Proverbs 12 Bible Commentary

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

(Read all of Proverbs 12)

Pr 12:1-28.

1. loveth knowledge--as the fruit of instruction or training (Pr 1:2).
hateth reproof-- (Pr 10:17).
brutish--stupid, regardless of his own welfare (Ps 49:10; 73:22).

3. Wickedness cannot give permanent prosperity.
root . . . not be moved--firm as a flourishing tree-- (Ps 1:3; 15:5; Jer 17:8).

4. A virtuous woman--in the wide sense of well-disposed to all moral duties (Pr 31:10).
maketh ashamed--that is, by misconduct.
rottenness--an incurable evil.

5. thoughts--or, "purposes."
are right--literally, "are judgment," that is, true decisions.
counsels--(Compare Pr 11:14).
deceit--contrary to truth and honesty.

6. The words--or, "expressed designs" of the wicked are for evil purposes.
the mouth--or, "words" of the righteous delivering instead of ensnaring men.

7. Such conduct brings a proper return, by the destruction of the wicked and well-being of the righteous and his family.

8. despised--as opposed to commended (Pr 11:12).
perverse heart--or, "wicked principles," as opposed to one of wisdom.

9. despised--held in little repute, obscure (1Sa 18:23; Isa 3:5).
hath a servant--implying some means of honest living.
honoureth himself--is self-conceited.

10. regardeth--literally, "knoweth" (Ps 1:6).
mercies . . . cruel--as acts of compassion ungraciously rendered to the needy. The righteous more regards a beast than the wicked a man.

11. The idler's fate is the result of indolence and want of principle (Pr 6:32; 7:7).

12. the wicked . . . evil--They love the crafty arts of deception.
the root . . . fruit--their own resources supply them; or, it may be rendered: "He (God) giveth, or, sets (Eze 17:22) the root of the righteous," and hence it is firm: or, the verb is impersonal; "As to the root . . . it is firm" (Pr 17:19).

13, 14. The wicked is snared, &c.--The sentiment expanded. While the wicked, such as liars, flatterers, &c., fall by their own words, the righteous are unhurt. Their good conduct makes friends, and God rewards them.

15. The way . . . eyes--The fool is self-conceited (compare Pr 12:1; 1:32; 10:17; Jas 3:17).

16. prudent . . . shame--He is slow to denounce his insulters (Jas 1:19).

18. speaketh--literally, "speaketh hastily," or indiscreetly (Ps 106:33), as an angry man retorts harsh and provoking invectives.
tongue . . . health--by soothing and gentle language.

19. Words of truth are consistent, and stand all tests, while lies are soon discovered and exposed.

20. that imagine--or, "plan" (Pr 3:29). They design a deceitful course, to which, with all its evils and dangers to others and themselves, the happiness of peace-makers is opposed (compare Mt 5:9; Ro 12:18).

21. no evil--(as in Ps 91:10), under God's wise limitations (Ro 8:28).
mischief--as penal evil.

22. deal truly--or, "faithfully," that is, according to promises (compare Joh 3:21).

23. concealeth--by his modesty (Pr 10:14; 11:13).
heart . . . proclaimeth--as his lips speak his thoughts (compare Ec 10:3).

24. slothful--(Compare Margin), so called because he fails to meet his promises.
under tribute--not denoting legal taxes, but the obligation of dependence.

25. a good word--one of comfort.

26. more excellent--(Compare Margin); or, "more successful," while the wicked fail; or, we may read it: "The righteous guides his friend, but," &c., that is, The ability of the righteous to aid others is contrasted with the ruin to which the way of the wicked leads themselves.

27. (Compare Pr 12:24).
took in hunting--or, "his venison." He does not improve his advantages.
the substance . . . precious--or, "the wealth of a man of honor is being diligent," or "diligence."
precious--literally, "honor" (Ec 10:1).

28. (Compare Pr 8:8, 20, &c.). A sentiment often stated; here first affirmatively, then negatively.