Here the Proverbs, properly so called, begin. They are short, but weighty sentences, most of which are two sentences in one verse, illustrating each other. But it is seldom there is any coherence between the verses, much less any thread of discourse.
Of wickedness - Such as are got by any sort of wicked practices. Death - Often from temporal, and always from eternal death.
Gathereth - The fruits of his field. In summer - In harvest. He that improved the opportunities of doing good to himself and others.
Violence - Their own violence or injustice. This may be an allusion to the ancient custom of covering the mouths and faces of condemned malefactors.
Who receive - Is ready to hear and obey the precepts of God and men. Fall - Into mischief.
Surely - Or, securely, or confidently, as the word properly signifies; quietly resting upon God's favour and gracious providence for his protections. Known - His wickedness shall be publickly discovered.
Winketh - That secretly designs mischief against others, as this phrase is used, Psalms 35:19.
Wisdom - This wisdom shews itself in his speech. A rod - Rebukes from God and men.
Lay up - In their minds, to be brought forth upon fit occasions. Knowledge - Whereby they may be enabled to speak both what, and when it is seasonable. But - Fools are more forward to lay out than to lay up, and for want of knowledge speak much and foolishly, whereby they frequently bring destruction upon themselves.
Wealth - It often redeems him from dangers and calamities. Poverty - Is the cause of their ruin.
The labour - The fruit of his labour, to the preservation of this life, and obtaining eternal life. Fruit - The fruit of all their labour tends to sin, and serves only for fuel to mens pride and luxury.
Lying lips - With flattering words. He here condemns two opposite vices, secret hatred, and manifest slander.
Is - Of great worth and use. Heart - And consequently the tongue.
Feed - By their wise discourses and counsels. Die - They have not wisdom to preserve themselves, much less to feed others.
So - Unserviceable and vexatious.
Gladness - Shall be accomplished, and turned into enjoyment.
The way - The way of God's precepts. Strength - Gives strength, support, and protection.
Never be removed - They shall live happily here, and eternally in heaven. The earth - They shall not have so much as a quiet abode upon earth; much less shall they have any possession in heaven.
The lips - Knowledge is here ascribed to the lips, as it is to the hands, Psalms 78:72, because they are conducted by knowledge and wisdom. Acceptable - What is truly worthy of acceptation.