Proverbs 10 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Proverbs 10)

Verse 2

[2] Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

Of wickedness — Such as are got by any sort of wicked practices.

Death — Often from temporal, and always from eternal death.

Verse 5

[5] He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

Gathereth — The fruits of his field.

In summer — In harvest. He that improved the opportunities of doing good to himself and others.

Verse 6

[6] Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

Violence — Their own violence or injustice. This may be an allusion to the ancient custom of covering the mouths and faces of condemned malefactors.

Verse 8

[8] The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

Who receive — Is ready to hear and obey the precepts of God and men.

Fall — Into mischief.

Verse 9

[9] He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.

Surely — Or, securely, or confidently, as the word properly signifies; quietly resting upon God's favour and gracious providence for his protections.

Known — His wickedness shall be publickly discovered.

Verse 10

[10] He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.

Winketh — That secretly designs mischief against others, as this phrase is used, Psalms 35:19.

Verse 13

[13] In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.

Wisdom — This wisdom shews itself in his speech.

A rod — Rebukes from God and men.

Verse 14

[14] Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.

Lay up — In their minds, to be brought forth upon fit occasions.

Knowledge — Whereby they may be enabled to speak both what, and when it is seasonable.

But — Fools are more forward to lay out than to lay up, and for want of knowledge speak much and foolishly, whereby they frequently bring destruction upon themselves.

Verse 15

[15] The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

Wealth — It often redeems him from dangers and calamities.

Poverty — Is the cause of their ruin.

Verse 16

[16] The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

The labour — The fruit of his labour, to the preservation of this life, and obtaining eternal life.

Fruit — The fruit of all their labour tends to sin, and serves only for fuel to mens pride and luxury.

Verse 18

[18] He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

Lying lips — With flattering words. He here condemns two opposite vices, secret hatred, and manifest slander.

Verse 20

[20] The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

Is — Of great worth and use.

Heart — And consequently the tongue.

Verse 21

[21] The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.

Feed — By their wise discourses and counsels.

Die — They have not wisdom to preserve themselves, much less to feed others.

Verse 26

[26] As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.

So — Unserviceable and vexatious.

Verse 28

[28] The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.

Gladness — Shall be accomplished, and turned into enjoyment.

Verse 29

[29] The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

The way — The way of God's precepts.

Strength — Gives strength, support, and protection.

Verse 30

[30] The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

Never be removed — They shall live happily here, and eternally in heaven.

The earth — They shall not have so much as a quiet abode upon earth; much less shall they have any possession in heaven.

Verse 32

[32] The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.

The lips — Knowledge is here ascribed to the lips, as it is to the hands, Psalms 78:72, because they are conducted by knowledge and wisdom.

Acceptable — What is truly worthy of acceptation.