Proverbs 18

1 An unfriendly man pursues selfishness, and defies all sound judgement.
2 A fool has no delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own opinion.
3 When wickedness comes, contempt also comes, and with shame comes disgrace.
4 The words of a man’s mouth are like deep waters. The fountain of wisdom is like a flowing brook.
5 To be partial to the faces of the wicked is not good, nor to deprive the innocent of justice.
6 A fool’s lips come into strife, and his mouth invites beatings.
7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
8 The words of a gossip are like dainty morsels: they go down into a person’s innermost parts.
9 One who is slack in his work is brother to him who is a master of destruction.
10 The LORD’s name is a strong tower: the righteous run to him, and are safe.
11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, like an unscalable wall in his own imagination.
12 Before destruction the heart of man is proud, but before honor is humility.
13 He who gives answer before he hears, that is folly and shame to him.
14 A man’s spirit will sustain him in sickness, but a crushed spirit, who can bear?
15 The heart of the discerning gets knowledge. The ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16 A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.
17 He who pleads his cause first seems right; until another comes and questions him.
18 The lot settles disputes, and keeps strong ones apart.
19 A brother offended is more difficult than a fortified city; and disputes are like the bars of a fortress.
20 A man’s stomach is filled with the fruit of his mouth. With the harvest of his lips he is satisfied.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the LORD.
23 The poor plead for mercy, but the rich answer harshly.
24 A man of many companions may be ruined, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

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

Verse 1

If we would get knowledge and grace, we must try all methods of improving ourselves.

Verse 2

Those make nothing to purpose, of learning or religion, whose only design is to have something to make a show with.

Verse 3

As soon as sin entered, shame followed.

Verse 4

The well-spring of wisdom in the heart of a believer, continually supplies words of wisdom.

Verse 5

The merits of a cause must be looked to, not the person.

Verses 6, 7

What mischief bad men do to themselves by their ungoverned tongues!

Verse 8

How base are those that sow contention! and what fatal effects may be expected from small beginnings of jealousy!

Verse 9

Omissions of duty, and in duty, are fatal to the soul, as well as commissions of sin.

Verses 10, 11

The Divine power, made known in and through our Lord Jesus Christ, forms a strong tower for the believer, who relies on the Lord. How deceitful the defence of the rich man, who has his portion and treasure in this world! It is a strong city and a high wall only in his own conceit; for it will fail when most in need. They will be exposed to the just wrath of that Judge whom they despised as a Saviour.

Verse 12

After the heart has been lifted up with pride, a fall comes. But honour shall be the reward of humility.

Verse 13

Eagerness, with self-conceit, will expose to shame.

Verse 14

Firmness of mind supports under many pains and trials. But when the conscience is tortured with remorse, no human fortitude can bear the misery; what then will hell be?

Verse 15

We must get knowledge, not only into our heads, but into our hearts.

Verse 16

Blessed be the Lord, who makes us welcome to come to his throne, without money and without price. May his gifts make room for him in our souls.

Verse 17

It is well to listen to our enemies, that we may form a better judgment of ourselves.

Verse 18

It was customary sometimes to refer matters to God, by casting lots, with solemn prayer. The profaning the lot, by using it in matters of diversion, or coveting what belongs to others, forms an objection to this now.

Verse 19

Great care must be taken to prevent quarrels among relations and those under obligations to each other. Wisdom and grace make it easy to forgive; but corruption makes it difficult.

Verse 20

The belly is here put for the heart, as elsewhere; and what that is filled with, our satisfaction will be accordingly, and our inward peace.

Verse 21

Many a one has caused his own death, or the death of others, by a false or injurious tongue.

Verse 22

A good wife is a great blessing to a man, and it is a token of Divine favour.

Verse 23

Poverty tells men they must not order or demand. And at the throne of God’s grace we are all poor, and must use entreaties.

Verse 24

Christ Jesus never will forsake those who trust in and love him. May we be such friends to others, for our Master’s sake. Having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end; and we are his friends if we do whatever he commands us, Joh 15:14.

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