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22. Proverbs of Solomon

1A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,

And loving favor rather than silver and gold.

2The rich and the poor meet together:

Jehovah is the maker of them all.

3A prudent man seeth the evil, and hideth himself;

But the simple pass on, and suffer for it.

4The reward of humility and the fear of Jehovah

Is riches, and honor, and life.

5Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse:

He that keepeth his soul shall be far from them.

6Train up a child in the way he should go,

And even when he is old he will not depart from it.

7The rich ruleth over the poor;

And the borrower is servant to the lender.

8He that soweth iniquity shall reap calamity;

And the rod of his wrath shall fail.

9He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed;

For he giveth of his bread to the poor.

10Cast out the scoffer, and contention will go out;

Yea, strife and ignominy will cease.

11He that loveth pureness of heart,

For the grace of his lips the king will be his friend.

12The eyes of Jehovah preserve him that hath knowledge;

But he overthroweth the words of the treacherous man.

13The sluggard saith, There is a lion without:

I shall be slain in the streets.

14The mouth of strange women is a deep pit:

He that is abhorred of Jehovah shall fall therein.

15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;

But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

16He that oppresseth the poor to increase his gain,

And he that giveth to the rich, shall come only to want.

17Incline thine ear, and hear the words of the wise,

And apply thy heart unto my knowledge.

18For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee,

If they be established together upon thy lips.

19That thy trust may be in Jehovah,

I have made them known to thee this day, even to thee.

20Have not I written unto thee excellent things

Of counsels and knowledge,

21To make thee know the certainty of the words of truth,

That thou mayest carry back words of truth to them that send thee?

22Rob not the poor, because he is poor;

Neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

23For Jehovah will plead their cause,

And despoil of life those that despoil them.

24Make no friendship with a man that is given to anger;

And with a wrathful man thou shalt not go:

25Lest thou learn this ways,

And get a snare to thy soul.

26Be thou not one of them that strike hands,

Or of them that are sureties for debts.

27If thou hast not wherewith to pay,

Why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

28Remove not the ancient landmark,

Which thy fathers have set.

29Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings;

He shall not stand before mean men.

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Pr 22:1-29.

1. A good name—(Job 30:8, Hebrew); "good" is supplied here from Ec 7:1.

loving favour—kind regard, that is, of the wise and good.

2. Before God all are on the same footing (Pr 14:31; 17:5).

3. are punished—that is, for their temerity; for the evil is not necessarily punitive, as the prudent might otherwise be its objects.

4. humility and the fear of the Lord—are in apposition; one produces the other. On the results, compare Pr 3:16; 8:18.

5. he that … them—Those who properly watch over their own souls are thus preserved from the dangers which attend the way of perverse men (Pr 16:17).

6. Train—initiate, or early instruct.

the way—literally, "his way," that selected for him in which he should go; for early training secures habitual walking in it.

7. The influence of wealth sets aside moral distinctions is implied, and, of course, disapproved (compare Pr 19:6; 21:14, &c.).

8. (Compare Pr 11:18; Ps 109:16-20; Ga 6:7, 8).

the rod … fail—His power to do evil will be destroyed.

9. a bountiful eye—that is, a beneficent disposition.

for he giveth … poor—His acts prove it.

10. Cast out—or drive away. Scorners foster strife by taunts and revilings.

11. (Compare Margin).

pureness of heart—and gentle, kind words win favor, even from kings.

12. preserve—or guard.

knowledge—its principles and possessors.

overthroweth—utterly confounds and destroys the wicked.

13. Frivolous excuses satisfy the indolent man's conscience.

14. The mouth—or flattering speeches (Pr 5:3; 7:5) ensnare man, as pits, beasts. God makes their own sin their punishment.

15. is bound—or firmly fixed. Chastisement deters from crime and so leads to reformation of principle.

16. These two vices pertain to the same selfish feeling. Both are deservedly odious to God and incur punishment.

17. Here begins another division of the book, marked by those encouragements to the pursuit of wisdom, which are found in the earlier chapters. It will be observed that at Pr 22:22-24:12, the proverbs are generally expressed in two verses instead of one (see Introduction).

18. These lessons must be laid up in the mind, and

fitted—or better, "fixed" in the lips so as to be ever ready.

19. That … Lord—This is the design of the instruction.

20. excellent things—or probably of former times.

counsels and knowledge—both advice and instruction.

21. Specially he desires to secure accuracy, so that his pupil may teach others.

22, 23. Here follow ten precepts of two verses each. Though men fail to defend the poor, God will (Pr 17:5; Ps 12:5).

in the gate—place of public gathering (Job 5:4; Ps 69:12).

24, 25. (Compare Pr 2:12-15; 4:14).

25. a snare … soul—The unsuspecting are often misled by bad company.

26, 27. (Compare Pr 6:1; 17:18).

27. should he take, &c.—that is, the creditor.

28. (Compare Pr 23:10). Do not entrench on others (De 19:14; 27:17).

29. Success rewards diligence (Pr 10:4; 21:5).