1. This is the title of this chapter (see Introduction).
the prophecy—literally, "the burden"
(compare Isa 13:1; Zec 9:1), used for any divine instruction; not
necessarily a prediction, which was only a kind of prophecy (1Ch 15:27, "a song"). Prophets were inspired
men, who spoke for God to man, or for man to God (Ge 20:7;
Ex 7:14, 15, 16). Such, also,
were the New Testament prophets. In a general sense, Gad, Nathan, and
others were such, who were divine teachers, though we do not learn that
they ever predicted.
the man spake—literally, "the saying
of the man"; an expression used to denote any solemn and important
announcement (compare 2Sa 23:1; Ps 36:1; 110:1; Isa
1:24, &c.). Ithiel and
Ucal were perhaps pupils.
2-4. brutish—stupid, a strong term to
denote his lowly self-estimation; or he may speak of such as his
natural condition, as contrasted with God's all-seeing comprehensive
knowledge and almighty power. The questions of this clause emphatically
deny the attributes mentioned to be those of any creature, thus
impressively strengthening the implied reference of the former to God
(compare De 30:12-14; Isa 40:12; Eph 4:8).
5. (Compare Ps 12:6; 119:140).
6. Add … words—implying that his
sole reliance was on God's all-sufficient teaching.
reprove thee—or, "convict
thee"—and so the falsehood will appear.
7-9. A prayer for exemption from wickedness,
and the extremes of poverty and riches, the two things
mentioned. Contentment is implied as desired.
8. vanity—all sorts of sinful acts
(Job 11:11; Isa 5:18).
9. be full … deny—that is, puffed
up by the pride of prosperity.
take the name … vain—This is not
(Hebrew) the form (compare Ex 20:7), but "take" rather denotes laying
violent hold on any thing; that is, lest I assail God's name or
attributes, as justice, mercy, &c., which the poor are tempted to
10. Accuse not—Slander not (Ps 10:7).
curse … guilty—lest, however
lowly, he be exasperated to turn on thee, and your guilt be made to
11-14. Four kinds of hateful persons—(1)
graceless children, (2) hypocrites, (3) the proud, (4) cruel oppressors
(compare on Pr 30:14; Ps 14:4; 52:2)—are now illustrated; (1) Pr 30:15,
16, the insatiability of
prodigal children and their fate; (2) Pr 30:17, hypocrisy, or the concealment of real
character; (3 and 4) Pr 30:18-20, various examples of pride and
15, 16. horse leech—supposed by some to
be the vampire (a fabulous creature), as being literally insatiable;
but the other subjects mentioned must be taken as this, comparatively
insatiable. The use of a fabulous creature agreeably to popular notions
is not inconsistent with inspiration.
There are three … yea,
four—(Compare Pr 6:16).
17. The eye—for the person, with
reference to the use of the organ to express mockery and contempt, and
also as that by which punishment is received.
the ravens … eagles …
eat—either as dying unnaturally, or being left unburied, or
18-20. Hypocrisy is illustrated by four
examples of the concealment of all methods or traces of action, and a
pertinent example of double dealing in actual vice is added, that is,
the adulterous woman.
20. she eateth … mouth—that is,
she hides the evidences of her shame and professes innocence.
21-23. Pride and cruelty, the undue exaltation
of those unfit to hold power, produce those vices which disquiet
society (compare Pr 19:10; 28:3).
23. heir … mistress—that is, takes
her place as a wife (Ge 16:4).
24-31. These verses provide two classes of apt
illustrations of various aspects of the moral world, which the reader
is left to apply. By the first (Pr 30:25-28), diligence and providence are
commended; the success of these insignificant animals being due to
their instinctive sagacity and activity, rather than strength. The
other class (Pr 30:30, 31) provides similes for whatever is
majestic or comely, uniting efficiency with gracefulness.
26. conies—mountain mice, or
28. spider—tolerated, even in palaces,
to destroy flies.
taketh … hands—or, uses with
activity the limbs provided for taking prey.
32. As none can hope, successfully, to resist
such a king, suppress even the thought of an attempt.
lay … hand upon thy mouth—"lay"
is well supplied (Jud 18:19; Job 29:9; 40:4).
33. That is, strife—or other ills, as
surely arise from devising evil as natural effects from natural