1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
“being often reproved hardeneth his neck” – Eli’s sons died because of their stubbornness (see 1 Sam 2:25; cf, Deut 9:6, 13).
”Shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” – cf, the fate of the mockers in 1:22-27.
2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
“when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” – see 28:12; see also Jdg 2:18. The Israelites groaned in Egypt (Ex 2:23-24).
3 Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.
“he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance” – wastes his money (see 5:10; 6:26).
4 The king by Judgmen t establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.
“The king by Judgment stablisheth the land” – the king brings stability through the practice of justice (see 16:12).
5 A man that flattereth his neighbor spreadeth a net for his feet.
6 In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.
7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.
8 Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.
9 If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.
“Whether he rage or laugh” – the fool will go from anger to ridicule in his attempt to disrupt justice.
”rage” – like an angry bear (17:12) or the tossing sea (Is 57:20-21).
10 The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.
“The bloodthirsty hate the upright” – their schemes are described in 1:11-16; cf, Ps 5:6).
11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
“uttereth all his mind” – says whatever he feels when losing his temper (see v 9; 14:16-17).
12 If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.
13 The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes.
14 The king that faithfully Judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established forever.
15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.
17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
“Correct they son” – teach him and train him (see 13:24).
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
“vision” – a message from God given through a prophet; a prophetic vision (see 1 Sam 3:1; Is 1:1; Amos 8:11-12).
”perish” – Lit, “are unrestrained.” The people act without the moral restraint of God’s Word; possibly an allusion to the sinful actions of the Israelites while Moses was on mount Sinai (see Ex 32;25).
19 A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.
“will not be corrected by words” – servants, like sons (vv 15, 17), must be disciplined.
20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
21 He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.
“delicately bringeth up his servant” – pampers his servant.
”Shall have him…son at the length” – the Hebrew lit. reads, “the end shall be trouble.” The word translated “trouble” appears only here.
22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.
“cursing” – the swearing of an oath in the courtroom to tell the truth.
”and be wrayeth it not” – he will be held responsible for failing to testify against his partner in crime (cf Lev 5:1).
25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
26 Many seek the ruler’s favor; but every man’s Judgment cometh from the LORD.
“every man’s Judgment cometh from the LORD” – God controls a king’s actions and defends the cause of the poor and the just (cf, Job 36:6).
27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.