Proverbs 20

1 Wine is a mocker, and beer is a brawler. Whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
2 The terror of a king is like the roaring of a lion. He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.
3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife; but every fool will be quarreling.
4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the winter; therefore he shall beg in harvest, and have nothing.
5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
6 Many men claim to be men of unfailing love, but who can find a faithful man?
7 A righteous man walks in integrity. Blessed are his children after him.
8 A king who sits on the throne of judgement scatters away all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I have made my heart pure. I am clean and without sin?”
10 Differing weights and differing measures, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
11 Even a child makes himself known by his doings, whether his work is pure, and whether it is right.
12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD has made even both of them.
13 Don’t love sleep, lest you come to poverty. Open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with bread.
14 “It’s no good, it’s no good,” says the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasts.
15 There is gold and abundance of rubies; but the lips of knowledge are a rare jewel.
16 Take the garment of one who puts up collateral for a stranger; and hold him in pledge for a wayward woman.
17 Fraudulent food is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth is filled with gravel.
18 Plans are established by advice; by wise guidance you wage war!
19 He who goes about as a tale-bearer reveals secrets; therefore don’t keep company with him who opens wide his lips.
20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in blackness of darkness.
21 An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning, won’t be blessed in the end.
22 Don’t say, “I will pay back evil.” Wait for the LORD, and he will save you.
23 The LORD detests differing weights, and dishonest scales are not pleasing.
24 A man’s steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way?
25 It is a snare to a man to make a rash dedication, then later to consider his vows.
26 A wise king winnows out the wicked, and drives the threshing wheel over them.
27 The spirit of man is the LORD’s lamp, searching all his innermost parts.
28 Love and faithfulness keep the king safe. His throne is sustained by love.
29 The glory of young men is their strength. The splendor of old men is their grey hair.
30 Wounding blows cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the innermost parts.

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

Verse 1

It seems hard to believe that men of the greatest abilities, as well as the ignorant, should render themselves fools and madmen, merely for the taste or excitement produced by strong liquors.

Verse 2

How formidable kings are to those who provoke them! how much more foolish then is it to provoke the King of kings!

Verse 3

To engage in quarrels is the greatest folly that can be. Yield, and even give up just demands, for peace’ sake.

Verse 4

He who labours and endures hardship in his seed-time for eternity, will be properly diligent as to his earthly business.

Verse 5

Though many capable of giving wise counsel are silent, yet something may be drawn from them, which will reward those who obtain it.

Verse 6

It is hard to find those that have done, and will do more good than they speak, or care to hear spoken of.

Verse 7

A good man is not liable to uneasiness in contriving what he shall do, or in reflecting on what he has done, as those who walk in deceit. And his family fare better for his sake.

Verse 8

If great men are good men, they may do much good, and prevent very much evil.

Verse 9

Some can say, Through grace, we are cleaner than we have been; but it was the work of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 10

See the various deceits men use, of which the love of money is the root. The Lord will not bless what is thus gotten.

Verse 11

Parents should observe their children, that they may manage them accordingly.

Verse 12

All our powers and faculties are from God, and are to be employed for him.

Verse 13

Those that indulge themselves, may expect to want necessaries, which should have been gotten by honest labour.

Verse 14

Men use arts to get a good bargain, and to buy cheap; whereas a man ought to be ashamed of a fraud and a lie.

Verse 15

He that prefers true knowledge to riches, follows the ways of religion and happiness. If we really believed this truth, the word of God would be valued as it deserves, and the world would lose its
tempting influence.

Verse 16

Those ruin themselves who entangle themselves in rash suretiship. Also those who are in league with abandoned women. Place no confidence in either.

Verse 17

Wealth gotten by fraud may be sweet, for the carnal mind takes pleasure in the success of wicked devices; but it will be bitter in the reflection.

Verse 18

Especially we need advice in spiritual warfare. The word and Spirit of God are the best counsellors in every point.

Verse 19

Those dearly buy their own praise, who put confidence in a man because he speaks fairly.

Verse 20

An undutiful child will become very miserable. Never let him expect any peace or comfort.

Verse 21

An estate suddenly raised, is often as suddenly ruined.

Verse 22

Wait on the Lord, attend his pleasure, and he will protect thee.

Verse 23

A bargain made by fraud will prove a losing bargain in the end.

Verse 24

How can we form plans, and conduct business, independently of the Lord?

Verse 25

The evasions men often use with their own consciences show how false and deceitful man is.

Verse 26

Justice should crush the wicked, and separate them from the virtuous.

Verse 27

The rational soul and conscience are as a lamp within us, which should be used in examining our dispositions and motives with the revealed will of God.

Verse 28

Mercy and truth are the glories of God’s throne.

Verse 29

Both young and old have their advantages; and let neither despise or envy the other.

Verse 30

Severe rebukes sometimes do a great deal of good. But such is the corruption of nature, that men are loth to be rebuked for their sins. If God uses severe afflictions, to purify our hearts and fit us for his service, we have cause to be very thankful.

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