The Proverbs

Chapter 21

Various observations of moral virtues, and their contrary vices, 1-31.

The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD like channels of water./
He turns it wherever he pleases.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,/
but the LORD ponders the hearts.

To do justice and judgment/
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

A high look and a proud heart,/
which is the lamp of the wicked, is sin.

The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness,/
but of everyone who is hasty, only to poverty.

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue/
is a vanity tossed to and fro by those who seek death.

The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them,/
because they refuse to do judgment.

Crooked is the way of a guilty man,/
but as for the pure, his work is right.

It is better to dwell in a corner of the house-top,/
than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

10 The soul of the wicked desires evil./
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

11 When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise./
And when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.

12 The righteous man wisely considers the house of the wicked,/
but God overthrows the wicked for their wickedness.

13 Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor,/
he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

14 A gift in secret pacifies anger,/
and a reward in the bosom, strong wrath.

15 It is joy to the just to do judgment,/
but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

16 The man who wanders out of the way of understanding/
shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

17 He who loves pleasure shall be a poor man./
He who loves wine and oil shall not be rich.

18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous,/
and the transgressor for the upright.

19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness/
than with a contentious and an angry woman.

20 There is a treasure to be desired, and oil in the dwelling of the wise,/
but a foolish man spends it up.

21 He who follows after righteousness and mercy/
finds life, righteousness, and honor.

22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty/
and casts down the strength of its confidence.

23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue/
keeps his soul from troubles.

24 The proud and haughty man, "Scoffer," is his name./
He works in the arrogance of pride.

25 The desire of the slothful kills him,/
for his hands refuse to labor.

26 He covets greedily all the day long,/
but the righteous gives and does not spare.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination./
How much more, when he brings it with a wicked mind?

28 A false witness shall perish,/
but the man who hears speaks constantly.

29 A wicked man hardens his face,/
but as for the upright, he directs his way.

30 There is no wisdom nor understanding/
nor counsel against the LORD.

31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,/
but safety is from the LORD.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Proverbs, Chapter 21[➚]


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.8] - "Crooked is the way of a guilty man" - From the Pulpit Commentary: "Both [the Latin Vulgate] and the Authorized Version miss the antithesis between the guilty and the pure man, which is intended. In וזר, translated 'and strange' (which seems to mean 'alien from what is right'), the vav is not the copulative, but part of the word, which is an adjective signifying 'laden with guilt,' so that the clause ought to be rendered, 'Crooked is the way of a guilty man.'" The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon agrees with this rendering.