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Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible, by Matthew Henry, at

Proverbs Chapter 20

Proverbs 20:1

pro 20:1

It seems hard to believe that men of the greatest abilities, as well as the ignorant, should render themselves fools and madmen, merely for the taste or excitement produced by strong liquors.

Proverbs 20:2

pro 20:2

How formidable kings are to those who provoke them! how much more foolish then is it to provoke the King of kings!

Proverbs 20:3

pro 20:3

To engage in quarrels is the greatest folly that can be. Yield, and even give up just demands, for peace' sake.

Proverbs 20:4

pro 20:4

He who labours and endures hardship in his seed-time for eternity, will be properly diligent as to his earthly business.

Proverbs 20:5

pro 20:5

Though many capable of giving wise counsel are silent, yet something may be drawn from them, which will reward those who obtain it.

Proverbs 20:6

pro 20:6

It is hard to find those that have done, and will do more good than they speak, or care to hear spoken of.

Proverbs 20:7

pro 20:7

A good man is not liable to uneasiness in contriving what he shall do, or in reflecting on what he has done, as those who walk in deceit. And his family fare better for his sake.

Proverbs 20:8

pro 20:8

If great men are good men, they may do much good, and prevent very much evil.

Proverbs 20:9

pro 20:9

Some can say, Through grace, we are cleaner than we have been; but it was the work of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 20:10

pro 20:10

See the various deceits men use, of which the love of money is the root. The Lord will not bless what is thus gotten.

Proverbs 20:11

pro 20:11

Parents should observe their children, that they may manage them accordingly.

Proverbs 20:12

pro 20:12

All our powers and faculties are from God, and are to be employed for him.

Proverbs 20:13

pro 20:13

Those that indulge themselves, may expect to want necessaries, which should have been gotten by honest labour.

Proverbs 20:14

pro 20:14

Men use arts to get a good bargain, and to buy cheap; whereas a man ought to be ashamed of a fraud and a lie.

Proverbs 20:15

pro 20:15

He that prefers true knowledge to riches, follows the ways of religion and happiness. If we really believed this truth, the word of God would be valued as it deserves, and the world would lose its tempting influence.

Proverbs 20:16

pro 20:16

Those ruin themselves who entangle themselves in rash suretiship. Also those who are in league with abandoned women. Place no confidence in either.

Proverbs 20:17

pro 20:17

Wealth gotten by fraud may be sweet, for the carnal mind takes pleasure in the success of wicked devices; but it will be bitter in the reflection.

Proverbs 20:18

pro 20:18

Especially we need advice in spiritual warfare. The word and Spirit of God are the best counsellors in every point.

Proverbs 20:19

pro 20:19

Those dearly buy their own praise, who put confidence in a man because he speaks fairly.

Proverbs 20:20

pro 20:20

An undutiful child will become very miserable. Never let him expect any peace or comfort.

Proverbs 20:21

pro 20:21

An estate suddenly raised, is often as suddenly ruined.

Proverbs 20:22

pro 20:22

Wait on the Lord, attend his pleasure, and he will protect thee.

Proverbs 20:23

pro 20:23

A bargain made by fraud will prove a losing bargain in the end.

Proverbs 20:24

pro 20:24

How can we form plans, and conduct business, independently of the Lord?

Proverbs 20:25

pro 20:25

The evasions men often use with their own consciences show how false and deceitful man is.

Proverbs 20:26

pro 20:26

Justice should crush the wicked, and separate them from the virtuous.

Proverbs 20:27

pro 20:27

The rational soul and conscience are as a lamp within us, which should be used in examining our dispositions and motives with the revealed will of God.

Proverbs 20:28

pro 20:28

Mercy and truth are the glories of God's throne.

Proverbs 20:29

pro 20:29

Both young and old have their advantages; and let neither despise or envy the other.

Proverbs 20:30

pro 20:30

Severe rebukes sometimes do a great deal of good. But such is the corruption of nature, that men are loth to be rebuked for their sins. If God uses severe afflictions, to purify our hearts and fit us for his service, we have cause to be very thankful.

Next: Proverbs Chapter 21