Proverbs 13 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Proverbs 13)

Verse 2

[2] A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

Shall eat — Shall receive comfort, and benefit by his wise and profitable discourses.

Verse 6

[6] Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.

Keepeth him — From that over-throw which befal sinners.

Verse 7

[7] There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

Maketh rich — Some men who have little or nothing, pretend to have great riches.

Maketh rich — Some rich men profess to be poor.

Verse 8

[8] The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

Riches — Riches enable a man to redeem his life when it is in greatest danger, and poverty preserves a man from many injuries. Because they are cautious, that they may not provoke others; and because they are esteemed objects of pity.

Verse 9

[9] The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

The light — The prosperity.

Rejoiceth — Shines with a pleasant and constant brightness. Rejoicing is here ascribed to the light, as it is to the sun, Psalms 19:5, metaphorically.

Put out — Their felicity shall have a hidden end.

Verse 10

[10] Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

Pride — It is chiefly, pride which blows up the coals of contention.

Well-advised — Who are not governed by their passions, but by prudent considerations.

Wisdom — Which teaches them to avoid contention.

Verse 11

[11] Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

Vanity — By wicked practices.

Verse 12

[12] Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Hope deferred — Delays in obtaining what a man passionately desires.

The desire — The good desired.

A tree of life — It is satisfactory, and reviving.

Verse 13

[13] Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

The word — The word of God.

Verse 14

[14] The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

The law — The instruction, or counsel; as the word law, is frequently understood in scripture.

Verse 15

[15] Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

Giveth — Makes a man acceptable to God.

Rough — Offensive and hateful to God and men, as rough ways are to a traveller.

Verse 16

[16] Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

Knowledge — Considerately and discreetly.

Layeth open — By his foolish actions.

Verse 17

[17] A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.

A messenger — Who is unfaithful in the execution of that which is committed to his charge.

Is health — Procures benefit, as to his master, so to himself.

Verse 19

[19] The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.

Sweet — Whatsoever men earnestly desire, the enjoyment of it is sweet to them; therefore sinners rejoice in the satisfaction of their sinful lusts, and abhor all restraint of them.

Verse 21

[21] Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

Evil — Punishment proportionable to their sin.

Verse 23

[23] Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

The poor — Poor persons by their diligent labours, and God's blessing often grow rich.

Destroyed — Or, consumed, brought to poverty, for want of discretion.

Verse 24

[24] He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Hateth his son — His fond affection, is as pernicious to him as hatred.