Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. This is the title of this chapter
the prophecy--literally, "the burden" (compare
used for any divine instruction; not necessarily a prediction, which was
only a kind of prophecy
"a song"). Prophets were inspired men, who spoke for God to man, or for
man to God
Ex 7:14, 15, 16).
Such, also, were the New Testament prophets. In a general sense, Gad,
Nathan, and others were such, who were divine teachers, though we do
not learn that they ever predicted.
the man spake--literally, "the saying of the man"; an expression used
to denote any solemn and important announcement (compare
Ps 36:1; 110:1;
&c.). Ithiel and Ucal were perhaps pupils.
2-4. brutish--stupid, a strong term to denote his lowly
self-estimation; or he may speak of such as his natural condition, as
contrasted with God's all-seeing comprehensive knowledge and almighty
power. The questions of this clause emphatically deny the attributes
mentioned to be those of any creature, thus impressively strengthening
the implied reference of the former to God (compare
Ps 12:6; 119:140).
6. Add . . . words--implying that his sole reliance was on God's
reprove thee--or, "convict thee"--and so the falsehood will appear.
7-9. A prayer for exemption from wickedness, and the extremes of
poverty and riches, the two things mentioned. Contentment is implied
8. vanity--all sorts of sinful acts
9. be full . . . deny--that is, puffed up by the pride of prosperity.
take the name . . . vain--This is not (Hebrew) the form
but "take" rather denotes laying violent hold on any thing; that is,
lest I assail God's name or attributes, as justice, mercy, &c., which
the poor are tempted to do.
10. Accuse not--Slander not
curse . . . guilty--lest, however lowly, he be exasperated to turn on
thee, and your guilt be made to appear.
11-14. Four kinds of hateful persons--(1) graceless children, (2)
hypocrites, (3) the proud, (4) cruel oppressors (compare on
Ps 14:4; 52:2)
--are now illustrated; (1)
Pr 30:15, 16,
the insatiability of prodigal children and their fate; (2)
hypocrisy, or the concealment of real character; (3 and 4)
various examples of pride and oppression.
15, 16. horse leech--supposed by some to be the vampire (a fabulous
creature), as being literally insatiable; but the other subjects
mentioned must be taken as this, comparatively insatiable. The use of a
fabulous creature agreeably to popular notions is not inconsistent with
There are three . . . yea, four--(Compare
17. The eye--for the person, with reference to the use of the organ to
express mockery and contempt, and also as that by which punishment is
the ravens . . . eagles . . . eat--either as dying unnaturally, or
being left unburied, or both.
18-20. Hypocrisy is illustrated by four examples of the concealment
of all methods or traces of action, and a pertinent example of double
dealing in actual vice is added, that is, the adulterous woman.
20. she eateth . . . mouth--that is, she hides the evidences of her
shame and professes innocence.
21-23. Pride and cruelty, the undue exaltation of those unfit to
hold power, produce those vices which disquiet society (compare
Pr 19:10; 28:3).
23. heir . . . mistress--that is, takes her place as a wife
24-31. These verses provide two classes of apt illustrations of
various aspects of the moral world, which the reader is left to apply.
By the first
diligence and providence are commended; the success of these
insignificant animals being due to their instinctive sagacity and
activity, rather than strength. The other class
(Pr 30:30, 31)
provides similes for whatever is majestic or comely, uniting efficiency
26. conies--mountain mice, or rabbits.
28. spider--tolerated, even in palaces, to destroy flies.
taketh . . . hands--or, uses with activity the limbs provided for
32. As none can hope, successfully, to resist such a king, suppress
even the thought of an attempt.
lay . . . hand upon thy mouth--"lay" is well supplied
Job 29:9; 40:4).
33. That is, strife--or other ills, as surely arise from
devising evil as natural effects from natural causes.