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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Proverbs 10

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The Book of Proverbs

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET


Pro 10:1-32. Here begins the second part of the book, Pro 10:1 - 22:16, which, with the third, Pro 22:16 - 25:28, contains series of proverbs whose sense is complete in one or two verses, and which, having no logical connection, admit of no analysis. The parallelisms of Pro 10:1 - 15:33 are mostly antithetic; and those of Pro 16:1 - 22:16, synthetic. The evidences of art in the structure are very clear, and indicate, probably, a purpose of facilitating the labor of memorizing.

      1. wise [and] foolish--as they follow or reject the precepts of wisdom.
      maketh. . . father--or, "gladdens a father."
      heaviness--or, "grief."

      2. Treasures. . . nothing--that is, Ill-gotten gains give no true happiness (compare Pro 4:17 Mat 6:19 ).
      righteousness--especially beneficence ( Psa 112:9 ).
      death--the greatest of all evils.

      3. (Compare Psa 37:16-20 ). The last clause is better: "He will repel the greedy desires of the wicked."

      4. slack--literally, "deceitful," failing of its purpose (compare Hsa 7:16 ).
      maketh rich--(compare Pro 10:22 ).

      5. son--as Pro 1:8, 10, and often.
      sleepeth--in indolence, and not for rest.
      causeth shame--literally, "is base" (compare Pro 14:35 17:2 ).

      6. Blessings--literally, "Praises." The last clause is better: "The mouth of the wicked covereth (or concealeth) violence (or mischievous devices)" to be executed in due time ( Psa 5:9 10:7 Rom 3:14 ), and hence has no praises (compare Pro 10:11 ).

      7. blessed--literally, "for a blessing," or praise.
      shall rot--literally, "be worm-eaten," useless and disgusting.

      8. wise, &c.--(compare Pro 9:8, 9, 16 ), opposed to
      prating fool--or, "fool of lips of wicked language."
      fall--headlong, suddenly.

      9. perverteth his ways--acts deceitfully.
      known--discovered and punished.

      10. Two vices contrasted; hypocrisy, or insinuating evil against one ( Pro 6:13 Psa 35:19 ), and rashness of speech. In each case, the results are on the evildoers.

      11. a well--or, "source" of good to himself and others ( Jhn 7:37, 38 ). On last clause, see on JF & B for Pr 10:6.

      12. strifes--or, "litigations."
      covereth--by forgiveness and forbearance.

      13. In the lips. . . found--hence, not beaten, as the wicked-speaking fool.
      void of understanding-- ( Pro 6:32 7:7 ).

      14. lay up knowledge--that is, as treasures for good use.
      mouth. . . destruction--or, "as to the mouth," &c., destruction is near; they expose themselves to evil by prating.

      15. Both by trusting in "uncertain riches" ( 1Ti 6:17 ), or by the evils of poverty ( Pro 30:9 ), men, not fearing God, fall into dangers.

      16. The industry of the righteous is alone truly successful, while the earnings of the wicked tempt and lead to sin.

      17. keepeth--observes ( Pro 3:18 4:22 ).
      refuseth--or, "turns from reproof," which might direct him aright.

      18. Both vices must one day be known and punished, and hence their folly.

      19. Much speech involves risk of sin; hence the wisdom of restraining the tongue ( Psa 39:1 Jam 1:26 ).

      20. Right speech is the fruit of a good heart, but the wicked show theirs to be useless.

      21. Fools not only fail to benefit others, as do the righteous, but procure their own ruin (compare Pro 10:11, 17 Hsa 4:6 ).

      22. it maketh, &c.--"it" is emphatic. Riches from God are without the sorrow of ill-gotten wealth (compare Ecc 2:21-23 1Ti 6:9, 10, 17 ).

      23. Sin is the pleasure of the wicked; wisdom that of the good.

      24. it--the very thing. The wicked get dreaded evil; the righteous, desired good.

      25. (Compare Psa 1:4 37:9, 10, 36 ).
      righteous. . . foundation--well laid and firm ( Mat 7:24, 25 ).

      26. that is, causes vexation.

      27. (Compare Pro 9:11 Psa 55:23 ).

      28. gladness--in confidence of realizing it.
      expectation. . . perish--in disappointment.

      29. The way, &c.--that is, God's providence sustains the righteous and overthrows the wicked ( Hsa 14:9 ).

      30. (Compare Pro 12:3 Psa 37:9-11 102:28 ).
      earth--or, "land of promise."

      31. bringeth forth--literally, "germinates" as a plant.
      froward--(Compare Pro 2:12, 14 ).
      cut off--as an unproductive plant.

      32. know--regard and provide for ( Psa 1:6 ).
      frowardness--all kinds of deceit and ill-nature. The word is plural.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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