Darby's Bible Synopsis
A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
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 man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.
A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.