Proverbs 24 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Proverbs 24)

Verse 2

[2] For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

Destruction — How they may oppress and destroy others.

Verse 3

[3] Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:

Through wisdom — There is no need that thou shouldest raise thy family by ruining others, which thou mayest more effectually do by wisdom.

Verse 4

[4] And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

By knowledge — Which in scripture phrase includes the love and practice of what we know.

Verse 5

[5] A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Is strong — Is courageous and resolute, and able by wisdom to do greater things than others can accomplish by strength.

Verse 6

[6] For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Thy war — War is better managed by wisdom than by strength.

Verse 7

[7] Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.

A fool — For a wicked man, whose sins enfeeble his mind, and make it incapable of wisdom.

Openeth not — He knows not how to speak acceptably, and profitably in the publick assembly.

Verse 8

[8] He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.

Shall be called — Though he cover his wicked devices with fair pretences, he shall be branded with that infamy which is due to him.

Verse 9

[9] The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.

The thought — The very inward thought or contrivance of evil, is a sin in God's sight.

Verse 11

[11] If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;

Deliver — When it is in thy power.

Drawn — By the violence of lawless men.

Verse 12

[12] If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

Consider — That this is only a frivolous excuse.

Verse 13

[13] My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:

Eat — This is not a command, but a concession, and is only here expressed to illustrate the following verse. Honey in those parts was an usual food.

Verse 14

[14] So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

A reward — It is not only sweet for the present, but brings a sure and everlasting reward.

Verse 16

[16] For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Falleth — Into calamities, of which he evidently speaks both in the foregoing verse, and in the following branch of this verse.

Fall — Frequently into irrecoverable destruction.

Verse 17

[17] Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:

Falleth — Into mischief.

Verse 18

[18] Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

From him — Understand, upon thee, which is implied in the Hebrew phrase.

Verse 20

[20] For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.

No reward — All his happiness shall quickly and eternally perish.

The candle — All their comfort and glory shall cease.

Verse 21

[21] My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:

To change — That are unstable in their obedience to God or to the king.

Verse 22

[22] For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

Who knoweth — Who can conceive how sore and sudden will be the ruin of them that fear not God, and the king.

Verse 23

[23] These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

These — The counsels following, to the end of the chapter, no less than those hitherto mentioned, are worthy of their consideration.

Verse 25

[25] But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.

Rebuke — That publickly and judicially rebuke and condemn the wicked.

Delight — The peace of a good conscience.

Verse 26

[26] Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.

Shall kiss — Shall respect him.

A right answer — That speaks pertinently and plainly, and truly.

Verse 32

[32] Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.

Received — I learned wisdom by his folly.