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

Proverbs Chapter 21

Proverbs 21:1

pro 21:1

The believer, perceiving that the Lord rules every heart as he sees fit, like the husbandman who turns the water through his grounds as he pleases, seeks to have his own heart, and the hearts of others, directed in his faith, fear, and love.

Proverbs 21:2

pro 21:2

We are partial in judging ourselves and our actions.

Proverbs 21:3

pro 21:3

Many deceive themselves with a conceit that outward devotions will excuse unrighteousness.

Proverbs 21:4

pro 21:4

Sin is the pride, the ambition, the glory, the joy, and the business of wicked men.

Proverbs 21:5

pro 21:5

The really diligent employ foresight as well as labour.

Proverbs 21:6

pro 21:6

While men seek wealth by unlawful practices, they seek death.

Proverbs 21:7

pro 21:7

Injustice will return upon the sinner, and will destroy him here and for ever.

Proverbs 21:8

pro 21:8

The way of mankind by nature is froward and strange.

Proverbs 21:9

pro 21:9

It is best to shun bitter contention by pouring out the heart before God. For by prudence and patience, with constant prayer, the cross may be removed.

Proverbs 21:10

pro 21:10

The evil desires of a wicked man's heart, lead to baseness in his conduct.

Proverbs 21:11

pro 21:11

The simple may be made wise by punishments on the wicked, and by instructions to those who are willing to be taught.

Proverbs 21:12

pro 21:12

Good men envy not the prosperity of evil-doers; they see there is a curse on them.

Proverbs 21:13

pro 21:13

Such as oppress the poor by beating down wages, such as will not relieve according to their ability those in distress, and those in authority who neglect to do justice, stop their ears at the cry of the poor. But doubtless care is to be used in the exercise of charity.

Proverbs 21:14

pro 21:14

If money can conquer the fury of the passions, shall reason, the fear of God, and the command of Christ, be too weak to bridle them?

Proverbs 21:15

pro 21:15

There is true pleasure only in the practice of religion.

Proverbs 21:16

pro 21:16

Of all wanderers in the ways of sin, those are in the most dangerous condition who turn aside into the ways of darkness. Yet there is hope even for them in the all-sufficient Saviour; but let them flee to him without delay.

Proverbs 21:17

pro 21:17

A life of worldly pleasure brings ruin on men.

Proverbs 21:18

pro 21:18

The righteous is often delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his stead, and so seems as a ransom for him.

Proverbs 21:19

pro 21:19

Unbridled passions spoil the comfort of all relations.

Proverbs 21:20

pro 21:20

The plenty obtained by prudence, industry, and frugality, is desirable. But the foolish misspend what they have upon their lusts.

Proverbs 21:21

pro 21:21

True repentance and faith will lead him that relies on the mercy of God in Christ, to follow after righteousness and mercy in his own conduct.

Proverbs 21:22

pro 21:22

Those that have wisdom, often do great things, even against those confident of their strength.

Proverbs 21:23

pro 21:23

It is our great concern to keep our souls from being entangled and disquieted.

Proverbs 21:24

pro 21:24

Pride and haughtiness make men passionate; such continually deal in wrath, as if it were their trade to be angry.

Proverbs 21:25

pro 21:25

Here is the misery of the slothful; their hands refuse to labour in an honest calling, by which they might get an honest livelihood; yet their hearts cease not to covet riches, pleasures, and honours, which cannot be obtained without labour. But the righteous and industrious have their desires satisfied.

Proverbs 21:27

pro 21:27

When holiness is pretended, but wickedness intended, that especially is an abomination.

Proverbs 21:28

pro 21:28

The doom of a false witness is certain.

Proverbs 21:29

pro 21:29

A wicked man bids defiance to the terrors of the law and the rebukes of Providence. But a good man asks, What does God require of me?

Proverbs 21:30

pro 21:30

Means are to be used, but, after all, our safety and salvation are only of the Lord. In our spiritual warfare we must arm ourselves with the whole armour of God; but our strength must be in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Next: Proverbs Chapter 22