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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

Proverbs Chapter 21

Proverbs 21:1

pro 21:1

The kings - He names kings not to exclude other men, but because they are more arbitrary and uncontrollable than others. As rivers - Which husband - men draw by little channels into the adjacent grounds as they please.

Proverbs 21:4

pro 21:4

The plowing - Even their civil or natural actions, which in themselves are lawful, are made sinful as they are managed by ungodly men, without any regard to the glory of God, which ought to be the end of all our actions.

Proverbs 21:5

pro 21:5

Hasty - Who manages his affairs rashly.

Proverbs 21:6

pro 21:6

Lying tongue - By any false or deceitful words or actions. Is tossed - Is like the chaff or smoak driven away by the wind. Of them - That take those courses which will bring destruction upon them.

Proverbs 21:8

pro 21:8

The way - Of every man by nature. Strange - Estranged from God. Right - But he whose heart is pure, his conversation is agreeable to it.

Proverbs 21:10

pro 21:10

Desireth - To do mischief. No favour - He spares neither friend nor foe.

Proverbs 21:11

pro 21:11

The wise - The simple learn wisdom, both from the punishment of wicked men, and from the prosperity of good men.

Proverbs 21:12

pro 21:12

Considereth - He looks through its present glory to that ruin for which it is designed.

Proverbs 21:14

pro 21:14

In secret - Which makes it more acceptable. In the bosom - Secretly conveyed into the bosom.

Proverbs 21:16

pro 21:16

Shall remain - Shall, without repentance, be condemned to eternal death.

Proverbs 21:17

pro 21:17

Wine and oil - Delicious fare and luxurious feasting. Wine and oil were much used in feasts in those parts.

Proverbs 21:18

pro 21:18

A ransom - The wicked shall be brought into those troubles, which were designed by wicked men for the righteous: thus Haman was a ransom for Mordecai.

Proverbs 21:20

pro 21:20

The wise - Wise men lay up desirable treasures for their own use, and for their families. Oil is particularly mentioned, because that was a considerable part of their wealth and treasures in those countries.

Proverbs 21:22

pro 21:22

The strength - The strongest sorts to which the citizens trust.

Proverbs 21:25

pro 21:25

Killeth - Torments him to death, while he passionately desires what he sees, he shall not enjoy, and will not take pains to procure.

Proverbs 21:26

pro 21:26

Coveteth - Spends his whole time in vain and lazy desires. Giveth - By God's blessing upon his industry he procures enough, not only for his own support, but for the relief of others.

Proverbs 21:27

pro 21:27

The sacrifice - All the most costly services which they offer to God. Because - As all the ancient translators render it, the Hebrew particle, aph, being expletive: or, even because; so the following clause gives the reason. A wicked mind - Not in obedience to God's command, but either to cover, or countenance, or promote some wicked design.

Proverbs 21:28

pro 21:28

Heareth - He witnesses nothing but what he has heard or seen. Constantly - Always affirms the same thing.

Proverbs 21:29

pro 21:29

Hardeneth - Continues in evil with obstinacy and impudence. Directs - He orders his steps aright.

Proverbs 21:31

pro 21:31

The horse - Under which all war - like provisions are comprehended.

Next: Proverbs Chapter 22