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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Proverbs 26



Verse 1

The incongruities of nature illustrate also those of the moral world. The fool‘s unworthiness is also implied (Proverbs 17:7; Proverbs 19:10).

Verse 2

Though not obvious to us,

the bird — literally, “sparrow” - and

swallow — have an object in their motions, so penal evil falls on none without a reason.

Verse 3

The rod is as much needed by fools and as well suited to them, as whips and bridles are for beasts.

Verse 4-5

Answer not — that is, approvingly by like folly.

Verse 5

Answer — by reproof.

Verse 6

A fool fails by folly as surely as if he were maimed.

drinketh damage — that is, gets it abundantly (Job 15:16; Job 34:7).

Verse 7
equal — or, “take away the legs,” or “the legs … are weak.” In any case the idea is that they are the occasion of an awkwardness, such as the fool shows in using a parable or proverb (see on Introduction; Proverbs 17:7).

Verse 8

A stone, bound in a sling, is useless; so honor, conferred on a fool, is thrown away.

Verse 9

As vexatious and unmanageable as a thorn in a drunkard‘s hand is a parable to a fool. He will be as apt to misuse is as to use it rightly.

Verse 10

Various versions of this are proposed (compare Margin). Better perhaps - “Much He injures (or literally, “wounds”) all who reward,” etc., that is, society is injured by encouraging evil men.

transgressors — may be rendered “vagrants.” The word “God” is improperly supplied.

Verse 11

returneth … folly — Though disgusting to others, the fool delights in his folly.

Verse 12

The self-conceited are taught with more difficulty than the stupid.

Verse 13

(Compare Proverbs 22:13).

Verse 14

(Compare Proverbs 6:10; Proverbs 24:33).

Verse 15

(Compare Proverbs 19:24).

Verse 16

The thoughtless being ignorant of their ignorance are conceited.

Verse 17

meddleth — as in Proverbs 20:19; Proverbs 24:21; as either holding a dog by the ears or letting him go involves danger, so success in another man‘s strife or failure involves a useless risk of reputation, does no good, and may do us harm.

Verse 18-19

Such are reckless of results.

Verse 20-21

The talebearers foster (Proverbs 16:28), and the contentious excite, strife.

Verse 22

(Compare Proverbs 18:8).

Verse 23

Warm professions can no more give value to insincerity than silver coating to rude earthenware.

Verse 24

dissembleth — though an unusual sense of the word (compare Margin), is allowable, and better suits the context, which sets forth hypocrisy.

Verse 25

Sentiment of Proverbs 26:24 carried out.

seven abominations in his heart — that is, very many (compare Proverbs 24:16).

Verse 26-27

Deceit will at last be exposed, and the wicked by their own arts often bring on retribution (compare Proverbs 12:13; Psalm 7:16; Psalm 9:17, etc.).

Verse 28

Men hate those they injure.

A lying tongue — “lips” for the persons (compare Proverbs 4:24; Psalm 12:3).


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 26:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

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