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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

Proverbs Chapter 20

Proverbs 20:1

pro 20:1

A mocker - Wine immoderately drunk makes men mockers. Raging - Makes men full of rage.

Proverbs 20:2

pro 20:2

The fear - The terror which the wrath of a king causes.

Proverbs 20:3

pro 20:3

Meddling - Is always ready to begin strife, and obstinate in the continuance of it.

Proverbs 20:5

pro 20:5

Counsel - Designs of doing something of moment. Deep water - Is secret and hard to be discovered.

Proverbs 20:8

pro 20:8

His eyes - With his very looks, or by his diligent inspection into affairs.

Proverbs 20:10

pro 20:10

Divers - One greater for shew and one lesser for use.

Proverbs 20:11

pro 20:11

Is known - The future disposition of a man may be probably conjectured from his childish manners.

Proverbs 20:13

pro 20:13

Open - Shake off sloth and betake thyself to thy employment with diligence and vigour.

Proverbs 20:15

pro 20:15

The lips - But wise speeches are of far greater worth.

Proverbs 20:16

pro 20:16

Take - As a pledge, without which he ought not to be trusted. Of him - That is surety.

Proverbs 20:18

pro 20:18

Established - The way to bring our purposes to good effect is to manage them with serious consideration.

Proverbs 20:20

pro 20:20

Lamp - His name and memory shall utterly perish.

Proverbs 20:24

pro 20:24

His way - What the issue of his designs will be.

Proverbs 20:25

pro 20:25

A snare - It brings guilt upon him. After - After a man has made vows to enquire for ways to break them.

Proverbs 20:26

pro 20:26

The wheel - As the cart - wheel was anciently turned over the sheaves to beat the corn out of them. He punishes them as their offences deserve.

Proverbs 20:27

pro 20:27

The spirit - The reasonable soul. The candle - Is a clear and glorious light set up in man for his information and direction. Of the Lord - So called because it comes from God in a more immediate manner than the body, Ecc 12:7, and because it is in God's stead, to observe and judge all our actions. Searching - Discerning not only his outward actions, which are visible to others, but his most inward thoughts and affections. The belly is here put for the heart, as it is frequently.

Proverbs 20:30

pro 20:30

The blueness - Grievous wounds, which make men black and blue; or severe punishments. Cleanseth - Are the means to reclaim a wicked man, and to purge out his corruption. The belly - Of the heart. Grievous wounds or stripes cleanse not only the outward man by keeping it from evil actions, but even the inward man, by expelling or subduing vile affections: which is a great and blessed benefit of afflictions.

Next: Proverbs Chapter 21