1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of
water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than
4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is
5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of
every one that is hasty only to want.
6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to
and fro of them that seek death.
7 The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse
to do judgment.
8 The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his
work is right.
9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a
brawling woman in a wide house.
10 The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no
favour in his eyes.
11 When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when
the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
12 The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but
God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.
13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry
himself, but shall not be heard.
14 A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom
15 It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to
the workers of iniquity.
16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall
remain in the congregation of the dead.
17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth 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 treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the
wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life,
righteousness, and honour.
22 A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the
strength of the confidence thereof.
23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from
24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud
25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to
26 He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth
and spareth not.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when
he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh
29 A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he
directeth his way.
30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the
31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of
Verse 1. The kings - He names kings not to exclude
other men, but because they are more arbitrary and
uncontrollable than others. As rivers - Which husband-men
draw by little channels into the adjacent grounds as they
Verse 4. The plowing - Even their civil or natural
actions, which in themselves are lawful, are made sinful as
they are managed by ungodly men, without any regard to the
glory of God, which ought to be the end of all our actions.
Verse 5. Hasty - Who manages his affairs rashly.
Verse 6. Lying tongue - By any false or deceitful
words or actions. Is tossed - Is like the chaff or smoak
driven away by the wind. Of them - That take those courses
which will bring destruction upon them.
Verse 8. The way - Of every man by nature. Strange -
Estranged from God. Right - But he whose heart is pure, his
conversation is agreeable to it.
Verse 10. Desireth - To do mischief. No favour - He
spares neither friend nor foe.
Verse 11. The wise - The simple learn wisdom, both
from the punishment of wicked men, and from the prosperity
of good men.
Verse 12. Considereth - He looks through its present
glory to that ruin for which it is designed.
Verse 14. In secret - Which makes it more acceptable.
In the bosom - Secretly conveyed into the bosom.
Verse 16. Shall remain - Shall, without repentance,
be condemned to eternal death.
Verse 17. Wine and oil - Delicious fare and luxurious
feasting. Wine and oil were much used in feasts in those
Verse 18. A ransom - The wicked shall be brought into
those troubles, which were designed by wicked men for the
righteous: thus Haman was a ransom for Mordecai.
Verse 20. The wise - Wise men lay up desirable
treasures for their own use, and for their families. Oil is
particularly mentioned, because that was a considerable part
of their wealth and treasures in those countries.
Verse 22. The strength - The strongest sorts to which
the citizens trust.
Verse 25. Killeth - Torments him to death, while he
passionately desires what he sees, he shall not enjoy, and
will not take pains to procure.
Verse 26. Coveteth - Spends his whole time in vain
and lazy desires. Giveth - By God's blessing upon his
industry he procures enough, not only for his own support,
but for the relief of others.
Verse 27. The sacrifice - All the most costly
services which they offer to God. Because - As all the
ancient translators render it, the Hebrew particle, aph,
being expletive: or, even because; so the following clause
gives the reason. A wicked mind - Not in obedience to God's
command, but either to cover, or countenance, or promote
some wicked design.
Verse 28. Heareth - He witnesses nothing but what he
has heard or seen. Constantly - Always affirms the same
Verse 29. Hardeneth - Continues in evil with
obstinacy and impudence. Directs - He orders his steps
Verse 31. The horse - Under which all war-like
provisions are comprehended.2
References and notes
1. King James Authorized Version
2. John Wesley's Notes on the
Bible - http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/proverbs/wesley/proverbs21.htm
3. The Adam Clarke Commentary - http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?book=pr&chapter=021