Proverbs 29 Commentary

Written and edited by Glenn Pease

PREFACE
My goal in this commentary is to make this part of God's Word interesting and informative, and to point out the humor that is often hidden in it. My purpose is to gather key information and insights to save the Bible student a great deal of time in doing research. I quote sources for which I have no name to give credit. If you can identify the source I will gladly give credit to the now unknown author. Many of the quotes are from the internet source called Let God Be True. There are many more on the site by that name. If any author I quote does not wish their wisdom to be included in this commentary, they can let me know, and I will delete it. My e-mail address is glenn_p86@yahoo.com Keep in mind that sometimes the KJV is quite different from the IV, and so the comments sometimes do not seem to relate to the text, and that is because the commentators are dealing with the KJV which is different. I quote them anyway because they are still valuable even though they were dealing with a text that had not been updated by advanced scholarship in understanding the Hebrew. Many still consider the KJV the only true version, and so they will be happy with the old commentators.

1 A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
1. God's patience is not infinite, for if that were the case there would never be a day of judgment, for he would go on tolerating rebellion forever. That is not the case, however, for God does come to the end of his rope too, and he is forced by the human folly of stubborn rebellion to respond in wrath. He will destroy the rebel without another warning, for he has given many, and they would not respond. They were given many chances to save themselves by heeding God's warnings, but they refuse to do so, and they become their own worst enemy. There is no alternative by which they can be spared, for God's grace is their only hope, and that they rejected. Their end is destruction because they have closed the gate to mercy, and all that is left is judgment. There is no remedy because they have already rejected the only remedy available. 2. Gill, “that being often reported hardeneth hisneck,.... Or "a man of reproofs"

either a man that takes upon him to be a censurer and reprover of others, and is often at that work, and yet does those things himself which he censures and reproves in others; and therefore must have an impudent face and a hard heart a seared conscience and a stiff neck; his neck must be an iron sinew and his brow brass: or rather a man that is often reproved by others by parents by ministers of the Gospel, by the Lord himself, by the admonitions of his word and Spirit and by the correcting dispensations of his providence; and yet despises and rejects all counsel and admonition, instruction and reproofs of every kind, and hardens himself against them and shows no manner of regard unto them. The metaphor is taken from oxen, which kick and toss about and will not suffer the yoke to be put upon their necks. Such an one shall suddenly be destroyed; or "broken"; as a potter's vessel is broken to pieces with an iron rod, and can never he put together again; so such persons shall be punished with everlasting destruction, which shall come upon them suddenly, when they are crying Peace to themselves notwithstanding the reproofs of God and men; and that without remedy; or, "and there isno healing"; no cure of their disease, which is obstinate; no pardon of their sins; no recovery of them out of their miserable and undone state and condition; they are irretrievably lost; there is no help for them, having despised advice and instruction; see Pro_5:12.” 3. Henry, “obstinacy of many wicked people in a wicked way is to be greatly lamented. They are often reprovedby parents and friends, by magistrates and ministers, by the providence of God and by their own consciences, have had their sins set in order before them and fair warning given them of the consequences of them, but all in vain; they harden their necks.Perhaps they fling away, and will not so much as give the reproof a patient hearing; or, if they do, yet they go on in the sins for which they are reproved; they will not bow their necks to the yoke, but are children of Belial; they refuse reproof (Pro_10:17), despise it (Pro_5:12), hate it, Pro_12:1. 2. The issue of this obstinacy is to be greatly dreaded: Those that go on in sin, in spite of admonition, shall be destroyed;those that will not be reformed must expect to be ruined; if the rods answer not the end, expect the axes. They shall be suddenly destroyed,in the midst of their security, and without remedy;they have sinned against the preventing remedy, and therefore let them not expect any recovering remedy. Hell is remediless destruction. They shall be destroyed, and no healing,so the word is. If God wounds, who can heal? 4. Bridges, “THIS is indeed an awful word. The intractable ox, hardening his neck against the yoke, is but too apt a picture of the stubborn sinner, casting off the restraints of God. This was the uniform complaint against Israel, a true picture of the mass of the ungodly before our eyes. Conviction follows upon conviction, chastening upon chastening. Still the rebel hardens his neck, stops his ears against the voice of God, and invites his threatened judgments. Awfully frequent are these instances among the children of godly parents, or the hearers of a faithful minister. Every means of grace is a solemn but despised reproof. Aggravated sin makes the judgment of a righteous God more manifest. The more enlightened the conscience, the more hardened the neck. Every beating

pulse is rebellion against a God of love. Sometimes it is the more immediate voice of God. An alarming illness, a dangerous accident, or the death of a companion in wickedness, is " the rod and reproof" intended to " give wisdom." But if the " fool" continue to despise all God s reproof, his destruction will be sudden and without remedy.” 5. Let God Be True, “There is a limit to even God's patience, and if one remains stubborn after fair warning, judgment will come and it will be final, without hope of being restored. The LORD is patient and longsuffering. He is gracious and merciful. But He is not so forever! The man rejecting His many offers of wisdom and correction will be destroyed without warning. And there will be no recovery from the judgment. Rebellion and stubbornness are heinous sins against the most high God, and He will not overlook them. Here is one of the most frightening warnings in Scripture ... for those who play with sin and rebel against reproof. Wise readers will read, consider, and remember this grave description of how God deals with scorners. This text ought to be in every church bulletin and on the face of every pulpit, for rejecting preaching and Scripture is horribly serious! Parents sometimes say, "Don't make me say it again." And so does the LORD of heaven! God reproves by various means - parents, friends, magistrates, ministers, conscience, Scripture, the Spirit, circumstances, and nature. But many harden their neck - or rebel - by rejecting His correction outright or hearing it without changing (II Kgs 17:14; eh 9:16,29). By many reproofs, God is fair and kind. By despising His fairness and kindness, men deserve the severe judgment He sends, for it is a brutish error (5:12; 10:17; 12:1). The LORD will come in His timing to destroy such men. o matter what efforts they make for protection, or how highly others esteem them, He will crush and destroy them (6:12-15; 28:18; Is 30:12-14; Zech 7:11-14; I Thess 5:2-3). And the ruin of their lives will be without healing or recovery. God will laugh (1:22-31). See the notes on 1:26. God turned Lot's life upside down with pregnant daughters for daily ignoring his vexed soul. Consider Pharaoh, who hardened his neck against Moses' reproofs. The LORD despised Egypt and desolated their nation from every angle! Suddenly their firstborn were dead and Pharaoh suffocated at sea! Eli's sons rejected their father's rebukes, so the LORD killed them both in one day! Ahab, king of Israel, married the wicked Jezebel, who stirred him up to do evil (I Kgs 21:25). They both rejected the reproofs of Elijah. Ahab, though disguised and in armor, was killed by a chance arrow (I Kgs 22:34-35). The blessed God had

Jezebel thrown from an upper window, trampled by a horse, and eaten by dogs (II Kgs 9:30-37). Glory! God loved His people Israel. But when they had mocked His messengers, despised His words, and misused His prophets, His wrath against them rose until there was no remedy (II Chron 36:15-17). He sent ebuchadnezzar with the Babylonian armies to utterly destroy them without regard for young, or old, or females. Consider it well! To refuse instruction is to despise your own soul, for you deprive yourself of the best thing in life and bring destruction upon yourself (15:32). What folly! When you sin against the correction and instruction of wisdom, you wrong your own soul; when you hate reproof, you love death (8:36). For God is coming to destroy you! What folly! 6. S. Davies, “The doom of the incorrigible sinner : “This proverb may be accommodated to all the affairs of life. In whatever course a man blunders on, headstrong and regardless of advice and admonition, it will ruin him at last, as far as the matter is capable of working his ruin. But here principal reference is to religion. Often reproved — this is undoubtedly our character. Reproved by men from all quarters. The Word of God has reproved us. God has reproved us by His providence in private and public calamities. God has reproved us more immediately by His Spirit. We have also been our own monitors. Conscience has often pronounced our doom. Even the irrational creatures and infernal spirits may have been our monitors. Solomon assumes that a man may be often reproved, and yet harden his neck ; that is, obstinately refuse submission and reformation. othing but a sullen and senseless beast can represent the stupid, unreasonable conduct of that man who hardens himself in sin, against the strongest dissuasion and reproofs from God and His creatures. The stiff neck that will not bend to the yoke of obedience must be broken, and its own stiffness renders it the more easily broken. It may harden itself into insensibility under reproof, but it cannot harden itself into insensibility under Divine judgments. He shall be suddenly destroyed. Sudden ruin is aggravated because it strikes a man into a consternation. There is dreadful reason to fear that you will always continue in your present condition if you persist in being proof against all admonition.”

2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.
1. Gill, “the righteous are in authority,.... Or "are increased" (g); either in number or in riches, or in power and dominion; are set in high places, and have the exercise

of civil government and the execution of the laws in their hands; for the protection of good men in their civil and religious privileges, and for the punishment of evil men; for the encouraging of all that is good, and for the discouraging of everything that is bad; the people rejoice; the whole body of the people, because of the public good; a state is happy under such an administration; everyone feels and enjoys the advantage of it; see 1Ki_4:20; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn; or "groan" (h), or "will groan", under their tyranny and oppression, and because of the sad state of things; the number of good men is lessened, being cut off, or obliged to flee; wicked men and wickedness are encouraged and promoted; heavy taxes are laid upon them, and exorbitant demands made and cruelty, injustice, and arbitrary power exercised; and no man's person and property safe; see Pro_10:11. 2. Henry, “is what was said before, Pro_28:12, Pro_28:28. 1. The peoplewill have cause to rejoiceor mournaccording as their rulers are righteousor wicked;for, if the righteousbe in authority,sin will be punished and restrained, religion and virtue will be supported and kept in reputation; but,if the wickedget power in their hands, wickedness will abound, religion and religious people will be persecuted, and so the ends of government will be perverted. 2. The peoplewill actually rejoiceor mournaccording as their rulers are righteousor wicked.Such a conviction are even the common people under of the excellency of virtue and religion that they will rejoice when they see them preferred and countenanced; and, on the contrary, let men have ever so much honour or power, if they be wicked and vicious, and use it ill, they make themselves contemptible and base before all the people(as those priests, Mal_2:9) and subjects will think themselves miserable under such a government.” 3. Bridges, “The robes of honor to the righteous are the garments of gladness to the people. The sceptre of authority to the godly is the staff of comfort to the people. On the other hand the vestments of dignity to the wicked are the weeds of mourning to the people. The throne of command to the one is the dungeon of misery to the other. The titles of honor given to the one are sighs of sorrow wrung from the other. The contrast of the government of Mordecai and Hainan illustrates this Joy and mourning. The special rejoicings at the accession of Solomon might probably be connect ed with the confidence, that he would " walk in the ways of David his father." The reigns of the righteous kings of Judah were preeminently distinguished by national happiness. The glorious era yet in store for the world, is, when " the Lord shall bless" his own kingdom, as " the habitation of justice and mountain of holiness." For what but righteousness can truly bless either an individual, a family, or a nation ? When therefore the wicked bear rule the people not the godly mourn. According to the depth of the mourning will be the joy at the removal of the scourge." Meanwhile it is borne by " the faithful in the land" as a national scourge. And if tears be their drink, patience will be their bread, till God have mercy on them. What need have we to thank God, that our guilty country, with so much to humble us in shame

should have been so long spared from the curse of wicked riders ! The tyrant rules for his own sinful ends ; the Christian Sovereign for the good of the people.” 4. Let God Be True, “It is time to mourn in all nations, for wicked men are ruling and turning God's wisdom upside down. How can God's saints rejoice, when they see equity, righteousness, truth, and wisdom compromised and corrupted on a daily basis? King Solomon, writing to his son as a future king of Israel, made this observation and rule about political policy. The good people of any nation are seriously affected by the morality of their rulers. The proverb does not apply to all men: the wicked love wicked rulers, for they promote and protect their sins. Many nations have loved and do love atheistic and profane rulers. The people of this proverb are God's saints, especially those of Israel. Solomon taught his son godly motivation by looking out for noble citizens and honoring them. Many nations have never had a righteous ruler, so they never had this reason to rejoice. However, even in nations that did not know better, even where there were few saints living, a considerate king that protected and provided for his people was a joyful thing. Violent tyrants, such as Herod the Great, who slew the children under two around Bethlehem, caused great mourning among even the most calloused people (Mat 2:16-18). The political observation is true. When King Ahasuerus promoted Haman in Persia, the capital city of Shushan was perplexed at the rise of that wicked man (Es 3:15). But when righteous Mordecai replaced him, it rejoiced and was glad (Es 8:15). Israel rejoiced when Solomon took the throne, but they rebelled when his son Rehoboam succeeded him. David cried rivers of waters, when he saw men turning from God's law (Ps 119:136). But there is a day coming in which the Son of David will put down all authority and reign supreme in righteousness under God (II Sam 23:1-7; Ps 45:1-7; Is 9:6-7; Jer 23:5-6).”

3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
1. The Prodigal Son had this chance to bring joy to his father, but instead he went off to the far country to waste his inheritance with prostitutes and other unrighteous

companions. He brought only sorrow to his father until he woke up and saw his folly and returned in repentance. He finally did make his father joyful, but it was the long way and the wrong way around. He could have chosen to be wise in the first place and saved himself and the whole family a lot of grief. 2. Henry, “the parts of this verse repeat what has been often said, but, on comparing them together, the sense of them will be enlarged from each other. 1. Be it observed, to the honour of a virtuous young man, that he loves wisdom,he is a philosopher(for that signifies a lover of wisdom), for religion is the best philosophy; he avoids bad company, and especially the company of lewd women. Hereby he rejoices hisparents, and has the satisfaction of being a comfort to them, and increases his estate, and is likely to live comfortably. 2. Be it observed, to the reproach of a vicious young man, that he hates wisdom; he keeps company withscandalous women, who will be his ruin, both in soul and body; he grieves his parents, and, like the prodigal son, devours their living with harlots. othing will beggar men sooner than the lusts of uncleanness; and the best preservative from those ruinous lusts is wisdom. 3. Gill, “loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father,.... He that is a philosopher, especially a religious one, that not only loves and seeks after natural wisdom, but moral wisdom and knowledge; and more particularly evangelical wisdom, Christ the Wisdom of God, who is to be valued and loved above all things; the Gospel of Christ, which is the wisdom of God in a mystery; and the knowledge of it which is the wisdom which comes from above and is pure and peaceable; and which lies much in the fear of God, and in the faith of Jesus Christ, attended with all the fruits of righteousness: such a son makes glad his father, both because of his temporal good, since he does not waste but improve the substance he has given him; and because of his spiritual and eternal welfare; and since instead of being a reproach he is an honor to him; see Pro_10:1; but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance: his father has given him, and comes to want and beggary; all which is a grief to his parents: or, "that feeds harlots" (i); who live in a riotous and voluptuous manner, and soon drain a man of his substance, and bring him to a morsel of bread; see Luk_15:13; and such a son grieves his father, seeing he spends his substance and damns his so. 4. Bridges, “These Proverbs in substance have been given before. Yet the variations are instructive. The wisdom is here more distinctly described as loving wisdom. For he is wise, not only, who hath arrived at a complete habit of wisdom, but who doth as yet but love it or desire it, and listen to it. Do not we hang off too loosely from its heavenly influence ? . Let it be manifestly our great object, not as a good thing, but the best. " the principal thing. The awakened sinner loves it from the sense of want ; the Christian from its satisfying delight. The taste gives a keen edge to the appetite. What we have grasped of the blessing bears no comparison to what remains. Young man ! consider Wisdom s pleasantness and peace, her light and security, her durable riches, and glorious inheritance and " wilt thou not from this time cry" to the God of wisdom "My Father, thou art the

guide of my youth?" o worldly honor no success of talent will rejoice a godly father, as will this choice for eternity. Folly brings its own shame and sorrow. " The companion of the riotous and vain persons" is readily found in fellowship with harlots, saddening his father by spending his substance. One course of vanity leads to another. All end alike in ruin. He may possess the external endowment. But the love of wisdom is the only preservative from besetting snares. Deep indeed is the anxiety the joy or the sorrow connected with children. May it give a deeper tone of simplicity and pleading in dedicating them to God, and training up for his service ! Let us early present them as " the children, whom the Lord hath given us ;" but as his more than our own his property his inheritance. Here are our springs of diligence of hope of ultimate reward.”

4 By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.
1. Jamison, “judgment― that is, righteous decisions, opposed to those procured by gifts (compare Pro_28:21), by which good government is perverted.” 2. Clarke, “that receiveth gifts - was notoriously the case in this kingdom, before the passing of the Magna Charta, or great charter of liberties. Hence that article in it, ulli vendemus justitiam; “We will not sell justice to any.” I have met with cases in our ancient records where, in order to get his right, a man was obliged almost to ruin himself in presents to the king, queen, and their favourites, to get the case decided in his favor.” 3. Gill, “king by judgment establisheth the land,.... By executing, judgment and justice among his subjects, he establishes the laws of the land, and the government of it; he secures its peace and prosperity, and preserves his people in the possession at their properties and privileges; and makes them rich and powerful, and the state stable and flourishing, so that it continues firm to posterity; such a king was Solomon, 2Ch_9:8; but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it; that, is, a king that does so; Gersom observes that he is not called a king, because such a man is not worthy of the name, who takes gifts and is bribed by them to pervert judgment and justice; whereby the laws of the nation are violated, and the persons and properties of his subjects become the prey of wicked men; and so the state is subverted and falls to ruin: it is in the original text, "a man of oblations" (k); the word is generally used of the sacred oblations or offerings under the law; hence some understand it of a sacrilegious prince who of his own arbitrary power converts sacred things to civil

uses. The Targum, Septuagint, Syriac and Arabic versions render it, a wicked and ungodly man; and the Vulgate Latin version, a covetous man; as such a prince must be in whatsoever light he is seen, whether as a perverter of justice through bribes, or as a sacrilegious man; though it may be rendered, "a man of exactions" (l), for it is used of the oblation of a prince which he receives from his people, Eze_45:9; as Aben Ezra observes; and so it may be interpreted of a king that lays heavy taxes upon his people, and thereby brings them to distress and poverty, and the state to ruin. 4. Henry, “happiness of a people under a good government. The care and business of a prince should be to establish the land,to maintain its fundamental laws, to settle the minds of his subjects and make them easy, to secure their liberties and properties from hostilities and for posterity, and to set in order the things that are wanting; this he must do by judgment,by wise counsels, and by the steady administration of justice, without respect of persons, which will have these good effects. 2. The misery of a people under a bad government: A man of oblations(so it is in the margin) overthrows the land;a man that is either sacrilegious or superstitious, or that invades the priest's office, as Saul and Uzziah - or a man that aims at nothing but getting money, and will, for a good bribe, connive at the most guilty, and, in hope of one, persecute the innocent - such governors as these will ruin a country.” 5. Bridges, “Of what avail are the best laws, if they be badly administered ? Partiality and injustice absolutely make them null and void. And yet it requires great integrity and moral courage to withstand the temptations of worldly policy and self-interest. God s own throne is built and established by judgment. This then can be the only establishment of the land. The compromise of it to some private ends provokes the anger of God to the chastisement, if not the overthrow, of the land. The article in our Magna Charta We will sell justice to none is but too plain evidence of the recklessness of all social principles, ere the great standard was erected among us. Under the godly government of Samuel the land was establish ed by judgment " But his sons walked not in his ways." They were men of oblations. They received gifts ; and the Theocracy the great Palladium of the land was overthrown. The righteous administration of David "bore up the pillars" of the land, at a time of great national weakness. The same principles in his godly successor were the source of strength and prosperity. The want of uprightness in Saul, shook the kingdom from his grasp ; and the covetousness of Jehoiakim destroyed its foundations, and buried him in its ruins. Let the same consistency pervade every grade of official responsibility. Dignity temporal or spiritual can convey no solid influence, except it be established with judgment. Let men of God be in our high places ; and " righteousness will exalt our nation," and our Church will be " the joy and praise of the whole earth."

6. Let God Be True, “A nation's prosperity and security depends on righteous leaders, who prudently make decisions by wisdom and equity. A nation's downfall and ruin is certain, when its leaders are influenced by favors and rewards. Solomon here warned his son against political compromise in the office of king, especially the taking of bribes, lest he be the cause of the nation's destruction. All leaders should carefully heed this proverb to rule righteously. Rulers must have exceptional character, or they do not belong in their office. They should be so dedicated to principle that they cannot be bought for any price. Their character must be so strong as to mock any efforts to compromise justice, mercy, or truth. They should be noble far above their peers, with a fearless and committed hatred of evil. They must have one motive at all times - to make all decisions based on righteousness and wisdom. The fear of the LORD is the only basis for great leadership. Rulers must have an obligation to righteousness far above any duty or desire to men. The fear of man brings a snare (29:25), and so does the love of gifts (Is 1:23). either temptation touches great rulers. They see one singular duty at all times - to rule in such a way as to please God. Jethro, by God's inspiration, prescribed such rulers for Moses. He laid out their prerequisites this way: "Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens" (Ex 18:21). Able men need little assistance from others: they can analyze and make wise decisions themselves. Men fearing God have the highest motive to use their power only for good. Men of truth hate liars and any distortion of the truth. They never put a spin on anything. Men hating covetousness cannot be bought, for they do not love money or reward. Such men are exceeding rare, with only Jesus Christ being a perfect king (Ps 45:17). Though David was a good king, he freely confessed that neither he nor his family had such rulers. He prophesied of Jesus, "The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God" (II Sam 23:3). It is the duty of saints to pray for rulers, that God might strengthen or overrule their character to be righteous leaders (I Sam 10:1-12; eh 2:1-6; Esth 4:13-17; Jer 29:1-7; I Tim 2:1-3). Yet, a ruler violating this proverb does not lose his authority, for he is still to be obeyed (24:21-22; Jer 27:1-17; Matt 22:15-22;23:1-3; Rom 13:1-7; I Pet 2:13-17).”

5 Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.
1. Clarke, “a net for his feet - of a flatterer; he does not flatter merely to please you, but to deceive you and profit himself. 2. Jamison, “... feet― By misleading him as to his real character, the flatterer brings him to evil, prepared by himself or others. 3. Gill, “man that flattereth his neighbour,.... That speaks smooth things to him gives him flattering titles, speaks fair to his face, highly commends him on one account or another: spreadeth a net for his feet; has an idle design upon him, and therefore should be guarded against; his view is to draw him into a snare and make a prey of him; he attacks him on his weak side, and hopes to make some advantage of it to himself; wherefore flatterers should be avoided as pernicious persons; or he spreads a net for his own feet, and is taken in the snare which he had laid for his neighbour; or falls into the pit he dug for him, as Gersom observes; see Psa_140:5. 4. Henry, “may be said to flatter their neighborswho commend and applaud that good in them (the good they do or the good they have) which really either is not or is not such as they represent it, and who profess that esteem and that affection for them which really they have not; these spread a net for their feet.1. For their neighbors' feet, whom they flatter.They have an ill design in it; they would not praise them as they do but that they hope to make an advantage of them; and it is therefore wisdom to suspect those who flatter us, that they are secretly laying a snare for us, and to stand on our guard accordingly. Or it has an ill effect on those who are flattered; it puffs them up with pride, and makes them conceited and confident of themselves, and so proves a net that entangles them in sin. 2. For their own feet; so some understand it. He that flatters others, in expectation that they will return his compliments and flatter him, does but make himself ridiculous and odious even to those he flatters.” 5. Bridges, “Most wisely were Bunyan s pilgrims warned Beware of the flatterer. Yet forgetting to read the note of directions about the way, they fell into his net, and, even though delivered, were justly punished for their folly. The doctrine of man s goodness, strength, or freedom ; a general gospel, without close application ; its promises and privileges, without the counter-balance of its trials and obligations All this shows the black man clothed in white " Satan himself transformed into an angel of light, and his Ministers transformed as Ministers of righteousness." Unwary souls are misled. Even unwatchful Christians fall into the net. And while they have to thank their faithful God for deliverance, they cannot forget his sharp and needful chastening of their folly. Where " the root of the matter" is not, heresy, or apostasy, is the baneful fruit of the flatterer.

But let us guard against this net in our daily path. Too readily do the flatterers words pass current. What else is much of the language of smooth courtesy, or lively interest and affection ? Who would venture to act with confidence on this heartless profession ? Always is the net spread to allure into some devious path ; often into the grossest wickedness. Thus the flattering woman beguiled her prey. The parasites of Darius deified him for a month, to make him the tool of their malicious plot. The enemies of Christ spread the flatterer s net for his feet. But here the wisdom of God was infinitely above them, and " took the wise in their own craftiness." The feet of many strong men have been entangled in this net. Indeed seldom has the frailty of the man of God been more painfully exposed. David honored his God in the endurance of Shimei s curse. But Ziba s smooth words drew him into an act of gross in justice. Usually some want of integrity has predisposed the mind for this poison. David was struggling to discover a plea for leniency to his murderous son, when the woman of Tekoah plied him with her flattering lips. The bribery of passion was far more powerful than her arguments. But bitterly did the misguided parent reap the fruit of thus entering into the net spread for his feet. Willful infatuation fully prepared Ahab, by listening to the flattery of his lying prophets, to his own ruin. Does a man thus load us with immoderate commendation ? It is the flatterer s net. " Ponder the path of thy feet." Exchange confidence for suspicion." Fearful is the snare to those, whose rank or influence dispose them to walk rather before men, than before God. Too often it is spread for the feet of the Minister of Christ, whether to gain his good opinions, or from the genuine but imprudent warmth of affection. But oh ! think" He is a man as thou art" beset with temptation perhaps even "besides those that are common to men." His heart, like thine, is fully susceptible of self-exalting imaginations. And to know that he has a reputation for holiness ; that he is a man of influence ; that, his character is looked up to ; that his opinion is valued this is in deed " a fiery trial," that brings out to view much base dross of vanity. Far better would it be that our Christian intercourse with each other should be molded by the wise resolution to refrain from "flattering titles," as hurtful to the creature, and provoking to God.” 6. Jacox gives us a picture of how some in high places thrive on flattery, and how repulsive it is, both for them and those who utter such nonsense. “St. Simon describes Lewis the Fourteenth as spoiled by adulation — for his ministers, his mistresses, his generals, his courtiers, perceiving his weakness — an unmeasured love of admiration — were emulous in flattering him ; and the flattery "pleased him to such an extent, that the coarsest was well received, the vilest still better relished. It was the sole means by which you could approach him." Catharine the Great was little enough to be notoriously insatiable of flattery: she expected to be addressed in a strain of Oriental adulation, and to be approached with all the deference due to a divinity. Kaiser Joseph IL, during his visit to her in 1780, is said, "by the most

delicate and artful flattery," to have "wrought up her admiration of his character almost to enthusiasm." The husband of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu has been characterized as combining very moderate talents with most overweening vanity : from several of her ladyship's letters to him the inference is obvious that no flatteries were too gross for his taste. " o man of real sense would have endured such fulsome praise of it," Earl Stanhope remarks. David Garrick's portrait, as painted by Goldsmith, was painted from the life : " Of praise a mere glutton, he swallowed what came, And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for fame. " John Gay asserts that " flattery never seems absurd ; The flattered always take your word : Impossibilities seem just : They take the strongest praise on trust. Hyperboles, though ne'er so great, Will still come short of self-conceit." There are people on whom flattery can never be laid too thick to be agreeable ; you may lay it on them with trowels; nay, you may shovel it over them ; they can bear any weight of it ; cartloads of encomium, mountains of compliments, Pelion on Ossa, and. Ossa on Olympus. " There are gross feeders, or there would not be gross caterers." It has been severely said of Tom Moore, as self-portrayed in his Diary, that he gloats over adulation in every page, and with the most unflinching nerve licks up the most nauseous and greasy draughts of flattery — nothing coming amiss to him. The cant and blarney of an Irish linkboy were as acceptable as the insolent familiarity of a Royal Duke. " Moore had nostrils very undiscriminating. It was equally incense whether the tribute was of the gums of Arabia or a pastile of camel's dung." Lalande was noted while yet a child for his "unusual love of adulation." Benjamin West was taunted with a like charge by Peter Pindar (whose accentuation of iagara is exceptionable, as so many things about him were) : Don't be cast down — instead of gall, Molasses from my pen shall fall : And yet I fear thy gullet it is such That could I pour all iagara down. Were iagara praise, thou wouldst not frown, or think the thundering gulf one drop too much. "

6 An evil man is snared by his own sin,

but a righteous one can sing and be glad.
1. Barnes, “the offense of the wicked, rising out of a confirmed habit of evil, becomes snare for his destruction; the righteous, even if he offend, is forgiven and can still rejoice in his freedom from condemnation. The second clause is taken by some as entirely contrasted with the first; it expresses the joy of one whose conscience is void of offense, and who is in no danger of falling into the snare.” 2. Gill, “the transgression of an evil man there isa snare,.... Or, according to the accents in some copies, "in the transgression of a man is an evil snare", as Aben Ezra observes the words may be read; there is a snare in sin to man himself; one sin leads on to another, and a man is snared by the works of his own hands, and is implicated and held in the cords of his own iniquity, and falls into the snare of the devil, out of which he is not easily recovered; and the transgression of one man is a snare to another; he is drawn into sin by ill examples; and, by indulging himself in sin, the evil day comes upon him unawares as a snare; and sooner or later he is filled with horrors of conscience, anguish, and distress; but the righteous doth sing and rejoice; not at the snares of others, their sin or punishment; for such a man rejoices not in iniquity, though he sometimes does at the punishment of sinners, because of the glory of the divine justice; and Gersom thinks this is here meant; see Psa_58:10; but rather, as he also observes, the righteous man rejoices at his deliverance from the snares of sin and Satan, and of the world; he rejoices in the righteousness by which he is denominated righteous; not his own, but the righteousness of Christ, it being so rich and glorious, so perfect and complete; he rejoices in salvation by him it being so suitable, so, real, so full, so free, and so much for the glory of God; he rejoices in the pardon of his sins through the blood of Christ, and in the expiation of them by his sacrifice; he rejoices in his person, in the greatness, fitness, fulness, and beauty of it; he rejoices in all his offices he bears and executes, and in all the relations he stands in to him; he rejoices in his word and ordinances, in the prosperity of his cause and interest, in the good of his people, and in hope of the glory of God; and even sings for joy in the view of electing, redeeming, and calling grace, and eternal life and happiness; he has peace of conscience now, fears no enemy, nor any danger, and expects a life of glory in the world to come; and oftentimes sings on the brink of the grave, in the view of death and eternity. 3. Henry, “peril of a sinful way. There is not only a punishment at the end of it, but a snarein it. One sin is a temptation to another, and there are troubles which, as a snare,come suddenly upon evil men in the midst of their transgressions; nay, their transgression itself often involves them in vexations; their sin is their punishment, and they are holden in the cords of their own iniquity,Pro_5:22. 2. The pleasantness of the way of holiness. The snare that is in the transgression of evil menspoils all their mirth, but righteousmen are kept from those snares, or delivered out of them; they walk at liberty, walk in safety, and therefore they sing and rejoice.Those that make

God their chief joy have him for their exceeding joy, and it is their own fault if they do not rejoice evermore.If there be any true joy on this side heaven, doubtless those have it whose conversation is in heaven.” 4. Bridges, “There is always a snare in the ways of sin ; always a song in the ways of God. Which then are " the ways of pleasantness and peace?" The light-hearted sinner goes on in his flowery path. Soon lie is " taken captive in the snare of the devil ;" s often in a snare of his own toil. Transgression is in fact the snare of the soul. Sin and ruin are bound together, and who can put them asunder ? The righteous may be in the same outward lot with the evil man. But wide indeed is the gulf between their respective states. Joseph s brethren in prison, under the sting of conscience, sank in despondency. Paul and Silas in prison did sing and rejoice. Little, however, can be judged by their external state. The ungodly are in prosperity, and the children of God " chastened every morning ;" yet rising triumphant in the deepest exercise " Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy ; though ] fall, I shall rise again ; though I sit in darkness" my cause apparently forgotten, my light obscured, my character defamed " the Lord shall be a light unto me." What is it to be possessor of all the promises of God ! The wealth of this golden mine no tongue of man can express ; no mind of angel comprehend. And how abundant is the solid ground and material of this rejoicing ! The completeness of the Savior s work ; his constant love ; the fulness of his Spirit ; the sufficiency of his grace ; his faithful promise ; his watchful eye ; his ready help ; his perpetual intercession ; and all this joy not, like that of the world, flowing and ebbing but heightening and overflowing through all eternity. But the righteous also sing and only they. Often they have no skill for the song. " Their harp is upon the willows/ as if they could not " sing the Lord s song in a strange land." Yet what ever cause of complaint they have, weighing down their spirits, let them not forget to magnify that grace unbounded, which hath been given to them and for them. Why can they not always sing ? The heart is cold, dead, unbelieving. Oh! for the power from above to quicken it. Praised be God, we are hastening to a world, where the harp will never be unstrung, and the heart never out of tune, and the song will be ever new.” 5. Let God Be True, “What a proverb! Some go through life falling into this trouble and then that trouble, and others go through life happily singing! What makes the difference? Surely such wisdom is worth your time and attention! You can have a disastrous life with pain and problems, or you can have a wonderful life filled with joy and happiness. Which do you prefer? An evil man chooses to transgress against a commandment of God. He wants to do things his own way. He has no regard or respect for the word of God. He is in love with his own thoughts. He believes he can get away with his sin. He is convinced that he can find happiness by sinning. He confidently rejects wisdom to choose the path

of fools. But he is deceived! For every sin has a snare! There is an unseen trap to punish him for rebellion against God. Though he did not see it when he chose to sin, the rusty claws of the trap will suddenly spring shut on his life! Then he will feel the painful results of a foolish choice (Ps 36:2). And he despises the only way out of the trap, full repentance! A man marries a beautiful woman who does not fear God. Is there a snare? He must live with an odious woman the rest of his life! A woman defrauds her husband of daily sex. Is there a snare? She must live with a bitter husband the rest of her life. A man discreetly visits a whore. Is there a snare? He contracts an STD! A lazy father neglects child training. Is there a snare? A rebellious child crushes his heart and shames the family! But the righteous man lives a holy life. He carefully lives in obedience to all God's commandments. He trembles before the word of God, and he quickly confesses any sins; and his merciful heavenly Father restores his spirit. His conscience is pure and confident. His soul is full of pleasure now and with great hope for the future. He sings with joy! Pleasure is the fruit of holiness. The holy life is safe from harm, free from guilt, free from trouble. There are no snares in doing right, no vexing remorse or painful consequences. There is no smitten conscience or hypocritical quandary. The righteous man has a feast every day (3:17; 15:15)! And he knows even greater blessings are coming at death!”

7 The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
1. Henry, “is a pity but that every one who sues sub formâ pauperis- as a pauper,should have an honest cause (they are of all others inexcusable if they have not), because the scripture has so well provided that it should have a fair hearing, and that the judge himself should be of counsel, as for the prisoner, so for the pauper. 1. It is here made the character of a righteousjudge that he considers the cause of the poor.It is every man's duty to consider the poor (Psa_41:1), but the judgment of the poor is to be considered by those that sit in judgment; they must take as much pains to find out the right in a poor man's cause as in a rich man's. Sense of justice must make both judge and advocate as solicitous and industrious in the poor man's cause as if they hoped for the greatest advantage. 2. It is made the character of a wicked man that because it is a poor man's cause, which there is

nothing to be got by, he regards not to know it, in the true state of it, for he cares not which way it goes, right or wrong. See Job_29:16. 2. Gill, “righteous considereth the cause of the poor,.... ot his poverty and distress, so as to relieve him, which yet he does, Psa_41:1; nor the person of the poor in judgment, and which he ought not to do; for as he should not regard a rich man's person, and favour him, because he is rich; so neither a poor man, because he is poor, through an affectation of mercy, Lev_19:15; but the cause of the poor, and the justice of that, and do him justice, though a poor man. This is to be understood chiefly of a civil magistrate, a judge righteous; who will take notice of and regard a poor man's cause, and take a good deal of pains and care that he is not injured. Or, "knoweth the judgment of the poor" (m)he acquaints himself with his case, makes himself thoroughly master of it, searches out his cause as Job did, Pro_29:16; but the wicked regardeth not to know it; or, "does not understand knowledge" (n)of the poor man's cause and case; and there being no money to be had, he does not care to consider it, and look into it, and get knowledge of it, and do him justice; he will not take his cause in hand, or plead it. 3. Keil, “righteous knoweth and recogniseth the righteous claims of people of low estate, i.e., what is due to them as men, and in particular cases; but the godless has no knowledge from which such recognition may go forth (cf. as to the expression, Pro_19:25). The proverb begins like Pro_12:10, which commends the just man's compassion to his cattle; this commends his sympathy with those who are often treated as cattle, and worse even than cattle.” 4. Bridges, “The original gives to the Proverb a judicial aspect. To "respect the person of the poor" is no less unjust, than to "honor the person of the mighty." But the righteous judge or advocate will consider his cause, judge it as for God, investigate it thoroughly, and take care that it be not lost from his own inability to defend it. a This was the considerate administration of the great King of righteousness. The man of God will walk after this Divine example. Let him have the conscience first (says Bishop Sanderson) and then the patience too (and yet if he have the conscience, certainly he will have the patience) to make search into the truth of things, and not be dainty of his pains herein, though matters be intricate, and the labor like to be long and irksome. Selfishness however not truth, justice, or mercy, is the standard of the wicked. He considers first the poor man s person, then his cause. " The unjust judge" would not have " avenged the widow of her adversary," but to save trouble to himself. Felix regarded not to know the Apostle s cause, but that he might indulge his own covetousness. But fearful is it to sit in the place of God 8 as his representatives, only to pervert his judgment for their own selfish aggrandizement. The maxim however obviously applies more generally to the considerate regard of the righteous. and the cruel disregard of the wicked towards the poor.The ordinance

that " the poor shall never cease out of the land" and the inequality of rank that pre vails throughout the economy of Providence, were doubtless intended as an incitement to Christian sympathy and enlargement. Consideration of the poor is the true spirit of Christian sympathy putting ourselves as far as may be in their place. Oh! how different is this from the impatient ungracious temper, in which the suit of a poor client is sometimes, dispatched, as if the advocate grudged his time and pains ! Our beloved Lord not only " went about doing good," but he did it so tenderly considerately. Always was he ready to yield his own convenience and even necessary comfort to the call of need. The same considerate regard for the poor marked the Apostolic administration. Sympathy with the poor is the practical acknowledgment of our own undeserved mercies; specially remembering the Lord s poor as the representatives of Him, who is First and Last, and All to us ; and who, " though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich." Well do those, who regard not to know, deserve their name the wicked. Like Cain they acknowledge no interest in their brother. Like abal " It is no concern of mine." If the poor must be fed rather than starve it is casting food to a dog, rather than holding out an helping hand to a fellow-sinner. This total absence of the image of a God of Love this utter casting off his royal law surely he will require it.” 5. Let God Be True, “Ignorance is not bliss, nor an excuse, when it comes to the poor. Wicked men do not think about them or make any effort to know their situations or troubles. But a righteous man considers the poor and explores their circumstances to learn what they need and how he can help. Ignorance is not bliss, nor an excuse, in this matter, for God will punish the selfish man that neglects to think about the poor and take care of them (21:13; 28:27). Selfish and stingy persons, who are the wicked of this proverb, do not think or care about the poor. They are so obsessed with their own worthless lives that there is no room in their mind or heart for others, even when those others are in need or trouble. If you confront them, they say, "I did not want to pry into their personal business," or, "I mind my own business, as you should," or, "I did not know they were having such difficulties," or, "I cannot afford to help anyone else, because I do not have many luxuries myself." Consider Job. The blessed God bragged to the devil that Job was a perfect and upright man (Job 1:1-8). Did Job think about the poor? Did he inquire about the poor to know when help was needed? Job said, "I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out" (Job 29:16). Amen! Job also said, "I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy" (Job 29:12-13). Pure religion is thinking and doing for the poor (14:31; 17:5; Ps 112:9; Luke 19:8-9;

Jas 1:27; I John 3:16-19). God does not care about your fasting, church attendance, Bible reading, or tithes, if you ignore or neglect the poor (Is 1:10-20; 58:3-7; Matt 23:23). He measures religion where it counts - in the heart and by your wallet! How much have you thought about the poor? Have you felt their pain? Have you asked about their needs? What have you done about it? Have you responded with labor or money? How much? Financial success depends on giving to the poor: even though wicked men do not give, because they greedily think that is how they will get ahead! They are blind! You cannot become poor by giving to the poor, for the Lord will repay in abundance, even beyond what you give! Consider it well (11:24-26; 19:17; 22:9; 28:8; Luke 6:38; II Cor 9:6-11)! Poor saints are your primary duty (Deut 15:7-11; Acts 2:42-45; 4:34-37; 6:1-7; 11:27-30; Rom 15:25-27; I Cor 16:1; II Cor 9:1-2). The only pagan poor you are bound to consider are those God brings directly in your path in a crisis (Luke 10:2537). Only those of both types who are doing all they can for themselves are worthy. When you give to the Christian poor, there are two other bonuses to consider. First, Jesus Christ will remember your charity in the Day of Judgment (Matt 10:41-42; 25:31-46); and second, some have entertained angels unawares (Heb 13:2; Gen 18:18; 19:1-3; Judges 13:2-23). If you are a woman, there is another reason for charity. If you are ever widowed, a true church will fully support you (I Tim 5:3-16; Acts 6:1-6). The qualifications for this special class of widows include a great reputation for diligence in good works, including the lodging of strangers and relief of the afflicted (I Tim 5:10; Pr 31:20; Acts 9:36-43). You can be fully vested in God's retirement plan by investing in good works for others! King Lemuel's mother taught him to intervene for the poor (31:8-9), and she taught him to only marry a woman with the same kind of heart (31:20). A great measure of noble character is a person's eagerness to help others in trouble. But this wisdom is not only for the Old Testament: it is also required in the ew (Rom 12:13). Your own happiness and blessings are dependent on how you treat the poor (14:21; Ps 41:1-3; Acts 20:35).”

8 Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger.
1. Gill, “men bring a city into a snare,.... Such as despise dominion, speak evil of dignities; proud and haughty men, that speak Loftily, and with a contempt of their superiors; or who make a mock at religion, and scoff at all that is good and serious;

these bring the inhabitants of a city into a snare, to rebel against their governors, and so into mischief and ruin: or, they "burn a city", as the Septuagint and Syriac versions; they inflame it, or blow it up into a flame; raise a combustion in it, and fill it with strife and contentions; and bring down the wrath of God upon it, like fire: or, they "blow upon a city"; raise storms and tempests in it; turn all things upside down, and throw it into the utmost confusion, or blow it up; but wise menturn away wrath; the wrath of men, by their wise counsels and advice, and appease tumults and sedition, and restore things to a quiet and settled state; or the wrath of God, by interposing with their prayers between him and a sinful people, as Moses did, Psa_106:23. 2. Henry, “are the men that are dangerous to the public - scornful men.When such are employed in the business of the state they do things with precipitation, because they scorn to deliberate, and will not take time for consideration and consultation; they do things illegal and unjustifiable, because they scorn to be hampered by laws and constitutions; they break their faith, because they scorn to be bound by their word, and provoke the people, because they scorn to please them. Thus they bring a city into a snareby their ill conduct, or (as the margin reads it) they set a city on fire;they sow discord among the citizens and run them into confusion. Those are scornful menthat mock at religion, the obligations of conscience, the fears of another world, and every thing that is sacred and serious. Such men are the plagues of their generation; they bring God's judgments upon a land, set men together by the ears, and so bring all to confusion. 2. Who are the men that are the blessings of a land the wise menwho by promoting religion, which is true wisdom, turn away the wrathof God, and who, by prudent counsels, reconcile contending parties and prevent the mischievous consequences of divisions. Proud and foolish men kindle the fires which wise and good men must extinguish. 3. Keil, “. 28 shows what we are to understand by ‫ :אַנְשֵׁ י לָצוֹן‬men to whom nothing is holy, and who despise all authority. They stir up or excite the city, i.e., its inhabitants, so that they begin to burn as with flames, i.e., by the dissolution of the bonds of mutual respect and of piety, by the letting loose of passion, they disturb the peace and excite the classes of the community and individuals against each other; but the wise bring it about that the breathings of anger that has broken forth, or is in the act of breaking forth, are allayed. The anger is not that of God, as it is rendered by Jerome and Luther, and as ‫ יפיחו‬freely translated might mean.” 4. Bridges, “The comparison is here between a " proud and haughty scorner, and a wise man" The one is a public injury ; the other a public blessing. The one raises a tumult ; the other quells it. The man, who scorns to be bound by common restraints, will bring the city into a snare by his presumption, or set it on fire by blowing the fire of Divine wrath upon it. Happily wise men are scattered through the land : their energy and prudence turn away wrath. Proud and foolish men kindle the fire, which wise and good men must extinguish.

Another instructive illustration of the Proverb suggests itself. ot the tyrant over his fellow-creatures, but the scorner against his God, is the public trouble. Many of the kings of Judah and Israel thus brought the city into a snare. Their provocations of Divine wrath did more to further its ruin, than the most powerful foreign enemies. Their influence led the people into deeper aggravations of sin ? and ripened them for judgment. But wise men stand in the gap, and turn away wrath. Surely it was wisdom in the King and people of ineveh, instead of bringing their city into a snare by scornful rebellion, to avert by timely humiliation the impending destruction. Let the people let the Ministers of the Lord, gird themselves to their work of weeping and accepted pleaders for the land. Surely " except the Lord of Hosts had left us a very small remnant" of these powerful intercessors, " we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah." Praised be God ! The voice is yet heard " Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it." The salt of the earth preserves it from corruption. Shall not we then honor these wise men"

9 If a wise man goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.
1. Barnes, “modes of teaching - the stern rebuke or the smiling speech - are alike useless with the “foolish” man; there is “no rest.” The ceaseless cavilling goes on still. 2. Jamison, “fool, whether angry or good-humored, is unsettled; or referring the words to the wise man, the sense is, that all his efforts, severe or gentle, are unavailing to pacify the fool. 3. Gill, “Ifa wise man contendeth with a foolish man,.... Enters into a controversy with him, either by word or writing, in order to convince him of his folly and wickedness, of his errors and mistakes; whether he rage or laugh, there isno rest; that is, either whether the fool is angry with the wise man, and rages at him and abuses him, and calls him names, or laughs at him, and scoffs at all his arguments, reasons, and advice; yet the wise man does not cease from proceeding in the contest with him; or he is not dejected and cast down, and discouraged; or, as the Targum is, "he is not broken;'' but patiently bears his wrath fury, his scoffs and jeers: or else whether the wise man deals roughly or gently with the feel, in a morose or in a mere jocose way: it has no upon him; he is never the better for it; he does not acquiesce or rest in what he says

like the Pharisees in Christ's time, who are compared to surly children: who, when "piped to, danced not"; and, when "mourned to, lamented not"; see Gill on Mat_11:16, and See Gill on Mat_11:17. The design of the proverb is to show, that all labour to reclaim a fool from his folly is lost, let a man take what methods he will, Pro_27:22. 4. Henry, “wise man is here advised not to set his wit to a fool's, not to dispute with him, or by contending with him to think either of fastening reason upon him or gaining right from him: If a wise man contend with a wise man,he may hope to be understood, and, as far as he has reason and equity on his side, to carry his point, at least to bring the controversy to a head and make it issue amicably; but, if he contend with a foolish man, there is no rest;he will see no end of it, nor will he have any satisfaction in it, but must expect to be always uneasy. 1. Whether the foolish man he contends with rage or laugh,whether he take angrily or scornfully what is said to him, whether he rail at it or mock at it, one of the two he will do, and so there will be no rest.However it is given, it will be ill-taken, and the wisest man must expect to be either scolded or ridiculed if he contend with a fool.He that fights with a dunghill, whether he be conqueror or conquered, is sure to be defiled. 2. Whether the wise man himself rage or laugh,whether he take the serious or the jocular way of dealing with the fool, whether he be severe or pleasant with him, whether he come with a rod or with the spirit of meekness(1Co_4:21), it is all alike, no good is done. We have piped unto you, and you have not danced, mourned unto you, and you have not lamented”. 5. Bridges, “It would generally be far better not to meddle with such a fool as is here described. We can only deal with him on very disadvantageous terms, and with little prospect of good. If a wise man contend with the wise, he can make himself understood ; and there is some hope of bringing the debate to a good issue. But to contend with a fool, there is no rest, no peace or quiet. It will go on without end. He will neither listen to reason, nor yield to argument. So intractable is he, that he will either rage or laugh either vent upon us the fury of an ungoverned temper, or laugh us to scorn. This contention was a point of the poignant trial to out Divine Master. What could be more revolting than sometime their murderous rage, sometimes their scornful laugh ; in both "rejecting his counsel against themselves?" And what if a contention with such fools should be appointed for me ? Let me- remember my days of perversity and folly. And while this vivid impression brings me back to their level can I return their unreasonable provocation, save with tenderness and compassion ? Yea when, as the most effectual means for their benefit, I would commend them to the Almighty Sovereign grace of God can I forget, that, if this grace has healed my deep-rooted stubbornness, it is not less rich not less free not less sufficient, for them ?” 6. Let God Be True, “Fools are hopeless! And they are a pain! o matter what methods you use, they cannot and will not learn wisdom. They are incorrigibly foolish, rebelliously wicked, and stubbornly conceited. From anger to humor, nothing will change their depraved hearts. There is only one Physician for this

disease, only one Counselor for these lunatics. What is a fool? A fool denies the existence of God - in words or actions (Ps 14:1). A fool trusts his own heart (28:26), rejects instruction (15:5), and despises correction. He hates wisdom and loves folly. He is not merely foolish; he has been given over to folly. He thinks, speaks, and acts contrary to wisdom and convention. He is in love with himself. You will meet these miserable creatures. Solomon here prepared his son for these frustrating encounters. Rather than fall into despair over helping them, Solomon warned that there are no methods known to man to change these corrupt persons. If the Lord does not change his perverse heart, he will sink into hell with it (20:12; II Tim 2:24-26). You cannot reason with them: they are unreasonable - they have no faith (II Thess 3:2). They do not seek the living God (Heb 11:6). They are incorrigible (27:22). They may know and recite Scripture or doctrine, but it means nothing. The Lord of glory will reject many accomplished Pharisees and preachers in the Day of Judgment (Matt 7:21-23). Intimidation and threats will not teach a fool, neither will friendship and humor. You will be frustrated! There is no rest! Fools love being fools - they love their folly and you will not change them. So the wise thing to do is get away from them, as Solomon, Jesus, and Paul agreed (9:6; 13:20; 14:7; 26:4-5; Matt 7:6; I Cor 15:33). Stay away from them!”

10 Bloodthirsty men hate a man of integrity and seek to kill the upright.
1. Gill, “bloodthirsty hate the upright,.... Cain did Abel; and as the wicked world hate all good men, and persecute them, even unto death; but the just must seek his soul; either the soul of the bloodthirsty, and that either the good of their souls; seek their spiritual welfare, and pray for it, even though they are so cruel and inhuman: or just magistrates will seek after such persons, to punish them for shedding the blood of the upright. Or else the meaning is, that just persons seek the soul of the upright, and make inquisition for the blood of such, to punish for it; which comes to the same sense, as Aben Ezra observes: or rather, such seek to defend and preserve the soul or life of upright men from those that hate and persecute them. Jarchi illustrates it by 1Sa_22:23; the Targuis, "men that shed blood hate integrity; but the upright seek it.''

2. Henry, “men hate their best friends: The blood-thirsty,all the seed of the old serpent, who was a murderer from the beginning,all that inherit his enmity against the seed of the woman, hate the upright;they seek the ruin of good men because they condemn the wicked world and witness against it. Christ told his disciples that they should be hated of all men.Bloody men do especially hate uprightmagistrates, who would restrain and reform them, and put the laws in execution against them, and so really do them a kindness. 2. Good men love their worst enemies: The just,whom the bloody men hate, seek their soul,pray for their conversion, and would gladly do any thing for their salvation. This Christ taught us. Father, forgive them. The just seek his soul,that is, the soul of the upright, whom the bloody hate (so it is commonly understood), seek to protect it from violence, and save it from, or avenge it at, the hands of the blood-thirsty.” 3. Bridges, “This bloody hatred is the fulfillment of the first prophecy from the mouth of God. The first history of the fallen world puts the seal to the prophecy "Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." Ever since has the same testimony been given. "Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted ?" (was the indignant remonstrance of Stephen to his countrymen) until they " filled up the measure of their fathers" by being " the betrayers and murderers" of the Son of God. 10 The noble army of martyrs stand before us. Such intensity of malice in the contrivance of the variety of their torture ! The bloodthirsty hate the up right. Their innocence was the only ground of hatred ; and on the threatened apprehension of any outbreak of evil the swelling cry of the bloodthirsty multitude was The Christians to the lions ! The next picture downward in the annals of the Church is not less illustrative " I saw the woman" awful sight !"drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." We cannot doubt but the fierce elements of the cruelty still lie in slumbering concealment. othing but the gospel can kill the principle. Every thing short of this only chains down the violence. In a softer mold it still retains all its substance and power, and waits only for the removal of present restraints to develop the same bloodthirsty hatred as ever. Scripture explains this murderous vindictiveness. "Wherefore slew Cain his brother ? Because his own works were evil, and his brother s righteous." Darkness cannot endure the light. The condemning light of godliness excites the enmity of the ungodly. They cannot bear the picture. Thus the bloodthirsty Ahab hated his upright prophets, and the Jews the holy Savior. Conformity to him is the great offense still. Such precise fools contrary to every one beside " turning the world upside down" how can they be endured ? Their removal would be a rejoicing riddance from the earth. 4. Let God Be True, “You are in a war. Which side are you on? You are in a war. Are you prepared for battle? It will come. The wicked of this world hate the righteous and want to shed their blood, but just men love those same saints and

want their prosperity and companionship. From the very beginning, in the first family on earth, this violent conflict was quickly visible, for Cain murdered his younger brother Abel. Why did Cain do such a wicked and abominable thing? His deeds were evil, and he hated Abel for being good (I Jn 3:12). As hard as it may be for some to comprehend such malicious hatred, the murderous spirit of Satan still controls the hearts of the human race (John 8:44; Eph 2:1-3). Only God's restraining hand keeps Satan from using them against the saints today! The hatred is burning viciously, but God has bound His enemy from most outward acts. However, the time for a loosing and bloodletting may be fast approaching (Rev 12:12-17; 20:7-9). This deep and depraved antagonism surprises most, for they have not heard it preached or seen it in action. Their carnal religion, with only a form of godliness and greater love for pleasure than love for God, does not draw the violent hatred of Satan or the wicked. For please notice, the bloodthirsty hate "the upright." The contemporary churches and carnal Christians that comprise 99% of Christianity today do not qualify. Satan need not hate or persecute them - they are doing a fine job already destroying the kingdom of God. But the malignant despite against true saints has never abated. The righteous hate the wicked; and the wicked hate the righteous (29:27; Ps 139:19-22). Good men abominate scorners; and scorners hate them (24:9; 9:8). The wicked watch, plot, gnash with their teeth, and conspire to kill the righteous (Ps 37:12,32). Believe it, wise reader. Consider our Lord Jesus. He healed a man, and the religious leaders immediately conspired to destroy Him (Matt 12:13-14)! There is a spirit in this world, the prince of the power of the air, Satan is his name, which stirs and directs the wicked in their violent anger and hatred against the righteous. It was never more obvious than against our Lord. Jesus told His disciples the world hated Him because he told them their way of life was wrong (John 7:7). He further told them the world would hate them as well, for He had chosen them out of the world, and they were no longer part of it (John 15:18-19). Should we expect the same? "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you" (I John 3:13).

11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

1. Henry, “is a piece of weakness to be very open: He is a foolwho utters all his mind,- who tells every thing he knows, and has in his mouth instantly whatever he has in his thoughts, and can keep no counsel, - who, whatever is started in discourse, quickly shoots his bolt, - who, when he is provoked, will say any thing that comes uppermost, whoever is reflected upon by it, - who, when he is to speak of any business, will say all he thinks, and yet never thinks he says enough, whether choice or refuse, corn or chaff, pertinent or impertinent, you shall have it all. 2. It is a piece of wisdom to be upon the reserve: A wise manwill not utter all his mindat once, but will take time for a second thought, or reserve the present thought for a fitter time, when it will be more pertinent and likely to answer his intention; he will not deliver himself in a continued speech, or starched discourse, but with pauses, that he may hear what is to be objected and answer it. on minus interdum oratorium est tacere quam dicere- True oratory requires an occasional pause.Plin. Ep. 7.6. 2. Gill, “fool uttereth all his mind,.... At once; tells all he knows, all that is in his breast; whatever he thinks, and all that he intends to do; what or whom he loves or hates. Or, "a fool brings out all his wrath"; so the Targum, Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions: he cannot restrain it, nor hide it; it breaks out at once, even all of it, and is soon known, as in Pro_12:16; but a wise mankeepeth it in till afterwards; reserves his mind, and thoughts, and designs, to himself; and does not discover them until a proper opportunity offers, when to disclose them is most to advantage; or he restrains his wrath and anger, defers showing it to a proper time, when it may answer a better purpose, and he may do it without sin. 3. Clarke, “fool uttereth all his mind - man should be careful to keep his own secret, and never tell his whole mind upon any subject, while there are other opinions yet to be delivered; else, if he speak again, he must go over his old ground; and as he brings out nothing new, he injures his former argument.

4. Bridges, “ It is sometimes thought a proof of honesty to utter all our mind. But it is rather a proof of folly. For how many things it would be far better never to speak indeed to suppress in the very thought ! Much of " foolish talking and jesting" how many angry detracting uncharitable words do we utter, because we have neglected to watch or rather to entreat " the Lord to set a watch upon our lips," as the door of our hearts ! 6 And what wrong judgments we often pass upon men s actions, because we utter all our mind as it were in one breath without pondering ; or perhaps without materials to form a correct judgment ! Indeed the words of the fool as an old expositor remarks are at the very door so to speak of his mind, which being always open they readily fly abroad. But the words of the wise are buried in the inner recess of his mind, whence the coming out is

more difficult. This is the wisdom to be valued and cultivated. Many things we may keep in till afterward, which will then be far better spoken than at the present moment. 8 We may find reason afterward to suspect what at the time we were fully persuaded of. There is often a lightness of faith the fruit of sudden impulse breaking out in sudden profession. Beware of a loose foundation. Men under the present excitement run through all the sects and parties of the Church everywhere uttering their whole mind " tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine" "seeking rest, and finding none." How much better to take time for second thoughts to weigh and weigh again ! Should we not then instead of exhibiting a changing and doubtful face seek to gain that "good thing a heart established with grace?" This godly prudence holds in common life. Samson fell a victim to folly of uttering all his mind. Samuel was restrained by God from this imprudence, from a regard to his own safety. ever speak against our mind. But it is not necessary to utter our whole mind. Take care that we speak nothing but the truth. But the whole truth (as in the instance of Samuel) may sometimes be legitimately restrained. The Apostle was two years at Ephesus without uttering all his mind against the worship, of Diana. But was this cowardice shrinking from the truth? His weeping ministry and unceasing efforts proved his faithfulness. His open protest kept in till afterward was self-discipline, consistent with Christian courage and decisiveness.” 5. Let God Be True, “Fools talk a lot. They cannot keep their mouths shut. Any little thought, no matter how frivolous, no matter how unstudied, no matter how inappropriate, has to come rushing out. But a wise man speaks carefully. He does not speak hastily, or without study, or offer opinions as truth. He rules his mouth to choose wise words and wait for the right timing. A talker is a fool. If he talks arrogantly, hastily, or loudly, he has confirmed his folly even more. A fool loves the sound of his own voice, and he thinks others should love it also. He thinks he has wisdom to share, and he thinks others are blessed to hear him. So he gets angry when he is eventually isolated due to his ignorant and obnoxious speech. Solomon said there is a time for everything ... "a time to keep silence, and a time to speak" (Eccl 3:7). But knowing the right time requires discretion and prudence, two branches of wisdom the fool has never considered. As long as he has air to breathe (and a full belly helps), he will vent his pea-sized brain through his lips (30:22; Eccl 10:12-14). If a fool could keep his mouth shut, he might be thought wise (17:27-28). But he cannot do this, for he has never held back words in his life: he has neither the will nor power to do so. He must pour out foolish ideas in the hope of satisfying his agitated conceit, but it will never happen; when he runs out of things to say, he keeps talking anyway (15:2).

There is nothing virtuous about being "outspoken." It is merely another word for a fool! It would be much better to keep those words in and let them dissolve in the bile of your liver and go into the draught. It would be much better to ask the Lord to set a watch before your mouth and to keep the door of your lips (Ps 141:3). Do not speak out! Many things - idle words, filthiness, foolish talking, jesting, backbiting, talebearing, and slander - should not be spoken (10:18; 11:13; 25:23; Matt 12:36; Eph 5:3-5). And many words greatly raise the probability of sin (10:19; Eccl 5:3). How much damage and pain could have been avoided by restraining your words (12:18)? Therefore, the fewer, and more carefully chosen, and more slowly spoken, are your words, the better (Jas 1:19)! A fool's wrath is presently known, because he cannot keep his angry words in (12:16). A fool pours out unstudied nonsense, and worse yet, his personal opinions; but a righteous man studies before answering anything (12:23; 13:16; 15:28). A fool shows his folly and shame by answering a matter even before hearing it fully presented (18:13). He cannot rule his spirit, and thus proves himself a failure and loser among men (16:32; 25:28). Wise men restrain their speech (17:27-28). They study before answering (15:28). They are slow to speak (Jas 1:19). They choose the right words carefully and wait for the right opportunity to say them (15:23; 24:26; 25:11). Discretion and prudence are the guardians of wisdom - they restrain your words and actions until you understand a situation clearly and can wisely choose a godly response (12:23; 13:16; 14:8; 16:21; 19:11; 22:3). Wise men keep words in "till afterwards"! After what? After they have let passion dissipate and can speak prudently (19:11; Jas 1:19). After they have applied Scripture to the situation and found the godly, charitable response (Ps 119:11; I Cor 13:4-7). After they have studied for an answer with the certain words of truth (15:28; 22:17-21). After they have sanctified the Lord God in their hearts (I Pet 3:15). After they have heard a matter in its entirety, and someone has sincerely asked for their response (18:13; 25:6-7).

12 If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.
1. A ruler who makes no distinction between truth and lies will motivate all his officials to take advantage of his foolhardy perspective, and they will tell him any lie that is to their advantage. When truth is not respected, lies will multiply, and all will

suffer. Such a ruler is making crime pay, and so many will get in on this fool's gravy train and multiply lies for their own benefit, but likely to the hurt of the people of the nation. 2. Bridges, “The influence of the ruler s personal character upon his people involves a fearful responsibility. 1 A wicked prince makes a wicked people. In his more immediate sphere, if he hearken to lies contrary to the laws of God and of charity he will never want those about him ready to minister to his folly. Lies will be told to those, that are ready to hearken to them? Envy ambition malice selfinterest will always be at hand for prejudice and scandal. The predulous ruler becomes the tool of all manner of wickedness. His corruption pushes away the godly from his presence and all his servants are wicked. Exceptions there are to this maxim (as Obadiah in the court of Ahab 5 Ebedmelech in the service of Zedekiah Daniel in ebuchadnezzar s court ). But this is the natural tendency the general result to his own disgrace and ruin. If he would therefore rule in uprightness, and in the fear of God ; instead of lending himself to detraction or flattery, he must carefully close his ears against doubtful characters, lest he should countenance wicked servants ; and discourage those that will boldly speak the truth. How wise was David s determination both as the sovereign of his people, and the rider of his house to discountenance lies, and uphold the cause of faithful men ! Contrast Ahab surrounded with his wicked prophets all combining in one lie to please their weak and ungodly master. We see how ready he was to hearken to lies, and how well the flattery worked ; when he punished the only man who was " valiant for the truth," and who persisted in declaring it " not fearing the wrath of the king." But all in authority may learn a lesson of responsibility. Let Ministers especially not only hold the truth in its full integrity, and take heed that their character will bear the strictest scrutiny ; but let them turn away from the fawning flattery of those, of whose uprightness there is at best but doubtful proof.” 3. Clarke, “a ruler hearken to lies - the system of espionage is permitted to prevail, there the system of falsity is established; for he who is capable of being a spy and informer, is not only capable of telling and swearing lies, but also of cutting his king’s or even his father’s throat. I have seen cases, where the same spy received pay from both parties, and deceived both.” 4. Gill, “a ruler hearken to lies,.... To men that tell them in order to soothe and flatter him, or to hurt the character and reputation of others, that they may raise their own: rulers should not listen to and encourage such sort of persons; for, as lying lips do not become a prince, so it is not right to have liars about him; David would not suffer such to dwell in his court, Psa_101:7; all his servants arewicked; or the greatest part of them: for a ruler of such a disposition will take none but such into his service, that flatter him, and calumniate others; and such a conduct, being pleasing and agreeable to him, is a temptation to his ministers to act the same wicked part; as is a prince, such are his courtiers; his

example has a great influence upon them. 5. Henry, “It is a great sin in any, especially in rulers, to hearken to lies;for thereby they not only give a wrong judgment themselves of persons and things, according to the lies they give credit to, but they encourage others to give wrong informations. Lies will be told to those that will hearken to them; but the receiver, in this case, is as bad as the thief. 2. Those that do so will have all their servants wicked.All their servants will appear wicked, for they will have lies told of them; and they will be wicked, for they will tell lies to them. All that have their ear will fill their ear with slanders and false characters and representations; and so if princes, as well as people, will be deceived, they shall be deceived, and, instead of devolving the guilt of their own false judgments upon their servants that misinformed them, they must share in their servants' guilt, and on them will much of the blame lie for encouraging such misinformation and giving countenance and ear to them.”

13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.
1. Barnes, “, The poor and the oppressor. “Usurer,” as in the margin expresses the special form of oppression from which the poor suffer most at the hands of the rich. God has made them both and bestows His light equally on both.” 2. Clarke, “poor and the deceitful man - is difficult to fix the meaning of ‫תככים‬ techachim, which we here render the deceitful man. The Targum has, “The poor and the man of Little Wealth.” The Septuagint, “The usurer and the Debtor.” The Vulgate, “The poor and Creditor.” Coverdale, “The poor and the Lender.” Others, “The poor and the Rich;” “The poor and the Oppressors.” I suppose the meaning may be the same as in Pro_22:2(note): “The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the Maker of them all.” 3. Gill, “poor and the deceitful man meet together,.... Or "the usurer" (q); who by usury, by fraud and deception, is possessed of the mammon of unrighteousness, and is become rich; he and the poor man meet together; and so the sense is the same as in Pro_22:2; See Gill on Pro_22:2; the Lord lighteneth both their eyes; with the light of natural life, and with the light of natural reason, Joh_1:4; and so is the same as being "the Maker of them all", in the above place; or he bestows his providential favours on both; causes his sun to shine upon the rich and poor, the wicked and the righteous, Mat_5:45. Or it may be understood of the light of grace; for though, for the most part, God chooses and calls the poor of the world, and lightens their eyes with the light of his grace, when not many wise and noble are called and enlightened; yet this is not restrained wholly

to men of one and the same condition of life; yea, God sometimes calls and enlightens publicans, tax gatherers, and extortioners, as Matthew and Zacchaeus. 4. Henry, “shows how wisely the great God serves the designs of his providence by persons of very different tempers, capacities, and conditions in the world, even, 1. By those that are contrary the one to the other. Some are poorand forced to borrow; others are rich, have a great deal of the mammon of unrighteousness (deceitful richesthey are called), and they are creditors, or usurers,as it is in the margin. Some are poor,and honest, and laborious; others are rich, slothful, and deceitful.They meet togetherin the business of this world, and have dealings with one another, and the Lord enlightens both their eyes;he causes his sun to shine upon both and gives them both the comforts of this life. To some of both sorts he gives his grace. He enlightens the eyes of the poor by giving them patience, and of the deceitful by giving them repentance, as Zaccheus. 2. By those that we think could best be spared. The poor and the deceitfulwe are ready to look upon as blemishes of Providence, but God makes even them to display the beauty of Providence; he has wise ends not only in leaving the poor always with us, but in permitting the deceived and the deceiver,for both are his(Job_12:16) and turn to his praise.” 5. Bridges, “The doctrine of this proverb as of one similar to it seems to be the real equality of the Divine dispensations under apparent in equalities. The rich seem to be intended by the deceitful so called from the deceitfulness of riches, and of the means, by which they are too often obtained. The usurer appears to point to the same purport implying the oppression too often connected with riches. Both these classes so distinct in their relative condition meet together on the same level before God. Men may differ. One may oppress and despise, and the other envy or hate. The poor may be tempted to murmur, because of the oppressions of his richer neighbor. The rich by usury or unjust gain may take ad vantage of the necessities of the poor. But the Lord enlighteneth both their eyes. " He is no respecter of persons." Both are par takers of his providential blessings both are the subjects of his Sovereign grace. The poor Lazarus and the usurer Zaccheus have long met together in one common home both alike the undeserved monuments of wondrous everlasting mercy the eyes of both enlightened spiritually eternally. Is it not presumption to judge hastily the ways of God ; or to judge them at all by the plummet of our own reason ? Let us wait the appointed time, and all will be clear, as all is right. How far beyond our narrow conceptions is every exercise and display of this manifold wisdom, grace, and love !”

14 If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure.
1. God has a special concern for the poor and anyone, but especially the king, will be

blest if they deal fairly with them. All through Scripture God makes it clear that one of the most stupid and foolish things anyone can do is to despise the poor, and treat them as being of no concern, and of no value. 2. Gill, “king that faithfully judgeth the poor,.... That truly executes justice and judgment among all his subjects, particularly the poor, who are too often neglected, because they cannot afford persons to plead their cause: such a king was Solomon; and especially the Messiah, of whom he was a type, Psa_72:1; his throne shall be established for ever; be secure to him as long as he lives, and to his posterity after; justice to all men, and mercy to the poor, are the support of a prince's throne; see Pro_20:28. 3. Henry, “ The duty of magistrates, and that is, to judge faithfully between man and man, and to determine all causes brought before them, according to truth and equity, particularly to take care of the poor, not to countenance them in an unjust cause for the sake of their poverty (Exo_23:3), but to see that their poverty do not turn to their prejudice if they have a just cause. The rich will look to themselves, but the poor and needy the prince must defend (Psa_82:3) and plead for, Pro_31:9. 2. The happiness of those magistrates that do their duty. Their throne of honour, their tribunal of judgment, shall be established for ever. This will secure to them the favour of God and strengthen their interest in the affections of their people, bothwhich will be the establishment of their power, and help to transmit it to posterity and perpetuate it in the family.” 4. Bridges, “This maxim has often been repeated in substance. The writer of this book was a king. He was naturally led to write for his own benefit, while the Divine Spirit guided his pen for the use of rulers to the end of time. May every king specially may our own beloved Sovereign place this picture of a godly ruler constantly before her eyes ! It is natural for the king to desire the establishment of his throne ; but not natural for him to seek it in God s own way. Jeroboam sought it by wickedness 7 Rehoboam by worldly policy Ahaz by worldly alliances. The far more sure mode is the faithful administration of justice ; not neglecting the rich ; but specially protecting the poor, whose weakness the more needs a covering. David appears to have been a poor man s king. The lowest of his people had familiar access to him for judgment. Solomon and many of his godly successors ordered their kingdom in the same principles of justice, and were abundantly honored of their God. The bad ministration of faithful principle never failed to bring a curse upon the government. Them that honor me I will honor ; and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed." When our great Savior King walked upon earth his enemies bore testimony whether in flattery or conviction to his righteous character. ot less beautiful than accurate is this description, as applied to the principles of his government, and connected with the promise of the establishment of his throne.”

15 The rod of correction imparts wisdom,

but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
1. Henry, “, in educating their children, must consider, 1. The benefit of due correction. They must not only tell their children what is good and evil, but they must chide them, and correct them too, if need be, when they either neglect that which is good or do that which is evil. If a reproofwill serve without the rod,it is well, but the rodmust never be used without a rational and grave reproof;and then, though it may be a present uneasiness both to the father and to the child, yet it will give wisdom. Vexatio dat intellectum- Vexation sharpens the intellect.The child will take warning, and so will get wisdom.2. The mischief of undue indulgence: A childthat is not restrained or reproved, but is left to himself,as Adonijah was, to follow his own inclinations, may do well if he will, but, if he take to ill courses, nobody will hinder him; it is a thousand to one but he proves a disgrace to his family, and brings his mother,who fondled him and humoured him in his licentiousness, to shame,to poverty, to reproach, and perhaps will himself be abusive to her and give her ill language. 2. Gill, “rod and reproof give wisdom,.... Are the means of giving wisdom to a child, reproved by its parent with the rod; and of driving out foolishness from him, and of making him wiser for the time to come; he shunning those evils for which he was before corrected, Pro_22:15; So the children of God grow wiser by the corrections and chastisements of their heavenly Father, which are always for their good; and he is a man of wisdom that hearkens to the rod, and to him that has appointed it, and learns the proper instructions from it, Mic_6:9; but a child left to himselfbringeth his mother to shame; a child that has the reins thrown upon his neck, is under no restraint of parents, but suffered to take his own way, is left to do his own will and pleasure; he does those things which his parents are ashamed of, one as well as another; though the mother is only mentioned, being generally most fond and indulgent, and most criminal in suffering children to have their own wills and ways; and so has the greater share in the shame that follows on such indulgences. 3. Barnes, “to himself - condition of one who has been pampered and indulged. The mother who yields weakly is as guilty of abandoning the child she spoils, as if she cast him forth; and for her evil neglect, there shall fall upon her the righteous punishment of shame and ignominy.”

4. Bridges, “Discipline is the order of God s government. Parents are his dispensers of it to their children. The child must be broken in to " bear the yoke in his youth." Let reproof be first tried ; and if it succeed, let the rod be spared. 4 If not, let it do its work. Eli gave the reproof, " but spared the rod" 3 Some give the rod with out reproof without any effort to produce sensibility of conscience. From this tyranny or

caprice nothing can be expected. The combined influence not only "drives foolishness far away," but as a positive blessing gives wisdom. God s- own children grow wiser under correction. They see their folly, and in genuine shame turn from it, blessing him for his rod of faithfulness and love. But look at the child left to himself without restraint. A more perfect picture of misery and ruin cannot be conceived. His evil tempers are thought to be the accident of childhood. They will pass away, as his reason improves. Time only can mend them. But in fact time of itself mends nothing. It only strengthens and matures the growth of native principles. The poison however does not appear at first. o special anxiety is excited. The child is riot nurtured in wickedness, or under the influence of bad example. He is only left to himself. Left ! The restive horse, with his rein loosened, full of his own spirit, plunges headlong down the precipice. The child, without government, rushes on under the impetuous impulse of his own will ; arid what but almighty sovereign grace can save him from destruction ? Many a hardened villain on the gallows was once perhaps the pleasing, susceptible child only left to himself to his own appetite, pride, self-willed obstinacy. The sound discipline of heavenly guidance is our Father s best blessing. His most fearful curse is, to be given up to our own ways "to walk in our own counsels." A child thus left is at the furthest point from salvation in the very jaws of the devouring lion. Turn we now from the ruined child to the disgraced, broken hearted parent. The mother only is mentioned, as the chief superintendent of the early discipline ; perhaps also as the most susceptible of the grievous error. For if the father s stronger character induces him to "provoke his children to wrath ;" to rule rather by command than by persuasion ; does not the mother s softer mold tend to the opposite evil ? And so far as she yields to mistaken indulgence, she bears the greater share of the punishment. It is not, that she is brought to trouble, or even to poverty ; but to that, which is the most keenly- felt of all distress to shame. owhere is God s retributive justice more strongly marked. The mother s sin is visited in the proportioned punishment. What greater neglect of obligation, than a child left to himself. What greater affliction, than the shame, to which he brings her Parents:! influence is lost. The reverence of authority is forgotten, as a byegone name. The child rules, instead of being, as a corrected child, in subjection. The parent fears, instead of the child, and thus virtually owns her own degradation. Instead of " the wise son, that maketh a glad father ;" it is " the foolish son, that is the heaviness of his mother" The sunshine of bright prospects is clouded. The cup of joy is filled with wormwood. The father s mouth is dumb with the confusion of grief. The dearest object of the mother s tenderness, instead of being the staff and comfort of her age, bringeth her to shame. This is not a trial, which, like many others, she might cover in her own bosom. Alas ! the shame is too public to be concealed. What must have been the open dishonor upon Eli s name, when " the sins of his children made men abhor the offering of the Lord !" When the treason of David s sons brought him to shame in the sight of all Israel; surely his own conscience must have brought his own perverted fondness to

mind, as the cause of their ruin ; both left to themselves one palliated in the most aggravated sin ; the other having been not even corrected by a word. And if the shame before men be so bitter, what will be the overwhelming confusion at the great consummation ; when the evil propensities, cherished with such cruel fondness in the parental bosom, shall produce their harvest " in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow !" Oh ! as our children s happiness or misery, both for time and eternity, is linked with our own responsibilities ; shall not we " watch and pray," resisting " the weakness of the flesh," in self-denying firmness ? Take this for certain, says Bishop Hopkins that as many deserved stripes as you spare from your children, you do but lay upon your own backs. And those whom you refuse to chastise, God will make severer scourges to chastise you. At whatever cost, then, establish your authority. Let there be but one will in the house. And let it be felt, that this will is to be the law. The child will readily discover, whether the parent is disposed to yield, or resolved to rule. But however trifling the requirement, let obedience be in small as in great matters, the indispensable point. The awe of parental authority is perfectly consistent with

the utmost freedom of childlike confidence ; while it operates as a valuable safeguard against a thousand follies of uncontrolled way wardness. But ever let us put the awful alternative vividly before us. Either the child s will, or the parent s heart, must be broken. Without a wise and firm control, the parent is miserable ; the child is ruined.” 5. Let God Be True, “Spare the rod and spoil the child, an American proverb, is true (13:24; 19:18; 23:13-14). But spare the rod and shame the parents is also true, as this inspired proverb declares. All children are born with a default mechanism to foolishness, and it must be corrected by reproofs and corporal punishment for them to learn wisdom (22:6,15; 29:17). If these methods of child training are neglected, the child will be a painful disgrace to his parents. America once knew this axiom of child training. Flogging was the universal means of maintaining order in the home, school, and military. (See the entry in any edition of Encyclopedia Britannica before the ACLU, PETA, OW, and PTA began extorting editorial changes.) But many today are foolishly experimenting with children. Bloated intellectually with profane speculations about life and morality (I Tim 6:20), their effeminate and permissive conclusions have spawned arrogant, amoral, and anarchic children that are a disgusting shame. Measured by the criteria of the fear of the Lord and godly wisdom, they are a total loss! Where's grandpa's hickory stick, when we need it? Rather than train them with the proven methods of reproof and corporal

punishment, little Johnny is told he is special just as he is! His temper tantrums are self-expression; his lack of self-control is hyperactivity; his rebellion is independence; his promiscuity is extra affection; his violence is a strong personality; and his arson is spontaneous creativity. Grandpa grew up on a farm. He knew male calves became bulls. He knew he either helped the bull become a steer, or he needed to carry a big stick! He knew male horses were stallions. He knew he either helped the colt become a gelding, or he needed a bridle and whip! And he knew just as clearly how to help Johnny obey the law, share toys with his sister, be honest, and not play with fire! Grandpa knew Proverbs 26:3 and 29:15! Grandpa knew the default mechanisms of animals and how to alter them to get good behavior. It was amazing what Grandpa could do with a well-trained stallion, much like trainers and jockeys today. His father had used similar training on him in his youth, and he used it in turn to help Johnny. He never needed Ritalin! Amazing! Though only having a third grade education, he could read the King James Bible and the Federalist Papers! Grandpa didn't understand why Susie Socialist littered the road to town with her newfangled sign, "Kids, you can't beat 'em." He knew his bulls and stallions were dangerous without a few physical "reminders." But having been raised in a city high rise, Susie had never trained anything more than a goldfish. All she ever did was feed it, so in her simplicity she swallowed the new exciting PTA fad of trying the same with children. The warning about a child "left to himself" is not a warning against daycare or schools per se; it is a warning to parents about neglecting the molding of a child's character. A good daycare or school will include reproofs and the rod in their program! But if the parental job is not done, either directly or indirectly, then future days of pain and trouble are coming, when both parents will grieve over their foolish children (10:1; 17:25). Consider the rod in training. As children grow, the control stage of training is replaced by the instructional stage - rules for the bathroom replace diapers! This transition uses the rod less and reproofs more, as the child's conscience develops. Training becomes almost entirely instructional during the teenage years, with only exceptional need for the rod. By itself, the rod merely creates servile fear, which is not the goal of training. Without loving affection, you will discourage children (Col 3:21). Administered harshly, you will create bitter resentment that will bite you later (29:21). Without pity, you are nothing like the Lord (Ps 103:13). Without mercy, He will judge you without mercy (Jas 2:13). And the blessed Lord sees every word of reproof and every use of the rod (Eccl 5:8). Beware!”

16 When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.
1. Clarke, “the wicked are multiplied - , in the multiplication of the wicked transgression is increased, requires no proof; but an important doctrine attaches to this. On this account wicked nations and wicked families are cut off and rooted out. Were it not so righteousness would in process of time be banished from the earth. This will account for many of the numerous instances in which whole families fail.” 2. Gill, “the wicked are multiplied,.... Or "are in authority" (r); as the word is rendered, Pro_29:2; transgression increaseth; among the common people, being encouraged by their wicked rulers, whose examples they follow; or as the wicked themselves increase, in numbers, in age, in power, and riches, their sins increase too; but the righteous shall see their fall, from their places of authority and power, of honour, riches, and grandeur, into a low and despicable condition, into ruin and destruction; and that with pleasure, because of the glory of God, his wisdom, justice, truth, and faithfulness, displayed therein; see Psa_58:10. 3. Henry, “The more sinners there are the more sin there is: When the wicked,being countenanced by authority, grow numerous, and walk on every side, no marvel if transgression increases,as a plague in the country is said to increase when still more and more are infected with it. Transgressiongrows more impudent and bold, more imperious and threatening, when there are many to keep it in countenance. In the old world, when men began to multiply,they began to degenerate and corrupt themselves and one another. 2. The more sin there is the nearer is the ruin threatened. Let not the righteoushave their faith and hope shocked by the increase of sin and sinners. Let them not say that they have cleansed their hands in vain,or that God has forsaken the earth,but wait with patience; the transgressors shall fall, the measure of their iniquity will be full, and then they shall fall from their dignity and power, and fall into disgrace and destruction, and the righteous shallhave the satisfaction of seeing their fall(Psa_37:34), perhaps in this world, certainly in the judgment of the great day, when the fall of God's implacable enemies will be the joy and triumph of glorified saints. See Isa_66:24; Gen_19:28.” 4. Bridges, “The increase of transgression is obviously proportioned to the increase of transgressors. or is it merely a numerical increase, but also in power and daring of sin. " The men, who began to multiply upon the face of the old earth were giants" in wickedness, as in strength ; until " the striving of the Spirit of God" could endure no longer. The same was with the Babel-builders. and the cities of the plain.

4 Combination emboldens in sin. . Each particle of the mass is corrupt. The mass therefore itself ferments with evil. Hence the prevalence of infidelity in our denselycrowded districts above the more thinly-populated villages. There is the same evil in individual hearts ; but not the same fermentation of evil. But for the prospects of faith- the Christian eye could not bear the sight. But the righteous shall see their fall. oah saw the destruction of the old world. Abraham witnessed the ruin of the devoted cities ; " Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore." Let not the righteous said good Bishop Patrick be discouraged ; for the wickeder men are, the shorter is their reign. The faithful minister, conscious of his inability to stem the over flowing torrent of iniquity, would sink in despair, but for the as sured confidence, that he is on the conquering side ; that his cause, as the cause of his Lord, must eventually prevail. Yes though now sin seems to triumph, and Satan boasts of his victories ; yet " the kingdoms of this world," with all their vast population, shall " become the kingdoms of our Lord aftd his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." This is indeed the supporting joy of faith ;. to realize the glory of this day, when the righteous shall see the fall of the now triumphing wicked ; and one universal shout shall swell throughout the earth " Alleluia, salvation and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God ; for true and righteous are his judgments Alleluia ; for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth."

17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.
1. Henry, “is a very happy thing when children prove the comfort of their parents. Good children are so; they give them rest,make them easy, and free from the many cares they have had concerning them; yea,they give delight unto their souls.It is a pleasure to parents, which none know but those that are blessed with it, to see the happy fruit of the good education they have given their children, and to have a prospect of their well-doing for both worlds; it gives delightproportionable to the many thoughts of heart that have been concerning them. 2. In order to this, children must be trained up under a strict discipline, and not suffered to do what they will and to go without rebuke when they do amiss. The foolishness bound up in their hearts must by correction be driven out when they are young, or it will break out, to their own and their parents' shame, when they are grown up. 2. Gill, “thy son, and he shall give thee rest,.... Ease of mind, satisfaction and contentment, freedom from all anxious thoughts and cares; the correction being taken in good part, and succeeding according to wish and design; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul; by his tenderness to his parents, obedience to them, and respect for them; by his prudent behavior among men; by his sobriety,

diligence, and industry in his calling; by his fear of God, and walking in his ways; than which nothing can give a greater delight and pleasure to religious parents.” 3. Bridges, “Once more the wise man returns to the subject of discipline, These repeated inculcations strongly show its importance. The command is positive Correct thy son. How can an upright judgment evade or explain away a plain, literal rule ? To try more self-pleasing rules, is to set up our will in opposition to God s ; reason or feeling in the stead of faith. The measure and mode of correction must depend upon the age, sex, temper of the child, the character, the aggravation, or the mitigated circumstances, of the fault. Yet let it be, like our gracious Father s discipline, never more than can be borne. Make due allowance for any marks of ingenuous confession. Yet with a wise application of the principle, there must be no exception, to the rule. Different tempers, like different soils, require corresponding difference of treatment. But discipline there must be ; not relaxed in fondness, not pushed on in harshness ; but authority tempered with love. If a gentle hand cannot control, a stronger hand must be applied. We may take rest without correction ; but such rest will bring trouble in the end. The true rest is that, which our child will give ; and that he may give if, the rule is Correct.* We may be assured, that God would not have so insisted upon it, if a bless ing was not with it. If Eli was rejected, it was, because in this matter, he "honored his sons above God."Those then "that honor him" above their sons " he will honor." Pain is the present exercise both to parent and child; but the after blessing is secured. Ground well tilled, trees carefully pruned, " bring forth more fruit." Observe how the objection of parental weakness is anticipated. If I put my son to pain, will he not hate me ? o when " left to himself," he was a deep and anxious trouble. ow he shall give thee rest. Before he " brought thee to shame." ow he shall give delight to thy soul The momentary feelings of the child under correction will give way to the conviction of the parent s wisdom and regard for his profit. Yet the rule against discouragement would not have been repeated, had there not been some parental evil to be corrected. " Provocation" revolts, transfers confidence to most unworthy associates, and brings into ruinous temptations. Children claim a considerate treatment. They must not be driven by brute force. Authority must be tempered with love. The grounds of extraordinary commands should be explained to them. What is good should be liberally commended. The best construction should be put upon defective efforts. The distinction should be carefully drawn between weakness and wilfulness, between heedlessness and obstinacy. Home should be gladdened with the invigorating joy of spring, and replete with every wholesome indulgence. Every attempt should be made to gain confidence, so that the child, instead of a cold trembling reserve, should run into our arms. But in this glowing atmosphere forget not God s rule. The completeness of discipline is the father s firmness combined with the mother s tenderness ; each infusing into the other the

quality of each. A wise parent will put his seal to the testimony, that this welldisciplined education is the surest means of securing the children s affection, gratitude and reverence.” 4. Let God Be True, “Foolish parents often say, "We can let it go this time. If he does it again, then we will do something." What a dangerous idea! Ignoring a problem does not help it go away! Ignoring sinful conduct reinforces it in a child! It will be harder to correct later! It will also be easier for the parents to procrastinate again the next time. And before they realize it, they will have established the terrible habit of overlooking a child's wicked behavior. Many parents overlook sinful conduct to preserve domestic tranquility. They crave peace at home. They hope that giving a child some slack will keep things comfortable and calm. They are terribly mistaken! The proverb teaches that rest and delight depend on correcting children, not accomodating them! Though seeking peace, many parents end up forfeiting it! A short loss of peace to correct a child is the low price for long-term peace. The wisest parent you will ever meet, King Solomon, warned against letting child discipline slide. He wrote, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (29:15). The rule is simple; the consequences are terrible. The pain and shame that some mothers have endured are enormous. And why? They chose to take the road of compromise and not correct their children with tough love. The rod and reproof will correct and train children to return wonderful joy to their parents. The promise is sure: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (22:6). "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him" (22:15). Do not procrastinate! Every time you put off the inevitable, you harm your child and sacrifice your future pleasure. If you love your children, you will aggressively save them from dysfunctional lives (3:12; 23:13-14). You will not delay in this great matter. "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (13:24). Betimes means to do it early, speedily, before it is too late. "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying" (19:18). Only hatred and lazy ignorance would cause you to delay. It is these and other parental sins that have spawned the most selfish generation in history. Your Father in heaven exceeds Solomon in wisdom. He only practices perfect child discipline (3:11-12; Ps 119:75; Heb 12:5-17; Rev 3:19). In order to perfect you, He uses various means to punish your sins. And what a privilege it is, for He does not correct those He never loved or adopted (Heb 12:6-8; I Cor 11:32). This is the proof of His love; it is for your profit; and you should delight in it (Ps 119:67,71; Rom 5:3-

5; Jas 1:2-4).”

18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.
1. Barnes, “- The word commonly used of the revelation of God’s will made to prophets. Compare Isa_1:1; ah_1:1. When prophetic vision fails, obedience to the Law is the best or only substitute for it, both being forms through which divine wisdom is revealed. Very striking in the midst of ethical precepts is this recognition of the need of a yet higher teaching, without which morality passes into worldly prudence or degenerates into casuistry. The “wise man,” the son of David, has seen in the prophets and in their work the condition of true national blessedness. The darkest time in the history of Israel had been when there “was no open vision 1Sa_3:1; at such a time the people “perish,” are let loose, “are left to run wild.” 2. Clarke, “there is no vision - My old MS. Bible, following the Vulgate, translates: Whan prophecye schal failen, the peple schal ben to scatered.Where Divine revelation, and the faithful preaching of the sacred testimonies, are neither reverenced nor attended, the ruin of that land is at no great distance. But he that keepeth the law, happy is he - Go how it may with others, he shall be safe. So our Lord: “Blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.” 3. Gill, “there isno vision, the people perish,.... That is, "no prophecy", as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; and which is often the sense of the word, as the vision of Isaiah is the prophecy of Isaiah; and, in the ew Testament, prophesying is often put for preaching; and here vision, or prophecy, signifies the public ministering of the word and ordinances, and want of persons to administer them; no expounder, as the Septuagint version; or interpreter, as the Arabic. This was the case in the latter end of Eli's life, 1Sa_3:1; in Asa's times, and before, 2Ch_15:3; in the Babylonish captivity, Eze_7:26; in the times of Antiochus, Psa_74:9; when John the Baptist and Christ first came preaching the word, Mat_9:36; and now is the case of the Jews, and will be till the time of their conversion. So it was in the Gentile world, before the Gospel was brought into it, Act_17:30; and so it now is in those places where the seven churches of Asia were; and in all Asia, which once heard the word of the Lord, even all that large country; and now it is not heard at all in it, but covered with Mahometan darkness. And this is the case in all Popish countries, subject to the see of Rome, where the word of God is not preached to the people, nor suffered so much as to be read by them; and even in reformed churches, for the most part, only a little morality is preached, and not the Gospel of Christ; so that here the people are perishing for lack of knowledge, Hos_4:6; and when the witnesses will be slain, who now prophesy in sackcloth, there will he an entire stop put to prophesying or preaching for a while; but, when they shall rise, the earth will

be filled with the knowledge of God, through the ministry of the word. ow, where there is no preaching, men perish in their sins; the word being the ordinary means of grace, of regeneration, conversion, faith, and salvation; without which, men know nothing of Christ, of peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life by him: and where there is preaching, yet it not being of the right kind, there is no spiritual knowledge spread by it, no food for souls under it; they perish with hunger, as the prodigal did, or are in starving and famishing circumstances; no comfort for the people of God, who perish in their comforts under such a ministry, 1Co_8:11; and poison is spread among others; false doctrine eats as a canker, and destroys souls. Again, where there is right vision and prophecy, or true preaching of the word, and that is despised and neglected, men perish notwithstanding; as the Jews of old, and all deniers and contemners of the word now, Act_13:41; and this seems to be intended here, as appears by the following clause. The word translated "perish" has various senses, which agree with the text. It may be rendered, "the people become idle", or "cease" (s); from the performance of good works, grow dissolute in their manners, and licentious in their practices: or "they become refractory" (t); fierce, obstinate, and ungovernable, and rebel against their superiors: or they are "made naked" (u); stripped of their ornaments; of their privileges, civil as well as religious, which is often the case where no vision is; as well as of all virtue and morality, and of the blessing and protection of God; but he that keepeth the law, happy ishe: not the moral law, which no man can keep perfectly, but the law of faith. It may be rendered, "happy is he that observes doctrine" (w); the doctrine of the Gospel, where it is preached; that attends to it, values and esteems it, receives it by faith, and with meekness; blessed is he, blessed are his eyes and ears; he sees wondrous things out of this law or doctrine, and he hears and knows the joyful sound, which brings salvation and eternal life unto him!” 4. Henry, “misery of the people that want a settled ministry: Where there is no vision,no prophet to expound the law, no priest or Levite to teach the good knowledge of the Lord, no means of grace, the word of the Lord is scarce, there is no open vision(1Sa_3:1), where it is so the people perish;the word has many significations, any of which will apply here. 1. The people are made naked,stripped of their ornaments and so exposed to shame, stripped of their armor and so exposed to danger. How bare does a place look without Bibles and ministers, and what an easy prey is it to the enemy of souls! 2. The people rebel,not only against God, but against their prince; good preaching would make people good subjects, but, for want of it, they are turbulent and factious, and despise dominions,because they know no better. 3. The people are idle,or they play,as the scholars are apt to do when the master is absent; they do nothing to any good purpose, but stand all the day idle, and sporting in the market-place, for want of instruction what to do and how to do it. 4. They are scattered as sheep having no shepherd,for want of the masters of assemblies to call them and keep them together, Mar_6:34. They are scattered from God and their duty by apostasies, from one another by divisions; God is provoked to scatter them by his judgments, 2Ch_15:3, 2Ch_15:5. 5. They perish;they are destroyed for lack of

knowledge,Hos_4:6. See what reason we have to be thankful to God for the plenty of open visionwhich we enjoy. II. The felicity of a people that have not only a settled, but a successful ministry among them, the people that hear and keep the law,among whom religion is uppermost; happyare such a people and every particular person among them. It is not having the law, but obeying it, and living up to it, that will entitle us to blessedness.” 5. Bridges, “The vision as appear from the contrast is Divine instruction. The Ministry is the appointed ordinance to communicate this blessing, and therefore the main instrumentality of conversion, and subsequent Christian perfection. o greater calamity therefore can there be than the removal of the vision. The temporal famine affecting only the body is a light judgment, scarcely to be mentioned, compared with that, by which the people perish the famine of hearing the words of the Lord." For when there is none that can edify, and exhort, and comfort the people by the word of God, they must needs perish. They become thrall and captives unto Satan. Their heart is bound up. Their eyes are shut up ; they can see nothing. Their ears are stopped up ; they can hear nothing. They are carried away as a prey into hell, because they have riot the knowledge of God. Often did Israel provoke this most fearful judgment the removal of the open vision. a The candlestick" of the Apocalyptic Churches has from the same cause been long since " removed out of its place ;" and for the most part little more remains than the ceremonial of bye-gone days. 9 From the Apostate Church of Rome, the vision is well nigh withdrawn, and the people perish in ignorance and delusion. And in other bodies " having a name to live" the complaint is as real as in days of old " My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." The sun shines not on more wretched objects, than on the awful masses of our fellow-sinners, growing up in habitual estrangement from God. Take the most awful illustration of this Proverb that can be imagined. If to be without vision be the mark of a perishing" state, what ray of Scriptural hope dawns upon the Heathen world? Being " without Christ," they are described by infallible testimony as " having no hope." Salvation is indeed free to all, " whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord." But how shall they call without faith ; believe without hearing ; " hear without a er?" If therefore there be no vision, how can they but perish? "They perish indeed without law" (not condemned under the law of revelation, which they have never known) ; but still they perish " without excuse," alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, " because of the blindness of their hearts."Proud reasoning man revolts, and presumes to be more merciful than God. But this false charity is the cover for selfishness. Men deny the danger, because they are too indolent, too self-indulgent, to stretch out the helping hand, or to make one sacrifice for the rescue. True charity is the fruit of reverential faith. And, while it realizes the tremendous peril, it concentrates all the energy of compassionate tenderness, believing prayer, and self-denying effort upon their salvation.

But the contrast is not between those who have not the vision, and those who have it, but between the destitution and the improvement of the blessing. The mere profession of the Gospel may be a nullity. Of what use is light, if we open not our eyes to see it? So far from a blessing, it will only issue in deeper condemnation. If some are enlightened, multitudes are struck blind. But practical godliness keeping the law brings real abiding happiness no less a privilege than communion with our God and Savior here and for eternity. Who then can justly cast a cloud of gloom over the ways of God ? Let the Pentecostal Christians witness to their gladness. Let every servant of his Lord invite his fellow-sinners to the enjoyment of his privileges, by the manifestation of their holiness and joy.” 6. Preceptaustin has a detailed study on this proverb. I will just share some of the main ideas. “Where there is no vision (no prophetic word from God to His people), the people are unrestrained, but happy (blessed - Lxx = makariosmakarios = fully satisfied independent of the circumstances) is he who keeps (Lxx = phulassophulasso = guards) the law (the Torah, Divine teaching, the Word of God) (Pr 29:18, cp Pr 11:14, Ezek 7:26) Vision (revelation in IV) (0237702377 ) (chazon) describes a divine revelation by means of an oracle, a vision or a word from God (as to His prophets). The meaning is not so much the means (vision, oracle) but the end achieved (the message). This word speaks of God's direct revelation to people via His prophets, His "mouth pieces" as it were. otice that in this passage "vision" is paralleled with the law, which further supports that the writer intends "vision" to mean a divine word or a word from God and, not someone's personal vision or dream. otice that this Proverb is often misinterpreted as indicating that when one does not have a "clear vision" (or a dream), then one has nothing to live for and will perish for lack of a goal. This is clearly not the intended meaning of this passage and to use it from the pulpit for that purpose is to "wrongly" divide the Word of Truth! W A Criswell says that "The word "revelation" (chazon, Heb. for "prophetic vision"- cf. 1Sa 9:9) refers to the experience of the prophets in receiving a word from God (see Dan. 4:5, note). The "law" (torah, Heb., may also mean "instruction") is not only the Mosaic Law but also the messages to the people from God via His messengers, the prophets. Happiness comes in obeying the word of God however it comes (cf. Isa. 8:16; Amos 8:11, 12). This word, "perish," means "open" or "exposed." When people today reject or ignore the revealed Word of God, they are open and helpless to resist the humanistic and occultic doctrines of men and devils. (Happy speaks of) True happiness, or blessing found only through "keeping"--that is, "guarding" God's Word, then obeying and proclaiming it. Walter Kaiser, et al writes that...For many years this proverb (Pr 29:18) has been misinterpreted, probably because the KJV translates it "Where there is no vision, the people perish." One can infer from that translation that wise groups must have

a five-, ten- or twenty-year plan for the future if they do not wish to become defunct as an organization. And many have taken just that meaning from this text. However, the word vision does not refer to one's ability to formulate future goals and plans. Instead, it is a synonym for the prophetic word itself. It is what a prophet does. It refers to the prophetic vision, revelation which comes as the word of God... Besides vision, a second key word has been misunderstood in this verse: the word perish. This does not refer to the perishing of churches with inactive planning committees (a fact which may be true on grounds other than those presented here in this text). or does it mean the perishing of the unevangelized heathen who will die in their sin if someone does not reach them quickly (a fact which is also true on other grounds). The word translated in the KJV as "perish" has a very impressive background to it. It means "to cast off all restraint." It clearly warns that where the word of God is silenced so that it no longer comments on the local situation, the results are terrifying. The populace becomes ungovernable as they cast aside all that is decent and civil for whatever their own baser appetites wish to indulge in. On the other hand, this proverb continues, "Blessed is he who keeps the law." Thus, on the one hand, people are in an untenable position when the voice of the preacher ceases, because they let loose and nothing is left to restrain them; but, on the other hand, they are only truly happy when they have the good fortune of possessing the word of God and then place themselves under the hearing and doing of that word.” (Hard Sayings of the Bible) he KJV rendering of Pr 29:18 that the people perish is somewhat misleading as it suggests that the writer is referring to eternal loss in the lake of fire, but that is not the actual meaning of the Hebrew word as we have explained above. Thus to interpret this proverb as a call to evangelize the lost (as a number of commentaries and sermons suggest) so that they do not perish eternally is incorrect. If the KJV had been rendered "the people run wild", this evangelistic interpretation most likely would have been much less frequent. So what is the point? Sound doctrine ("vision") that exalts God as Supreme (cp "King" in Jdg 21:25) must not seek to tickle ears (2Ti 4:2-notenote , 2Ti 4:3,4notenote ) but must be boldly and uncompromisingly proclaimed by God's appointed and anointed prophets from the pulpits! Could this principle have anything to do with the fact that the modern church in America seems to be having so little "salt" and "light" effect on a decaying, devolving culture which has in effect "cast off all restraints"? Where there is existing absolutely no revelation from God, the people are undisciplined, out of control (Ex 32:25) and run wild, but in striking contrast are those who will be fully satisfied regardless of the circumstances (meaning of Greek word makariosmakarios ) because they continually (present tensepresent tense ) guard the treasure (phulassophulasso = like a watchman standing guard to keep something valuable from being lost or snatched away [cp Mt 13:19]) of God's Word. Henry Blackaby commenting on Pr 29:18 writes that...The world operates on vision.

God's people live by revelation. The world seeks grand and noble purposes and goals to achieve. People dream up the greatest and most satisfying things in which they can invest their lives. Institutions establish goals and objectives and then organize themselves to achieve them. God's people function in a radically different way. Christians arrange their lives based on the revelation of God, regardless of whether it makes sense to them. God does not ask for our opinion about what is best for our future, our family, our church, or our country. He already knows! What God wants is to get the attention of His people and reveal to us what is on His heart and what is His will, for God's ways are not our ways! (Isa. 55:8, 9).Whenever people do not base their lives on God's revelation, they 田ast off restraint.�That is, they do what is right in their own eyes. They set their goals, arrange their agendas, and then pray for God's blessings. (Experiencing God Day by Day)

7. Let God Be True, “The hired gun brought in by the ambitious pastor tells the contented church, "To be a big church, you need to think big. If you want to grow, then you need to think growth. If you want to triple your attendance in two years, then you need to build an auditorium that size. If you can dream it, you can believe it. If you can believe it, you can achieve it. Even God agrees. The Bible says, 'Where there is no vision, the people perish.' Get a vision, people! Get a vision of tripling the size of your little church! Sign your pledge cards today, and help your pastor get that multi-million dollar mortgage!" Who has not heard this sound bite, "Where there is no vision, the people perish"? Here is one of the most abused verses in the Bible. This is the sound of words with no regard to the sense of words. Lord, save us from such ignorant and flippant use of your Scriptures. Our proverb is often corrupted to seduce churches to borrow large sums of money to finance unnecessary building projects. The "vision" is a plan to grow the church in size; and "perishing" is continuing on the same course with a bought-and-paidfor building. What a travesty of Bible interpretation! May the LORD bless us to read and understand the sense of this proverb, as Ezra read and gave the true sense to Israel ( eh 8:8). As often in Proverbs, the parallelism tells us that "vision" is the hearing and reading of God's word. For a happy man is contrasted with people perishing, and the law of God is contrasted with "no vision." There is nothing here about dreaming or building plans. The lesson is simple but powerful. God's word is a great blessing, and obeying it is the basis for true happiness: but where the word of God is not preached, the people will die in ignorance and folly from starvation for knowledge. Lord, save us from such ruin!

There are times when the Lord takes the word of God away from His people. Consider the early days of Samuel, who anointed David king of Israel. The word of the LORD, or a revelation from God, was rare in those days, and it is specifically called a vision. In general, God was not revealing Himself and His will to the nation until Samuel arrived. And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. I Samuel 3:1 God took His word away at other times also. Under Asa, the nation had gone a long time without a teaching priest or the law of God (II Chr 15:3). And during Josiah's reign, the law of God, which had been lost, was found during temple renovation (II Chr 34:14). While in Babylon, God also took His word away from Israel (Ezek 7:26; Lam 2:9). Jesus saw His own people, without faithful preaching, as sheep without a shepherd (Matt 9:36). Without the word of God to save him, man will zealously worship trees, burn children in sacrifice, teach reincarnation, believe he descends from monkeys, eat a cracker-god, kiss a stone in Mecca, worship buffalo, burn widows on funeral pyres, and so forth and so on. Without God's revelation, men wander out of the way of understanding and remain in the congregation of the dead, to perish there under Satan's delusions (21:16; Eph 2:1-3). When Paul preached at Lystra and Athens, he explained that God had let the Gentiles walk in their own ignorant ways without His word for many generations, but He was now commanding men to repent of their ignorance (Acts 14:11-18; 17:22-31). Without Scripture, men will rush with greedy ambition into the vilest of lifestyles (Eph 4:17-19). The LORD warns that one of His judgments is to take away the word of God and leave a people starving for Him and Scripture. The Lord says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). He describes the famine He will bring on a land: not a famine of bread, but a famine for hearing God's word (Amos 8:1112). Lord, save us! There is great reward in having and obeying the Word of God (Ps 19:11). Moses told Israel that the precious revelation they had received from God was their wisdom and understanding above other nations (Deut 4:5-10), their righteousness and means for His blessing (Deut 6:20-25), and even their life (Deut 32:46-67). Building on this solid foundation will prepare you well for life's storms that will surely come (Luke 6:46-49). Jesus said regarding His preaching, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if you do them" (John 13:17). He even told a woman that hearing and keeping the word of God was a greater blessing than being His own mother (Luke 8:21; 11:28). And

James added that the blessing is for those who hear and do (James 1:25). Let us be hearers and doers!

19 A servant cannot be corrected by mere words; though he understands, he will not respond.
1. Barnes, “- . e., A slave, whose obedience is reluctant. He may “understand” the words, but they produce no good effect. There is still lacking the true “answer” of obedience. 2. Gill, “servant will not be corrected by words,.... ot by them only, especially one that is of a servile, surly, and untractable disposition; otherwise a good servant, and well disposed to his master, and willing to serve him, and promote his interest, a word is sufficient for such an one; when he is bid to go, he goes; or to come, he comes, Mat_8:9; or if he has done wrong, and his fault is told him, he will amend another time; whereas a rough ill natured servant will not regard words, but must have blows to correct him; for though he understand; what his master says, and what is his will, and knows he has done wrong, and ought to do otherwise, which is an aggravation of sin: he will not answer; own his fault and promise to do better for the future; through the surliness of his nature, and contempt of his master, whom he does not think worthy of an answer: so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "he despises to answer"; thus Job was used by his servants, Job_19:16; There is an answering which is forbidden servants, Tit_2:9; but this what becomes them, and is expressive of their respect and reverence to their masters, and their ready, hearty, and cheerful obedience to them; and which especially should be in Christian servants to Christian masters, 1Ti_6:1. 3. Henry, “is the description of an unprofitable, slothful, wicked servant, a slave that serves not from conscience, or love, but purely from fear. Let those that have such servants put on patience to bear the vexation and not disturb themselves at it. See their character. 1. o rational words will work upon them; they will not be correctedand reformed, not brought to their business, nor cured of their idleness and laziness, by fair means, no, nor by foul words;even the most gentle master will be forced to use severity with them; no reason will serve their turn, for they are unreasonable. 2. o rational words will be got from them. They are dogged and sullen; and, though they understandthe questions you ask them, they will notgive you an answer;though you make it ever so plain to them what you expect from them, they will not promise you to mend what is amiss nor to mind their business. See the folly of those servants whose mouth by their silence calls for strokes; they might be

corrected by wordsand save blows, but they will not. 4. Bridges, “Discipline must be carried, not only into the family, but throughout the whole household, in order to preserve God s authority and order. An important hint is here given relative to the management of servants. Though it does not apply to all, it shows a very common temptation to self-will. There is a proud as well as an humble silence ; as plain a proof of an unsubdued spirit, as a pert and flippant answer. The patience of Job was- sorely exercised by this trial, and that under circumstances which made the treatment more aggravated. We must guard against harshness in our spirit. But with servants, as with children, authority must be maintained at any cost. And therefore, if a servant understand the command and will not answer if he will not be corrected by words, it were better to dismiss him, than to lower our authority, and countenance evil by yielding to his waywardness. The Scripture fully sets out the duties of servants " ot answering again. With good-will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to man." Sullen resistance to reproof is most inconsistent with the profession of a Christian ; and, if the offender escapes the correction of an earthly master, he will be visited with the rod of his angry Lord, as a self deceiver, or backslider from his high obligation. 5. Let God Be True, “Rebellion can be active or passive. Wicked servants will not respond to verbal correction, for their heart is full of defiance. They fear enough to refrain from cursing; but they do not have the spirit of a virtuous servant. Though clearly and frequently corrected, and understanding the lesson and their needed improvement, they will not answer properly or amend their ways. Therefore, authority needs to be enforced painfully. A scornful, sullen, surly servant will show his stubborn rebellion by ignoring verbal instruction and correction. If you explain things carefully and clearly, he will not agree or submit. Though you ask questions he understands, he will not answer. He uses silence to punish the authority he despises. He shows his wickedness quietly by rejecting your rule. We often describe such a person as the man who doesn't know how to say, "I am sorry." If you find yourself saying, "Say something!" you have encountered the rebellious problem Solomon here described to his son. Silence is no evidence of agreement or submission; it is often a loud statement of defiance. Measures beyond words must be used. This is not just any servant, for many servants are corrected by words (Matt 8:9). Such rebellion must be crushed. Authority must be enforced to maintain order and peace. It was solved by two options under Moses' law. You could beat the servant, if necessary, to within an inch of his life (19:29; 26:3; Ex 21:20-21). And if you were tired of beating him, you could sell him to a master with a bigger rod! Moses' law warned against unnecessary rigor (Lev 25:43), but authority must be maintained

(19:25; 21:11; 26:3). Modern employment relationships do not have the provisions of Moses' law; so wise masters fire belligerent losers. Keeping one bad apple will spoil the whole bunch. Allowing a defiant employee to remain, even if they rebel by their silence, will cost your authority. When you find a scorner, and you cannot correct him, throw him out (22:10)! Parent, do you know your children? Do you know when their silence is rebellion? Do you measure their sullenness? Do you understand that a withdrawn child is a problem child? Do you know your children's temperaments, and do you carefully watch the phlegmatic ones, who tend toward reserved dispositions? Their rebellion can grow while you snooze. Rebellion can be active or passive, loud or silent, angry or sullen. It is your job to detect passive rebellion. Do not allow a child to avoid instruction, correction, or questions. They quickly learn delay tactics, knowing you will tire and forget them. Reject excuses, such as needing more time; children do not have any such rebellious luxury when facing you. Remember how God hates mocking eyes (30:17). Watch and read the faces of your children. Correct any insolence, even in the facial expressions. Silence can be mocking. When you detect such a problem, quickly move toward more severe measures to rescue this child from their self-will. The rod will work wonders (22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15). Tears are also used in silent rebellion. Rather than telling you wickedly they will not do it, they simply let go with the tears, knowing that such a show of emotion got rid of you the last time. If the tears are genuine, they will accompany sincere words of apology. Let us be the quickest to say we are sorry when shown our faults. The man unwilling to say he is sorry on earth will say it longest and loudest in eternity; for such willful stubbornness is the mark of a reprobate. Insubordinate servants, wives, and children are obnoxious things that trouble the earth (30:21-23). Let Christians avoid such reputations.”

20 Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
1. Henry, “here shows that there is little hope of bringing a man to wisdom that is hasty either, 1. Through rashness and inconsideration: Seest thou a man that is hasty

in his matters,that is of a light desultory wit, that seems to take a thing quickly, but takes it by the halves, gallops over a book or science, but takes no time to digest it, no time to pause or muse upon a business? There is more hope ofmaking a scholar and a wise man of one that is dull and heavy, and slow in his studies, than of one that has such a mercurial genius and cannot fix. 2. Through pride and conceitedness: Seest thou a man that isforward to speak to every matter that is started, and affects to speak first to it, to open it, and speak last to it, to give judgment upon it, as if he were an oracle? There is more hope of amodest fool,who is sensible of his folly, than of such a self-conceited one. 2. thou a man that ishasty in his words,.... Swift to speak either before God or men; that takes upon him to speak upon a subject, or return an answer to a question, before he has thoroughly thought of it, and well considered it, and digested what he should say; see Ecc_5:2; or "hasty in matters" (x); in his business; runs rashly and precipitately into things, without duly considering within himself what is right and proper to be done, and without taking the advice of others; there is more hope of a fool than of him; of one that has not the gift of elocution, or not so much sagacity in business, and yet takes time to think, and advises with others. 3. Keil, “an one has blocked up against himself the path to wisdom, which to the fool, i.e., to the ingenuous, stands open; the former is perfect, of the latter something may yet be made. In this passage the contrast is yet more precise, for the fool is thought of as the dull, which is the proper meaning of ‫ ,כּסִיל‬vid., under Pro_17:24. ְ There is more hope for the fool than for him, although he may be no fool in himself, who overthrows himself by his words. “The προπετὴς ἐν λόγῳ αὐτοῦ(Sir. 9:18) has, in the existing case, already overleaped the thought; the ‫ כסיל‬has it still before him, and comes at length, perhaps with his slow conception, to it” (Hitzig); for the ass, according to the fable, comes at last farther than the greyhound. Hence, in words as well as in acts, the proverb holds good, “Eile mit Weile” [= festina lente]. Every word, as well as act, can only be matured by being thought out, and thought over. From this proverb, which finds its practical application to the affairs of a house, and particularly also to the relation to domestics, the group returns to the subject of instruction, which is its ground-tone.” 4. Bridges, “We have just been warned against sullen silence ; here against hasty words. When a man flows on in his words, evidently with out time for consideration ; when he gives his opinion, as if it were a loss of time to take counsel, or regard the judgment of others ; when you find him forward in pronouncing judgment be fore men of acknowledged wisdom and experience ; this is the " fool uttering all his mind;" 6 the man lately marked out for our warning, as an hopeless fool, "wise in his own conceit." It is very difficult to deal effectively with him until the strong hold of his own conceit be shaken. Argument and instruction are lost upon him. The man who is conscious

of his weakness, who distrusts himself, and is ready to ask and receive counsel, is more likely to be led right, than he, who thinks himself to be right already. It is a special mercy to be preserved from hasty judgments, or expression of judgments. The first stamp upon a perfect mind is infallibly correct. On an imperfect mind it must be subjected to a careful scrutiny. It is sound wisdom to admit, that our judgment may be mistaken. Self-control and self- diffidence give solid consistency. This character of mind is most important in religious disputations. Be careful to defend or contravene nothing, till you have tested it by the true standard. Moses deferred judgment on the sin before his eyes, till he had brought the matter to God. " Be swift to hear ; slow to speak." 5. Let God Be True, “Slow down! Don't talk so fast! Think before you speak! Make sure you know what you are talking about before sounding off! A person that talks fast, talks often, and answers quickly is worse than a fool! A fool will get in trouble due to ignorance, but a man who answers or speaks before thinking is going to be punished. He is worse than a fool! God's wisdom is simple - "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (Jas 1:19). You have two ears and one mouth: let this proportion be reflected in your listening and speaking! Many have their mouths running before their minds are in gear, and they are a danger to themselves and a stench to others. A righteous man studies before answering; wicked men pour out verbal nonsense without study (15:28). The good man is cautious before speaking, because he wants to make certain he only speaks the words of truth (22:20-21). The arrogant fool likes to hear himself talk, so he is busy talking whenever possible, regardless of truth (Eccl 10:12-13). Have you ever met a person who answers before questions are fully posed? Have you ever done this? It is folly and shame to answer a dilemma you have not yet fully heard (18:13). What causes a man to answer so presumptuously? His arrogance and conceit! He is so sure of himself, he talks without deliberation; there is more hope of a fool (26:12). Fools are stupid, but hasty and impulsive talkers are proud. There is at least a little hope in helping a fool defeat his stupidity and stubbornness, but there is no hope in helping a proud man recognize his deficiencies in character and conduct and change them! His self-righteous confidence, the greatest of sins, will not allow him to be corrected. He will not seek a multitude of counselors to obtain safety, because he is surely right (11:14; 15:22). Fools say all that is in their minds without any necessity or request, but a wise man will listen carefully to see if he ought to tell what he knows or not (29:11). This is wisdom, reader! o one wants to know your opinion or thoughts until they ask for it, and then they want you to stay to the topic and only say things you have

previously confirmed as truth. How many have brought God's judgment down on them for speaking hastily in the house of God (Eccl 5:1-7)? It is better not to vow, than to vow and not pay. Sober reflection is superior to the crackling of fools (Eccl 7:2-6). They merely make a lot of vain noise. It can also happen in writing, so be cautious before replying with a hasty email. Slow men are better than fast men, and hasty thoughts will get you in trouble (14:29; 21:5).”

21 If a man pampers his servant from youth, he will bring grief in the end.
1. If he would bring grief to the end of the servant, he may escape the grief in the end that Solomon is writing about here. Temporary grief of discipline is a great value in preventing grief that is permanent. 2. Clarke, “that delicately bringeth up his servant - persons are generally forgetful of their obligations, assume the rights and privileges of children, and are seldom good for any thing. 3. Gill, “that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child,.... In a very tender and affluent way uses him with great familiarity; makes him sit at table, with him, feeds him with dainties, and clothes him in the most handsome manner, as if he was one of his own children: shall have him become hisson at the length: he will expect to be used as a son; he will not care to do any servile work, or anything, especially that is hard and laborious; he will be for supplanting the son and heir, and think to inherit all himself; or, however, become proud, haughty, and saucy. Jarchi interprets this of the evil imagination, or the corruption of nature, which is in a man from a child; which, if cherished and not subdued, wilt in the issue rule over a man: and some apply it to the body; which, if delicately pampered, and not kept under, will be master of the soul, instead of servant to it, and its members be instruments of unrighteousness.” 4. Bridges, “"We have another valuable rule for domestic discipline , directing masters to a wise treatment of their servants. It is a grievous error to step ourselves, or to induce another to step, out of the path, which a God of order has marked for us. Divine Wisdom has framed the constitution of society, assigning to each their station and their duties. If a servant aspire to be in the house any thing but a servant, his character loses its value. A master acts to say the least most unseemly, when he forgets his own place and authority, and delicately bringeth up his servant by the allowance of undue freedom. It is a great exercise to preserve the true medium between distance and familiarity. An haughty menacing demeanor towards

our servants forgets the respect justly due to them. An inconsiderate fondness takes them out of their place, greatly to their own injury. Our Lord s distinction shows, that friends not servants should be admitted to our familiar inter course, and entrusted to our confidence. To promote a servant therefore to the rank of a confidant, unfits him for his own condition, and defeats our own end by the natural results of this unnatural treatment. True kindness keeps him in his place. Good usage does by no means imply that indulgence, that would ruin a child. A servant delicately brought up often from a child soon relaxes in respect and attention. Instead of this false kindness stimulating to diligence, and inducing gratitude ; he becomes idle, insolent, and ungovernable ; assumes the young master becomes a son at the length. This unseemly usurpation is an evil " that the earth cannot bear a servant, when he reigneth." Ishbosheth must have allowed Abner undue liberty, when he so far forgot the respect due to his sovereign, as to insult him before his face. David also must have loosened the reins of proper authority, when Joab murdered the commander in chief at the head of his army, without being instantly subjected to the penalty of the law. Even the wise man appears to have forgotten his own prudent caution, when he delicately brought up Jeroboam in authority ; promoted him too suddenly ; and lived to regret his error, when with the pretension of a son he combined the pride of a rebel. The confusion and anarchy of after years in the kingdom originated in the same false step. The greatest kindness to servants is to " give to them that which is just and equal," but no more. Any defect in this rule will be sure to bring (as in the case referred to) future trouble, as the unjust chastening for present folly. What need have we of the daily supply of Divine grace, to rule our house well in due subjection. The resolution to " behave ourselves wisely in a perfect way" can only be accomplished in the habitual prayer " O when wilt thou come unto me ?" Then indeed " I will walk within my house with a perfect heart" 5. Let God Be True, “Here is wonderful advice for managers. Wise and careful treatment of an employee can lead to a relationship with him similar to a family member. There is a great distance in the Bible between masters and servants, known today as employers and employees. And this significant difference in ability and position is to be preserved. But prudent managers will also win affectionate loyalty, in addition to diligent obedience, from their employees. The Bible teaches, defends, and promotes authority more than any other philosophy or religion, for the foundation of all human relationships is the sovereign authority of a creator God. Jehovah ordained the five spheres of human authority - husband, parent, master, magistrate, and pastor. Therefore their offices are not to be compromised (Eccl 10:5-7; Rom 13:1-7; I Cor 11:9; Eph 6:1-9; Col 3:18-25; Heb 13:7,17; I Pet 2:13 - 3:7). But the Bible also restricts and penalizes abuse of this God-ordained authority (Ps 12:5; Eccl 5:8). Masters are limited in their authority over servants, and they are

bound to treat them with a minimum level of fairness, kindness, and consistency (Lev 19:13; 25:39-46; Deut 15:12-18; 24:14-15; Eph 6:9; Col 4:1). And the doctrine of God further teaches love of neighbor, including servants, by the standard we seek to be loved (Luke 6:31; 10:27). The older conservative and evangelical commentators understood this proverb very differently. They believed it condemned treating a servant too well in his youth, for he would be spoiled by the luxury, forget his proper place, and later presume to be equal to the heir. Since most commentators generally followed one another, they agreed with each other here. Their interpretation and application are wrong for the following reasons. First, an ironical or sarcastic use of words must be obvious to the reader, which is not obvious here. A straightforward reading of the proverb indicates positive instruction for the wise management of servants. To take the words in an opposite sense of a sarcastic rebuke is difficult indeed, for there are no words or contextual hints to do so. Second, "delicately" does not require a definition of exquisite luxury, for it also means considerate and tactful treatment, as in Agag coming delicately to Samuel (I Sam 15:32). Third, Solomon taught elsewhere in Proverbs that a wise servant would, and consequently should, be promoted over foolish sons and given an interest in the family inheritance (17:2). And he taught that kings recognize and promote wise servants (14:35). Jesus taught that a wise and faithful servant would be highly promoted (Luke 12:41-48). Fourth, Scripture warns against abusive treatment of servants and requires kind treatment of them. Moses commanded regarding servants, "Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God" (Lev 25:43). Maidservants were to be treated as daughters and given food, clothing, and the duty of marriage - regular lovemaking, or be set free (Ex 21:10). Moses allowed for servants loving their masters and staying with them for life (Ex 21:1-6). And Solomon admitted masters and servants ate the same (27:27). Consider Job's holy and perfect attitude toward servants. He wrote, "If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?" (Job 31:13-15). Though slaves had no legal rights, Job granted them the right to appeal to him! Abraham had such a close relationship with one of his servants - Eliezer of Damascus - he planned on making him his heir (Gen 15:2-3). He later entrusted another servant to pick a bride for his son Isaac, which resulted in Rebekah being

the mother of Israel (Gen 24:1-67). And Paul told Philemon to receive Onesimus as a brother-servant (Phile 1:16)! Fifth, Daniel, though a captive eunuch from Israel, was affectionately treated by ebuchadnezzar, Darius, and Cyrus. Even Belshazzar promoted him to third in the kingdom (Dan 5:29). And Joseph was promoted over all Potiphar's house (Gen 39:16). Sixth, the history of slavery in America includes examples of slaves being treated as family members with deep and abiding affection and loyalty running in both directions. Paul did not admit a whole lot of difference between young sons and slaves (Gal 4:1-2). Seventh, the commentators turning this proverb upside down were from a slaveowning generation that lost sight of this principle. Due to the rising clamor against slavery, which the Bible does not condemn, greater rigor was required to keep servants in their place. Beyond the proverb's interpretation, what is the lesson for us? Considerate and tactful treatment of employees can result in a relationship with the affection and loyalty of a family member. A proverb of our nation declares, "You can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar." You can attract greater devotion and effort with kindness than with meanness. Christian employers should conscientiously treat their employees with discreet and prudent care at all times. They should redress all grievances in a fair and equitable way, and they should communicate openly and honestly with those in their service. "Might makes right" is a foolish notion of God-haters. Wise business owners and managers win the affection and loyalty of employees with careful and tactful treatment. Service from the heart is superior to service from fear or a paycheck. Husbands, parents, magistrates, and pastors will also grasp that the principle applies to them as well. You tempt the Lord your God, a serious offence, if you seek to enforce your authority by power and privilege alone. Let every Christian reader apply the same benevolent kindness to those under their authority as their heavenly Father does (Matt 5:43-48).”

22 An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.
1. Clarke, “angry man stirreth up strife - spirit begets its like wherever he goes.

And a furious man aboundeth in transgression - His furious spirit is always carrying him into extremes, and each of these is a transgression.” 2. Gill, “angry man stirreth up strife,.... In families, neighbourhoods, communities, churches, and commonwealths; that is, one that is given to anger, and gives way to it, in whom it prevails and rules; and a furious man aboundeth in transgression; or, "a master of wrath or fury" (y); one much addicted to it: or, "the husband of wrath": wedded to it, as a man to his wife: or, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "who is easy to be angry"; is easily provoked, wrath rises up in him at once; this leads him on to many sins, as cursing, swearing, murder, 3. Henry, “here the mischief that flows from an angry, passionate, furious disposition. 1. It makes men provoking to one another: An angry man stirs up strife,is troublesome and quarrelsome in the family and in the neighbourhood, blows the coals, and even forces those to fall out with him that would live peaceable and quietly by him. 2. It makes men provoking to God: A furious man,who is wedded to his humours and passions, cannot but abound in transgressions.Undue anger is a sin which is the cause of many sins; it not only hinders men from calling upon God's name, but it occasions their swearing, and cursing, and profaning God's name.”

4. Bridges, “Anger is not necessarily a sinful passion. Even furiousness the overflowing of the torrent is a property in God. We can readily conceive of its energy in the unfallen nature of man. Had Satan appeared to Eve in his own hatefulness, her anger against him would have been a holy principle. But in a fallen nature to preserve its purity is a rare and most difficult matter. It must be confined to points, where God s honor is concerned; and even on these points the rule must be observed " Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." The short period of the day is abundantly sufficient to express right motives, and to accomplish holy purposes. The general tendency of anger is however here graphically de scribed. Its active energy stirreth up strife quarreling even upon trifles, or matters which a forbearing consideration might have satisfactorily explained. And when suppressed, but not laboriously mortified, how often does it become more intense, and break out more furiously abounding in transgression ! Indeed it is difficult to take a full view of the mighty power of this mass of sin. It gives the impetus to every besetting propensity. It may be blasphemy ! It stops at nothing. How many murders do we owe to this paroxysm of the moment ! But for the Divine restraints the very foundations of society would be torn up. “Parents ! Do we feel the responsibility of early checking this ebullition in our children ? And do we diligently watch against, the first rising in ourselves, incessantly praying for its subjugation? How beautiful are the instances of Almighty

grace such as Henry Martyn transforming the furious man into the likeness of his meek and holy Master ! But let us not be satisfied with the outward restraint upon passion. God condemns the deep-rooted principle that gives it birth. Wretched heart ! filled with soul-destroying corruption ! Every even the least indulgence operates fearfully. So much time spent in excitement ! So much more in the unquiet waiting for the desired opportunity ! And all given to the Great Murderer ! Oh ! for the mystery and doctrine of the cross, to mold our temper into its genuine spirit and influence ! 5. Let God Be True, “Anger ruins men. It is a curse on their lives. Anger causes fighting and sin. It is blinding and dangerous. An angry man cannot ignore offences (19:11). He reacts without thinking, which leads to fights (15:18). There is little peace to those around him, because he has either blown up recently or is likely to blow up soon. He reacts without thinking and says and does sinful things in the devilish heat of his foolish passion. He is a fool (14:29). If you want peace and righteousness in your life, stay away from an angry man. His profane way of responding to life will corrupt your good manners (22:24-25). God have mercy on the poor woman who married an angry man, and God have mercy on the poor children born to an angry man. Their lives are cursed with the devilish heart of their husband or father, who is just as likely to lash out and hit them as love and hug them. An angry man will lose his wife, children, and reputation. An angry man has little self-control, like an infant or a defenseless city (25:28; I Cor 3:1-3). His children wait for the day when they can leave home to find the peace and security he never gave them. Of course, angry men are too stupid to figure this until it is too late. Their children will not give many warnings, for they fear his wrath and blows. They nod and submit, despising their father in their heart, until they can leave and have a pleasant life without fear. Are you an angry man? Do you speak impulsively? Do you strike impulsively? Do you yell at your wife or children? Do you say harsh things that others question or condemn? Do others crave your presence? Are you known as a gracious or a difficult man? Do your wife and children tell you all they are thinking? Do you rule by intimidation or affection? Does your wife stay with you because she has to or wants to? Do your wife and children ever steer clear of you due to fear of your foul mood? Are you an angry man? Anger has no virtue, except for those rare and holy occasions when righteous indignation erupts legitimately against ungodliness. ot all anger is sin, but the vast majority is sin (Eph 4:26)! And the horrible passions of most anger give place to the devil in your life (Eph 4:27)! The blessed God of heaven, Who is holy in all His ways, is angry and furious against His enemies ( ah 1:2-6). He burns in hot wrath against sin (Rev 19:15). The very meek Moses became angry (Ex 32:19). And even Jesus was angry (Mark 3:5).

However, anger without a just cause is a violation of the sixth commandment "Thou shalt not kill" (Matt 5:21-22). It does not matter that you could not stop your anger; many murderers have tried the same excuse. It does not matter that you have a temperament prone to quick wrath - you are a weak man. Grow up! Stop being a child that throws temper tantrums! Get strong and rule your spirit (14:29; 16:32; Jas 1:19-20). "Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous" (27:4). Learn to love the wisdom of peace (Jas 3:14-18)! The proverb teaches, "An angry man stirreth up strife." Anger causes fighting (15:18). A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger (15:1). The angry man does not think before speaking or reacting, so he provokes anger and fighting where a conflict could have ended. Solomon's son Rehoboam answered Israel harshly and lost ten of twelve tribes, for he provoked them to anger and enmity by his foolish conduct. It is impossible to fight with a pillow, and the man who defers his anger is a holy pillow. The proverb teaches, "A furious man aboundeth in transgression." Speaking or acting impulsively generally leads to sin. Angry men are too confused and enraged to examine and check their words or actions by wisdom. They merely react with the profane instincts of their depraved hearts, and sin is the certain result. Even Moses, generally a meek and patient man, allowed Israel to provoke him to speak unadvisedly with his lips and strike the rock God had told him to address (Ps 106:32-33). It is cool and calm reflection that leads to wisdom and prudence, not the passion and fury of anger. Anger seldom works the righteousness of God (Jas 1:19-20). Therefore, you must learn to check its first risings in your soul. If you know of persons or situations that provoke you to anger, then either avoid them or prepare your defenses in advance. Learn to wait before allowing anger any expression. Let the fear of losing your wife, children, and reputation teach you the precious value of kindness, mercy, and patience. It is a glorious man that can defer anger (19:11). It is a great man that can rule his spirit (14:29; 16:32). Parent, you must train this curse out of your children. There is no room for anger in how your children deal with each other, their friends, or with you. Require meekness, kindness, service, and reverence at all times. Do not allow that proud and selfish rage that destroys souls and families. And neither can you allow that sullen and withdrawn fury that burns deeper and longer. All bitterness and grudges must be found and destroyed. God has ordered you to reject all bitterness, wrath, anger, and malice (Eph 4:31). These sins are totally unacceptable to the blessed God and the Christian religion. They will lead to fighting, strife, and other sins that have no right in your life. In their place you are to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving of others. And what is the motive and standard for this unnatural behavior? God's treatment of you in

Christ Jesus (Eph 4:32)!”

23 A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.
1. Henry, “agrees with what Christ said more than once, 1. That those who exalt themselves shall be abased.Those that think to gain respect by lifting up themselves above their rank, by looking high, talking big, appearing fine, and applauding themselves, will on the contrary expose themselves to contempt, lose their reputation, and provoke God by humbling providences to bring them down and lay them low.2. That those who humble themselves shall be exalted,and shall be established in their dignity: Honour shall uphold the humble in spirit;their humility is their honour, and that shall make them truly and safely great, and recommend them to the esteem of all that are wise and good. 2. Gill, “man's pride shall bring him low,.... As the pride of Adam, in affecting to be as gods, knowing good and evil; he lost the image of God; was brought into a state of darkness and ignorance, into debt and to a dunghill, to beggary and rags; filled with loathsome diseases, and left in thraldom and bondage to sin and Satan; and so all his posterity were brought into the same low estate. This might be exemplified in particular persons, in Pharaoh, ebuchadnezzar, Herod, and others; and, as will be in that monster of pride, the man of sin and antichrist; who will be humbled and brought low in the midst of his pride and boasting, Rev_18:7; but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit; not who are humble in appearance only, or merely in words, having a show of humility, a voluntary and affected one; but really in their hearts; whose spirits are humble and contrite; who are so in spiritual things, and are made so by the Spirit of God: they are such who are truly sensible of sin; of their folly, and want of spiritual knowledge; of their impotence, and weakness to do anything that is spiritually good; of their spiritual poverty, and want of righteousness; who see that salvation is all of grace; and that whatever they have is owing to the grace of God; that they are deficient in all their duties, and these insufficient to justify them before God; who submit to the righteousness of Christ, and give all the glory of salvation to the grace of God. These, as they are honourable, being clothed with humility, which is itself an ornament of great price; so they are honoured with more grace from the Lord; they are beautified with the garments of salvation; they have the honour to have the spiritual and gracious presence of God, and fellowship with him, who dwells with such as are of an humble spirit: these are the meek and lowly, that shall inherit the new earth, and reign as kings with Christ in it; and the poor in spirit, to whom the kingdom of heaven belongs: and this honour is durable, they shall always abide in it; the grace they have, which makes them glorious, springs up unto eternal life; and the glory they

shall have is an eternal weight of glory, a crown of glory that fadeth not away: for so the words may be rendered, "the humble in spirit shall lay hold on glory" (z)or "honour"; possess it and enjoy it: or rather "shall retain" (a)it; shall hold it fast, as the word is translated in Pro_3:18; The sum of the proverb, in both parts, is the same with the words of Christ, often used by him, Mat_23:12. 3. Keil, “haughty man obscures the honor which he has by this, that he boasts immeasurably of it, and aspires yet more after it; the lowly man, on the other hand, obtains honor without his seeking it, honor before God and before men, which would be of no worth were it not connected with the honor before God.” 4. Bridges, “This Proverb Bishop Hall remarks in his own style is like unto Shushan : in the streets whereof honor is proclaimed to the humble Mordecai ; in the palace whereof is erected an engine of death to a proud Haman. It exhibits the spirit of our Lord s oft repeated declaration expounded by his daily Providences. " Who soever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." The real value of man in himself is so small, that the Psalmist is at a loss where to find it. His undue value of himself is utter delusion having lost all ; stripped of all ; yet proud, as if he were the possessor of all. He raises himself to heaven in his airy visions ; but soon does he meet with his own punishment. A marts pride shall bring him low. We see this in the world. The proud conceit of rank, talent, or any superiority, subjects to continual mortification; while on the other hand, humility at first considered a mean and servile spirit ultimately comes to its just estimation. The world counts nothing great without display. But mark the substantial " honor that cometh from God only." " Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool ; yet to this man will I look to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit." Yea " I dwell saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit." Humility is indeed true greatness the crown as Mr. Howel finely remarks of finite beings, made and jewelled by the hand of God himself. Supremacy is the glory of God ; humility is the ornament of his child. 8 " I am but dust and ashes. I am less than the least of all thy mercies, abhor myself. Sinners of whom I am chief" such are the self- abasing confessions of men great in Jehovah s eyes. They shine with the reflection of his glory ; but they turn away with genuine humility from their own shining. Men of this stamp " the king delighteth to honor." Their dignity begins on earth, and is crowned in heaven. " Blessed are the poor in spirit ; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Poor they may be in station. But they shine forth as mightier conquerors than Alexander. Their real glory eclipses the glare of the pomp and " pride of life." The elevation of the proud is often the step to their downfall. But God s honor put upon his own people upholds them; as Joseph and Daniel in their high eminence, as witnesses for his name. And all his chastening discipline is for the great purpose, to " hide pride from man," and to bring us low in our own eyes, that his honor may " lift us in due time." It is with us as with our Lord honor

comes out of humiliation. 13 Thou meanest to be not our Savior only, but our pattern too. If we can go down the steps of thine humiliation, we shall rise up the stairs of thy glory."

24 The accomplice of a thief is his own enemy; he is put under oath and dare not testify.
1. Barnes, “the first discovery of the theft, the person wronged Jdg_17:2, or the judge of the city (marginal reference), pronounced a solemn curse on the thief and on all who, knowing the offender, were unwilling to give evidence against him. The accomplice of the thief hears that curse, and yet is silent, and so falls under it, and “destroys his own soul.” 2. Clarke, “his own soul - ‫ נפשו‬naphsho, his life, as the outraged law may at any time seize on and put him to death. He heareth cursing - ‫ אלה‬alah, the execration or adjuration, (for all culprits were charged, as before God, to tell the truth), ‫ ולא יגד‬velo yagpid, but He will not tell It. He has no fear of God, nor reverence for an oath, because his heart is hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 3. Gill, “is partner with a thief,.... That robs and steals, and raises away another man's property; which to do is sinful and contrary to the law of God, and punishable by it; and so it is to join with him in the theft, or to devise, or consent unto it; or to receive the stolen goods, or to hide and conceal them; or to hide the thief, or the theft, and not declare them; see Psa_50:18. Such an one hateth his own soul; that is, he is not careful of it, he is not concerned for its welfare as he should be; for otherwise no man, properly speaking, hates his own flesh or body, and much less his soul; but he is negligent of the good of it, and, for the sake of the mammon of unrighteousness, runs the risk of the ruin of it; by which he shows that he loves the world more than his own soul; when the profit of the whole world is nothing to the soul of man, Mat_16:26; see Pro_8:36; he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth itnot; or "does not declare it" (b); he heareth the cursing of those that have lost their goods, and yet he does not declare where they are, and who is the author of the theft, though he knows; or, being suspected of being concerned in it, or, at least, of knowing who did it, be is had before a civil magistrate, and an oath is given him, which he takes, and yet he conceals the matter: which is an aggravation of his sin, and brings ruin to his soul. So the Targum, "an oath is determined (or brought to him) and he confesseth not.''

Some understand this of a distinct evil, of hearing cursing and swearing, and taking the name of God in vain, and blasphemy against him; yet, through fear of incurring the displeasure of men, and being reckoned a busy body, or through indifference and want of zeal for the glory of God, do not discover it, or inform of it, to a proper person, for the punishment of such; see Lev_5:1; and render the words (c), as "he that is partner with a thief hateth his own soul; sohe that heareth cursing, and betrayeth it not." 4. Henry, “here what sin and ruin those involve themselves in who are drawn away by the enticement of sinners. 1. They incur a great deal of guilt: Hedoes so that goes partner withsuch as rob and defraud, and casts in his lot among them,Pro_1:11, etc. The receiver is as bad as the thief; and, being drawn in to join with him in the commission of the sin, he cannot escape joining with him in the concealment of it, though it be with the most horrid perjuries and execrations. They hear cursingwhen they are sworn to tell the whole truth, but they will not confess. 2. They hasten to utter ruin: They even hate their own souls,for they wilfully do that which will be the inevitable destruction of them. See the absurdities sinners are guilty of; they love death, than which nothing is more dreadful, and hate their own souls,than which nothing is more dear.” 5. Bridges, “This is a warning under the eighth commandment. Do we realize the same solemnity of obligation as under the first ? Many professors attach a degree of secularity to a detailed application of the duties of the second table. But both stand on the same authority. The transgressions of both are registered in the same book. The place of the decalogue cannot be of moment, if the word be but there with the imprimatur " I am the Lord thy God." The law acknowledges no difference between the thief and his partner. Consenting to sin receiving the stolen goods involves us in the guilt and punishment. The accomplice may be less practiced in sin. He may be only commencing his course. But the first step is the way of death acting as if he hated his own soul One step naturally leads on to another. Supposing him to be called to give evidence upon oath concerning his knowledge or privity of the deed. Would not this be a temptation to perjury, rather than to discover his fellow ? Under the perverted obligation of his bond of secrecy he heareth cursing- the solemn adjuration to declare the truth on pain of the curse of God and he bewrayeth it not. He keeps his wicked counsel, and will not betray. Oh ! how frightful is the history of thousands, whose fellowship with sinners has drawn them into fellowship with sin, and ultimately to take the lead in sin ! Whose entrance into the path has led them step by step into the very depths of depravity ! And of these thousands, how few it is to be feared retrace their steps, and become, like Onesimus, true followers of Christ, and faithful servants to man !” 6 Let God Be True, “Can you cover for a thief and get away with it? Do you think your sin is mild, since you didn't actually steal? You are a fool; you hate your own soul; and judgment is coming!

Partnership with a thief is explained by the second clause. When property owners, civil magistrates, or other authorities confront you with oaths, you deny you know anything. How very often children and young men are faced with this crucial moment of truth! Cursing here is an oath to tell the truth ( um 5:21; Judges 17:2). We do it in America. Witnesses in court hear, with their right hand raised to God and left hand on a Bible, "Do swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; so help me, God?" Such swearing, by appealing to God, the highest authority in the universe, is intended to end any possibility of lying (Heb 6:16). Moses ordered such swearing to get to the bottom of matters, including theft (Exodus 22:8-15; Deut 21:1-9; I Kings 8:31-32; 22:16). And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. Leviticus 5:1 Bewraying a matter is to reveal it. Since we no longer use the word "bewrayeth," let The Oxford English Dictionary provide a definition for us. Bewray. To expose (a person), by divulging his secrets, or telling something that one knows to his discredit or harm. To reveal, divulge, disclose, declare, make known, show. Consider also the Spirit's use of the word. An odious woman cannot be hid, for she will bewray - reveal, declare, or show - what she is, as sure as perfume is smelled (27:16). And Peter's speech bewrayed - revealed and declared - he was of Galilee (Matt 26:73). If you are asked about a sin under oath or by authority, and you do not reveal the sinner, you are guilty of two crimes (Ex 20:15-16). You should fear God more than any man (29:25); hindering justice is a great sin (Ex 23:1-7; Deut 29:15-21); and such a disclosure is not tattling, which is talebearing, at all (I Tim 5:13; I Cor 1:11). Our Lord Jesus kept total silence during his long and fraudulent trial (Mark 15:5), but when sworn to tell the truth by the high priest, He answered honestly (Matt 26:63-64).”

25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
1. Henry, “are cautioned not to dread the power of man, neither the power of a

prince nor the power of the multitude; both are formidable enough, but the slavish fear of either brings a snare,that is, exposes men to many insults (some take a pride in terrifying the timorous), or rather exposes men to many temptations. Abraham, for fear of man,denied his wife, and Peter his Master, and many a one his God and religion. We must not shrink from duty, nor commit sin, to avoid the wrath of man, nor, though we see it coming upon us, be disquieted with fear, Dan_3:16; Psa_118:6. He must himself die (Isa_51:12) and can but kill our body, Luk_12:5. 2. We are encouraged to depend upon the power of God, which would keep us from all that fear of manwhich has either torment or temptation in it. Whoso puts his trust in the Lord,for protection and supply in the way of duty, shall beset on high, above the power of man and above the fear of that power. A holy confidence in God makes a man both great and easy, and enables him to look with a gracious contempt upon the most formidable designs of hell and earth against him. If God be my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. 2. Gill, “fear of man bringeth a snare,.... Either that which is subjectively in man; not a divine fear, or the fear of God, that grace which is put into the heart, for that leads to no snare, but tends to life; but a human fear, a servile one, a distrust of the power and providence, grace and goodness, of God, which has torment in it; which brings into bondage, and into many distresses and difficulties, and is opposed to trust in the Lord: or objectively, which has man for its object; a fear of losing the favour and friendship of men, of not having honour and applause from them; and a fear of their reproaches and reviling; of the wrath of men, of persecution from them, and of sufferings by them, even death itself; which has been sometimes a snare to ministers of the word, to drop or conceal some truths of it; and to professors of religion, not to embrace, own, and profess them; as many, through fear of the Jews, would not profess Jesus to be the Messiah, though they knew he was, Joh_7:13; yea, such a fear has been a snare to the best of men, and leads into temptation and sin; as particularly Abraham and Peter, Gen_12:12; but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe; that trusts in the Lord as the God of nature and providence, and the God of all grace, for all mercies, spiritual, temporal, and eternal, and leaves himself and case with him; such an one is safe from men, and the fear of them, and from snares and temptations, and sin and mischief, which come by them: or, "shall be lifted up on high" (d); he is upon a high rock, firm and sure; he dwells on high, his place of defence is the munition of rocks; he is in a high tower which is impregnable, in a city of refuge where he is safe; he is as immovable as Mount Zion; he is above the fear of man, or danger from him; he is out of the reach of all his enemies, men or devils; see Pro_18:10. 3. Clarke, “fear of man bringeth a snare - often has this led weak men, though sincere in their general character, to deny their God, and abjure his people! See the case of Peter; and learn from this, O reader, that where the mighty have been slain, thou wilt fall, unless thou call on the Strong for strength, and for courage to use it. Be not ashamed of Jesus nor of his people, nor of his cross. Glory in this, that thou knowest him, art joined to them, and art counted worthy to bear it.

4. Barnes, “confusion and wretchedness in which the fear of what men can do entangles us, is contrasted with the security of one, who not only “fears” the Lord, so as to avoid offending Him, but trusts in Him as his protector and guide. 5. Keil, “who is put into a terror by a danger with which men threaten him, so as to do from the fear of man what is wrong, and to conceal the truth, falls thereby into a snare laid by himself - it does not help him that by this means he has delivered himself from the danger, for he brands himself as a coward, and sins against God, and falls into an agony of conscience (reproach and anguish of heart) which is yet worse to bear than the evil wherewith he was threatened. It is only confidence in God that truly saves. The fear of man plunges him into yet greater suffering than that from which he would escape; confidence in God, on the other hand, lifts a man internally, and at last externally, above all his troubles.” 6. Bridges, “A snare brings a man into straits. He is not master of himself. Here Satan spreads the snare, and the fear of man drives into it. And a fearful snare it is, and ever hath been to thousands. Many, once entangled, have never escaped. It besets every step of the pathway to heaven, every sphere of obligation. The King turns aside from the strict integrity. The judge willfully pronounces an unrighteous sentence. The minister faints under the cross ; and to avoid it, compromises the simplicity of the Gospel. There is a timidity in acting out an unpopular doctrine. The people cannot bear the full light. The Sun of righteousness is therefore exhibited under a mist ; but dimly visible ; shorn of his glowing beams. But the strictness of the precepts is unpalatable. It must therefore be softened down, modified, or explained away; Or the same in constancy of profession must be quietly dealt with, lest the good opinion of some influential man be forfeited. This time-serving shows a man-pleaser, not a true " servant of God," arid brings a blast alike to his work and to his soul. The same deadly influence operates in families. Sometimes even parents shrink from the open protection of their child. They dare not avow a supreme regard to his primary interests, or profess in opposition to many around them, the Patriarch s godly determination As for me and my house" however evil it may seem to others we will serve the Lord." Every class of society exhibits this corrupt principle. Perhaps the highest are bound in the most abject and hopeless chains. They will set at naught all religion without fear ; but, slaves as they are to the omnipotency of fashion, they would " tremble very exceedingly," at the suspicion of godliness attached to them. Many would be bold to front danger, who would shrink from shame. They would fearlessly face the cannon s mouth, and yet be panic- struck at the ridicule of a puny worm. Or even if some public excitement should have roused an impulse of boldness for religion, in the more quiet atmosphere there is a heart s timidity of silence. They shrink from the bold consistency of a living witness. They are afraid of the stamp of singularity. They are satisfied with a meagre external decorum, with no spiritual character or privilege. All is heartless delusion. What again, makes so many specially among the

young ashamed to be found upon their knees to be known readers of their Bibles to cast in their lot decidedly among the saints of God ? They know the Christian to be on the right side ; and oft is there a whisper of conscience Would that my soul were in his place. But they have only half a mind to religion. The fear of man bringeth a snare. And therefore they ask not what I ought to do, but what will my friends think of me. They cannot brave the finger of scorn. And if they seem for a while to be in earnest, their slavish fears (as Bunyan well describes the case) overmaster them. They betake themselves to second thoughts namely that it is good to be wise, and not to run, for they know not what, the hazard of losing all, or at least bringing themselves into unavoidable and unnecessary troubles. They would rather writhe under their conviction, till they have worn themselves away, than welcome what Moses " esteemed greater riches than the treasures of Egypt the reproach of Christ." But how painful to see the children of God entangled in the snare ! The father of the faithful twice denied his wife. His son, following his weak example, "fashions the golden calf." "The man after God s own heart" sinks himself into the lowest degradation. Hezekiah distinguished for his trust gives way to his fear. The ardent disciple, even after the most solemn pledges to his Savior, and after an act of great boldness in his defense, yields up his courage to a servant girl, and solemnly abjures his Lord. Oh! do we not hear the warning voice against "entrance into temptation against the weakness of the flesh?" Let us run into our hiding-place, and cry "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe." How different is this servile principle from the godly fear of sin, which the wise man had lately marked as the substance of happiness ! That is an holy principle ; this an inlet to sin. That is our keeping grace ; this wounds our conscience, and seduces us from our allegiance. 11 " By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil ;" by the fear of man they run themselves into evil. That way is the pathway to heaven. The other involving the denial of the Savior plunges its wretched slave into the lake of fire. But even apart from this tremendous end^ observe its weighty hindrance to Christian integrity. Indeed as Mr. Scott most truly observes it is often at least the last victory the Christian gains. He will master, by that grace which is given of God, his own lusts. and passions, and all manner of inward and outward temptations. He will be dead to the pleasures of the world, long before he has mastered this fear of man. " This kind of spirit, goeth not out" but by a very spiritual and devout course of life. The hindrance meets us at every turn, like a chain upon our wheels ; so that, like the Egyptian chariots, they " drive heavily. Oh ! for a free deliverance from this principle of bondage; not however to be expected, till we have been made to feel its power. Thank God there is a way of deliverance. Faith unbinds the soul from fear. If fear makes the giant tremble before the worm, trust in the Lord makes the worm stronger than the giant. The fire, or the den of lions, daunts and hurts not him that " believeth in his God." He that fears to flinch, shall never flinch from fear.Faith gives power to prayer. The strength from prayer makes us cheerful in obedience,

and resolute in trial. Here is safety, strength, courage, peace. othing but faith gives the victory ; but the victory of faith is complete. 20 He only, who putteth his trust in the Lord, is prepared, when God and man are at contraries to " obey God rather than man." A secret union with God is implanted in the soul by this faith an union as mighty as it is secret a sacred spring of life, the energy of God himself, triumphant therefore in the mightiest conflict with the flesh. The man dependent on the world for happiness is in bondage. The servant of God is in liberty . It matters not to him whether the world smile or frown. He i s beyond its reach set on high. Faith brings him to his strong tower. There he is " kept by the power of God unto salvation." Fear brings us to the snare. Faith brings liberty, safety, exultation. Oh ! thou God of power and grace, may my soul praise thee for this mighty deliverance this joyous freedom ! May I never be ashamed of my Master ! May I be bound to his people, and glory in his cross !” 7. Let God Be True, “Do you worry what others think of you? It is a dangerous trap! You can bind yourself in sin by respecting other men too much. If you allow the opinions of others to influence your decisions, you will be tempted to compromise the truth. But if you trust the LORD and His word, regardless of what others think, you will be safe (18:10; Ps 119:128). Fearing man is the opposite of fearing God. You are worried about pleasing men and obtaining their agreement, friendship, and favor. You are afraid of their displeasure and rejection, so you do what you can to keep their approval and stay in their good graces. Instead of measuring your life by Scripture, you are concerned about popular opinion. We often call this fear of man peer pressure. Its source is your peers - your equals in similar stations in life, the same age group or social set. It is pressure, because the approval they give or withhold forces you to alter your beliefs and actions, in order to keep your standing in your peer group. It makes you conform to the world (Rom 12:1-2). The fear of man can come from other sources as well. Employees can fear their bosses beyond the basic respect of employment. Pastors can fear their members disapproving of a sermon and reducing support. A person can fear a spouse and the domestic tension they can create. Scholars or church councils can intimidate a man to compromise the truth. Aaron feared the people in Moses' absence and made the golden calf (Ex 32:22-24). Saul lost the kingdom for fearing the people and sparing Agag (I Sam 15:24). Herod feared the people, his wife, and his friends, so he killed John (Matt 6:6-11). Pilate feared the people and his political relationship with Caesar (John 19:11-16). Peter both denied the Lord out of fear of others (Matt 26:69-75) and compromised the gospel (Gal 2:11-13).

On the other hand, David was not discouraged by his oldest brother's accusation (I Sam 17:28). Daniel did not fear the lions' den, for he kept up his daily habit of prayer in spite of the new law (Dan 6:10). His three friends were not afraid of ebuchadnezzar or his fiery furnace (Dan 3:16-18). Peter and the apostles boldly defied the Jews after Pentecost (Acts 5:29). And Joseph of Arimathaea boldly asked for the body of Jesus (Mark 15:43). Most Christians today fear men more than God. They are like some rulers among the Jews. " evertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:42-43). It is impossible to be a true believer and have fear or respect for the approval of men. Jesus warned His hearers, "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (John 5:44.) There were many like these, who were intimidated by the opinions or persecution of others (John 7:13; 9:22). What are remedies for the fear of man? Be confident in Scripture over men (Job 32:6-14; Ps 119:98-100; Is 8:20). Avoid corrupt or sinful friends (9:6; 22:24-25; Ps 101:3; I Cor 15:33). Trust the Lord to protect you (Dan 3:16-18; Heb 13:6). Consider the ignorance and incompetence of natural man (Ps 39:5; 62:9; I Tim 6:20). Do not enter associations, as an individual or church, which will bring pressure (II Chron 18:1; II Cor 6:14-18). Remember that God or truth will never be popular. In fact, anything the world accepts and does not despise is an abomination in God's sight (Luke 6:26; 16:15). Think on oah! Would you rather be popular or dry? Think on Daniel! Would you be willing to eat bean soup and water while your peers are gorging on the king's meat and wine? Recognize and embrace persecution! It is evidence you are following Christ, and it is the means of His great approval (Isaiah 51:7-8; 66:5; Matt 5:10-12; John 16:2; Acts 5:41; II Tim 3:12; I Pet 4:12-16). If they hated Jesus Christ, they will surely hate you (John 15:18-25). But no weapon formed against you will succeed (Is 54:17). Believe it! Young person! You are the most vulnerable. Do you understand and despise peer pressure? It is the young fools of this world forcing you to turn away from God and holiness to pursue the pleasures of sin. Can you mock their speech, their habits, their dress, and their fads? Do you hate their fornication, rebellion, and cliques? Fear the Lord! Are you ashamed to be known as a Christian? Can you boldly carry a Bible in school? To work? Do you eagerly give thanks for food before the heathen? Can you easily turn down invitations to join them in worldly amusements? Are you confident to explain that Sunday is the Lord's Day? Do you confidently wear modest clothing?

Parent, do you fear your children? Do you fear their faces, their moods, or their rejection? Stand up for righteousness and trust the Lord! Eli compromised for his sons and lost everything (I Sam 2:30; 3:13). Joshua put his foot down for his whole house, and he has been quoted for 4000 years for his courageous zeal as a father. Do your job (29:15,17)!”

26 Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the LORD that man gets justice.
1. Barnes, “trust in the favor of princes is to build upon the sands. The judgment which will set right all wrong will come from the Lord. It is better to wait for that than to run here and there, canvassing, bribing, flattering. 2. Clarke, “seek the ruler’s favor - be screened from the punishment determined by the law; but should he grant the favor sought, and pardon the criminal, this takes not away his guilt in the sight of God, from whom all just judgment proceeds. 3. Gill, “seek the ruler's favour,.... Or "face" (e); are very desirous of being admitted into his presence, and of having his company and conversation; of having an opportunity to ask a favour of him, and of receiving honour from him, and of gaining him on their side, to take their part in a cause depending; see Pro_19:6; but everyman's judgment comethfrom the Lord; who has the hearts of kings and rulers in his hand, and directs them in bestowing their favours, and in determining causes; so that all things are ultimately from the Lord; and therefore it is best to seek unto him, and trust in him: or the state and condition and circumstances of men, as to riches and honour, and the like, are all from the Lord, according as he sees fit; who sets up one and pulls down another, according to his pleasure. 4. Henry, “is the common course men take to advance and enrich themselves, and make themselves great: they seek the ruler's favour,and, as if all their judgment proceeded from him, to him they make all their court. Solomon was himself a ruler,and knew with what sedulity men made their application to him, some on one errand, others on another, but all for his favour.It is the way of the world to make interest with great men, and expect much from the smiles of second causes, which yet are uncertain, and frequently disappoint them. Manytake a great deal of pains in seeking the ruler's favourand yet cannot have it; many have it for a little while, but they cannot keep themselves in it, by some little turn or other they are brought under his displeasure; many have it, and keep it, and yet it does not answer their expectation, they cannot make that hand of it that they promised themselves they

should. Haman had the ruler's favour,and yet it availed him nothing. 2. What is the wisest course men can take to be happy. Let them look up to God, and seek the favour of the Ruler of rulers; for every man's judgment proceeds from the Lord.It is not with us as the ruler pleases; his favour cannot make us happy, his frowns cannot make us miserable. But it is as God pleases; every creature is that to us that God makes it to be, no more and no other. He is the first Cause, on which all second causes depend; if he help not, they cannot, 2Ki_6:27; Job_34:29.”

5. Bridges, “Therefore seek God to be your friend. " In his favor is life." Confidence in man is no less sinful and dangerous than the fear of man. Yet with what diligence will men seek earthly advantage ! Many seek the ruler s favor* more than God s, and sacrifice their consciences, and hazard their souls, to obtain it. But when they have bought it at such a price, what is it? as easily lost, as it was hardly gained. The caprice of an hour may destroy the hard-earned object. And then what have they to live upon ? All this is forgetting that every man s judgment cometh from the Lord. Here then is the solid ground of faith. First, begin with God. All judgment is in his hands. "Commit thy way unto the Lord ; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass. Let him choose and dispose our lot. Ponder every thing that passes as coming from him. In every thing, great and small, deal with him. His favor unlike the changing favor of the ruler is " without variableness or shadow of turning." And when through the fickleness of man earthly prospects are fading then rest in quiet " Surely my judgment is with the Lord." As thou wilt what thou wilt when thou wilt. 14 This is the shortest the surest- way of peace. " Only believe," and doubt nothing.” 6. Let God Be True, “If the sheriff, governor, or president were your friend, he might help you a little if you needed protection, provision, or avenging. But those who wait on the LORD will receive perfect help in all situations. The LORD by providence dispenses perfect equity and justice to all men. So your great trust should always be in the LORD. Seek Him today. atural man looks down. He trusts other men, like parents, employers, legislators, magistrates, or pastors. He expects them to help, when he is in trouble. But their abilities are limited, they also have troubles, their judgment is distorted, and they are often fickle. Though parents generally love their children very much and want to help them, David said the LORD would still be there when they forsook him (Ps 27:10). Men should look to the heavens, from whence cometh their help (Ps 121:1-8). Favor and judgment in this proverb have similar senses. The judgment here is not punishment, but fair and right treatment. Men love friends in high places, for they think that will be an advantage when in need. But promotion, prosperity, and protection are from the LORD. His favour far exceeds what any man can do for

you. Trust Him today! Do you have enemies? Vengeance is the LORD's; He will repay (Rom 12:19). Are your cares too heavy? He will bear them for you (I Pet 5:7). Are you afraid? He will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb 13:6). Do you have needs? He knows them and will supply (Matt 6:25-33). Are rulers oppressing you? He is higher than they (Eccl 5:8)! Beautiful Esther married Ahasuerus, King of Persia. She should have been blessed and safe married to the world's greatest ruler. But her husband ignorantly signed into law a decree to exterminate her and her people. She went to the LORD with fasting and prayer, and He delivered her marvelously and totally, even from her husband and king. Glory! Precious Hannah was beloved by her husband Elkanah, but his other wife tortured her painfully. So she took her complaint to the LORD. What Elkanah could not rectify, the blessed God could. Hannah had Samuel and five other children to boot! Glory! David said it well. "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Ps 146:3-4). "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes" (Ps 118:8-9).”

27 The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.
1. Barnes, “words point out not only the antagonism between the doers of good and evil, but the instinctive antipathy which the one feels toward the other. 2. Clarke, “he that is upright in the way - “as for those that be in the right waye, the wicked hate them.” - Coverdale. To this verse the Vulgate adds the following: Verbum custodiens filius extra perditionem erit; “The son that keeps the word shall not fall into perdition.” This is not in all copies of the Vulgate: but it was in that from which my old MS. Bible was made, where it is thus translated: The sone keping the worde schal ben out of perdicyon.I believe verbum here is intended for the Divine word; the revelation from God. 3. Gill, “unjust man isan abomination to the just,.... ot his person, but his actions, his unrighteous actions, his ungodly life and conversation; which a man, holy, just,

and good, loathes and abhors, and cannot forbear expressing his abhorrence of; and therefore shuns his company, and will have no fellowship with him. And, on the other hand, he that is upright in the way isabomination to the wicked; that man that is upright in heart and life, that walks according to the rule of the divine word, in the path of holiness, in the way of truth and righteousness, he is abhorred by a wicked man; he cannot have any pleasure in his company; he is under some awe and restraint which is disagreeable to him; and he cannot bear the reproofs he gives him; besides, if he is silent, his whole life and conversation carries in it a tacit reproof, conviction, and condemnation of him. There always has been a mutual enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, Gen_3:15. 4. Henry, “expresses not only the innate contrariety that there is between virtue and vice, as between light and darkness, fire and water, but the old enmity that has always been between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, Gen_3:15. 1. All that are sanctified have a rooted antipathy to wickedness and wicked people. They have a good will to the souls of all (God has, and would have none perish); but they hate the ways and practices of those that are impious towards God and injurious towards men; they cannot hear of them nor speak of them without a holy indignation; they loathe the society of the ungodly and unjust, and dread the thought of giving them any countenance, but do all they can to bring the wickedness of the wicked to an end. Thus an unjustman makes himself odious to the just,and it is one part of his present shame and punishment that good men cannot endure him. 2. All that are unsanctified have a like rooted antipathy to godliness and godly people: He that is upright in the way,that makes conscience of what he says and does, is an abomination to the wicked,whose wickedness is restrained perhaps and suppressed, or, at least, shamed and condemned, by the uprightness of the upright. Thus Cain did, who was of his father the devil.And this is not only the wickedness of the wicked, that they hate those whom God loves, but their misery too, that they hate those whom them shall shortly see in everlasting bliss and honor, and who shall have dominion over them in the morning,Psa_49:14.”

5. Bridges, “Here is the oldest, the most rooted, the most universal quarrel in the world. It was the first curse of the fall. It has continued ever since, and will last to the end of the world. It is always kept up at the highest point. Each party is an abomination to the other. It is not only that they are as contrary in character as light is to darkness ; but there is a mutual antipathy, that can never be softened down. Let us look at each of the parties in that open opposition to each other. An unjust man is an abomination to the just. Is it then his sin to be at such contraries with his fellow-sinner? o rather it is the very holiness of his character, and profession. If he have any apprehensions of the holiness of God if through grace he is delivered from the love and dominion of sin is not the sight hateful to him ? And while he abhors it

most of all in himself, yet does not the watching of the evil in his own heart deepen his abhorrence and detestation in those around him ; not sparing it in those most dear to him but appealing to his God in the burst of holy indignation. "Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee I hate them with a perfect hatred : I count them mine enemies." Looking at the other party the wicked hold the upright in equal abomination. " The carnal mind is enmity against God," and cannot therefore bear his image in his children Gladly would the wicked were not their enmity restrained " root them out of the face of the earth," as they never rested, till they had nailed the Son of God to the tree. Here however is the main difference The enmity of the just is against the sins not the person of the wicked ; or against their persons, yet on account of their sins How do they with all this principle love their souls pray for them * how gladly would they win to Christ and salvation ! The enmity of the wicked is against the persons the ways of the up right all that belongs to them. This is that strong poison in the serpent s seed the murderous spirit of their father the devil ! How is the soul wearied with the unceasing struggles with the enemies of truth ! How can one forbear the wish for the " wings of a dove, to fly away, and be at rest !" And how could we hold on the contest, but for the blessed hope O Lord ! hasten it in thy time When the woman s conquering " seed shall bruise the Serpent s Head," the head of all 1 his seed finally and forever and he shall reign King and Savior over his redeemed people.” 6. Let God Be True, “Ancient and strong enmity exists between the wicked and righteous. It was there in the beginning; it will be there in the end. The righteous hate the wicked; and the wicked hate the righteous. They are contrary one to another, and they shall never make peace. o less than the enmity between God and Satan is the hatred between the just and the wicked. Cain hated Abel and killed him for nothing but envy and resentment, though Abel was righteous and had done him no wrong (I John 3:12). As with Cain, the wicked hate God and His children in obedience to their murderous father, the devil (John 8:44). How could any hate Jesus of azareth? But they tortured and killed him mercilessly! There is horrible animosity against Christ and His disciples (John 7:7; 15:18-19; 17:14). Get used to the idea, for it is in this horrible context of Cain killing his own brother in the virgin earth that we are told the world will likewise hate us (I John 3:13). This world is no friend to grace or the children of light. It hates them and would exterminate them without the restraining grace of God (Matt 10:22; 24:9; Ps 76:10). Even the religious ones will think they are serving God when they kill you (John 16:2). The righteous hate the wicked, for they cannot stand the vile spirit and actions of

the wicked; their hatred is of evil men and their evil actions. But the wicked hate the righteous for their good deeds; their hatred is of good men and good actions. The conflict is between good and evil, God and Satan, holiness and wickedness, saints and sinners. The natures of the two antagonists are totally different. The natural man is at enmity against God and His law (Rom 8:7). He is a willing captive of the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works in the children of disobedience (Eph 2:13). And this war was prophesied in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:15). See the comments on 29:10. The righteous hate the wicked for their ungodliness and enmity against God; the wicked hate the righteous out of envy and depravity. Though the righteous love their personal enemies to show the benevolent character of God (Matt 5:43-48), David hated the enemies of God with a perfect hatred (Ps 139:19-22). There is a great difference between our personal enemies and the avowed enemies of God. Paul had a burning passion for the conversion of Israelites - those who were the children of God (Rom 9:1-8; 10:1-5). He told Timothy plainly that he endured all he did for the sake of the elect (II Tim 2:10). When it came to wicked men without faith, he asked for prayer to be delivered from them (II Thess 3:1-2; II Tim 4:1415). He understood his gospel to be a sweet savour of death unto death for such reprobates (II Cor 2:14-17). God hates the wicked and is angry with them every day (Ps 5:5; 7:11; 11:5). Of course, this wonderful truth is no longer taught! Men prefer the fable that God loves everyone. They love to spout the fable, "God hates the sin, but loves the sinner." But they cannot find where God said any such thing. You would think oah put a smiley face on the ark with these words: "Smile, God loves you!" But he didn't, and the Lord Jesus will soon say to the same kind of men that He never knew them (Matt 7:23)! Jesus warned often of the hatred the wicked have for the righteous. He warned His disciples of how the world would hate them (Matt 5:10-12; John 7:7; 15:18-19; 17:14). And the historical account of persecution in the book of Acts is proof of this warning. The Dark Ages are filled with horrible stories of the martyrs of Jesus that are difficult for the most hardened mind to believe. Do not be surprised when the same devilish spirit drives men to hate, slander, whisper, condemn, persecute, and seek to kill you. If you live a godly life in this world for Jesus Christ, you will suffer persecution (II Tim 3:12). We live in the perilous times of the last days when even most Christians are deceived compromisers (II Tim 3:1 - 4:4). They despise those who are good (II Tim 3:3), and they will turn on you, if you take a stand for holiness in this profane generation! They have a form of godliness, but they deny Him any right to govern their lives (II Tim 3:5).

The righteous are to live separate from the world (Jas 4:4). They may not marry spouses from the world of the ungodly (I Cor 7:39; 11:11). He drowned the earth with the Flood for the sons of God marrying the daughters of men (Gen 6:1-3). It is the bond of Christ's blood and obedience to God that are the basis of friendship for the righteous (Ps 119:63). There is nothing to worry about, fellow saint. Jesus Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33)! The martyrs in heaven are crying for the day of vengeance, and it is near (Rev 6:9-17)! He is coming in flaming fire to destroy all His enemies (II Thess 1:7-10; Jude 1:14-15). If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha!”

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