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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.


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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