Proverbs 16

1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weighs the motives.
3 Commit your deeds to the LORD, and your plans shall succeed.
4 The LORD has made everything for its own end—yes, even the wicked for the day of evil.
5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: they shall certainly not be unpunished.
6 By mercy and truth iniquity is atoned for. By the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues with injustice.
9 A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD directs his steps.
10 Inspired judgements are on the lips of the king. He shall not betray his mouth.
11 Honest balances and scales are the LORD’s; all the weights in the bag are his work.
12 It is an abomination for kings to do wrong, for the throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings. They value one who speaks the truth.
14 The king’s wrath is a messenger of death, but a wise man will pacify it.
15 In the light of the king’s face is life. His favor is like a cloud of the spring rain.
16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! Yes, to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil. He who keeps his way preserves his soul.
18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor, than to divide the plunder with the proud.
20 He who heeds the Word finds prosperity. Whoever trusts in the LORD is blessed.
21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent. Pleasantness of the lips promotes instruction.
22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, but the punishment of fools is their folly.
23 The heart of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning to his lips.
24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
25 There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
26 The appetite of the laboring man labors for him; for his mouth urges him on.
27 A worthless man devises mischief. His speech is like a scorching fire.
28 A perverse man stirs up strife. A whisperer separates close friends.
29 A man of violence entices his neighbor, and leads him in a way that is not good.
30 One who winks his eyes to plot perversities, one who compresses his lips, is bent on evil.
31 Grey hair is a crown of glory. It is attained by a life of righteousness.
32 One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; one who rules his spirit, than he who takes a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.

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

Verse 1

The renewing grace of God alone prepares the heart for every good work. This teaches us that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think or speak any thing wise and good.

Verse 2

Ignorance, pride, and self-flattery render us partial judges respecting our own conduct.

Verse 3

Roll the burden of thy care upon God, and leave it with him, by faith and dependence on him.

Verse 4

God makes use of the wicked to execute righteous vengeance on each other; and he will be glorified by their destruction at last.

Verse 5

Though sinners strengthen themselves and one another, they shall not escape God’s judgments.

Verse 6

By the mercy and truth of God in Christ Jesus, the sins of believers are taken away, and the power of sin is broken.

Verse 7

He that has all hearts in his hand, can make a man’s enemies to be at peace with him.

Verse 8

A small estate, honestly come by, will turn to better account than a great estate ill-gotten.

Verse 9

If men make God’s glory their end, and his will their rule, he will direct their steps by his Spirit and grace. 10. Let kings and judges of the earth be just, and rule in the fear of God.

Verse 11

To observe justice in dealings between man and man is God’s appointment.

Verse 12

The ruler that uses his power aright, will find that to be his best security.

Verse 13

Put those in power who know how to speak to the purpose.

Verses 14, 15

Those are fools, who, to obtain the favour of an earthly prince, throw themselves out of God’s favour.

Verse 16

There is joy and satisfaction of spirit, only in getting wisdom.

Verse 17

A sincerely religious man keeps at a distance from every appearance of evil. Happy is the man that walks in Christ, and is led by the Spirit of Christ.

Verse 18

When men defy God’s judgments, and think themselves far from them, it is a sign they are at the door. Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves.

Verse 19

Humility, though it exposes to contempt in the world, is much better than high-spiritedness, which makes God an enemy. He that understands God’s word shall find good.

Verse 21

The man whose wisdom dwells in his heart, will be found more truly prudent than many who possess shining talents.

Verse 22

As waters to a thirsty land, so is a wise man to his friends and neighbours.

Verse 23

The wise man’s self-knowledge, always suggests something proper to be spoken to others.

Verse 24

The word of God cures the diseases that weaken our souls.

Verse 25

This is caution to all, to take heed of deceiving themselves as to their souls.

Verse 26

We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish.

Verses 27, 28

Ungodly men bestow more pains to do mischief than would be needful to do good. The whisperer separates friends: what a hateful, but how common a character!

Verses 29, 30

Some do all the mischief they can by force and violence, and are blind to the result.

Verse 31

Old people especially should be found in the way of religion and godliness.

Verse 32

To overcome our own passions, requires more steady management, than obtaining victory over an enemy.

Verse 33

All the disposal of Providence concerning our affairs, we must look upon to be the determining what we referred to God; and we must be reconciled to them accordingly. Blessed are those that give themselves up to the will of God; for he knows what is good for them.

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