Chapter 20

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1 Wine is a mocker, strong drinke is raging: and whosoeuer is deceiued thereby, is not wise.

2 The feare of a king, is as the roaring of a Lion: who so prouoketh him to anger, sinneth against his owne soule.

3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but euery foole will be medling.

4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he begge in haruest, and haue nothing.

5 Counsell in the heart of man is like deepe water: but a man of vnderstanding will draw it out.

6 Most men will proclaime euery one his owne goodnes: but a faithfull man who can finde?

7 The iust man walketh in his integritie: his children are blessed after him.

8 A king that sitteth in the throne of iudgement, scattereth away all euill with his eyes.

9 Who can say, I haue made my heart cleane, I am pure from my sinne?

10 Diuers weights, and diuers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord.

11 Euen a childe is knowen by his doings, whether his worke be pure, and whether it be right.

12 The hearing eare, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made euen both of them.

13 Loue not sleepe, lest thou come to pouertie: open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

14 It is nought, it is nought (saith the buyer:) but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

15 There is gold, and a multitude of Rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious iewell.

16 Take his garment that is suerty for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man: but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with grauell.

18 Euery purpose is established by counsell: and with good aduice make warre.

19 He that goeth about as a tale-bearer, reueileth secrets; therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lippes.

20 Who so curseth his father or his mother, his lampe shall be put out in obscure darkenesse.

21 An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning: but the ende thereof shall not be blessed.

22 Say not thou, I will recompence euil: but wait on the Lord, and he shall saue thee.

23 Diuers waights are an abomination vnto the Lord: and a false ballance is not good.

24 Mans goings are of the Lord; how can a man then vnderstand his owne way?

25 It is a snare to the man who deuoureth that which is holy: and after vowes, to make inquirie.

26 A wise king scattereth the wicked, & bringeth the wheele ouer them.

27 The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

28 Mercy and trueth preserue the king: and his throne is vpholden by mercy.

29 The glory of yong men is their strength: and the beautie of old men is the gray head.

30 The blewnes of a wound cleanseth away euill: so doe stripes the inward parts of the belly.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Proverbs 20

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. #2|. How formidable kings are to those who provoke them! how much more foolish then is it to provoke the King of kings! #3|. To engage in quarrels is the greatest folly that can be. Yield, and even give up just demands, for peace' sake. #4|. He who labours and endures hardship in his seed-time for eternity, will be properly diligent as to his earthly business. 5|. Though many capable of giving wise counsel are silent, yet something may be drawn from them, which will reward those who obtain it. #6|. It is hard to find those that have done, and will do more good than they speak, or care to hear spoken of. 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. #8|. If great men are good men, they may do much good, and prevent very much evil. #9|. Some can say, Through grace, we are cleaner than we have been; but it was the work of the Holy Spirit. #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. #11|. Parents should observe their children, that they may manage them accordingly. #12|. All our powers and faculties are from God, and are to be employed for him. #13|. Those that indulge themselves, may expect to want necessaries, which should have been gotten by honest labour. #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. #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. #16|. Those ruin themselves who entangle themselves in rash suretiship. Also those who are in league with abandoned women. Place no confidence in either. #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. #18|. Especially we need advice in spiritual warfare. The word and Spirit of God are the best counsellors in every point. #19|. Those dearly buy their own praise, who put confidence in a man because he speaks fairly. #20|. An undutiful child will become very miserable. Never let him expect any peace or comfort. #21|. An estate suddenly raised, is often as suddenly ruined. #22|. Wait on the Lord, attend his pleasure, and he will protect thee. 23|. A bargain made by fraud will prove a losing bargain in the end. #24|. How can we form plans, and conduct business, independently of the Lord? #25|. The evasions men often use with their own consciences show how false and deceitful man is. #26|. Justice should crush the wicked, and separate them from the virtuous. #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. #28|. Mercy and truth are the glories of God's throne. #29|. Both young and old have their advantages; and let neither despise or envy the other. 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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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