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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 26

Proverbs 26:1

pro 26:1

(Pro. 26:1-28)

The incongruities of nature illustrate also those of the moral world. The fool's unworthiness is also implied (Pro 17:7; Pro 19:10).

Proverbs 26:2

pro 26:2

Though not obvious to us,

the bird--literally, "sparrow"--and

swallow--have an object in their motions, so penal evil falls on none without a reason.

Proverbs 26:3

pro 26:3

The rod is as much needed by fools and as well suited to them, as whips and bridles are for beasts.

Proverbs 26:4

pro 26:4

Answer not--that is, approvingly by like folly.

Proverbs 26:5

pro 26:5

Answer--by reproof.

Proverbs 26:6

pro 26:6

A fool fails by folly as surely as if he were maimed.

drinketh damage--that is, gets it abundantly (Job 15:16; Job 34:7).

Proverbs 26:7

pro 26:7

legs . . . equal--or, "take away the legs," or "the legs . . . are weak." In any case the idea is that they are the occasion of an awkwardness, such as the fool shows in using a parable or proverb (see Introduction; Pro 17:7).

Proverbs 26:8

pro 26:8

A stone, bound in a sling, is useless; so honor, conferred on a fool, is thrown away.

Proverbs 26:9

pro 26:9

As vexatious and unmanageable as a thorn in a drunkard's hand is a parable to a fool. He will be as apt to misuse is as to use it rightly.

Proverbs 26:10

pro 26:10

Various versions of this are proposed (compare Margin). Better perhaps--"Much He injures (or literally, "wounds") all who reward," &c., that is, society is injured by encouraging evil men.

transgressors--may be rendered "vagrants." The word "God" is improperly supplied.

Proverbs 26:11

pro 26:11

returneth . . . folly--Though disgusting to others, the fool delights in his folly.

Proverbs 26:12

pro 26:12

The self-conceited are taught with more difficulty than the stupid.

Proverbs 26:13

pro 26:13

(Compare Pro 22:13).

Proverbs 26:14

pro 26:14

(Compare Pro 6:10; Pro 24:33).

Proverbs 26:15

pro 26:15

(Compare Pro 19:24).

Proverbs 26:16

pro 26:16

The thoughtless being ignorant of their ignorance are conceited.

Proverbs 26:17

pro 26:17

meddleth--as in Pro 20:19; Pro 24:21; as either holding a dog by the ears or letting him go involves danger, so success in another man's strife or failure involves a useless risk of reputation, does no good, and may do us harm.

Proverbs 26:18

pro 26:18

Such are reckless of results.

Proverbs 26:20

pro 26:20

The talebearers foster (Pro 16:28), and the contentious excite, strife.

Proverbs 26:22

pro 26:22

(Compare Pro 18:8).

Proverbs 26:23

pro 26:23

Warm professions can no more give value to insincerity than silver coating to rude earthenware.

Proverbs 26:24

pro 26:24

dissembleth--though an unusual sense of the word (compare Margin), is allowable, and better suits the context, which sets forth hypocrisy.

Proverbs 26:25

pro 26:25

Sentiment of Pro 26:24 carried out.

seven abominations in his heart--that is, very many (compare Pro 24:16).

Proverbs 26:26

pro 26:26

Deceit will at last be exposed, and the wicked by their own arts often bring on retribution (compare Pro 12:13; Psa 7:16; Psa 9:17, &c.).

Proverbs 26:28

pro 26:28

Men hate those they injure.

A lying tongue--"lips" for the persons (compare Pro 4:24; Psa 12:3).

Next: Proverbs Chapter 27