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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 14:26



In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge.

Adam Clarke Commentary

In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence - From this, and from genuine Christian experience, we find that the fear of God is highly consistent with the strongest confidence in his mercy and goodness.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

His children - Probably, the children whom the Lord adopts, and who are true to their adoption.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 14:26

In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.

Godly fear and its goodly consequence

Has it never surprised you that there should be such sentences as these in the Book of inspiration--secular proverbs interspersed with spiritual proverbs--the secular and the spiritual all put together without any division or classification. The hard and fast line which is made to divide the secular from the religious is fraught with innumerable injuries.

I. What is this fear of the Lord? Fear stands for true godliness. It is a short way of expressing real faith, hope, love, holiness of living, and every grace. There is a something more tender, more touching, more real about fear than there is about some people’s faith, which faith may very readily verge upon presumption. But in speaking of fear we must always discriminate. There is a fear with which a Christian has nothing to do. What is the fear that a well-ordered, well-disciplined, beloved child has of his own father?

1. He has an awe of him which arises out of admiration of his character.

2. He is sure to be very deferential in his father’s presence.

3. He fears at any time to intrude upon his father’s prerogative.

4. He dreads everything which might cause his father’s displeasure.

II. Wherein is the confidence of godly fear seen? The history of men that have feared God may enlighten us on this matter, e.g., Job, Habakkuk. The confidence will not only appear in time of trouble, it will appear also in acts of obedience. The same confidence will develop itself when persecution is involved, and when we have to bear witness to the truth.

III. Whereupon is this confidence built? They that fear God know God to be infinitely loving to them, to be immutable and unchangeable, to be unsearchingly wise and omnipotently strong on their behalf; they know that an atonement has been made for their sins, and that the Spirit of God dwells in them.

IV. How this confidence and this fear are favoured of God. The promise is, “His children shall have a place of refuge.” Those who fear God and have confidence in Him are His children. There is a heaven lying asleep within those words, “His children.” For the “place of refuge” finds illustration in Noah, Lot, Israel, Ruth, Elijah, Christians at Pella, etc. Moses Stuart says the text means that the children of those who fear God shall have a place of refuge. And there are many precious texts that speak thus of our children. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Godliness, safety, and life

I. That godliness is safety. “The fear of the Lord is strong confidence.” The godly are safe. God is their Refuge and Strength. They will not fear though the earth be removed. We make three remarks about this refuge.

1. It is a provision against immense dangers.

2. It admits of the greatest freedom of action. A prison is a refuge as well as a fortress. But all in this refuge have ample scope for action. The sphere is as infinite as God.

3. It is accessible at all times and for all persons. Its gates are open day and night.

II. That godliness is life. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. Godliness is a fountain of happiness--salubrious, abundant, perennial. (D. Thomas, D.D.)

Strong confidence

Fear prevents confidence, and sometimes destroys confidence; but the “fear of the Lord” produces confidence. The text does not say that all godly persons have confidence; some have not, because the body is weak or there is some morbid feeling ruling the heart which should not control the emotions and the affections. Godliness, where it has full play and free scope, will invariably produce confidence. All the confidence of godly persons is not a direct fruit of piety. Some confidence comes from constitutional conditions. It is a matter of temperament.

I. Real godliness involves confidence towards God. Because in such a case as this reconciliation with God is complete. Not necessarily the realisation of reconciliation and the fruits and effects of it. If reconciliation in the case of those who fear the Lord be complete, confidence cannot but be restored by such reconciliation. There springs up between them that “fear the Lord and God,” that which may be called filial friendship; and in this there is strong confidence, Further, the intercourse of the godly with heaven is perfectly unfettered. And there is, in the case of those who “fear the Lord,” happy dependence; such as that of the babe upon its mother. We are not always to be asking God for an explanation of His doings, we are to trust Him. There is motherhood as truly as fatherhood in God.

II. Real godliness produces confidence towards men. Not impudence; not boldness of the evil kind; but that confidence which is perfectly consistent with deep humility, and which works together with that spirit which is ever ready to put honour on another. Do not mistake this confidence towards men. This confidence is the confidence of conscious uprightness. As in the case of Job. But it is not the self-conceit which says, “Stand by, I am holier than thou.”

III. The confidence which real godliness awakens is adapted to all circumstances. In danger it becomes boldness. In duty and work it becomes conscious power. The godly man is not a fatalist.

IV. A confidence which abides to the end. It goes with a man to the uttermost, it carries him right through. It endures because the principles out of which it is established endure. Faith endures. Hope endures. This confidence will be strong enough to do all the work which you, in this world of sin and sorrow, may require from it. Then do not be content without strong confidence. And endeavour to promote this confidence, especially among weak and timid Christians. (S. Martin, M.A.)

Fear a confidence

Fear is confidence; the words sound strangely. They are strange indeed, but true. To fear God aright is to be delivered from all fear. “His salvation is nigh them that fear Him.” To have such a neighbour is strong consolation to a human spirit in this howling wilderness. The fear which brings a sinner submissive and trustful to the sacrifice and righteousness of the Substitute is itself a confidence. The great and terrible God becomes the “dwelling-rock” of the fugitive. (W. Arnot.)

The fear of the Lord and its advantages

Religion, in the life of a man who regularly lives to God, always appears in an aspect uninteresting and unlovely to the irreligious. And so they speak of it. It is needful, therefore, that religion should be honoured.

I. The habit which the text exhibits. “The fear of the Lord.” Fear, in its most comprehensive and general definition, is that emotion arising from the prospect of danger, either real or imaginary. In spiritual things it has a twofold character.

1. Slavish fear, or mere dread of Jehovah in His character as Judge. This fear must not be put in the place of religion.

2. Filial fear. Analogous to the emotion properly exercised by children towards parents; it is exercised by all those who have undergone a redemption from slavish fear and a renovation of heart by the influence of the Divine Spirit. It arises from a deep and humble reverence of the Divine perfections and from a practical desire to walk in obedience to the Divine commandments. It is principally included in the direction of all the affections towards Jehovah and the exhibition of practical religion in the life and conversation. The filial fear of the Lord is by no means inconsistent with the love cf the Lord.

II. The advantages which this mental habit always and invariably secures. The fear of God excludes all other fear, and he who has it has a sanctuary in which his soul shall abide in security, and safety, and peace, while looking beyond the scenes of this present life for the perfect enjoyment of interminable and imperishable felicity. Notice three facts embodied in the principle.

1. The fear of the Lord removes the terrors of conscience. Conscience is the judge of a man’s mind with regard to a man’s own actions. An accusing conscience is one that sets before the spirit of a man the array of his crimes. The fear of the Lord prevents the accusations of conscience and brings the soul into a state of peace.

2. The fear of the Lord removes also the terrors of temporal chastisement. But the chastening of God is always for our profit; and in connection with the profit arising from chastisement there are peculiar comforts.

3. The fear of the Lord removes the terrors of death and of futurity. He who has God for his friend must look, not only without fear, but with hope and joy, to the last moment of dissolution, and his entrance into the mysteries of the awful world of futurity. (James Parsons.)

The advantages of religious principle

The “fear of the Lord” is here put for all gracious principles, producing gracious practices.

1. Where this reigns it produces a holy security and serenity of mind.

2. It entails a blessing on posterity.

3. It is an overflowing and everflowing spring of comfort and joy. It is a “fountain of life,” yielding constant pleasure and satisfaction to the soul.

4. It is a sovereign antidote against sin and temptation. Those that have a true relish of the pleasures of serious godliness will not be allured by the baits of sin to swallow its hook; they know where they can obtain better things than any it can pretend to offer. (Matthew Henry.)

The children’s place of refuge

(to children):--What is a place of refuge? In the Isle of Man there is a tower in the sea which is known as “the Tower of Refuge.” Just under the waters is a cruel rock, and many a boat has been struck upon it and lost, so the wife of one of the governors has had this tower built, and sailors and fishermen, instead of a dangerous rock, find shelter, a dry room, and something to eat and drink. Who is it in the text who are to have a place of refuge? Not the fathers, not the mothers, but “His children.” But who are God’s children? Every child that comes into the world is God’s child. But it is possible for a little boy or girl to be one of God’s children and not know it. If you will give your heart to the Lord God, if you will love Him, you will find out that you are one of God’s children. God is often grieved because His boys and girls do not know Him. God is your Father, and He likes to know that you know Him. Now, boys and girls have their troubles. We big people sometimes forget that when little people have little cares they are just as hard for them to bear. If you have troubles you want a place of refuge into which you can escape. The place of refuge for you is the heart of Jesus. If you ask Jesus to let you come He will let you come, and you will know Jesus if you get into His heart. The heart of Jesus is a great heart--it is large enough to take us all in, boys and girls and men and women. And now is the very best time for you to come and find your place of refuge in the heart of Jesus. Remember that your place of refuge is always close to you. Jesus is always willing to hear and willing to answer you. (W. J. Woods, B.A.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 14:26". The Biblical Illustrator. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"In the fear of Jehovah there is strong confidence; And his children shall have a place of refuge."

It is the godly man, of course, who fears Jehovah; and "his children" in the second clause are those of that godly man.

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

Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence,.... Such who fear the Lord may be confident that he has a love to them, a delight in them; that his eye is upon them, and his heart towards them; and will communicate every needful good to them, and protect and defend them: or the Lord himself that is feared, who is the object of fear, called the fear of Isaac, Genesis 31:42; he is a strong tower, a place of defence to those that fear him and trust in him, Proverbs 18:10;

and his children shall have a place of refuge; the children of God, as those that fear him are; the Lord is a place of refuge to them, from the avenger of blood, from the vindictive justice of God; from the storm and tempest of divine wrath, and from the curses of a righteous law; as well as from the rage and persecutions of men.

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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.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The blessings of piety descend to children (Proverbs 13:22; Proverbs 20:7; Exodus 20:6).

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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.

Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

26 In the fear of Jahve lies a strong ground of confidence,

And the children of such an one have a refuge.

The so-called בּ essentiae stands here, as at Psalms 68:5; Psalms 55:19; Isaiah 26:4, before the subject idea; the clause: in the fear of God exists, i.e. , it is and proves itself, as a strong ground of confidence, does not mean that the fear of God is something in which one can rely (Hitzig), but that it has (Proverbs 22:19; Jeremiah 17:7, and here) an inheritance which is enduring, unwavering, and not disappointing in God, who is the object of fear; for it is not faith, nor anything else subjective, which is the rock that bears us, but this Rock is the object which faith lays hold of (cf. Isaiah 28:16). Is now the וּלבניו to be referred, with Ewald and Zöckler, to ' ה ? It is possible, as we have discussed at Genesis 6:1.; but in view of parallels such as Proverbs 20:7, it is not probable. He who fears God entails in the Abrahamic way (Genesis 18:19) the fear of God on his children, and in this precious paternal inheritance they have a מחסה (not מחסה , and therefore to be written with Masoretic exactness מחסּה ), a fortress or place of protection, a refuge in every time of need (cf. Psalms 71:5-7). Accordingly, ולבניו refers back to the ' ירא ה , to be understood from ' ביראת ה (lxx, Luther, and all the Jewish interpreters), which we find not so doubtful as to regard on this account the explanation after Psalms 73:15, cf. Deuteronomy 14:1, as necessary, although we grant that such an introduction of the N.T. generalization and deepening of the idea of sonship is to be expected from the Chokma .

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". 1854-1889.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary



I. What is to be found in the fear of the Lord? "Strong confidence." The confidence is in the divine character, and is based upon a knowledge of it, in contrast to a false security which has its foundation in ignorance. There is a reverence of one being for another which is the outcome of ignorance, but this cannot generate that strong confidence which can be a sheet anchor to the human soul. The old Romans, in the early days of their history, had a reverence for their divinities, but it was a reverence of ignorance, it was a reverence for unrealities, and could never yield them that confidence which all men in all ages need to comfort them in trial and inspire them with hope in the mysteries of human life. There are men now who are quite ignorant of the Divine character and yet seem to possess great confidence that all will be well with them—that God, in fact, will not do what He has said He will do in relation to them. But this confidence is also false; it is based, not upon fear of the Lord, arising out of acquaintance with Him, but upon want of knowledge, and consequently upon disregard of His claims. But the strong confidence of our text is the fruit of a reverence which has its foundation in acquaintance with the holiness of the Divine Father, which is the outcome of a knowledge of His laws, of His threatenings, and of His promises. It is the confidence which a child reposes in a good parent, because it knows from experience—from an every-day contemplation of that parent's life—what good grounds it has to reverence and to trust him. This confidence is strong enough to inspire the soul with courage to face the difficulties of human life and to vanquish them. Confidence in a fellow-creature is often inspiration. A soldier's confidence in his general, a seaman's confidence in his captain, inspires to the performance of deeds of heroism. And confidence in the living God, in that King who can do no wrong, in that leader who can make no mistake, has been the inspiration of millions of men and women in all ages and under all circumstances. It has been found strong enough to enable them to be heroes through a long life of poverty, of ignominy, of sickness, and it has sustained all in the hour of death, and many in the death of martyrdom. By the strength born of this "strong confidence," they have "subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire," etc. (Heb ).

II. This confidence gives men God for a refuge.

1. He is a present refuge from conscious guilt. This is a need which every man feels as soon as his conscience is awakened as surely as the man-slayer felt his want of a stronghold of defence from the avenger of blood. The God against whom man has sinned becomes, when His character is understood, the object of hope for pardon. The sinner can only "flee from God, by fleeing to God."

2. He is a present refuge from all foes, whether spiritual or human. "Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?" (1Pe ) is a question which can never be answered. It is impossible that the children of God can ever be without a resource in whatever peril of soul, body, or estate they find themselves, for—"If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31.)


The Rev. J. W. Fletcher had a profligate nephew, who was dismissed from his post as an officer in the Sardinian army. One day, by presenting a pistol to his uncle, General de Gons, he extorted from him a draft for 500 crowns. With this he called on Mr. Fletcher, and, as he exhibited it with exultation, Mr. F. took it, folded it up and put it into his pocket, saying: "It strikes me, young man, that you have possessed yourself of this note by some indirect method; and in honesty I cannot return it but with my brother's knowledge and approbation." Instantly the pistol was at his breast, and he was told, as he valued his life, to return the draft. "My life," replied Mr. Fletcher, "is secure in the protection of the Almighty power who guards it." This led the nephew to remark that his uncle De Gons was more afraid of death. "Afraid of death!" rejoined Mr. Fletcher, "do you think I have been twenty-five years the minister of the Lord of life to be afraid of death now? No, sir, thanks be to God who giveth me the victory! It is for you to fear death who have every reason to fear it. You are a gamester and a cheat, yet call yourself a gentleman.… Look, there, sir, look there! See the broad eye of Heaven is fixed upon us. Tremble in the presence of your Maker, who can in a moment kill your body, and for ever punish your soul in hell." The youth was disarmed, and the interview ended in his uncle praying with him, and promising to give him a hundred crowns to relieve his immediate necessities.—From "The Proverbs Illustrated."


Fear is anything but a refuge in itself. But as faith was imputed to the patriarch for righteousness (Rom ), so this need not cloud Christ's merit. Christ has so saved us that fear becomes our hope. He who has experienced "fear" has gone into a retreat; nothing can dislodge him from it. If the lost tremble, let them learn to fear; for by fear they become children of God, and as children of God they have an eternal refuge.—Miller.

Fear hath torment (1Jn ; Act 24:25). It is the trembling of the slave (Rom 8:15); the dread of wrath, not of sin. There is no confidence here. It is pure selfishness. It ends in self. There is no homage to God. But the true fear of God is a holy, happy, reverential principle (see Psa 112:1; Psa 33:18; Psa 147:11); not that which love "casts out" (1Jn 4:18), but which love brings in. We fear, because we love. We fear, yet we are not afraid (Psa 112:1-7). The holiest and humblest is the most fixed and trusting heart. The fear of man produces faintness (Jon 1:3; Gall. Pro 2:12). The fear of the Lord—such is the Christian paradox—emboldens. Its childlike spirit shuts out all terrors of conscience, all forebodings of eternity. Abraham sacrificed his son in the fear of the Lord; yet fully confident "that God was able to raise him up from the dead" (Gen 22:12, with Heb 11:17-19).—Bridges.

What confidence shall be strong, if this is not strong? He confides in that which is all infinite:—the truth, the love, the wisdom, the power of his covenant God! Whatever the love of God has induced Him graciously to promise, no power or combination of powers in existence can stay from being done.—Wardlaw.

It does not mean that the fear of God is something on which one can rely, but that it has (Pro ; Jer 17:7) an inheritance which is enduring, unwavering, and not disappointing in God, who is the object of fear; for it is not faith, nor anything else subjective, which is the rock that bears us, but this rock is the object that faith lays hold of (Cf. Isa 28:16).—Delitzsch.

Gregory, writing upon those words in Job , "Is not this thy fear, thy confidence?" etc., saith that although Eliphaz did wrongfully reprove Job, yet he doth rightly set down the order of the virtues, when he joineth fortitude to fear, For in the way of God we must begin with fear that we may come to fortitude. For as in the course of the world boldness breedeth courage, so in the way of God it breedeth weakness, and as in the course of the world fear begetteth weakness, so in the way of God it bringeth forth confidence.—Jermin.

The fear which brings a sinner submissive and trustful to the sacrifice and righteousness of the Substitute is itself a confidence.… Those who went early to the sepulchre and looked into the empty grave where the Lord lay, departed from the place with "fear and great joy." A human soul made at first in God's image has great capacities still. In that large place fear and great joy can dwell together.… The filial fear of the children may be known by this, that it takes in beside itself a great joy, and the two brethren dwell together in unity.… "His children shall have a place of refuge." They "are kept by the power of God." … There are two keepings very diverse from each other, and yet alike in this, that both employ as their instruments strong walls and barred gates. Great harm accrues from confounding them, and therefore the distinction should be kept clear. Gates and bars may be closed around you for the purpose of keeping you in, or of keeping your enemy out. The one is a prison, the other a fortress. In construction and appearance the two edifices are in many respects similar. The walls are in both cases high and the bars strong. In both it is essential that the guards should be watchful and trusty. But they differ in this: the prison is constructed with a view to prevent escape from within, the fortress to defy assault from without. In their design and use they are exact contraries. The one makes sure the bondage, the other the liberty of its inmates. In both cases it is a keep, and in both the keep is strong—the one to keep the prisoner in, the other to keep the enemy out. The fear of the Lord to those who are within, and have tasted of His grace, is the strong confidence of a fortress to defend them from every foe; to those who look at it from without, it often seems a frowning prison that will close away the sunlight from all who go within its portals, and waste young life away in mouldy dungeons. Mistakes are common on this point, and mistakes are disastrous.… Though the refuge is provided, and the gate standing open, and the invitation free, poor wanderers stand shivering without because a suspicion clings to the guilty conscience, that the "strong tower" offered as a safe dwelling place will turn out to be a place of confinement from genial society and human joys.—Arnot.



Pro . The whole system of religion is expressed in the fear of God. A religion which makes this fear the principle of action implicitly condemns all self-confidence and presumptous security, enjoins a constant state of vigilance and caution, a perpetual distrust of our own hearts, a full conviction of our natural weakness, and an earnest solicitude for Divine assistance. It keeps men always attentive to the motives and consequences of actions; always unsatisfied with present attainments; always wishing to advance and always afraid of falling away. The blessings it brings in its train are—

1. Security. "Strong confidence." "Place of refuge." "Great is the confidence of a good conscience." "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, and He will deliver us" (Dan ). "None of these things move me" (Act 20:24). When they told Numa that the enemy was at the gates, he simply answered, "But I am sacrificing." When Antonius was threatened, he replied, "We have not so worshipped, neither have we so lived, that we should fear their conquering us" (Trapp). If such was the confidence of heathens, what should be that of Christians? God's children "know in whom they have believed" (2Ti 1:12).

2. Consolation. "A fountain of life." So called from the constancy of its supply. A confluence of blessings, grace here and glory hereafter—present and future—upper and nether springs. David combines both when he says, "Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel and afterward receive me to glory" (Psa ). He refers to the future when he says, "Oh, how peat is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee, which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men!" (Psa 31:19). Here he speaks not only of what God has laid up, but of what He has laid out—not only of what he has in prospect, but of what he has in experience.

3. Deliverance from dangerous temptations. "To depart from the snares of death." "The way of this world is like the Vale of Siddim (Gen ), treacherous and slippery and full of snares" (Trapp). But he that fears the Lord has many safeguards. "The integrity of the upright shall guide them" (chap. Pro 11:3).—S. Thodey.

Pro . "The law of the wise" is "the fear of the Lord," for of both the same things are predicted (chap. Pro 13:14).—Fausset.

Not only does Christian confidence open a cover from the guilt, but it roots out the power of sin. For among the countless throngs of the redeemed, not one finds a cover from condemnation, who is not renovated into spiritual life. Bridges.

The fear of the Lord teacheth wisdom, and wisdom teacheth that an evil feared is much the sooner avoided, and that it is a great safety of life to fear death. Wherefore St. Cyprian saith, "Be ye fearful, that ye may be without fear; fear the Lord, that ye may not fear death." For the same fountain doth not send forth bitter waters and sweet; life and death do not issue from the same spring.—Jermin.

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Scofield's Reference Notes


Also; Proverbs 15:16, (See Scofield "Psalms 19:9").

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Proverbs 14:26". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

Ver. 26. In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence.] The reverential fear of God is monimenturn, munimentum, ornamentum. The wise man had said, in Proverbs 14:24, "The crown of the wise are their riches," and in Proverbs 18:11, he will tell us that "the rich man’s wealth is his strong city." Now, lest any should hereby be brought to think of riches more highly than is meet, he gives us to know that wealth, severed from the fear of God, can neither adorn us nor secure us. Great is the confidence of a good conscience. "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, and he will deliver us out of thine hand." [Daniel 3:17] Hezekiah pulled down the brazen serpent, for he "trusted in God." [2 Kings 18:5] At ego rem divinam facio, - But I am sacrificing, said Numa, when they told him the enemy was at hand. Non sic Deos coluimus, aut sic vivimus ut illi nos vincerent, said the Emperor Antoninus. We are bold to believe that God will deal better with us than so.

And his children have a place of refuge], i.e., God’s children run to his name and are safe. Or, The children of him who fears God. For God will bless those who fear him, "both small and great." [Psalms 115:13] If I can but once find the fear of God in those about me, said reverend Claviger, satis habeo, satisque mihi, meae uxori, fillis, et filiabus prospexi, (a) I shall have enough for myself, wife, and children; they will be all cared for.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 26. In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, it gives a strong security, a safe reliance; and his children shall have a place of refuge, for since they follow the upright conduct of their parents, the Lord protects them in like manner.

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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". 1921-23.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Proverbs 14:26

I. Real godliness involves confidence towards God. The reason is that reconciliation with God is complete. In the case of those who really fear the Lord there springs up between them and God a filial friendship.

II. Real godliness produces confidence towards men.

III. The confidence which real godliness awakens is adapted to all circumstances. In danger it becomes boldness; in duty and work it is conscious power.

IV. It is a confidence which abides to the end.

S. Martin, Westminster Chapel Pulpit, 2nd series, No. 11.

References: Proverbs 14:26.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxii., No. 1290; J. Vaughan, Children's Sermons, 1875, p. 44; W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven, 1st series, p. 401. Proverbs 14:30.—Ibid., p. 406.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae



Proverbs 14:26. In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence; and his children shall have a place of refuge.

IN the Holy Scriptures there is often much contained in a small space. Hence we read them frequently without discerning one half of their beauty and importance — — — In the passage before us, we have in a concentrated form the benefits arising from the fear of God. They are two:

I. Confidence—

Before we speak of the benefit itself, we must endeavour to attain accurate views of that from which it flows. By “the fear of the Lord,” I understand such a fear as brings us to his footstool; and such a fear as stimulates us to an unreserved surrender of ourselves to him. It is clear that it must comprehend these, and cannot possibly exist without them [Note: Psalms 112:1.] — — — Now, wherever this is found, there is “a strong confidence” of acceptance with God; a confidence founded,

1. On the general character of God—

[There is, in the mind of every one who has the least knowledge of God, a persuasion that “he delights in mercy:” and though this of itself is not sufficient to warrant a confidence of our acceptance with him, it is a strong confirmation of our confidence, when we have really come to him with a humble believing, and obediential fear — — —]

2. On the Scripture account of him, as revealed to us in Christ Jesus—

[There we see his assumption of our nature, his death upon the cross as an atonement for our sins, his ascension to heaven, to govern all things for the good of his Church and people. O! what confidence must such wonders of love and mercy inspire! Can we turn to him in faith and fear, and doubt his willingness to receive us? Impossible. It cannot be but that our “confidence” in such a God must be “strong [Note: 2 Timothy 1:12.]” — — —]

3. On the express promises which he has given us in his word—

[These are “exceeding great and precious,” and fully commensurate with all our wants. There is no state in which we can be, that has not a promise especially adapted to it. Only let those be embraced, and the most desponding soul must be comforted [Note: Hebrews 6:17-18. 2 Corinthians 1:20.] — — —]

To them, under all circumstances, is afforded,

II. Safety—

They stand in the relation of “children” to God, who “is not ashamed to be called their God” and Father. And to them there is ever open “a place of refuge,”

1. From the calamities of life—

[True, the saints are exposed to calamities like other men; but they see that every thing, whoever be the instrument, proceeds in reality from their Father’s hand, who sends it only for their good. Hence the very character of the visitation is changed; and instead of being an occasion for mourning, it is welcomed as a blessing in disguise [Note: Proverbs 19:23. Psalms 91:9-12.] — — —]

2. From the assaults of Satan—

[Doubtless Satan will exert himself to the uttermost to harass and destroy them [Note: 1 Peter 5:8.]: but they are furnished with armour to withstand his fiercest assaults [Note: Ephesians 6:12-13.]; and they have an impregnable fortress ever open to them, even “the name of the Lord, which is to them as a strong tower, wherein they are safe [Note: Proverbs 18:10.].” And, after maintaining their conflict the appointed time, they are sure of beholding “him bruised under their feet [Note: Romans 16:20.].”]

3. From the fears of death—

[Death is still an enemy: but they triumph over him, saying, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” They are enabled to number him amongst their friends and treasure [Note: 1 Corinthians 3:23.]; and to long for his arrival, to introduce them into the more immediate presence of their God [Note: Philippians 1:23.] — — —]

4. From all the penal consequences of sin—

[At the very bar of judgment itself they stand with great boldness. The curses of the Law infuse no terror into their minds; because they can point to “Him who has redeemed them from its curse, having himself become a curse for them [Note: Galatians 3:13.].” “To them there is no condemnation [Note: Romans 8:1.]:” to them remains nothing but unbounded, everlasting bliss — — —]


1. Those who have confidence without fear—

[This is the state of the world at large — — — But such confidence is presumption [Note: Deuteronomy 29:19-20 and 1 Thessalonians 5:3.]: it is “the broken and contrite soul, and that alone, which God will not despise;”— — — To them, therefore, would I say, “Awake, and arise; and Christ will give you light [Note: Ephesians 5:14.].”]

2. Those who have fear without confidence—

[Brethren, you should not so dishonour your Lord and Saviour. If only you have such a fear of God as humbles you before him, and makes you desire truly and unfeignedly to serve him, what reason have you to entertain any doubt of his willingness to save you? Has God become a man for you, and died upon the cross for you; and is he ordering every thing for you, both in heaven and earth; and should you not trust in him? Be ashamed of entertaining such unworthy thoughts of him, and cast yourselves altogether upon him both for time and for eternity — — —]

3. Those who have the happiness of uniting both—

[This is the state in which you should both live and die. It is the due mixture of fear and confidence which will bring you to that holy frame in which God most delights [Note: Acts 9:31 and Psalms 115:13.]. He would have you ever to “rejoice with trembling,” and to tremble with rejoicing — — —]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Strong confidence; a sure ground of confidence; or a strong refuge, as the next clause explains it.

His children; either,

1. God’s children. Or,

2. The children of them that fear God, who are sufficiently understood out of the former clause.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

26. His children — The pronoun may be referred either to “the Lord,” or to the man who fears the Lord. Some critics prefer the former and others the latter. There is nothing absolutely to determine whether it means the children of Jehovah or the children of the worshipper. Miller renders: “And to his children” — that is, to the children of Jehovah — “it becomes a place of refuge.”

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the fear of the LORD. See note on Proverbs 1:7.

strong confidence. Illustrations: Abraham (Genesis 22:3-10. Hebrews 11:19); David (1 Samuel 30:6); Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:7, 2 Chronicles 32:8, 2 Chronicles 32:22); Shadrach and others (Daniel 3:17, Daniel 3:25, Daniel 3:27. Isaiah 43:2); Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:17-19); Peter (Acts 12:6. Acts 3:24); Paul (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

children = sons.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

In the fear of the Lord (is) strong confidence; and his children shall have a place of refuge. "His" - i:e., the Lord's children (Psalms 73:15).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(26) His children.—Either, the children of the man who fears the Lord, as the blessing of Abraham (Genesis 17:7-8) and David (Jeremiah 33:20-21) descended to their children; or the pronoun may refer to God’s children, i.e., those who look up to Him as a father, an expression which occurs in the Old Testament (e g., Psalms 73:15), but is brought forward more prominently in the New Testament.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
3:7,8,25,26; 19:23; Genesis 31:42; Psalms 34:7-11; 112:1,6-8; 115:13,14; Ecclesiastes 7:18; Malachi 3:16-18; 4:2; Acts 9:31
18:10; Isaiah 26:20,21; Jeremiah 15:11; 32:39,40

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:26". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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