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18. Proverbs of Solomon

1He that separateth himself seeketh his own desire,

And rageth against all sound wisdom.

2A fool hath no delight in understanding,

But only that his heart may reveal itself.

3When the wicked cometh, there cometh also contempt,

And with ignominy cometh reproach.

4The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters;

The wellspring of wisdom is as a flowing brook.

5To respect the person of the wicked is not good,

Nor to turn aside the righteous in judgment.

6A fool's lips enter into contention,

And his mouth calleth for stripes.

7A fool's mouth is his destruction,

And his lips are the snare of his soul.

8The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels,

And they go down into the innermost parts.

9He also that is slack in his work

Is brother to him that is a destroyer.

10The name of Jehovah is a strong tower;

The righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

11The rich man's wealth is his strong city,

And as a high wall in his own imagination.

12Before destruction the heart of man is haughty;

And before honor goeth humility.

13He that giveth answer before he heareth,

It is folly and shame unto him.

14The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity;

But a broken spirit who can bear?

15The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge;

And the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

16A man's gift maketh room for him,

And bringeth him before great men.

17He that pleadeth his cause first seemeth just;

But his neighbor cometh and searcheth him out.

18The lot causeth contentions to cease,

And parteth between the mighty.

19A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city;

And such contentions are like the bars of a castle.

20A man's belly shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth;

With the increase of his lips shall he be satisfied.

21Death and life are in the power of the tongue;

And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

22Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing,

And obtaineth favor of Jehovah.

23The poor useth entreaties;

But the rich answereth roughly.

24He that maketh many friends doeth it to his own destruction;

But there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

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Verse 1

If we would get knowledge and grace, we must try all methods of improving ourselves.

Verse 2

Those make nothing to purpose, of learning or religion, whose only design is to have something to make a show with.

Verse 3

As soon as sin entered, shame followed.

Verse 4

The well-spring of wisdom in the heart of a believer, continually supplies words of wisdom.

Verse 5

The merits of a cause must be looked to, not the person.

Verses 6, 7

What mischief bad men do to themselves by their ungoverned tongues!

Verse 8

How base are those that sow contention! and what fatal effects may be expected from small beginnings of jealousy!

Verse 9

Omissions of duty, and in duty, are fatal to the soul, as well as commissions of sin.

Verses 10, 11

The Divine power, made known in and through our Lord Jesus Christ, forms a strong tower for the believer, who relies on the Lord. How deceitful the defence of the rich man, who has his portion and treasure in this world! It is a strong city and a high wall only in his own conceit; for it will fail when most in need. They will be exposed to the just wrath of that Judge whom they despised as a Saviour.

Verse 12

After the heart has been lifted up with pride, a fall comes. But honour shall be the reward of humility.

Verse 13

Eagerness, with self-conceit, will expose to shame.

Verse 14

Firmness of mind supports under many pains and trials. But when the conscience is tortured with remorse, no human fortitude can bear the misery; what then will hell be?

Verse 15

We must get knowledge, not only into our heads, but into our hearts.

Verse 16

Blessed be the Lord, who makes us welcome to come to his throne, without money and without price. May his gifts make room for him in our souls.

Verse 17

It is well to listen to our enemies, that we may form a better judgment of ourselves.

Verse 18

It was customary sometimes to refer matters to God, by casting lots, with solemn prayer. The profaning the lot, by using it in matters of diversion, or coveting what belongs to others, forms an objection to this now.

Verse 19

Great care must be taken to prevent quarrels among relations and those under obligations to each other. Wisdom and grace make it easy to forgive; but corruption makes it difficult.

Verse 20

The belly is here put for the heart, as elsewhere; and what that is filled with, our satisfaction will be accordingly, and our inward peace.

Verse 21

Many a one has caused his own death, or the death of others, by a false or injurious tongue.

Verse 22

A good wife is a great blessing to a man, and it is a token of Divine favour.

Verse 23

Poverty tells men they must not order or demand. And at the throne of God's grace we are all poor, and must use entreaties.

Verse 24

Christ Jesus never will forsake those who trust in and love him. May we be such friends to others, for our Master's sake. Having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end; and we are his friends if we do whatever he commands us, Joh 15:14.