Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. On the title of this, the sixth part of the book,
2. What, my son?--that is, What shall I say? Repetitions denote
son of my womb--as our phrase, "my own son," a term of special
son of my vows--as one dedicated to God; so the word "Lemuel" may
3-9. Succinct but solemn warnings against vices to which kings are
peculiarly tempted, as carnal pleasures and oppressive and unrighteous
government are used to sustain sensual indulgence.
strength--mental and bodily resources for health and comfort.
thy ways--or course of life.
to that . . . kings--literally, "to the destroying of kings," avoid
destructive pleasures (compare
Pr 5:9; 7:22, 27;
4, 5. Stimulants enfeeble reason, pervert the heart, and do not suit
rulers, who need clear and steady minds, and well-governed affections
Pr 20:1; 22:29).
pervert . . . afflicted--They give unrighteous decisions against the
6, 7. The proper use of such drinks is to restore tone to feeble
bodies and depressed minds (compare
8, 9. Open . . . cause--Plead for those who cannot plead for
themselves, as the orphan, stranger, &c. (compare
appointed to destruction--who are otherwise ruined by their oppressors
Pr 29:14, 16).
10-31. This exquisite picture of a truly lovely wife is conceived
and drawn in accordance with the customs of Eastern nations, but its
moral teachings suit all climes. In Hebrew the verses begin with the
letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order
Who . . . woman--The question implies that such are rare, though not
entirely wanting (compare
Pr 18:22; 19:14).
virtuous--literally, "of strength," that is, moral courage (compare
her price, &c.--(compare
11. heart . . . trust in her--He relies on her prudence and skill.
no need of spoil--does not lack profit or gain, especially, that
obtained by the risk of war.
12. do . . . good--contribute good to him.
13, 14. Ancient women of rank thus wrought with their hands; and
such, indeed, were the customs of Western women a few centuries since.
In the East also, the fabrics were articles of merchandise.
15. She diligently attends to expending as well as gathering wealth;
16. and hence has means to purchase property.
17, 18. To energy she adds a watchfulness in bargains, and a protracted
and painful industry. The last clause may figuratively denote that her
is not short lived.
19. No work, however mean, if honest, is disdained.
20. Industry enables her to be charitable.
21. scarlet--or, "purple," by reason of the dyes used, the best
fabrics; as a matter of taste also; the color suits cold.
22. coverings of tapestry--or, "coverlets," that is, for beds.
silk--or, "linen" (compare
Ex 26:1; 27:9)
and purple--that is, the most costly goods.
23. in the gates--(compare
His domestic comfort promotes his advancement in public dignity.
24. fine linen--or, "linen shirts," or the material for them.
girdles--were often costly and highly valued
delivereth--or, "giveth as a present" or "to sell."
25. Strength and honour--Strong and beautiful is her clothing;
or, figuratively, for moral character, vigorous and honorable.
shall rejoice . . . come--in confidence of certain maintenance.
26. Her conversation is wise and gentle.
She adds to her example a wise management of those under her
28. She is honored by those who best know her.
29. The words are those of her husband, praising her.
30. Favour--or, "Grace" of personal manner.
beauty--of face, or form (compare
True piety alone commands permanent respect and affection
31. The result of her labor is her best eulogy. Nothing can add to
the simple beauty of this admirable portrait. On the measure of its
realization in the daughters of our own day rest untold results, in the
domestic, and, therefore, the civil and religious, welfare of the