Proverbs 10 Bible Commentary

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

(Read all of Proverbs 10)

Pr 10:1-32. Here begins the second part of the book, Pr 10:1-22:16, which, with the third, Pr 22:16-25:28, contains series of proverbs whose sense is complete in one or two verses, and which, having no logical connection, admit of no analysis. The parallelisms of Pr 10:1-15:33 are mostly antithetic; and those of Pr 16:1-22:16, synthetic. The evidences of art in the structure are very clear, and indicate, probably, a purpose of facilitating the labor of memorizing.

1. wise [and] foolish--as they follow or reject the precepts of wisdom.
maketh . . . father--or, "gladdens a father."
heaviness--or, "grief."

2. Treasures . . . nothing--that is, Ill-gotten gains give no true happiness (compare Pr 4:17; Mt 6:19).
righteousness--especially beneficence (Ps 112:9).
death--the greatest of all evils.

3. (Compare Ps 37:16-20). The last clause is better: "He will repel the greedy desires of the wicked."

4. slack--literally, "deceitful," failing of its purpose (compare Ho 7:16).
maketh rich--(compare Pr 10:22).

5. son--as Pr 1:8, 10, and often.
sleepeth--in indolence, and not for rest.
causeth shame--literally, "is base" (compare Pr 14:35; 17:2).

6. Blessings--literally, "Praises." The last clause is better: "The mouth of the wicked covereth (or concealeth) violence (or mischievous devices)" to be executed in due time (Ps 5:9; 10:7; Ro 3:14), and hence has no praises (compare Pr 10:11).

7. blessed--literally, "for a blessing," or praise.
shall rot--literally, "be worm-eaten," useless and disgusting.

8. wise, &c.--(compare Pr 9:8, 9, 16), opposed to
prating fool--or, "fool of lips of wicked language."
fall--headlong, suddenly.

9. perverteth his ways--acts deceitfully.
known--discovered and punished.

10. Two vices contrasted; hypocrisy, or insinuating evil against one (Pr 6:13; Ps 35:19), and rashness of speech. In each case, the results are on the evildoers.

11. a well--or, "source" of good to himself and others (Joh 7:37, 38). On last clause, see on Pr 10:6.

12. strifes--or, "litigations."
covereth--by forgiveness and forbearance.

13. In the lips . . . found--hence, not beaten, as the wicked-speaking fool.
void of understanding-- (Pr 6:32; 7:7).

14. lay up knowledge--that is, as treasures for good use.
mouth . . . destruction--or, "as to the mouth," &c., destruction is near; they expose themselves to evil by prating.

15. Both by trusting in "uncertain riches" (1Ti 6:17), or by the evils of poverty (Pr 30:9), men, not fearing God, fall into dangers.

16. The industry of the righteous is alone truly successful, while the earnings of the wicked tempt and lead to sin.

17. keepeth--observes (Pr 3:18; 4:22).
refuseth--or, "turns from reproof," which might direct him aright.

18. Both vices must one day be known and punished, and hence their folly.

19. Much speech involves risk of sin; hence the wisdom of restraining the tongue (Ps 39:1; Jas 1:26).

20. Right speech is the fruit of a good heart, but the wicked show theirs to be useless.

21. Fools not only fail to benefit others, as do the righteous, but procure their own ruin (compare Pr 10:11, 17; Ho 4:6).

22. it maketh, &c.--"it" is emphatic. Riches from God are without the sorrow of ill-gotten wealth (compare Ec 2:21-23; 1Ti 6:9, 10, 17).

23. Sin is the pleasure of the wicked; wisdom that of the good.

24. it--the very thing. The wicked get dreaded evil; the righteous, desired good.

25. (Compare Ps 1:4; 37:9, 10, 36).
righteous . . . foundation--well laid and firm (Mt 7:24, 25).

26. that is, causes vexation.

27. (Compare Pr 9:11; Ps 55:23).

28. gladness--in confidence of realizing it.
expectation . . . perish--in disappointment.

29. The way, &c.--that is, God's providence sustains the righteous and overthrows the wicked (Ho 14:9).

30. (Compare Pr 12:3; Ps 37:9-11; 102:28).
earth--or, "land of promise."

31. bringeth forth--literally, "germinates" as a plant.
froward--(Compare Pr 2:12, 14).
cut off--as an unproductive plant.

32. know--regard and provide for (Ps 1:6).
frowardness--all kinds of deceit and ill-nature. The word is plural.