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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Proverbs 18

 

 

Verses 1-24

Proverbs 18:2 A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

Proverbs 18:2Comments- We see this person in a conversation. He wants to talk and not listen. While the other person is talking, he is thinking of what he wants to say. Note the HNV, "A fool has no delight in understanding, but only in broadcasting his own opinion."

Proverbs 18:3 When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.

Proverbs 18:3Word Study on "contempt" - Strong says the Hebrew word "contempt" ( בּוּז) (H 937) means, "disrespect." The Enhanced Strong says 11times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "contempt 7, despised 2, contemptuously 1, shamed 1."

Proverbs 18:3Word Study on "ignominy" - Webster says the word "ignominy" means, "public disgrace, shame."

Proverbs 18:9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

Proverbs 18:9Comments- Slothful people do sloppy work and waste the employer's time and money. They do not seem to care about how much they cost other people in time and labour. This type of person is wasteful in his finances and all of his life's affairs.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

Proverbs 18:11 The rich man"s wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.

Proverbs 18:12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.

Proverbs 18:12 — "Before destruction the heart of man is haughty" - Word Study on "destruction" - Strong says the Hebrew word "destruction" "sheber" ( שֶׁבֶר) (H 7667) means, "a fracture," and figuratively, "ruin," and is comes from the primitive root ( שָׁבוּר) (H 7665) meaning, "to burst." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 44times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "destruction 21, breach 7, hurt 4, breaking 3, affliction 2, bruise 2, crashing 1, interpretation 1, vexation 1, misc 2."

Word Study on "haughty" - Strong says the Hebrew word "haughty "gabahh" ( גָּבַהּ) (H 1361) is a primitive root meaning, "to be lofty," and figuratively, "to be haughty." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 34times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "exalt 9, ...up 9, haughty 5, higher 4, high 3, above 1, height 1, proud 1, upward 1."

Comments- Pride was the first sin of creation when Lucifer rose up against God ( Isaiah 14:12-14). Pride was the primary sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, which cities exemplified man's deepest depravity ( Ezekiel 16:49-50). Through pride King Nebuchadnezzar lifted himself up and was struck down by God by being turned over to a reprobate mind ( Daniel 4:28-37). In Acts 12:20-25 King Herod exalts himself as a god and is killed by the Lord. It is the sin of the "man of sin and son of destruction" ( 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). It is the sin that God hates the most ( Proverbs 6:16-19). There is no trap by which man is more easily captured than by pride. It is the sin by which we are most easily overcome. Pride makes promises that are too seductive to resist ( Proverbs 1:10-19). It allows us to be tempted into sin, even when our parents have warned us, and the preacher has begged us, and our friends have told us, and our conscience compels us; still we choose to sin because of pride.

Isaiah 14:12-14, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

Ezekiel 16:49-50, "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."

Acts 12:23, "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost."

2 Thessalonians 2:4, "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

Proverbs 6:16-19, "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."

Pride is not a condition of the mind, but a state of man's heart when it rebels against authority. Pride exalts itself, wanting its own way above God's ways. Thus, pride chooses its own destiny. It first comes when a child disobeys his parents, then when a student refuses to follow his/her instructions as school. Pride is ultimately rebellion against institutions of authority that God has placed upon earth to guide mankind to each of his divine destinies. Pride is when man rules his own life and cares not for his Creator.

Charles Spurgeon calls pride the shadow of destruction. It foreshadows its impending future. The shadow of pride can be recognized in many shapes and forms. Pride always presumes its innocence. It never says, "I'm sorry," or "I was wrong." It is a master of disguises. It harms the innocent. It is cloaked by various names: saving one's face or honor, false humility, refusing to help a brother in need, refusing help offered. He notes that every author of the Scriptures has addressed this issue in some manner. There is no trap in which man is more easily caught. 114]

114] Charles Spurgeon, "Pride and Humility," New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, 17 August 1856, in Christian Library Series, vol 6: Charles H. Spurgeon Collection, in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2006).

Illustration- In Daniel 4:28-37 we read King Nebuchadnezzar prideful words, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?" At that time, God judged him by turning him over to a reprobate mind that lacked reason; he ate grass like an ox for seven years. When he was ready to humble himself, he looked up towards heaven and his reasoning was restored to him by God Almighty. In a similar way, we read in Romans 1:16-32 how God turns men over to reprobate minds because they reject God and worship idols. Romans 1:18 begins an expanded definition of Proverbs 18:16-17 on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which exposition will last until Romans 11:32. God's wrath is revealed to mankind by the fact that He gives depraved men over to their lustful passions ( Proverbs 1:24; Proverbs 1:26; Proverbs 1:28). We get a better understanding of this even by reading Daniel 4:1-37, which gives us the story of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the cutting of the great tree and his subsequent seven years of madness for exalting himself and his eventual restoration. God turned him over to a reprobate mind, but restored him because he repented. In contrast, Romans 1:18-32 describes the progress of men abandoning God for idolatry, fornication and homosexuality as God turns them over to a reprobate mind. Since mankind refused to repent, God turns them over to deeper depravity. This human depravity becomes the testimony for other men of God's divine judgment and wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Within the context of Proverbs 18:12, the destruction that pride brings upon a man's life involves being turned over to a reprobate mind.

Illustration- In Acts 12:20-25 King Herod exalts himself as a god and is struck down by the Lord and dies.

Proverbs 18:12 — "and before honour is humility" - Word Study on "honour" - Strong says the Hebrew word "honour" "kabowd" ( כָּבֹוד) (H 3519) means, "weight, splendor, copiousness," and it comes from the primitive root "kabad" ( כָּבֵד) (3513) meaning, "to be heavy, to make weighty, numerous, rich, honorable." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 200 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "glory 156, honour 32, glorious 10, gloriously 1, honourable 1."

Word Study on "humility" - Strong says the Hebrew word "humility" "anavah" ( עֲנָוָה) (H 6038) means, "condescension, modesty," and it from the word "`anav" ( עָנָו) (6035) meaning, "depressed, gentle, needy." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 5 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "humility 3, gentleness 1, meekness 1."

Comments- In contrast to pride being the fundamental vice for man's fall and depravity, it was the virtue of humility that brought man redemption. Jesus Christ humbled Himself by His incarnation and became obedient, even unto death on the Cross ( Philippians 2:8-9).

Philippians 2:8-9, "And being found in fashion as a Prayer of Manasseh , he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:"

Humility has great rewards and promises in the Bible.

Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."

Luke 1:52, "He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree."

James 4:6, "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

1 Peter 5:5-6, "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"

God is not against man being exalted, for it is his destiny in heaven to rule and reign with Christ throughout eternity.

Proverbs 18:12Spiritual Application - Proverbs 18:12 can be applied to the Christian believer by understanding it was pride that caused Adam to fall in the Garden and bring mankind into depravity. In contrast to pride being the fundamental vice for man's fall and depravity, it was the virtue of humility that brought man redemption. Jesus Christ humbled Himself by His incarnation and became obedient, even unto death on the Cross ( Philippians 2:8-9). In order for a person to be saved, he too must humble himself before the Cross of Christ as repent of his sins, acknowledging faith in the redemptive work of Calvary.

Philippians 2:8-9, "And being found in fashion as a Prayer of Manasseh , he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:"

Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

Proverbs 18:14 "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity" - Illustration:

1. Job experienced calamities, but his spirit sustained him.

Job 1:20-22, "Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother"s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."

Job 2:9-10, "Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips."

Job was able to stand because he had hope in eternal life. He expresses this hope in Job 19:25-27 :

Job 19:25-27, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me."

2. David endured suffering because he placed his hope in God.

Psalm 42:11, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."

3. Jesus learned obedience by the things that he suffered.

Hebrews 5:8, "Though he were a Song of Solomon , yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;"

An example is found in Jesus Mark 14:33-34. Jesus prayed in troubled time!

Mark 14:33-34, "And he taketh with him Peter and James and John , and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch."

Jesus endured by looking towards the joy and hope in heaven:

Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

4. We can rejoice in tribulations because it produces patience, experience, and then hope. See Romans 5:3-5.

None of these circumstances and creatures can separate us from the love of Christ. We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. See Romans 8:35-39.

The spirit of a man is strengthened through joy:

Nehemiah 8:10, "Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

It is the times of our weakness in infirmities that the power of God comes in our lives to strengthen us.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ"s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

For the Christian, these divers temptations begin to produce in our lives a Christ-likeness.

James 1:2-4, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

We rejoice in faith that we will be in heaven one day.

1 Peter 1:6-9, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Psalm 147:3, "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds (or griefs)."

Proverbs 17:22, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

2 Corinthians 1:10, "Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;"

Proverbs 18:14 — "but a wounded spirit who can bear?" - Comments- A wounded spirit is a "crushed spirit." For example, Job"s friends falsely accused him of sin, and the result was that Job chose death rather than life ( Job 7:15).

Job 7:15, "so that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than any life".

A man can be swallowed up with over much sorrow unless he is comforted by others. This is why Paul told the Corinthians to receive the member that had been judged, lest he be overcome with sorrow ( 2 Corinthians 2:7).

2 Corinthians 2:7, "So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow."

Proverbs 18:14Comments - Note the following translations:

NASB, "The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for a broken spirit who can bear it?'

RSV, "A man's spirit will endure sickness; but a broken spirit who can bear?"

NIV - "A man"s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?"

NLT, "The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?"

Proverbs 18:16 A man"s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.

Proverbs 18:16Word Study on "maketh room" - Strong says the Hebrew word "rachab" ( רָחַב) (H 7337) is a primitive root meaning, "to broaden." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 25 times in the Old Testament. being translated in the KJV as, "enlarge 18, wide 3, large 2, make room 2."

Proverbs 18:16Comments- The Lord spoke to me during a Sunday night service at Calvary Cathedral International on January 10, 1998 and said, "If you will seek my face, your gifts will make room for you." I was told to seek the Lord and do what He tells me to do. In doing Song of Solomon , I would find myself in the places where my gifts are being used, and thus be brought into the presence of great men.

Proverbs 18:16Comments- Andrew Wommack teaches that the word "gift" in Proverbs 18:16 refers to financial gifts, rather than spiritual gifts. 115] This type of giving reveals a right use of using money. It is not a bride, but rather a way to find favor. One good example of this is the queen of Sheba, who came to visit King Solomon with a large amount of gifts in order to enquire wisdom from him. It was probably her large gift that gave this busy man immediately access. In other words, her gifts put her at the front of the line. She was also able to spend personal time with him and with his ministers. It is the concept of the early missionaries coming into Africa and giving gifts unto the local kings for permission to evangelize their kingdoms.

115] Andrew Wommack, Gospel Truth (Colorado Springs, Colorado: Andrew Wommack Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Proverbs 18:17 He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

Proverbs 18:17Comments- It is said that there are two sides to every story. The first person to come and plead his case seems right, but the one coming next brings the first person's words into question by his testimony.

Proverbs 18:18 The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.

Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

Proverbs 18:19Scripture References- Note:

Matthew 18:6, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

Proverbs 18:20 A man"s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Proverbs 18:21Comments- Creflo Dollar says, "Your mouth is the architect of your life". 116]

116] Creflo Dollar, Changing Your World (College Park, Georgia: Creflo Dollar Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Scripture References- Note similar verses on the power of the tongue:

Proverbs 12:14, "A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man"s hands shall be rendered unto him."

Proverbs 12:19, "The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment."

Matthew 12:36-37, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Romans 10:10, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

James 3:6, "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell."

Proverbs 18:22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

Proverbs 18:23 The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.

Proverbs 18:23Comments- In Proverbs 18:23, the poor man shows humility and the rich man show pride. Many times, while talking with street people, they talk with respect and gratitude when you help them, but a rich man many times speaks harsh because he is not in a desperate situation, and does not need others.

In Paul"s later years as a minister, he used entreaties when he could have spoken roughly with authority. This was because of the humility of Paul"s spirit as an elderly man. See Philemon 1:8-9.

Philemon 1:8-9, "Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, Yet for love"s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 — "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly" - Comments- Proverbs 18:24 is a good example of the principle of sowing and reaping.

Illustration- In the summer of 1981, I had served as youth minister at Hiland Park Baptist Church. During that summer, I had met a poor family of three children and had befriended them. They went to church with me during that summer. I returned to visit them a few years later. The children had grown slightly, and remembered me. However, when I invited them to church again, they seemed disinterested. I was praying to the Lord while leaving their home, asking Him why they refused my invitation, since they were so eager to come a few years earlier. The Lord answered my prayer, by quickening to me this verse. It clearly answered my question.

Proverbs 18:24 — "and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother" - Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 17:17, "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."

 


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These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 18:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/proverbs-18.html. 2013.

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