Proverbs 26 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Proverbs 26)

Verse 2

[2] As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

By flying — Secures itself from the fowler.

Not come — Upon the innocent person, but he shall escape from it like a bird.

Verse 4

[4] Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

According — So as to imitate his folly, by passionate or reproachful speeches.

Verse 5

[5] Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

According — So as his folly needs and requires, convincing him strongly, reproving him sharply, and exposing him to just shame.

Verse 6

[6] He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.

Cutteth off the feet — Of his messenger; bids one go that wants legs.

Drinketh — Drinking, in scripture, frequently denotes the plentiful doing or receiving of any thing.

Verse 7

[7] The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

The legs — Heb. the legs of the lame are lifted up, in going, or in dancing, which is done with great inequality and uncomeliness.

So — No less incident are wise and pious speeches from a foolish and ungodly man.

Verse 8

[8] As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.

Bindeth — Whereby he hinders his own design of throwing the stone out of it.

So — No less absurd is he that giveth to a fool that honour which he is not capable of using aright.

Verse 9

[9] As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

A thorn — As a thorn is in a drunkard's hand, which he cannot manage cautiously, but employs to his own and others hurt.

So — As unprofitable, and, by accident, hurtful to himself and others.

Verse 10

[10] The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

Rewardeth — Will certainly give that recompence which is deserved by fools and transgressors, by such as sin either thro' ignorance, or wilfully.

Verse 14

[14] As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.

Turneth — Moving hither and thither upon it, but not removing from its place.

Verse 16

[16] The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

A reason — A satisfactory reason of ail their actions.

Verse 17

[17] He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

He — Who is going upon the way.

With strife — In which he is not concerned, nor any way obliged to meddle.

That taketh — Exposes himself to needless hazard.

Verse 18

[18] As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,

And death — Any instruments of death.

Verse 23

[23] Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

Burning — With malice or hatred: A slanderous or evil tongue.

Dross — Such a tongue and heart are of no real worth, although sometimes they make a shew of it, as dross does of silver.

Verse 26

[26] Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

Deceit — With false professions of love.

Verse 27

[27] Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

Rolleth — Up the hill with design to do mischief to some person.