1. A bad conscience makes men timid; the righteous are alone truly bold (Pr 14:26; Ps 27:1).
2. Anarchy producing contending rulers shortens the reign of each.
but by a man ... prolonged -- or, |by a man of understanding -- that is, a good ruler -- he who knows or regards the right, that is, a good citizen, shall prolong (his days).| Good rulers are a blessing to the people. Bad government as a punishment for evil is contrasted with good as blessing to the good.
3. A poor man, &c. -- Such, in power, exact more severely, and so leave subjects bare.
4. They that forsake ... wicked -- Wrongdoers encourage one another.
5. (Compare Joh 7:17). Ignorance of moral truth is due to unwillingness to know it.
6. (Compare Pr 10:6). Riches cannot compensate for sin, nor the want of them affect integrity.
7. (Compare Pr 17:25).
riotous men -- or, |gluttons| (Pr 23:20, 21).
8. usury ... unjust gain -- (Compare Margin). The two terms, meaning nearly the same, may denote excessive interest. God's providence directs the proper use of wealth.
9. (Compare Pr 15:8; 21:27).
hearing -- that is, obeying. God requires sincere worshippers (Ps 66:18; Joh 4:24).
10. (Compare Pr 26:27).
11. A poor but wise man can discover (and expose) the rich and self-conceited.
12. great glory -- or, cause for it to a people, for the righteous rejoice in good, and righteousness exalts a nation (Pr 14:34).
a man ... hidden -- that is, the good retire, or all kinds try to escape a wicked rule.
13. (Compare Ps 32:3-5). Concealment of sin delivers none from God's wrath, but He shows mercy to the humble penitent (Ps 51:4).
14. feareth -- that is, God, and so repents.
hardeneth his heart -- makes himself insensible to sin, and so will not repent (Pr 14:16; 29:1).
15. The rapacity and cruelty of such beasts well represent some wicked men (compare Ps 7:2; 17:12).
16. The prince ... understanding -- that is, He does not perceive that oppression jeopards his success. Covetousness often produces oppression, hence the contrast.
17. doeth violence ... blood, &c. -- or, that is oppressed by the blood of life (Ge 9:6), which he has taken.
to the pit -- the grave or destruction (Pr 1:12; Job 33:18-24; Ps 143:7).
stay him -- sustain or deliver him.
18. (Compare Pr 10:9; 17:20). Double dealing is eventually fatal.
19. (Compare Pr 10:4; 20:4).
vain persons -- idle, useless drones, implying that they are also wicked (Pr 12:11; Ps 26:4).
20. maketh haste ... rich -- implying deceit or fraud (Pr 20:21), and so opposed to |faithful| or reliable.
21. respect of persons -- (Pr 24:23). Such are led to evil by the slightest motive.
22. (Compare Pr 28:20).
evil eye -- in the general sense of Pr 23:6, here more specific for covetousness (compare Pr 22:9; Mt 20:15).
poverty ... him -- by God's providence.
23. (Compare Pr 9:8, 9; 27:5). Those benefited by reproof will love their monitors.
24. (Compare Mt 15:4-6). Such, though heirs, are virtually thieves, to be ranked with highwaymen.
25. of a proud heart -- literally, |puffed up of soul| -- that is, self-confident, and hence overbearing and litigious.
made fat -- or, |prosperous| (Pr 11:25; 16:20).
26. (Compare Pr 3:6-8).
walketh wisely -- that is, trusting in God (Pr 22:17-19).
27. (Compare Pr 11:24-26).
hideth his eyes -- as the face (Ps 27:9; 69:17), denotes inattention.
28. The elevation of the wicked to power drives men to seek refuge from tyranny (compare Pr 28:12; 11:10; Ps 12:8).