Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
Pr 10:1-32. Here begins the second part of the book, Pr 10:1-22:16, which, with the third, Pr 22:16-25:28, contains series of proverbs whose sense is complete in one or two verses, and which, having no logical connection, admit of no analysis. The parallelisms of Pr 10:1-15:33 are mostly antithetic; and those of Pr 16:1-22:16, synthetic. The evidences of art in the structure are very clear, and indicate, probably, a purpose of facilitating the labor of memorizing.
1. wise [and] foolish—as they follow or reject the precepts of wisdom.
maketh … father—or, "gladdens a father."
Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
2. Treasures … nothing—that is, Ill-gotten gains give no true happiness (compare Pr 4:17; Mt 6:19).
righteousness—especially beneficence (Ps 112:9).
death—the greatest of all evils.
The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.
3. (Compare Ps 37:16-20). The last clause is better: "He will repel the greedy desires of the wicked."
He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
4. slack—literally, "deceitful," failing of its purpose (compare Ho 7:16).
maketh rich—(compare Pr 10:22).
He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.
5. son—as Pr 1:8, 10, and often.
sleepeth—in indolence, and not for rest.
causeth shame—literally, "is base" (compare Pr 14:35; 17:2).
Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
6. Blessings—literally, "Praises." The last clause is better: "The mouth of the wicked covereth (or concealeth) violence (or mischievous devices)" to be executed in due time (Ps 5:9; 10:7; Ro 3:14), and hence has no praises (compare Pr 10:11).
The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.
7. blessed—literally, "for a blessing," or praise.
shall rot—literally, "be worm-eaten," useless and disgusting.
The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
8. wise, &c.—(compare Pr 9:8, 9, 16), opposed to
prating fool—or, "fool of lips of wicked language."
He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.
9. perverteth his ways—acts deceitfully.
known—discovered and punished.
He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.
10. Two vices contrasted; hypocrisy, or insinuating evil against one (Pr 6:13; Ps 35:19), and rashness of speech. In each case, the results are on the evildoers.
The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
11. a well—or, "source" of good to himself and others (Joh 7:37, 38). On last clause, see on Pr 10:6.
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
12. strifes—or, "litigations."
covereth—by forgiveness and forbearance.
In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.
13. In the lips … found—hence, not beaten, as the wicked-speaking fool.
void of understanding—(Pr 6:32; 7:7).
Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
14. lay up knowledge—that is, as treasures for good use.
mouth … destruction—or, "as to the mouth," &c., destruction is near; they expose themselves to evil by prating.
The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
15. Both by trusting in "uncertain riches" (1Ti 6:17), or by the evils of poverty (Pr 30:9), men, not fearing God, fall into dangers.
The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.
16. The industry of the righteous is alone truly successful, while the earnings of the wicked tempt and lead to sin.
He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
17. keepeth—observes (Pr 3:18; 4:22).
refuseth—or, "turns from reproof," which might direct him aright.
He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
18. Both vices must one day be known and punished, and hence their folly.
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
19. Much speech involves risk of sin; hence the wisdom of restraining the tongue (Ps 39:1; Jas 1:26).
The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
20. Right speech is the fruit of a good heart, but the wicked show theirs to be useless.
The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.
21. Fools not only fail to benefit others, as do the righteous, but procure their own ruin (compare Pr 10:11, 17; Ho 4:6).
The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
22. it maketh, &c.—"it" is emphatic. Riches from God are without the sorrow of ill-gotten wealth (compare Ec 2:21-23; 1Ti 6:9, 10, 17).
It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
23. Sin is the pleasure of the wicked; wisdom that of the good.
The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
24. it—the very thing. The wicked get dreaded evil; the righteous, desired good.
As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.
25. (Compare Ps 1:4; 37:9, 10, 36).
righteous … foundation—well laid and firm (Mt 7:24, 25).
As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.
26. that is, causes vexation.
The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
27. (Compare Pr 9:11; Ps 55:23).
The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
28. gladness—in confidence of realizing it.
expectation … perish—in disappointment.
The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
29. The way, &c.—that is, God's providence sustains the righteous and overthrows the wicked (Ho 14:9).
The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
30. (Compare Pr 12:3; Ps 37:9-11; 102:28).
earth—or, "land of promise."
The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
31. bringeth forth—literally, "germinates" as a plant.
froward—(Compare Pr 2:12, 14).
cut off—as an unproductive plant.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
32. know—regard and provide for (Ps 1:6).
frowardness—all kinds of deceit and ill-nature. The word is plural.