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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 14:2

 

 

He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, But he who is devious in his ways despises Him.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 14:2

He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord.

Human conduct

I. Men differ widely in their daily conduct.

1. Some men walk uprightly. Walking uprightly implies--

2. Some walk perversely. “They are perverse in their ways.” They are crooked in their purposes, policies, and performances.

II. Men reveal their heart towards God in their daily walk.

1. Right conduct springs from a right feeling towards God. The man that walketh uprightly feareth the Lord. There is no true morality without religion. Piety is the first principle of all rectitude. All good living must have respect to God.

2. Wrong conduct springs from wrong feeling towards God. “He that is perverse in his ways, despiseth Him.” The wrong doer has no feeling of respect for God. He ignores Him as much as he can. You may know how men feel inwardly toward their Maker by observing how they deal outwardly with each other. (D. Thomas, D.D.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 14:2". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-14.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"He that walketh in his uprightness feareth Jehovah; But he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him."

This reveals the true reason for all unbelief and anti-religious activity in the whole world. And why is this? "Men have loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil!" (John 3:19). "Those who walk uprightly fear the Lord; but, one who is devious in conduct despises him."[2] This explodes the satanic lie that `intellectual ability,' or `higher education,' or any other desirable thing, causes infidelity. It is now and has never been anything else except corrupt and reprobate conduct.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord,.... It is plain that the fear of the Lord is upon the heart and before the eyes of such that walk according to the word of God, with a sincere desire to glorify him; for it is by the fear of the Lord that men depart from evil, and because of that they cannot do what others do; and therefore when a man walks uprightly, and his conversation is in all holiness and godliness, it shows that the fear of God has a place in his heart, which influences his outward behaviour;

but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him; either God himself, whom the upright walker fears; for he that acts perversely, contrary to the law of God, or transgresses that, and goes out of the way, despises God the lawgiver, tramples upon his authority, stretches out his hand, and commits acts of hostility against him; and he that perverts the Gospel of Christ despises his ministers, and despises Christ himself, and him that sent him. Or else the meaning is, that such a perverse walker despises him that fears the Lord; so Aben Ezra interprets it; and such are generally the contempt of wicked men: to this sense is the Vulgate Latin version,

"he that walks in a right way, and fears God, is despised by him that walks in an infamous way;'

but the Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "is despised": meaning the perverse man.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

He that walketh in his b uprightness feareth the LORD: but [he that is] perverse in his ways despiseth him.

(b) That is, in uprightness of heart, and without hypocrisy.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-14.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

uprightness — is the fruit of fearing God, as falsehood and ill-nature (Proverbs 2:15; Proverbs 3:32) of despising Him and His law.


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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
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

2 He walketh in his uprightness who feareth Jahve,

And perverse in his ways is he that despiseth Him.

That which syntactically lies nearest is also that which is intended; the ideas standing in the first place are the predicates. Wherein it shows itself, and whereby it is recognised, that a man fears God, or stands in a relation to Him of indifference instead of one of fear and reverence, shall be declared: the former walketh in his uprightness, i.e. , so far as the consciousness of duty which animates him prescribes; the latter in his conduct follows no higher rule than his own lust, which drives him sometimes hither and sometimes thither. הולך בּישׁרו .rehtih (cf. ישׁר הולך , Micah 2:7) is of kindred meaning with הולך בּתמּו , Proverbs 28:6 ( הולך בּתּום , Proverbs 10:9), and הולך נכחו , Isaiah 57:2. The connection of נלוז דּרכיו follows the scheme of 2 Kings 18:37, and not 2 Samuel 15:32, Ewald, §288c. If the second word, which particularizes the idea of the first, has the reflexive suff. as here, then the accusative connection, or, as Proverbs 2:15, the prepositional, is more usual than the genitive. Regarding לוּז , flectere, inclinare (a word common to the author of chap. 1-9), vid ., at Proverbs 2:15. With בּוזהוּ , cf. 1 Samuel 2:30; the suffix without doubt refers to God, for בוזהו is the word that stands in parallel contrast to ' ירא ה .


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-14.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Here are, 1. Grace and sin in their true colours. Grace reigning is a reverence of God, and gives honour to him who is infinitely great and high, and to whom all honour is due, than which what is more becoming or should be more pleasing to the rational creature? Sin reigning is no less than a contempt of God. In this, more than in any thing, sin appears exceedingly sinful, that it despises God, whom angels adore. Those that despise God's precepts, and will not be ruled by them, his promises, and will not accept of them, despise God himself and all his attributes. 2. Grace and sin in their true light. By this we may know a man that has grace, and the fear of God, reigning in him, he walks in his uprightness, he makes conscience of his actions, is faithful both to God and man, and every stop he makes, as well as every step he takes, is by rule; here is one that honours God. But, on the contrary, he that is perverse in his ways, that wilfully follows his own appetites and passions, that is unjust and dishonest and contradicts his profession in his conversation, however he may pretend to devotion, he is a wicked man, and will be reckoned with as a despiser of God himself.


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

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Here are grace and sin in their true colours. Those that despise God's precepts and promises, despise God and all his power and mercy.


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
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Scofield's Reference Notes

feareth

(See Scofield "Psalms 19:9").


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Proverbs 14:2". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/proverbs-14.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 14:2 He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but [he that is] perverse in his ways despiseth him.

Ver. 2. He that walketh in his uprightness, feareth the Lord.] He is "in the fear of the Lord all day long"; [Proverbs 23:17] he walketh "in the fear of the Lord, and in the comforts of the Holy Ghost." [Acts 9:31] "The fear of the Lord is upon him," so that he "takes heed and does it"; [2 Chronicles 19:7] for he knows "it shall be well with them that fear God, that fear before him." [Ecclesiastes 8:12] God’s "covenant was with Levi of life and peace, for the fear wherewith he feared God, and was afraid before his name." Hence "the law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with God in peace and equity, and did turn many from iniquity." [Malachi 2:5-6] He that truly fears God, is like unto Cato, of whom it is said, that he was homo virluti simillimus, and that he never did well that he might appear to do so, sed quia aliter facere non potuit, but because he could not do otherwise.

But he that is perverse in his ways, despiseth him.] Sets him aside, departs from his fear, dares to do that before him that he would be loath to do before a grave person. Thus David "despised God," when he defiled his neighbour’s wife. [2 Samuel 12:9] Not but that even then he had God for his chief end; but he erred in the way, thinking he might fulfil his lust, and keep his God too (he would not forego God upon any terms), as Solomon thought to retain his wisdom, and yet to pursue his pleasures. Hence his partial and temporary apostasy - as the word here rendered "perverse" importeth; his warping and writhing from the way of righteousness - as the Septuagint (a) here interpret it - which was, interpretative, a "despising" of God, a saying, "He seeth it not." [Psalms 10:11]


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-14.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 2. He that walketh In his uprightness feareth the Lord, for the fear of Jehovah is the guiding principle in the life of the upright; but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth Him, that is, his contempt of the Lord shows in his crooked and malicious conduct, which no amount of outward religious activity can cover.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-14.html. 1921-23.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

That walketh in his uprightness; whose conversation is sincerely pious and righteous. The design of this proverb and verse is to show that God doth, and men may, judge of men’s outward professions and inward dispositions by the common course of their lives.

Despiseth him; plainly declares that he doth not fear God, but despise him, and his commands and threatenings.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2. Walketh in his uprightness — Levelness, straightness.

Feareth the Lord — As a general thing, there is no better evidence of true piety than rightness of conduct. The converse of the above proposition is also true: He that feareth the Lord walketh uprightly. True piety and sound morality go together. They are both essential to Christianity. False religions separate morality and the worship of the Deity. Worshippers of false gods are frequently very scandalous in their lives; nor does it strike them as incongruous.

Despiseth him — By not paying him suitable respect. The wicked, perverse, or immoral man, is a despiser of God; he treats the authority and majesty of God with contempt. Comp. Psalms 10:13; Luke 10:16.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-14.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 14:2. He that walketh in his uprightness — Whose conversation is sincerely godly and righteous; feareth the Lord — Hath a due regard and reverence for the Lord, from which all true piety and virtue flow; but he that is perverse in his ways — That cares not what he does, so he may but satisfy his own lusts and passions; despiseth him — Plainly declares that he does not fear him, but lives in a profane contempt of him, and of his commands and threatenings, which is the very source of all wickedness.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

And, is not in Hebrew. --- Is. Hebrew, "but the perverse in his ways despiseth him;" (Haydock) shewing by his conduct that he cares not for the Lord. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "he shall be dishonoured, that," &c.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

his ways. It may mean Jehovah"s ways: i.e. he who turns out of His ways becomes an apostate, like the "strange" woman.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.

He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.

Uprightness and piety are inseparable, as are also frowardness and godlessness. Each man's religion is to be estimated by its fruits in his life. He "despiseth" God who despiseth His Word: such a one shall be despised by God (1 Samuel 2:30; 2 Samuel 12:9-10; Malachi 1:6-7; Numbers 15:30-31).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord.—Rather, He who fears the Lord walketh in his uprightness. (Comp. John 14:21.) And likewise, “he that despiseth Him is perverse in his ways.” The fear of God and its absence are clearly seen in the outward conduct.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.
that walketh
16:17; 28:6; 1 Kings 3:6; Job 1:1; 28:28; Psalms 25:21; 112:1; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Malachi 2:5,6; Acts 9:31; 10:22,35
but
11:12; Job 12:4; Psalms 123:3,4; Luke 10:16; 16:14; Romans 2:4,5; 2 Timothy 3:2,3

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-14.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

CRITICAL NOTES.—

Pro . He that walketh, etc., or, "He walketh in his uprightness who feareth Jehovah, and perverse in his ways is he that despiseth Him" (Delitzsch).

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

FEARING AND DESPISING THE LORD

I. A wholesome fear. "The fear of the Lord." When we fear to grieve or offend a person because of his or her goodness the fear does not spring from dread of their power, but from our high estimate of their character. It may exist where there is no power to injure. Strong men have sometimes had this fear for little children. There is also a fear which may spring from a conception of both goodness and power. It is the feeling which a child has for a good parent. There is a consciousness of the parent's goodness, and also a consciousness of his power to enforce his authority. In proportion as these elements are combined in relation to human creatures the fear which men have for them is wholesome—is salutary. Benevolence alone tends to weaken the fear—to lessen the reverence. Power alone is likely to produce hatred as well as fear. But when benevolence is linked with power it looks doubly attractive. The fear which a good man has for God arises from a conception of both the Infinite power and the Infinite love of the Divine Father. If the first were wanting it would lack reverence; if the latter it would be a fear that "hath torment."

II. The proof that a man possesses this wholesome fear. "He walks uprightly." Fear is a feeling of the mind. It can only be proved to exist when it brings forth action. Uprightness of life is an unanswerable proof that a man speaks truly when he says that he fears the Lord. God asks for no greater (Gen ). This demonstration does not consist in a single act of integrity, but in a constant succession of acts, in a habit of life. It is a walk. (On "walking uprightly," see on chap. Pro 10:9-10, page 153).

III. The character of a perverse man—of a man whose walk is not upright. He is "a despiser of God." His life proves it, even if his words deny it. We despise that to which we do not attach a due value. All men who perversely refuse to accept God's plan of salvation despise both the "riches of His goodness and forbearance, and long-suffering," which are intended to "lead them to repentance" (Rom ), and also that "power of His anger," of which no man can form an estimate (Psa 90:11).

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

I. Grace and sin in their true colours. Grace reigning is a reverence of God. Sin reigning is no less a contempt of God; in this, more than in anything, sin appears exceeding sinful, that it despises God, whom angels adore.

II. Grace and sin in their true light. By this we know a man that has grace, and the fear of God, reigning in him, he makes conscience of his actions, is faithful to God and man. But on the contrary, he that wilfully follows his own way, is a wicked man, however he pretend to devotion.—Henry.

A man walking over a field has a certain level course (if there be such) that he naturally follows. If he walk not level, or if he turn constantly out of his way, men think him either drunk or mad. It is this reasonable instinct of our nature that our text embodies. We do not say uprightness, but "levelness," for it agrees with the idea of walking. Such meaning is, that folly is self-condemned; that if a man would put one foot before another, or mentally move as he himself thinks level and right, he would practically "fear" God; but that he drops out of his own "way," and walks brokenly, and with change of gait. It is careless to define fear as anything beside fear itself. A holy fear, however, is not terror; and yet a being afraid more really and more tremblingly often than the sinner, It is remarkable that when men have escaped wrath they begin most healthily to fear it, and when men are faithless even to their own ways, they despise the most the law of the Almighty. This text, like many another, is pregnant. Pregnant texts are ambidextrous, and the alternative meanings, though distinct, are mutually embracing. Another sense is grammatical and equivalent in thought. It would read "His" levelness, and His ways, referring to Jehovah. It is only substituting capitals. It would mean, "He that walks in God's level track fears Him; but he that is turned out of God's way, that is, he that has got out of the line for which he was made, instead of fearing, as he might, chooses that horrid moment for despising God. We would rank this higher than an ambiguity; for God's ways and man's ways, when they are levelnesses and suited to our step, are the same blessed track, for we are created in the image of God.—Miller.

He that walketh so that the sincerity of his heart maketh the uprightness to be his, for a feigned uprightness is of the devil, not a man's own. God is feared where goodness is embraced. And, as St. Basil speaketh, the despising of the laws is the reproach of the lawmaker.—Jermin.

Here is consolation to faithful men, though not void of infirmities, against the temptations of Satan, the calumniations of wicked men, and the fears of their own hearts. None are so much accused of contempt against God as those which are most religious. The devil seeketh to persuade them there is nothing in them but fraud. Sinful men, when they can charge against them no misdemeanours or lewdness of life, exclaim that they are hypocrites, and many doubts arise in their own souls by reason of the manifold imperfections of their lives. But are they desirous impartially to keep every commandment, if their power were answerable to their will? Do they endeavour to please God, though they cannot do it perfectly? Then they are upright in their ways, and walk in the law of the Lord; then God testifieth of them here, that they are of the number of them that fear Him, and elsewhere He testifieth that all those who fear Him they are blessed.—Dod.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:2". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-14.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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