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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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Pr 18:1-24.

1. Through desire … seeketh—that is, seeks selfish gratification.

intermeddleth … wisdom—or, "rushes on" (Pr 17:14) against all wisdom, or what is valuable (Pr 2:7).

2. that his heart … itself—that is, takes pleasure in revealing his folly (Pr 12:23; 15:2).

3. So surely are sin and punishment connected (Pr 16:4).

wicked, for "wickedness," answers to

ignominy, or the state of such; and

contempt, the feeling of others to them; and to

reproach, a manifestation of contempt.

4. Wise speech is like an exhaustless stream of benefit.

5. accept the person—(Compare Ps 82:2). "It is not good" is to be supplied before "to overthrow."

6, 7. The quarrelsome bring trouble on themselves. Their rash language ensnares them (Pr 6:2).

8. (Compare Pr 16:28).

as wounds—not sustained by the Hebrew; better, as "sweet morsels," which men gladly swallow.

innermost … belly—the mind, or heart (compare Pr 20:27-30; Ps 22:14).

9. One by failing to get, the other by wasting wealth, grows poor.

waster—literally, "master of washing," a prodigal.

10. name of the Lord—manifested perfections (Ps 8:1; 20:2), as faithfulness, power, mercy, &c., on which men rely.

is safe—literally, "set on high, out of danger" (Ps 18:2; 91:4).

11. contrasts with Pr 18:10 (compare Pr 10:15). Such is a vain trust (compare Ps 73:6).

12. (Compare Pr 15:33; 16:18).

13. Hasty speech evinces self-conceit, and ensures shame (Pr 26:12).

14. infirmity—bodily sickness, or outward evil. The spirit, which sustains, being wounded, no support is left, except, as implied, in God.

15. (Compare Pr 1:5, 15, 31).

16. (Compare Pr 17:8, 23). Disapproval of the fact stated is implied.

17. One-sided statements are not reliable.

searcheth—thoroughly (Pr 17:9, 19).

18. The lot—whose disposal is of God (Pr 16:13), may, properly used, be a right mode of settling disputes.

19. No feuds so difficult of adjustment as those of relatives; hence great care should be used to avoid them.

20. (Compare Pr 12:14; 13:2). Men's words are the fruit, or, increase of his lips, and when good, benefit them.

satisfied with—(Compare Pr 1:31; 14:14).

21. Death and life—or, the greatest evil and good.

that love it—that is, the tongue, or its use for good or evil.

eat … fruit—(Compare Pr 18:19; Jas 1:19).

22. The old versions supply "good" before the "wife," as the last clause and Pr 19:14 imply (compare Pr 31:10).

23. the rich … roughly—He is tolerated because rich, implying that the estimate of men by wealth is wrong.

24. A man … friendly—better, "A man … (is) to, or, may triumph (Ps 108:9), or, shout for joy (Ps 5:11), that is, may congratulate himself." Indeed, there is a Friend who is better than a brother; such is the "Friend of sinners" [Mt 11:19; Lu 7:34], who may have been before the writer's mind.