1. loveth knowledge -- as the fruit of instruction or training (Pr 1:2).
hateth reproof -- (Pr 10:17).
brutish -- stupid, regardless of his own welfare (Ps 49:10; 73:22).
3. Wickedness cannot give permanent prosperity.
root ... not be moved -- firm as a flourishing tree -- (Ps 1:3; 15:5; Jer 17:8).
4. A virtuous woman -- in the wide sense of well-disposed to all moral duties (Pr 31:10).
maketh ashamed -- that is, by misconduct.
rottenness -- an incurable evil.
5. thoughts -- or, |purposes.|
are right -- literally, |are judgment,| that is, true decisions.
counsels -- (Compare Pr 11:14).
deceit -- contrary to truth and honesty.
6. The words -- or, |expressed designs| of the wicked are for evil purposes.
the mouth -- or, |words| of the righteous delivering instead of ensnaring men.
7. Such conduct brings a proper return, by the destruction of the wicked and well-being of the righteous and his family.
8. despised -- as opposed to commended (Pr 11:12).
perverse heart -- or, |wicked principles,| as opposed to one of wisdom.
9. despised -- held in little repute, obscure (1Sa 18:23; Isa 3:5).
hath a servant -- implying some means of honest living.
honoureth himself -- is self-conceited.
10. regardeth -- literally, |knoweth| (Ps 1:6).
mercies ... cruel -- as acts of compassion ungraciously rendered to the needy. The righteous more regards a beast than the wicked a man.
11. The idler's fate is the result of indolence and want of principle (Pr 6:32; 7:7).
12. the wicked ... evil -- They love the crafty arts of deception.
the root ... fruit -- their own resources supply them; or, it may be rendered: |He (God) giveth, or, sets (Eze 17:22) the root of the righteous,| and hence it is firm: or, the verb is impersonal; |As to the root ... it is firm| (Pr 17:19).
13, 14. The wicked is snared, &c. -- The sentiment expanded. While the wicked, such as liars, flatterers, &c., fall by their own words, the righteous are unhurt. Their good conduct makes friends, and God rewards them.
15. The way ... eyes -- The fool is self-conceited (compare Pr 12:1; 1:32; 10:17; Jas 3:17).
16. prudent ... shame -- He is slow to denounce his insulters (Jas 1:19).
18. speaketh -- literally, |speaketh hastily,| or indiscreetly (Ps 106:33), as an angry man retorts harsh and provoking invectives.
tongue ... health -- by soothing and gentle language.
19. Words of truth are consistent, and stand all tests, while lies are soon discovered and exposed.
20. that imagine -- or, |plan| (Pr 3:29). They design a deceitful course, to which, with all its evils and dangers to others and themselves, the happiness of peace-makers is opposed (compare Mt 5:9; Ro 12:18).
21. no evil -- (as in Ps 91:10), under God's wise limitations (Ro 8:28).
mischief -- as penal evil.
22. deal truly -- or, |faithfully,| that is, according to promises (compare Joh 3:21).
23. concealeth -- by his modesty (Pr 10:14; 11:13).
heart ... proclaimeth -- as his lips speak his thoughts (compare Ec 10:3).
24. slothful -- (Compare Margin), so called because he fails to meet his promises.
under tribute -- not denoting legal taxes, but the obligation of dependence.
25. a good word -- one of comfort.
26. more excellent -- (Compare Margin); or, |more successful,| while the wicked fail; or, we may read it: |The righteous guides his friend, but,| &c., that is, The ability of the righteous to aid others is contrasted with the ruin to which the way of the wicked leads themselves.
27. (Compare Pr 12:24).
took in hunting -- or, |his venison.| He does not improve his advantages.
the substance ... precious -- or, |the wealth of a man of honor is being diligent,| or |diligence.|
precious -- literally, |honor| (Ec 10:1).
28. (Compare Pr 8:8, 20, &c.). A sentiment often stated; here first affirmatively, then negatively.