can conceive how sore and sudden will be the ruin of them that fear not God, and the king.
These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
24:23 These - The counsels following, to the end of the chapter , no less than those hitherto mentioned, are worthy of their consideration.
He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:
But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.
24:25 Rebuke - That publickly and judicially rebuke and condemn the wicked. Delight - The peace of a good conscience.
Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.
24:26 Shall kiss - Shall respect him. A right answer - That speaks pertinently and plainly, and truly.
Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.
Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.
I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
24:32 Received - I learned wisdom by his folly.
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.