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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Proverbs Chapter 16

Proverbs 16:1

pro 16:1

(Pro. 16:1-33)


in man--or literally, "to man," belonging, or pertaining to him.

the answer . . . Lord--The efficient ordering is from God: "Man proposes; God disposes."

Proverbs 16:2

pro 16:2

clean--or, "faultless."

weigheth--or, "tries," "judges," implying that they are faulty (Pro 21:2; Pro 24:12).

Proverbs 16:3

pro 16:3

(Compare Margin). Rely on God for success to your lawful purposes.

Proverbs 16:4

pro 16:4

for himself--"for its answer," or "purpose," that is, according to God's plan; the wicked are for the day of evil (Psa 49:5; Jer 17:18); sinning and suffering answer to each other, are indissolubly united.

Proverbs 16:5

pro 16:5

(Compare Pro 3:32).

Proverbs 16:6

pro 16:6

By mercy and truth--that is, God's (Psa 85:10); He effects the atonement, or covering of sin; and the principles of true piety incline men to depart from evil; or, "mercy" and "truth" may be man's, indicative of the gracious tempers which work instrumentally in procuring pardon.

purged--expiated (as in Lev 16:33; Isa 27:9, Hebrew).

Proverbs 16:7

pro 16:7

Persecutions, of course, excepted.

Proverbs 16:8

pro 16:8

(Compare Pro 15:6, Pro 15:16-17).

Proverbs 16:9

pro 16:9

(Compare Pro 16:3).


Proverbs 16:10

pro 16:10

The last clause depends on the first, expressing the importance of equity in decisions, so authoritative.

Proverbs 16:11

pro 16:11

are the Lord's . . . his work--that is, what He has ordered, and hence should be observed by men.

Proverbs 16:12

pro 16:12

Rulers are rightly expected, by their position, to hate evil; for their power is sustained by righteousness.

Proverbs 16:13

pro 16:13

A specification of the general sentiment of Pro 16:12.

Proverbs 16:14

pro 16:14

This wrath, so terrible and certain, like messengers of death (Kg1 2:25), can be appeased by the wise.

Proverbs 16:15

pro 16:15

light of . . . countenance--favor (Psa 4:6).

life--preserves it, or gives blessings which make it valuable.

the latter rain--fell just before harvest and matured the crop; hence specially valuable (Deu 11:14).

Proverbs 16:16

pro 16:16

(Compare Pro 3:16; Pro 4:5).

Proverbs 16:17

pro 16:17

The highway--A common, plain road represents the habitual course of the righteous in departing from evil.


Proverbs 16:18

pro 16:18

(Compare Pro 15:33). Haughtiness and pride imply self-confidence which produces carelessness, and hence

a fall--literally, "sliding."

Proverbs 16:19

pro 16:19

divide the spoil--that is, conquer. Avoid the society of the proud (Jam 4:6).

Proverbs 16:20

pro 16:20

handleth a matter--wisely considers "the word," that is, of God (compare Pro 13:13).

trusteth--(Compare Psa 2:12; Psa 118:8-9).

Proverbs 16:21

pro 16:21

wise in heart--who rightly consider duty.

sweetness of the lips--eloquent discourse, persuades and instructs others.

Proverbs 16:22

pro 16:22

Understanding--or, "discretion," is a constant source of blessing (Pro 13:14), benefiting others; but fools' best efforts are folly.

Proverbs 16:23

pro 16:23

The heart is the source of wisdom flowing from the mouth.

Proverbs 16:24

pro 16:24

(Compare Pro 15:26). Gentle, kind words, by soothing the mind, give the body health.

Proverbs 16:25

pro 16:25

(Compare Pro 14:2).

Proverbs 16:26

pro 16:26

Diligence is a duty due to one's self, for his wants require labor.

Proverbs 16:27

pro 16:27

ungodly man--(Compare Pro 6:12).

diggeth up evil--labors for it.

in his lips . . . fire--His words are calumniating (Jam 3:6).

Proverbs 16:28

pro 16:28

(Compare Pro 6:14; Pro 10:31).

whisperer--prater, talebearer (Pro 18:8; Pro 26:20).

Proverbs 16:29

pro 16:29

violent man--or, "man of mischief" (Pro 3:31).

enticeth-- (Pro 1:10).

Proverbs 16:30

pro 16:30

He shutteth his eyes--denoting deep thought (Psa 64:6).

moving his lips--or, "biting his lips"--a determined purpose (Pro 6:13).

Proverbs 16:31

pro 16:31

(Compare Pro 20:29).

if--or, which may be supplied properly, or without it the sense is as in Pro 3:16; Pro 4:10, that piety is blessed with long life.

Proverbs 16:32

pro 16:32

(Compare Pro 14:29).

taketh a city--that is, by fighting.

Proverbs 16:33

pro 16:33

Seemingly the most fortuitous events are ordered by God.

Next: Proverbs Chapter 17