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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Proverbs 23

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The Book of Proverbs

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET


Pro 23:1-35.

      1. Avoid the dangers of gluttony.

      2. put a knife--an Eastern figure for putting restraint on the appetite.

      3. are deceitful meat--though well tasted, injurious.

      4, 5. (Compare 1Ti 6:9, 10 ).
      thine own wisdom--which regards riches intrinsically as a blessing.

      5. Wilt. . . eyes--As the eyes fly after or seek riches, they are not, that is, either become transitory or unsatisfying; fully expressed by their flying away.

      6-8. Beware of deceitful men, whose courtesies even you will repent of having accepted.
      evil eye--or purpose ( Pro 22:9 Deu 15:9 Mat 6:23 ).

      8. The morsel. . . words--that is, disgusted with his true character, all pleasant intercourse will be destroyed.

      9. (Compare Pro 9:8 ). "Cast not your pearls before swine" ( Mat 7:6 ).

      10, 11. (Compare Pro 22:22, 23 ).

      11. redeemer--or avenger ( Lev 25:25, 26 Num 35:12 ), hence advocate ( Job 19:25 ).
      plead. . . thee--(Compare Job 31:21 Psa 35:1 68:5 ).

      12. Here begins another series of precepts.

      13, 14. While there is little danger that the use of the "divine ordinance of the rod" will produce bodily harm, there is great hope of spiritual good.

      15. 16. The pleasure afforded the teacher by the pupil's progress is a motive to diligence.

      16. my reins--(Compare Psa 7:9 ).

      17, 18. (Compare Margin). The prosperity of the wicked is short.

      18. an end--or, "hereafter," another time, when apparent inequalities shall be adjusted (compare Psa 37:28-38 ).

      19-21. guide. . . way--or direct thy thoughts to a right course of conduct (compare Pro 4:4 9:6 ).

      20. riotous. . . flesh--prodigal, or eating more than necessary. Instead of "their flesh" (compare Margin), better, "flesh to them," that is, used for pleasure.

      21. drowsiness--the dreamy sleep of the slothful.

      22. Hearken--that is, obey ( Pro 1:8 Eph 6:1 ).
      despise. . . old--Adults revere the parents whom, as children, they once obeyed.

      23. Buy--literally, "get" ( Pro 4:5 ).
      truth--generally and specially as opposed to errors of all kinds.

      24, 25. (Compare Pro 10:1 17:21, 25 ).

      26-35. A solemn warning against whoredom and drunkenness ( Hsa 4:11 ).
      give me--This is the address of that divine wisdom so often presented ( Pro 8:1 9:3, &c.).
      my ways--such as I teach you ( Pro 3:17 9:6 ).

      27, 28. deep ditch--a narrow pit, out of which it is hard to climb.
      lieth in wait--to ensnare men into the pit, as hunters entrap game (compare Pro 22:14 ).

      28. increaseth. . . transgressors-- ( Pro 5:8-10 ). The vice alluded to is peculiarly hardening to the heart.

      29, 30. This picture is often sadly realized now.
      mixed wine--(Compare Pro 9:2 Isa 5:11 ).

      31. when. . . red--the color denoting greater strength (compare Gen 49:11 Deu 32:14 ).
      giveth. . . cup--literally, "gives its eye," that is, sparkles.
      moveth. . . aright--Perhaps its foaming is meant.

      32. The acute miseries resulting from drunkenness contrasted with the temptations.

      33, 34. The moral effects: it inflames passion ( Gen 19:31, 35 ), lays open the heart, produces insensibility to the greatest dangers, and debars from reformation, under the severest sufferings.

      35. awake--that is, from drunkenness ( Gen 9:24 ). This is the language rather of acts than of the tongue.


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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