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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Proverbs 12

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The Book of Proverbs

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET


Pro 12:1-28.

      1. loveth knowledge--as the fruit of instruction or training ( Pro 1:2 ).
      hateth reproof-- ( Pro 10:17 ).
      brutish--stupid, regardless of his own welfare ( Psa 49:10 73:22 ).

      3. Wickedness cannot give permanent prosperity.
      root. . . not be moved--firm as a flourishing tree-- ( Psa 1:3 15:5 Jer 17:8 ).

      4. A virtuous woman--in the wide sense of well-disposed to all moral duties ( Pro 31:10 ).
      maketh ashamed--that is, by misconduct.
      rottenness--an incurable evil.

      5. thoughts--or, "purposes."
      are right--literally, "are judgment," that is, true decisions.
      counsels--(Compare Pro 11:14 ).
      deceit--contrary to truth and honesty.

      6. The words--or, "expressed designs" of the wicked are for evil purposes.
      the mouth--or, "words" of the righteous delivering instead of ensnaring men.

      7. Such conduct brings a proper return, by the destruction of the wicked and well-being of the righteous and his family.

      8. despised--as opposed to commended ( Pro 11:12 ).
      perverse heart--or, "wicked principles," as opposed to one of wisdom.

      9. despised--held in little repute, obscure ( 1Sa 18:23 Isa 3:5 ).
      hath a servant--implying some means of honest living.
      honoureth himself--is self-conceited.

      10. regardeth--literally, "knoweth" ( Psa 1:6 ).
      mercies. . . cruel--as acts of compassion ungraciously rendered to the needy. The righteous more regards a beast than the wicked a man.

      11. The idler's fate is the result of indolence and want of principle ( Pro 6:32 7:7 ).

      12. the wicked. . . evil--They love the crafty arts of deception.
      the root. . . fruit--their own resources supply them; or, it may be rendered: "He (God) giveth, or, sets ( Eze 17:22 ) the root of the righteous," and hence it is firm: or, the verb is impersonal; "As to the root. . . it is firm" ( Pro 17:19 ).

      13, 14. The wicked is snared, &c.--The sentiment expanded. While the wicked, such as liars, flatterers, &c., fall by their own words, the righteous are unhurt. Their good conduct makes friends, and God rewards them.

      15. The way. . . eyes--The fool is self-conceited (compare Pro 12:1 1:32 10:17 Jam 3:17 ).

      16. prudent. . . shame--He is slow to denounce his insulters ( Jam 1:19 ).

      18. speaketh--literally, "speaketh hastily," or indiscreetly ( Psa 106:33 ), as an angry man retorts harsh and provoking invectives.
      tongue. . . health--by soothing and gentle language.

      19. Words of truth are consistent, and stand all tests, while lies are soon discovered and exposed.

      20. that imagine--or, "plan" ( Pro 3:29 ). They design a deceitful course, to which, with all its evils and dangers to others and themselves, the happiness of peace-makers is opposed (compare Mat 5:9 Rom 12:18 ).

      21. no evil--(as in Psa 91:10 ), under God's wise limitations ( Rom 8:28 ).
      mischief--as penal evil.

      22. deal truly--or, "faithfully," that is, according to promises (compare Jhn 3:21 ).

      23. concealeth--by his modesty ( Pro 10:14 11:13 ).
      heart. . . proclaimeth--as his lips speak his thoughts (compare Ecc 10:3 ).

      24. slothful--(Compare Margin), so called because he fails to meet his promises.
      under tribute--not denoting legal taxes, but the obligation of dependence.

      25. a good word--one of comfort.

      26. more excellent--(Compare Margin); or, "more successful," while the wicked fail; or, we may read it: "The righteous guides his friend, but," &c., that is, The ability of the righteous to aid others is contrasted with the ruin to which the way of the wicked leads themselves.

      27. (Compare Pro 12:24 ).
      took in hunting--or, "his venison." He does not improve his advantages.
      the substance. . . precious--or, "the wealth of a man of honor is being diligent," or "diligence."
      precious--literally, "honor" ( Ecc 10:1 ).

      28. (Compare Pro 8:8, 20, &c.). A sentiment often stated; here first affirmatively, then negatively.

Introduction to the Psalms ← Prior Book
Introduction to Ecclesiastes Next Book →
Commentary on Proverbs 11 ← Prior Chapter
Commentary on Proverbs 13 Next Chapter →

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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