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14. Proverbs of Solomon

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. 2He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him. 3In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them. 4Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. 5A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. 6A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. 7Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. 8The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. 9Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour. 10The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. 11The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish. 12There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. 13Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness. 14The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. 15The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. 16A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. 17He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated. 18The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 19The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous. 20The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends. 21He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. 22Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good. 23In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury. 24The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly. 25A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies. 26In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 27The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. 28In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince. 29He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. 30A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. 31He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. 32The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death. 33Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known. 34Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. 35The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.

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Pr 14:1-35.

1. Every wise, &c.—literally, "The wisdoms" (compare Pr 9:1) "of women," plural, a distributive form of speech.

buildeth … house—increases wealth, which the foolish, by mismanagement, lessen.

2. uprightness—is the fruit of fearing God, as falsehood and ill-nature (Pr 2:15; 3:32) of despising Him and His law.

3. rod of pride—that is, the punishment of pride, which they evince by their words. The words of the wise procure good to them.

4. crib is clean—empty; so "cleanness of teeth" denotes want of food (compare Am 4:6). Men get the proper fruit of their doings (Ga 6:7).

5. A faithful witness, &c.—one tested to be such.

utter lies—or, "breathe out lies"—that is, habitually lies (Pr 6:19; compare Ac 9:1). Or the sense is, that habitual truthfulness, or lying, will be evinced in witness-bearing.

6. An humble, teachable spirit succeeds in seeking (Pr 8:9; Joh 7:17; Jas 1:5, 6).

7. Avoid the society of those who cannot teach you.

8. Appearances deceive the thoughtless, but the prudent discriminate.

9. Fools make a mock at sin—or, "Sin deludes fools."

righteous … favour—that is, of God, instead of the punishment of sin.

10. Each one best knows his own sorrows or joys.

11. (Compare Pr 12:7). The contrast of the whole is enhanced by that of house and tabernacle, a permanent and a temporary dwelling.

12. end thereof—or, "reward," what results (compare Pr 5:4).

ways of death—leading to it.

13. The preceding sentiment illustrated by the disappointments of a wicked or untimely joy.

14. filled … ways—receive retribution (Pr 1:31).

a good man … himself—literally, "is away from such," will not associate with him.

15. The simple … word—He is credulous, not from love, but heedlessness (Pr 13:16).

16. (Compare Pr 3:7; 28:14).

rageth—acts proudly and conceitedly.

17. He … angry—literally, "short of anger" (compare Pr 14:29, opposite idea).

man … hated—that is, the deliberate evildoer is more hated than the rash.

18. inherit—as a portion (compare Pr 3:35).

are crowned—literally, "are surrounded with it," abound in it.

19. Describes the humbling of the wicked by the punishment their sins incur.

20. This sad but true picture of human nature is not given approvingly, but only as a fact.

21. For such contempt of the poor is contrasted as sinful with the virtuous compassion of the good.

22. As usual, the interrogative negative strengthens the affirmative.

mercy and truth—that is, God's (Ps 57:3; 61:7).

23. labour—painful diligence.

talk … penury—idle and vain promises and plans.

24. (Compare Pr 3:16).

foolishness … folly—Folly remains, or produces folly; it has no benefit.

25. Life often depends on truth-telling.

a deceitful … lies—He that breathes out lies is deceit, not to be trusted (Pr 14:5).

26. The blessings of piety descend to children (Pr 13:22; 20:7; Ex 20:6).

27. (Compare Pr 13:14).

fear of the Lord—or, "law of the wise," is wisdom (Ps 111:10).

28. The teaching of a true political economy.

29. slow … understanding—(Compare Pr 14:17).

hasty—(Compare Pr 14:17).

exalteth folly—makes it conspicuous, as if delighting to honor it.

30. A sound heart—both literally and figuratively, a source of health; in the latter sense, opposed to the known effect of evil passions on health.

31. reproacheth his Maker—who is the God of such, as well as of the rich (Pr 22:2; Job 31:15; and specially 1Sa 2:8; Ps 113:7).

32. driven—thrust out violently (compare Ps 35:5, 6).

hath hope—trusteth (Pr 10:2; 11:4; Ps 2:12), implying assurance of help.

33. resteth—preserved in quietness for use, while fools blazon their folly (Pr 12:23; 13:16).

34. Righteousness—just principles and actions.

exalteth—raises to honor.

is a reproach—brings on them the ill-will of others (compare Pr 13:6).

35. wise—discreet or prudent.

causeth shame—(Pr 10:5; 12:4) acts basely.