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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Proverbs 16

 

 

Verse 1

The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

From the Lord — Men can neither think nor speak wisely and well without Divine assistance.


Verse 2

All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

Weigheth — Exactly knows as men do the things which they weigh.

Spirits — The hearts of men.


Verse 3

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

Commit — Refer all thy actions and concerns to God, as the end of them, and depend upon God's providence for success.

Established — Thy designs shall be brought to an happy issue.


Verse 4

The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Doth work — He orders or disposes.

For — For his own glory; for the discovery of his wisdom, power, goodness, truth, justice.

The wicked — Wilful and impenitent sinners. Men make themselves wicked, and God therefore makes them miserable.


Verse 6

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

By mercy — By a merciful and just and faithful frame of heart and course of life.

Is purged — As they qualify a man to offer up acceptable prayers to God for the pardon of his sins.

By fear — By a filial reverence unto God.

Depart — They are kept from abusing pardoning mercy, and from returning to folly or wickedness.


Verse 9

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Deviseth — Proposes what he will do.

Directeth — Over-rules and disposes all his designs and actions.


Verse 10

A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

A divine sentence — Great sagacity and piercing judgment.

Of the king — Of wise kings; who only are worthy of that name and office.


Verse 11

A just weight and balance are the LORD's: all the weights of the bag are his work.

The Lord's — Are made by his direction and appointment, so that no man can alter them without violating God's rights and authority.


Verse 15

In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.

A cloud — As acceptable as those clouds which bring the latter rain, whereby the fruits are filled and ripened a little before the harvest.


Verse 17

The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

The high-way — Their common road, in which they walk, tho' through frailty or temptation they slip into the bypath of sin.

From evil — From the evil of sin, and consequently from the evil of punishment.

Keepeth — That takes heed to walk in that high-way.


Verse 20

He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

Good — He who orders his affairs with discretion.


Verse 21

The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.

The wise — He who is truly wise, shall be so accounted by others.

Sweetness — Eloquence added to wisdom.

Increaseth — Both in himself, for while a man teaches others, he improves himself; and others, who by this means are induced to hear and receive his instructions.


Verse 22

Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.

The instruction — Their most grave and serious counsels are foolish.


Verse 23

The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.

Teacheth — Directs him what to speak, and keeps him from speaking foolishly.

Addeth — Enables him to speak learnedly and wisely.


Verse 27

An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.

Diggeth up — Prosecutes his evil designs with great industry.

His lips — His tongue is set on fire of hell.


Verse 30

He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.

Shutteth — That his thoughts may be more intent.

Moving — Which is the gesture of one whose thoughts are deeply engaged.


Verse 32

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Is better — Of a more gallant and generous spirit, and more valiant and victorious.


Verse 33

The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

The lot — As the ancient practice was in deciding doubtful things. The event of which though casual to men, is directed by God's providence.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 16:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-16.html. 1765.

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