Darby's Bible Synopsis
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
The following commentary covers Chapters 10 through 31.
In chapter 10 begin the details which teach those who give ear how to avoid the snares into which the simple might fall, the path to be followed in many cases, and the consequences of men's actions: in short, that which characterises wisdom in detail, what may be prudence for man, divine discretion for the children of God; and also, the result of God's government, whatever appearances may be for awhile. It is well to observe, that there is no question of redemption or propitiation in this book; it proposes a walk according to the wisdom of God's government.
In the final chapter we have the character of a king according to wisdom, and that of the woman in her own house-the king who does not allow himself that which, by darkening his moral discernment through the indulgence of his lusts, would make him unfit to govern. In the woman we see the persevering and devoted industry which fills the house with riches, brings honour to its inhabitants, and removes all the cares and anxieties produced by sloth. The typical application of these two specific characters is too evident to need explanation. The example of the woman is very useful, as to the spirit of the thing, to one who labours in the assembly.
Although in this book the wisdom produced by the fear of Jehovah is only applied to this world, it is on that very account of great use to the Christian, who, in view of his heavenly privileges, might, more or less, forget the continual government of God. It is very important for the Christian to remember the fear of the Lord, and the effect of God's presence on the details of his conduct; and I repeat that which I said at the beginning, that it is great grace which deigns to apply divine wisdom to all the details of the life of man in the midst of the confusion brought in by sin. Occupied with heavenly things, the Christian is less in the way of discovering, by his own experience, the clue to the labyrinth of evil through which he is passing. God has considered this, and He has laid down this first principle, "wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil." Thus the Christian may be ignorant of evil (if a worldling were so, he would fall into it), and yet avoid it through his knowledge of good. The wisdom of God gives him the latter; the government of God provides for all the rest. Now, in the Proverbs, we have these things in principle and in detail. I have not dwelt on the figurative character of the forms of evil. They are rather principles than figures. But the violent man of the last days is continually found in the Psalms; and Babylon is the full accomplishment of the woman who takes the simple in her snares and leads them down to death; just as Christ is the perfect wisdom of God which leads to life. But these two things which manifest evil proceed from the heart of man at all times since the fall: only we have seen that there is an active development of the wiles of the evil woman, who has her own house and her own arrangements. It is not simply the principle of corruption, but an organised system, as is that of sovereign wisdom.
A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.
The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.
A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellers of peace is joy.
There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.