Proverbs 12:8
A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
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(8) According to his wisdomi.e., intelligent observance of the ends to be pursued in life, and the best means of attaining to them; in other words, finding out the will of God and how to fulfil it.

Shall be despised.—Comp. 1Samuel 2:30.

Proverbs 12:8. A man shall be commended — Namely, by wise and good men; according to his wisdom — More or less, according to the degree of wisdom, which his discourses and actions discover to be in him; but he that is of a perverse heart — Which he shows by his wicked words and actions; shall be despised — By God, and all wise men.

12:1 Those who have grace, will delight in the instructions given them. Those that stifle their convictions, are like brutes. 2. The man who covers selfish and vicious designs under a profession of religion or friendship, will be condemned. 3. Though men may advance themselves by sinful arts, they cannot settle and secure themselves. But those who by faith are rooted in Christ, are firmly fixed. 4. A wife who is pious, prudent, and looks well to the ways of her household, who makes conscience of her duty, and can bear crosses; such a one is an honour and comfort to her husband. She that is the reverse of this, preys upon him, and consumes him. 5. Thoughts are not free; they are under the Divine knowledge, therefore under the Divine command. It is a man's shame to act with deceit, with trick and design. 6. Wicked people speak mischief to their neighbours. A man may sometimes do a good work with one good word. 7. God's blessing is often continued to the families of godly men, while the wicked are overthrown. 8. The apostles showed wisdom by glorying in shame for the name of Christ. 9. He that lives in a humble state, who has no one to wait upon him, but gets bread by his own labour, is happier than he that glories in high birth or gay attire, and wants necessaries.Shall deliver them - i. e., The righteous themselves. 8. despised—as opposed to commended (Pr 11:12).

perverse heart—or, "wicked principles," as opposed to one of wisdom.

A man shall be commended, to wit, by wise and good men, according to his wisdom; more or less according to the degree of wisdom which his discourses and actions discover to be in him.

He that is of a perverse heart, which he showeth by his wicked words and conversation, shall be despised by God and all wise men.

A man shall be commended according to his wisdom,.... Not according to his birth and pedigree; not according to his riches and wealth; not according to the places of honour and trust he may be in; but according to his wisdom, which he discovers in his words and actions, in his life and conversation: not according to the wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and devilish; not according to the wisdom of the world, which comes to nought, either natural or civil; especially that which lies in sophistry and subtlety, in wicked craft and cunning, whereby men trick, overreach, and defraud one another; but according to that which is spiritual and evangelical; which lies in the knowledge of Christ, and of God in Christ, and of those things which belong to salvation; the beginning of which is the fear of the Lord, and which comes from above, and is pure and peaceable. A man possessed of this is commended by all wise and good men, and by the Lord himself; as the wise man is by Christ, Matthew 7:24; who builds his house on a rock; for which reason it stands, as in the preceding verse;

but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised; and which appears by the perverse words he speaks against God and Christ; against his people, ways, and worship, as antichrist and his followers do; and by his perverse actions, which are contrary to the light of nature, to the law of God, and Gospel of Christ: and such vile persons are contemned in the eyes of all good men, and are had in abhorrence by the Lord himself; for such who despise him are lightly esteemed; see Proverbs 18:3.

A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
Verse 8. - According to his wisdom. A man who gives practical proof of wisdom by life and character, whose words and actions show that he is actuated by high views, is praised and acknowledged by all (see on Proverbs 27:21). Thus we read of David, that he behaved himself wisely, "and he was acceptable in the sight of all the people" (1 Samuel 18:5). The Septuagint, taking lephi differently, renders, "The mouth of the prudent is commended by men." He that is of a perverse heart; Vulgate, "a vain and senseless man;" Septuagint, "one slow of heart (νωθροκάρδιος)." One who takes distorted views of things, judges unfairly, has no sympathy for others, shall be despised. Proverbs 12:88 According to the measure of his intelligence is a man praised,

   And whoever is of a perverse mind is despised.

Everywhere in the Mishle שׂכל has no other meaning than intellectus. The praise which is given to a man measures itself לפי שׂכלו (punctuate לפי־שׂכלו, according to Torath Emeth, p. 41, Accentssystem, xx. 1), i.e., according to the measure (so לפי is used in the oldest form of the language) of his intelligence, or as we may also say, of his culture; for in these proverbs, which make the fear of God the highest principle, שׂכל means also understanding of moral excellence, not merely the intellectual superiority of natural gifts. הלּל is here a relative conception of manifold gradations, but it does not mean renown in general, but good renown. Parallel with שׂכלו, לב refers to the understanding (νοῦς); the rendering of Lwenstein, "who is of false heart," is defective. נעוה (synon. of נפתּל and עקּשׁ, but nowhere else interchanging with it) means here a vero et recto detortus et aversus (Fl.). Such a man who has not a good understanding, nor any certain rule of judgment, falls under contempt (Graec. Venet. τῷ ὀντωτῇ εἰς μυσαγμόν, after the false reading of יהוה instead of יהיה), i.e., he defames himself by his crooked judgment of men, of things and their relations, and is on this account in no position rightly to make use of them.

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