Proverbs 14

1 Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
2 He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is perverse in his ways despises him.
3 The fool’s talk brings a rod to his back, but the lips of the wise protect them.
4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
5 A truthful witness will not lie, but a false witness pours out lies.
6 A scoffer seeks wisdom, and doesn’t find it, but knowledge comes easily to a discerning person.
7 Stay away from a foolish man, for you won’t find knowledge on his lips.
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to think about his way, but the folly of fools is deceit.
9 Fools mock at making atonement for sins, but amongst the upright there is good will.
10 The heart knows its own bitterness and joy; he will not share these with a stranger.
11 The house of the wicked will be overthrown, but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
13 Even in laughter the heart may be sorrowful, and mirth may end in heaviness.
14 The unfaithful will be repaid for his own ways; likewise a good man will be rewarded for his ways.
15 A simple man believes everything, but the prudent man carefully considers his ways.
16 A wise man fears, and shuns evil, but the fool is hot headed and reckless.
17 He who is quick to become angry will commit folly, and a crafty man is hated.
18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19 The evil bow down before the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 The poor person is shunned even by his own neighbor, but the rich person has many friends.
21 He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who has pity on the poor.
22 Don’t they go astray who plot evil? But love and faithfulness belong to those who plan good.
23 In all hard work there is profit, but the talk of the lips leads only to poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their riches, but the folly of fools crowns them with folly.
25 A truthful witness saves souls, but a false witness is deceitful.
26 In the fear of the LORD is a secure fortress, and he will be a refuge for his children.
27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning people from the snares of death.
28 In the multitude of people is the king’s glory, but in the lack of people is the destruction of the prince.
29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a quick temper displays folly.
30 The life of the body is a heart at peace, but envy rots the bones.
31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for his Maker, but he who is kind to the needy honors him.
32 The wicked is brought down in his calamity, but in death, the righteous has a refuge.
33 Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, and is even made known in the inward part of fools.
34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
35 The king’s favor is towards a servant who deals wisely, but his wrath is towards one who causes shame.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verse 1

A woman who has no fear of God, who is wilful and wasteful, and indulges her ease, will as certainly ruin her family, as if she plucked her house down.

Verse 2

Here are grace and sin in their true colours. Those that despise God’s precepts and promises, despise God and all his power and mercy.

Verse 3

Pride grows from that root of bitterness which is in the heart. The root must be plucked up, or we cannot conquer this branch. The prudent words of wise men get them out of difficulties.

Verse 4

There can be no advantage without something which, though of little moment, will affright the indolent.

Verse 5

A conscientious witness will not dare to represent anything otherwise than according to his knowledge.

Verse 6

A scorner treats Divine things with contempt. He that feels his ignorance and unworthiness will search the Scriptures in a humble spirit.

Verse 7

We discover a wicked man if there is no savour of piety in his discourse.

Verse 8

We are travellers, whose concern is, not to spy out wonders, but to get to their journey’s end; to understand the rules we are to walk by, also the ends we are to walk toward. The bad man cheats himself, and goes on in his mistake.

Verse 9

Foolish and profane men consider sin a mere trifle, to be made light of rather than mourned over. Fools mock at the sin-offering; but those that make light of sin, make light of Christ.

Verse 10

We do not know what stings of conscience, or consuming passions, torment the prosperous sinner. Nor does the world know the peace of mind a serious Christian enjoys, even in poverty and sickness.

Verse 11

Sin ruins many great families; whilst righteousness often raises and strengthens even mean families.

Verse 12

The ways of carelessness, of worldliness, and of sensuality, seem right to those that walk in them; but self-deceivers prove self-destroyers. See the vanity of carnal mirth.

Verse 14

Of all sinners backsliders will have the most terror when they reflect on their own ways.

Verse 15

Eager readiness to believe what others say, has ever proved mischievous. The whole world was thus ruined at first. The man who is spiritually wise, depends on the Saviour alone for acceptance. He is watchful against the enemies of his salvation, by taking heed to God’s word.

Verse 16

Holy fear guards against every thing unholy.

Verse 17

An angry man is to be pitied as well as blamed; but the revengeful is more hateful.

Verse 18

Sin is the shame of sinners; but wisdom is the honour of the wise.

Verse 19

Even bad men acknowledge the excellency of God’s people.

Verse 20

Friendship in the world is governed by self-interest. It is good to have God our Friend; he will not desert us.

Verse 21

To despise a man for his employment or appearance is a sin.

Verse 22

How wisely those consult their own interest, who not only do good, but devise it!

Verse 23

Labour of the head, or of the hand, will turn to some good account. But if men’s religion runs all out in talk and noise, they will come to nothing.

Verse 24

The riches of men of wisdom and piety enlarge their usefulness.

Verse 25

An upright man will venture the displeasure of the greatest, to bring truth to light.

Verses 26, 27

Those who fear the Lord so as to obey and serve him, have a strong ground of confidence, and will be preserved. Let us seek to this Fountain of life, that we may escape the snares of death.

Verse 28

Let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, do what they can, that many may be added to his church.

Verse 29

A mild, patient man is one that learns of Christ, who is Wisdom itself. Unbridled passion is folly made known.

Verse 30

An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health.

Verse 31

To oppress the poor is to reproach our Creator.

Verse 32

The wicked man has his soul forced from him; he dies in his sins, under the guilt and power of them. But godly men, though they have pain and some dread of death, have the blessed hope, which God, who cannot lie, has given them.

Verse 33

Wisdom possesses the heart, and thus regulates the affections and tempers.

Verse 34

Piety and holiness always promote industry, sobriety, and honesty.

Verse 35

The great King who reigns over heaven and earth, will reward faithful servants who honour his gospel by the proper discharge of the duties of their stations: he despises not the services of the lowest.

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