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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 22

 

 

Verses 1-29

Proverbs 22:1. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches. When a man lives revered for his piety, it is better than to be feared for his power.

Proverbs 22:2. The rich and the poor meet together, in the common dust: and the small and great stand at the judgment-seat of God. Therefore the rich should consider the poor as brethren, and the poor should not be insolent to their benefactors.

Proverbs 22:3. A prudent man foreseeth the evil coming, be it famine, war or winter, and provides against it. How much more then should we prepare to appear before God, who will judge the world in righteousness, and punish the foolish for their sin.

Proverbs 22:6. Train up a child in the way he should go. No man can estimate the blessings which may be comprised in the gift of a son, of joy to the family, of glory to the church, or honour to the nation. And it is generally true, that men adhere to the principles, the religion and customs of their fathers. Hence, as our children, corrupt by nature, are prone to go astray, let us train them up to a proper acquaintance with God’s word: and let us put some book into their hand which exhibits the reasonableness and evidences of christianity in one entire view. Dr. Jenkins, and Dr. George Benson, on the Reasonableness of the Christian Religion, are fine works. Addison’s Evidences, though but fragments, are very good, and have weight from his name. Lardner’s Credibility is a gigantic work. He published a volume every year. In my Introduction to Christianity, I have done my best. No young man should go out into the world unarmed with a knowledge of the evidences of his religion.—But while we endeavour to sow the seeds of truth in the mind, we must aim at the conversion of the soul by the power of divine grace. We are born proud, self-willed, vindictive, and lovers of ourselves. Therefore pride must be changed into humility, anger into meekness, and self-love into the love of God. In endeavouring to impress these truths, let us take advantage of circumstances; for when death, afflictions, and providential visitations soften the heart, it is then more open to receive instruction.

Proverbs 22:8. He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity. They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, shall reap what they sow. Job 4:8. Solomon had in his eye wicked rulers, who bore the shapat, or rod of the elders. This rod shall be turned against them, when the king hears of their crimes, for castigation, and by placing it in more worthy hands. For, on the contrary, as in Proverbs 22:11, he that loves pureness, in private and public conduct, the king shall be his friend.

Proverbs 22:13. The slothful man saith, There is a lion without. Lions, in time of drought, follow the streams; and wolves in winter, make wide ranges in quest of food. To kill a lion in single combat, which brave men sometimes did, ennobled their character. The slothful man, on the contrary, is here condemned for the sins of cowardice and fear.

Proverbs 22:20. Have not I written to thee excellent things. The Hebrew and the LXX read, “three things.” The Jews, in their schools, divided literature into three branches, physical, moral, and divine. Others turn it, “Have I not written three books.” The Proverbs, for a beginning; the Ecclesiastes, for a progress; and the Song of Songs, for perfection. Yet our version gives the spirit of the text—”excellent things.”

Proverbs 22:27. Why should he (in a case of execution) take away thy bed from under thee? Our brokers do this daily, in distraining for rent. And though it be the law of nations, it is not the law of nature.

Proverbs 22:29. Seest thou a man diligent in his business; [a man of celerity, dispatch, and expedition in his work] he shall stand before kings. He shall rise from humble life to commercial affluence, and from commercial affluence to rank and fortune, as a man of distinction and talents. But let him tremble lest he should love riches more than God: let him tremble lest he should leave vast wealth to infidel and profligate children. Let him be liberal to the poor and to the cause of religion, in proportion as God is liberal to him; for it is an awful issue to gain the world, and lose the soul. He should not forget in affluence, that the pastor who has laboured for his salvation has perhaps but a scanty income.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 22:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/proverbs-22.html. 1835.

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