The Proverbs

Chapter 20

Various observations of moral virtues, and their contrary vices, 1-30.

1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whoever is deceived by it is not wise.

2 The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion. Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own soul.

3 It is an honor for a man to cease from strife, but every fool will be meddling.

4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore, he shall beg in harvest and have nothing.

5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.

6 Most men will each proclaim his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?

7 The just man walks in his integrity. His children are blessed after him.

8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment scatters away all evil with his eyes.

9 Who can say, "I have made my heart clean. I am pure from my sin"?

10 Diverse weights and diverse measures, both of them are alike abominations to the LORD.

11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work is pure and whether it is right.

12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made even both of them.

13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty. Open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with bread.

14 "It is nothing, it is nothing," says the buyer, but when he is gone, then he boasts.

15 There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

16 Take his garment who is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

18 Every purpose is established by counsel, and with good advice make war.

19 He who goes about as a gossiper reveals secrets; therefore, do not meddle with him who flatters with his lips.

20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.

21 An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning, but its end shall not be blessed.

22 Do not say, "I will recompense evil." But wait on the LORD, and he shall save you.

23 Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD, and a false balance is not good.

24 Man's goings are of the LORD. How can a man then understand his own way?

25 It is a snare to the man who devours that which is holy, and later vows to make inquiry.

26 A wise king scatters the wicked, and brings the wheel over them.

27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

28 Mercy and truth preserve the king, and his throne is upheld by mercy.

29 The glory of young men is their strength, and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

30 The blueness of a wound cleanses away evil, and so do stripes to the inward parts of the belly.

Commentary

Matthew Henry Commentary - Proverbs, Chapter 20

Notes

John Gill's Chapter Summary:

From the tenth chapter to the twenty-fifth are various proverbial sentences without any very apparent connection or coherence with each other, describing righteous and wicked men, setting forth their different temper, conduct, and actions, and the fruits and effects of them. It should be observed, that frequently in the preceding chapters two persons are represented as women: one goes by the name of "Wisdom," the other is called the "foolish" woman and a "harlot," the former is clearly to be understood of Christ, and the latter, being opposed to him, must be antichrist, the whore of Rome and mother of harlots. Now in the following part of this book two sorts of persons are spoken of, the one as wise, righteous, good, etc., and the other as foolish, wicked, etc., who are no other than the followers of Christ and antichrist, which observation is a key to the whole book.

[v.23] - Reference, Deuteronomy 25:13-14; Proverbs 11:1.

Top