Verses 1, 2
Envy not sinners. And let not a desire ever come into thy mind, Oh that I could shake off restraints!
Piety and prudence in outward affairs, both go together to complete a wise man. By knowledge the soul is filled with the graces and comforts of the spirit, those precious and pleasant riches. The spirit is strengthened for the spiritual work and the spiritual warfare, by true wisdom.
A weak man thinks wisdom is too high for him, therefore he will take no pains for it. It is bad to do evil, but worse to devise it. Even the first risings of sin in the heart are sin, and must be repented of. Those that strive to make others hateful, make themselves so.
Under troubles we are apt to despair of relief. But be of good courage, and God shall strengthen thy heart.
Verses 11, 12
If a man know that his neighbour is in danger by any unjust proceeding, he is bound to do all in his power to deliver him. And what is it to suffer immortal souls to perish, when our persuasions and example may be the means of preventing it?
Verses 13, 14
We are quickened to the study of wisdom by considering both the pleasure and the profit of it. All men relish things that are sweet to the palate; but many have no relish for the things that are sweet to the purified soul, and that make us wise unto salvation.
Verses 15, 16
The sincere soul falls as a traveller may do, by stumbling at some stone in his path; but gets up, and goes on his way with more care and speed. This is rather to be understood of falls into affliction, than falls into actual sin.
Verses 17, 18
The pleasure we are apt to take in the troubles of an enemy is forbidden.
Verses 19, 20
Envy not the wicked their prosperity; be sure there is no true happiness in it.
Verses 21, 22
The godly in the land, will be quiet in the land. There may be cause to change for the better, but have nothing to do with them that are given change.
The wisdom God giveth, renders a man fit for his station. Every one who finds the benefit of the right answer, will be attached to him that gave it.
We must prefer necessaries before conveniences, and not go in debt.
Verses 28, 29
There are three defaults in a witness pointed out.
See what a blessing the husbandman's calling is, and what a wilderness this earth would be without it. See what great difference there is in the management even of worldly affairs. Sloth and self-indulgence are the bane of all good. When we see fields overgrown with thorns and thistles, and the fences broken down, we see an emblem of the far more deplorable state of many souls. Every vile affection grows in men's hearts; yet they compose themselves to sleep. Let us show wisdom by doubling our diligence in every good thing.