Proverbs 10

From this chapter to the twenty-fifth are various observations of moral virtues and their contrary vices.

1THE1 proverbs of Solomon. Aa wise son maketh a glad 2father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

1 The nine foregoing chapters are as a preface, to stir men up to give diligent attention unto the following proverbs, which for the most part are diverse and different, and do not depend one upon another. They are as so many rules concerning the faith, good manners, and faults or defects of men.

a Prov. 15:20.

2 Understand under the name of father also the mother, and under the following name of mother likewise the father.

2Treasuresb3of wickedness profit nothing: but 4righteousness 5delivereth from death.

b Prov. 11:4.

3 That is, which are wrongfully obtained or likewise wickedly misused.

4 By righteous in general is meant love and fidelity, which a man owes to his neighbor according to the second table, and principally according to the eighth commandment. Some understand the word righteousness in particular of alms deeds, and works of mercy and charity to the poor, as Daniel 4:27.

5 Namely, not because she is able to do it of herself, or has deserved it by her own worthiness, but because God has so graciously promised to reward her. Also Prov. 11:4.

3The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the 6substance of the wicked.

6 Other, perverseness, that is, riches perversely obtained, or gotten by perverseness.

4Hec becometh poor that dealeth with 7a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

c Prov. 12:24.

7 Hebr. with an hand-palm of deceit, that is, with an unfaithful, slack and slow hand, and so by fraud and deceit draws his neighbors’ goods to himself. Deceit is used for slothfulness, Prov. 19:15; Jer. 48:10; as likewise deceit is therefore opposed to diligence, as here and Prov. 12:24, 27. For, those, who are lazy and are loath to work, are about to commit deceitful actions, whereby they endeavor to get their living, but poverty is their reward at last. Other, A deceitful balance maketh poor.

5He that 8gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son 9that causeth shame.

8 Namely, his fruits or crop which he has on the field. Compare Prov. 6:8.

9 Namely, he shames himself and also his parents; namely, by his faults and misdemeanors. Also Prov. 12:4; 14:35; 17:2; 19:26; 28:7. This proverb may suitably by way of comparison be understood of a man, who, while he is yet young and lusty, takes pains that he may have somewhat to keep him when he is old, etc. See Prov. 6:8.

610Blessings are 11upon the head of the just: but 12violence 13covereth the mouth of the wicked.

10Blessings, namely, both temporal and eternal.

11 This seems to look at the old custom of pronouncing any blessing; because this was done by laying the hand upon the head of him who was blessed. See Gen. 48 on verse 14. Or, it may be also thus understood, that the righteous, being blessed themselves, do likewise impart and communicate the blessing unto others, but that the mouth of the wicked is full of mere violence.

12 Understand malice, cruelty, injustice, extortion, and oppression, which they may have used.

13 That is, brings them to death. See Job 40 on verse 13. Or, covers them with shame as with a garment; compare Psalm 44:15; 69:7. Or, fills them with plagues and punishments until their very mouth be full.

7The memory of the just is 14blessed: but the name of the wicked 15shall rot.

14 That is, shall tend to his praise and honorable report, when they shall make mention of him, either being absent or also being dead.

15 Or, putrefy and grow stinking, and consequently perish.

8The wise in heart will receive 16commandments: but ad pratinge17fool shall 18fall.

16 Namely, which teach a man how to order his life and conduct aright, so as that he may please God and edify his neighbor, and so get God’s blessing upon himself.

d Prov. 10:10

e chattering, babbling

17 That is, he who speaks froward and perverse things, whereby he casts away with an obstinate mind all good instruction and admonition, boasting that he will abide by his bad opinion, and evil intent and purpose, having together with the folly of the lips, also the folly of the heart; for, out of the abundance of this the lips do speak, Mat. 12:34. Compare Prov. 2:12; 4:24; 6:12.

18 See of the Hebrew word, Hosea 4 on verse 14. Also verse 10.

9He that walketh 19uprightly walketh 20surely: but he that perverteth 21his ways shall 22be known.

19 See Prov. 2 on verse 7.

20 Or, quietly, because he knows that his works are good, and that God will suffer no evil event to follow upon it to his destruction.

21 Compare Gen. 6:12.

22 Namely, by public punishments, which God shall send upon him in the sight of all men, and that by the hand or means of the authorities or otherwise.

10He that winketh 23with the eye causeth sorrow: but 24a pratingf fool 25shall fall.

23 That is, secretly plots and contrives sin, and seeks to carry it on neatly and smoothly. Compare Prov. 6:13.

24 See on verse 8.

f chattering, babbling

25 See on verse 8.

11Theg mouth of a righteous man is a 26well of life: but 27violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

g Prov. 13:14.

26 Namely, from where words do proceed, which do not only instruct, admonish and strengthen others unto life eternal, but also are serviceable unto the righteous who does so for that very end and purpose, namely, to bring him unto life eternal. Compare Prov. 13:14; 14:27; 16:22.

27 See on verse 6.

12Hatred stirreth up strifes: buth28love 29covereth 30all sins.

h 1 Cor. 13:7:1 Peter 4:8.

28 Namely, the one who has suffered wrong at his neighbors’ hands, or sees him to be fallen into any infirmity.

29 Namely, by bearing, or in a friendly way reproving them, and not by divulging or spreading them abroad. Understand this of particular and private sins, and such as may be concealed with a good conscience.

30 It must not be understood of our own transgressions committed against God, but of other men’s sins and transgression committed against us.

13In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is 31found: buti a 32rod is for the back of him 33that is void of understanding.

31 And therefore he gets also honor and reward, as on the contrary, the foolish one gets stripes, because folly is found in his lips.

i Prov. 20:30.

32 That is, the punishment which happens by stripes and blows. Also Prov. 23:13; 26:3; 29:15.

33 Hebr. that wanteth a heart. See Prov. 6 on verse 32. The word heart is here taken for the mind and understanding of man. See Job 9 on verse 4.

14Wise men 34lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near 35destruction.

34 Hebr. hide, that is, as men do use to lay up their treasure, and to lock up their provision, as meat and drink, etc., to bring them forth at times convenient; so wise men do gather and lay up a stock of knowledge, to produce and utter the same when it shall be reasonable and profitable unto others, or else to make use of it their own selves.

35 Or, astonishment, terror; that is, mischief, trouble, grievance, at which a man is wont to be affrighted and astonished, occasioned by foolish, impudent, unadvised, and unseasonable words and speeches.

15The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction 36of the poor is their poverty.

36 Hebr. of the thin ones, that is, of those that have very little. The meaning is, he who has lack of wealth, has also lack of heart, and is afraid that he shall perish; and that he who is destitute of wealth, is for the most part also destitute of courage; as on the contrary, those who have great riches and store of wealth, do commonly rely upon them, and think that they are very safe and secure against all harm and danger.

16The 37labour of the righteous tendeth 38to life: 39the fruit of the wicked 40to sin.

37 Namely, whereby he does anything that is good and honest to get his living by it. Or, understand whatsoever he intends, speaks, or does.

38 That is, tends to his prosperity, and to his good, Rom. 8:28.

39 Meaning: his means, or all that proceeds from him, and from his actions.

40 That is, tends to sin, or leads him to the doing of evil, and consequently to his eternal destruction. For the wages of sin is death, Rom. 6:23.

17He is in the way 41of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof 42erreth.

41 Namely, the path leading unto life. Or thus: he that keepeth discipline, is a path of life; or is in the path of life.

42 To wit, himself, and others, that both thus get together into destruction.

1843He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

43 The meaning is, that both of them do ill, as well those who privily hate their neighbor, though they do not speak evil of him, as those who openly backbite, and slander him, and wrong him in his own good name. Other, he that hideth hatred with false lips, and he that uttereth an evil report, the same is a fool. Other, False lips cover hatred, etc.

19In the multitude 44of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

44 Namely, which proceed rashly, thoughtlessly, indiscreetly from a vain heart, and from evil affections.

20The tongue of the just is 45as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is 46little worth.

45 That is, is like unto choice silver; namely, in acceptableness, value, and profitableness.

46 Or, surely negligible; and therefore his tongue also, which utters all that the heart has in it. Hebr. is as little. The letter caph, signifying as, is by the Hebrews sometimes taken for certainly, truly, surely so. See Gen. 27 on verse 12; Neh. 7 on verse 2.

21The lips of the righteous 47feed many: but fools 48die 49for want of wisdom.

47 Namely, according to the soul, by wholesome instruction, exhortation, reproof, comfort; whereby also the righteous man benefits himself unto life everlasting.

48 That is, perish both in soul and body.

49 Hebr. for want of heart, that is, for want of understanding; namely, whereby they are not only disabled from feeding others with good and wholesome doctrine, but also disabled from disposing themselves to know God, to fear and serve Him. Of the word heart, taken for understanding, see Job 9 on verse 4.

22The 50blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and 51he addeth no 52sorrow 53with it.

50 That is, beneficence. See Gen. 12 on verse 2.

51 Namely, the Lord.

52 Namely, as there is in the heart and house of covetous misers, who are never content, and do neither good to themselves, nor to others with their plenty and store.

53 Namely, with the blessing. Compare herewith Psalm 127:2. Other thus: and the sorrow (that is, sorrowful labor) addeth nothing with it.

23It is asj sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath 54wisdom.

j Prov. 14:9.

54 Namely, whereby he, fearing God, is on his guard of committing villainy, and endeavors to speak or to carry out that favors of wisdom to the honor of God, which is his pleasure and delight.

24The 55fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the 56desire of the righteous shall be granted.

55 That is, the evil, or harm that he fears. See Prov. 1:26.

56 That is, what the righteous wish and desire of God. Desire is taken for the good that is desired, Psalm 21:2; 78:29; Prov. 13:12, 19.

2557As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is 58an everlasting foundation.

57 Or, As soon as the whirlwind is passed away, so is the wicked no more. The meaning is: that the wicked perish very suddenly and fearfully, as if they were violently snatched away from the world by a most swift and mighty whirlwind. See of the same comparison of a tempest, Job 9:17; Prov. 1:27.

58 That is, abides immovable, namely, in his faith, love, hope, and consequently in a good state unto the end. Compare Psalm 125:1; Mat. 7:24, 25.

26As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, 59so is the sluggardk to them that send him.

59 The meaning is: that the sluggard is a great grief to them that set him to work, and especially to those who send him forth speedily upon an errand, and would bring an answer of it again quickly.

k habitually idle or lazy person*

27Thel fear of the LORD prolongeth 60days: but the years of the wicked shall be 61shortened.

l Prov. 9:11.

60 Namely, the days of life, namely of those who do sincerely fear the Lord. Understand this in respect of those who, being of a weak and tender body and feeble by reason of sickness and cast down by reason of adversity; yet by the comfort and consolation of God live longer than the strength of their nature would be able to afford, if God had not intended to preserve and keep them longer alive. Some understand this is particular in respect of the outward mercies, which God promised to the Israelites, as long as they would dwell in the land of Canaan.

61 For according to the strength and quality of their nature they could have lived longer, but they are by God’s judgment violently taken away from here. Do not understand this proverb in general of all wicked men, but in particular of some, with whom it pleases God to deal thus according to His incomprehensible wisdom.

28The hope of the righteous shall be 62gladness: but them expectation of the wicked 63shall perish.

62 That is, brings joy and gladness to the righteous, because it is sure and well grounded, resting and relying upon the promises of God, Rom. 5:5.

m Job 8:13, 14; 11:20; Psalm 112:10.

63 That is, not be fulfilled, because it regards nothing but idle fancies; and therefore they shall even at last come to sorrow.

2964The way of the LORD is 65strength ton the upright: but 66destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

64 See Gen. 18:19.

65 Namely, against all that which might endanger their salvation; against the world, Satan and their own flesh.

n Prov. 13:6.

66 Namely, because they know, that there are many things in it that gain-say their present life and threaten them with future death.

30The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall 67not inhabit the earth.

67 Namely, with peace and quietness of mind, and not continually.

3168The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the 69froward tongue shall be cut out.

68 See verse 11 and the annotation.

69 See Prov. 8:13.

32The lips of the righteous know 70what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh 71frowardness.

70 The Hebrew word is not only taken for the will and good pleasure itself, as Psalm 30:7; 51:18, but also for that which a man willeth well, and that which is acceptable and well-pleasing, Psalm 40:8; 145:19; Prov. 11:1.

71 Hebr. frowardnesses.