Proverbs 22 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Proverbs 22)

Verse 1

[1] A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Favour — A good report among men, especially good men, and that hearty kindness which attends it.

Verse 2

[2] The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.

Meet — They live together, and need one another.

The maker — Not only as they are men, but as they are poor or rich, which difference comes from God's providence. They have one common creator, and Lord, and judge, and the one cannot despise nor grudge at the other without reflecting upon God.

Verse 3

[3] A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

The evil — The judgment of God threatened, and approaching.

Hideth — Retires to his strong tower, by prayer and repentance, puts himself under the protection of the almighty.

Pass on — Carefully and securely.

Verse 6

[6] Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Depart — Not easily and ordinarily.

Verse 7

[7] The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

Is servant — Is at his mercy, and forced to comply with his pleasure.

Verse 8

[8] He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

The rod — That power which he used with fury shall be taken from him.

Verse 9

[9] He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

He — Who looks upon the wants and miseries of others with compassion.

Verse 12

[12] The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.

Preserve — God by the watchful eye of his providence maintains and defends.

Knowledge — Men of knowledge, knowing and good men.

The matters — All his hopes, enterprizes, and concerns.

Verse 14

[14] The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.

The mouth — Her fair and flattering speeches.

Verse 15

[15] Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Bound — Is fixed and settled there, as being born with him, and rooted in his very nature.

Verse 16

[16] He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.

That giveth — That prodigally casts away his estate upon those who do not need it.

Verse 17

[17] Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

My knowledge — The knowledge of God, which I am here delivering.

Verse 18

[18] For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.

Fitted — Fitly expressed: thou wilt be able to discourse profitably of them.

Verse 20

[20] Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

In counsels and knowledge — In counsels which proceed from found knowledge.

Verse 21

[21] That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

Answer — That thou mayst be able to give solid, and satisfactory answers.

Verse 22

[22] Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

In the gate — Under pretence of justice.

Verse 23

[23] For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

Spoil the soul — Take away not only their goods but their lives too.

Verse 29

[29] Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

Before kings — He is fit to be employed in the affairs of princes.