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Pr 20:1-30.

1. mocker—scorner. Such men are made by wine.

strong drink—made by spicing wine (compare Isa 5:11, 22); and it may include wine.

raging—or boisterous as a drunkard.

deceived—literally, "erring," or reeling.

2. (Compare Pr 19:12). Men who resist authority injure themselves (Ro 13:2).

3. to cease from strife—or, better, "to dwell from or without strife," denoting the habit of life.

fool … meddling—(Pr 17:14).

4. shall … beg—literally, "ask" (in this sense, Ps 109:10).

5. Counsel … water—that is, deeply hidden (Pr 18:4; Ps 13:2). The wise can discern well.

6. Boasters are unreliable.

goodness—or, "kind disposition."

7. The conduct of good men proclaims their sound principles. God's covenant and their good example secure blessing to their children (Pr 4:26; Ps 112:1, 2).

8. As in Pr 14:35; 16:10, 15, this is the character of a good king, not of all kings.

9. The interrogation in the affirmative strengthens the implied negation (compare Job 15:14; Ec 7:20).

10. Various measures, implying that some are wrong (compare Pr 11:1; 16:11).

11. The conduct of children even is the best test of principle (compare Mt 7:16).

12. Hence, of course, God will know all you do (Ps 94:9).

13. Activity and diligence contrasted with sloth (Pr 6:9; 10:11).

lest … poverty—literally, "be deprived of inheritance."

14. when … his way—implying that he goes about boasting of his bargains.

15. The contrast denotes the greater value of knowledge (compare Pr 3:14-16).

16. Take his garment—implies severe exaction, justified by the surety's rashness.

a strange woman—by some readings "strangers," but the former here, and in Pr 27:13, is allowable, and strengthens the sense. The debauchee is less reliable than the merely careless.

17. Bread … sweet—either as unlawfully (Pr 9:17) or easily obtained.

mouth … gravel—well expresses the pain and grief given at last.

18. (Compare Pr 15:22). Be careful and considerate in important plans.

19. Those who love to tell news will hardly keep secrets.

flattereth … lips—(compare Margin; Pr 1:10).

meddle … him—literally, "join," or "associate with."

20. his lamp—(Compare Pr 13:9; 24:20).

21. gotten hastily—contrary to God's providence (Pr 28:20), implying its unjust or easy attainment; hence the man is punished, or spends freely what he got easily (compare Pr 20:17).

22. (Compare Ps 27:14; Ro 12:17-19).

23. (Compare Pr 20:10; 11:1).

24. Man's goings—literally, "Stately steppings of a strong man."

a man—any common man.

understand—or, "perceive."

25. devoureth … holy—or, better, "who rashly speaks promises," or "devotes what is holy," consecrating any thing. This suits better the last clause, which expresses a similar view of the results of rashly vowing.

26. (Compare Pr 20:8).

bringeth … over them—The wheel was used for threshing grain. The figure denotes severity (compare Am 1:3).

27. The spirit … Lord—Men's minds are God's gifts, and thus able to search one another (compare Pr 20:5; Pr 18:8, 17; 1Co 2:11).

28. (Compare Pr 3:3; 16:6, 12).

29. The glory of young men … the beauty of old men—Each age has its peculiar excellence (Pr 16:31).

30. blueness—literally, "joining," the process of uniting the edges of a wound throws off purulent matter.

stripes … belly—So punishment provides healing of soul (Pr 18:8), by deterring from evil courses.

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