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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Proverbs 16

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The Book of Proverbs

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET


Pro 16:1-33.

      1. preparations--schemes.
      in man--or literally, "to man," belonging, or pertaining to him.
      the answer. . . Lord--The efficient ordering is from God: "Man proposes; God disposes."

      2. clean--or, "faultless."
      weigheth--or, "tries," "judges," implying that they are faulty ( Pro 21:2 24:12 ).

      3. (Compare Margin). Rely on God for success to your lawful purposes.

      4. for himself--"for its answer," or "purpose," that is, according to God's plan; the wicked are for the day of evil ( Psa 49:5 Jer 17:18 ); sinning and suffering answer to each other, are indissolubly united.

      5. (Compare Pro 3:32 ).

      6. By mercy and truth--that is, God's ( Psa 85:10 ); He effects the atonement, or covering of sin; and the principles of true piety incline men to depart from evil; or, "mercy" and "truth" may be man's, indicative of the gracious tempers which work instrumentally in procuring pardon.
      purged--expiated (as in Lev 16:33 Isa 27:9, Hebrew).

      7. Persecutions, of course, excepted.

      8. (Compare Pro 15:6, 16, 17 ).

      9. (Compare Pro 16:3 ).

      10. The last clause depends on the first, expressing the importance of equity in decisions, so authoritative.

      11. are the Lord's. . . his work--that is, what He has ordered, and hence should be observed by men.

      12. Rulers are rightly expected, by their position, to hate evil; for their power is sustained by righteousness.

      13. A specification of the general sentiment of Pro 16:12.

      14. This wrath, so terrible and certain, like messengers of death ( 1Ki 2:25 ), can be appeased by the wise.

      15. light of. . . countenance--favor ( Psa 4:6 ).
      life--preserves it, or gives blessings which make it valuable.
      the latter rain--fell just before harvest and matured the crop; hence specially valuable ( Deu 11:14 ).

      16. (Compare Pro 3:16 4:5 ).

      17. The highway--A common, plain road represents the habitual course of the righteous in departing from evil.

      18, 19. (Compare Pro 15:33 ). Haughtiness and pride imply self-confidence which produces carelessness, and hence
      a fall--literally, "sliding."

      19. divide the spoil--that is, conquer. Avoid the society of the proud ( Jam 4:6 ).

      20. handleth a matter--wisely considers "the word," that is, of God (compare Pro 13:13 ).
      trusteth--(Compare Psa 2:12 118:8, 9 ).

      21. wise in heart--who rightly consider duty.
      sweetness of the lips--eloquent discourse, persuades and instructs others.

      22. Understanding--or, "discretion," is a constant source of blessing ( Pro 13:14 ), benefiting others; but fools' best efforts are folly.

      23. The heart is the source of wisdom flowing from the mouth.

      24. (Compare Pro 15:26 ). Gentle, kind words, by soothing the mind, give the body health.

      25. (Compare Pro 14:2 ).

      26. Diligence is a duty due to one's self, for his wants require labor.

      27. ungodly man--(Compare Pro 6:12 ).
      diggeth up evil--labors for it.
      in his lips. . . fire--His words are calumniating ( Jam 3:6 ).

      28. (Compare Pro 6:14 10:31 ).
      whisperer--prater, talebearer ( Pro 18:8 26:20 ).

      29. violent man--or, "man of mischief" ( Pro 3:31 ).
      enticeth-- ( Pro 1:10 ).

      30. He shutteth his eyes--denoting deep thought ( Psa 64:6 ).
      moving his lips--or, "biting his lips"--a determined purpose ( Pro 6:13 ).

      31. (Compare Pro 20:29 ).
      if--or, which may be supplied properly, or without it the sense is as in Pro 3:16 4:10, that piety is blessed with long life.

      32. (Compare Pro 14:29 ).
      taketh a city--that is, by fighting.

      33. Seemingly the most fortuitous events are ordered by God.

Introduction to the Psalms ← Prior Book
Introduction to Ecclesiastes Next Book →
Commentary on Proverbs 15 ← Prior Chapter
Commentary on Proverbs 17 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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