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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Proverbs Chapter 21

Proverbs 21:1

pro 21:1

(Pro. 21:1-31)

rivers--irrigating channels (Psa 1:3), whose course was easily turned (compare Deu 11:10). God disposes even kings as He pleases (Pro 16:9; Psa 33:15).

Proverbs 21:2

pro 21:2

(Compare Pro 14:2; Pro. 16:2-25).

Proverbs 21:3

pro 21:3

(Compare Psa 50:7-15; Isa 1:11, Isa 1:17).

Proverbs 21:4

pro 21:4

high look--(Compare Margin; Psa 131:1).

proud heart--or, "heart of breadth," one that is swollen (compare Psa 101:5).

ploughing--better "lamp," a frequent figure for prosperity (Pro 20:20); hence joy or delight.

Proverbs 21:5

pro 21:5

The contrast is between steady industry and rashness (compare Pro 19:2).

Proverbs 21:6

pro 21:6

The getting--or, "what is obtained" (compare Job 7:2; Jer 22:13, Hebrew).

vanity . . . to and fro--as fleeting as chaff or stubble in the wind (compare Pro 20:17-21; Psa 62:10). Such gettings are unsatisfactory.

them . . . death--act as if they did (Pro 8:36; Pro 17:19).

Proverbs 21:7

pro 21:7

robbery--or, "destruction," especially oppression, of which they are authors.

shall destroy--literally, "cut with a saw" (Kg1 7:9), that is, utterly ruin them. Their sins shall be visited on them in kind.

to do judgment--what is just and right.

Proverbs 21:8

pro 21:8

of man--any one; his way is opposed to truth, and also estranged from it. The pure proves himself such by his right conduct.

Proverbs 21:9

pro 21:9

corner--a turret or arbor on the roof.

brawling--or contentious.

wide house--literally, "house of fellowship," large enough for several families.

Proverbs 21:10

pro 21:10

So strongly does he desire to do evil (Psa 10:3; Ecc 8:11), that he will not even spare his friend if in his way.

Proverbs 21:11

pro 21:11

(Compare Pro 19:25). That which the simple learn by the terrors of punishment, the wise learn by teaching.

Proverbs 21:12

pro 21:12

(Compare Psa 37:35-38; Psa 73:17, Psa 73:20).

house--family or interests.

overthroweth--either supply "God" (compare Pro 10:24), or the word is used impersonally.

Proverbs 21:13

pro 21:13

The principles of retribution, often taught (compare Psa 18:26; Mat 7:1-12).

Proverbs 21:14

pro 21:14

The effect of bribery (Pro 17:23) is enhanced by secrecy, as the bribed person does not wish his motives made known.

Proverbs 21:15

pro 21:15

But the just love right and need no bribes. The wicked at last meet destruction, though for a time happy in concealing corruption.

Proverbs 21:16

pro 21:16

the way of understanding--(Compare Pro 12:26; Pro 14:22).

remain--that is, rest as at a journey's end; death will be his unchanging home.

Proverbs 21:17

pro 21:17

Costly luxuries impoverish.

Proverbs 21:18

pro 21:18

(Compare Pro 11:8). By suffering what they had devised for the righteous, or brought on them, the wicked became their ransom, in the usual sense of substitutes (compare Jos 7:26; Est 7:9).

Proverbs 21:19

pro 21:19

(Compare Pro 21:9).

wilderness--pasture, though uninhabitable ground (Psa 65:12).

Proverbs 21:20

pro 21:20

The wise, by diligence and care, lay up and increase wealth, while fools

spend--literally, "swallow it up," greedily.

Proverbs 21:21

pro 21:21

He who tries to act justly and kindly (Psa 34:14) will prosper and obtain justice and honor.

Proverbs 21:22

pro 21:22

"Wisdom is better than strength" (Ecc 7:19; Ecc 9:15).

strength . . . thereof--that in which they confide.

Proverbs 21:23

pro 21:23

(Compare Pro 13:2-3; Jam 3:6-10).

Proverbs 21:24

pro 21:24

The reproachful name is deserved by those who treat others with anger and contempt.

Proverbs 21:25

pro 21:25

desire--that is, of ease and idleness brings him to starvation.

Proverbs 21:26

pro 21:26

The sin of covetousness marks the sluggard, as the virtue of benevolence the righteous.

Proverbs 21:27

pro 21:27

God regards the heart, and hypocrisy is more odious than open inconsistency.

wicked mind--or, "design" (Pro 1:4).

Proverbs 21:28

pro 21:28

(Compare Pro 19:5).

that heareth--or heeds instruction, and so grows wise.

speaketh constantly--or sincerely (compare Hab 1:5), and hence is believed (Pro 12:19; Jam 1:19).

Proverbs 21:29

pro 21:29

hardeneth his face--is obstinate.

directeth . . . way--considers it, and acts advisedly.

Proverbs 21:30

pro 21:30

Men's best devices and reliances are vain compared with God's, or without His aid (Pro 19:21; Psa 20:7; Psa 33:17).

Next: Proverbs Chapter 22