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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Proverbs 26:1

Note, 1. It is too common a thing for honour to be given to fools, who are utterly unworthy of it and unfit for it. Bad men, who have neither wit nor grace, are sometimes preferred by princes, and applauded and cried up by the people. Folly is set in great dignity, as Solomon observed, Eccl. 10:6. 2. It is very absurd and unbecoming when it is so. It is an incongruous as snow in summer, and as great a disorder in the commonwealth as that is in the course of nature and in the seasons of the... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Proverbs 26:2

Here is, 1. The folly of passion. It makes men scatter causeless curses, wishing ill to others upon presumption that they are bad and have done ill, when either they mistake the person or misunderstand the fact, or they call evil good and good evil. Give honour to a fool, and he thunders out his anathemas against all that he is disgusted with, right or wrong. Great men, when wicked, think they have a privilege to keep those about them in awe, by cursing them, and swearing at them, which yet is... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Proverbs 26:3

Here, 1. Wicked men are compared to the horse and the ass, so brutish are they, so unreasonable, so unruly, and not to be governed but by force or fear, so low has sin sunk men, so much below themselves. Man indeed is born like the wild ass's colt, but as some by the grace of God are changed, and become rational, so others by custom in sin are hardened, and become more and more sottish, as the horse and the mule, Ps. 32:9. 2. Direction is given to use them accordingly. Princes, instead of... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Proverbs 26:4-5

See here the noble security of the scripture-style, which seems to contradict itself, but really does not. Wise men have need to be directed how to deal with fools; and they have never more need of wisdom than in dealing with such, to know when to keep silence and when to speak, for there may be a time for both. 1. In some cases a wise man will not set his wit to that of a fool so far as to answer him according to his folly ?If he boast of himself, do not answer him by boasting of thyself. If... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Proverbs 26:6-9

To recommend wisdom to us, and to quicken us to the diligent use of all the means for the getting of wisdom, Solomon here shows that fools are fit for nothing; they are either sottish men, who will never think and design at all, or vicious men, who will never think and design well. 1. They are not fit to be entrusted with any business, not fit to go on an errand (Prov. 26:6): He that does but send a message by the hand of a fool, of a careless heedless person, one who is so full of his jests... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Proverbs 26:10

Our translation gives this verse a different reading in the text and in the margin; and accordingly it expresses either, 1. The equity of a good God. The Master, or Lord (so Rab signifies), or, as we read it, The great God that formed all things at first, and still governs them in infinite wisdom, renders to every man according to his work. He rewards the fool, who sinned through ignorance, who knew not his Lord's will, with few stripes; and he rewards the transgressor, who sinned... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Proverbs 26:11

See here, 1. What an abominable thing sin is, and how hateful sometimes it is made to appear, even to the sinner himself. When his conscience is convinced, or he feels smart from his sin, he is sick of it, and vomits it up; he seems then to detest it and to be willing to part with it. It is in itself, and, first or last, will be to the sinner, more loathsome than the vomit of a dog, Ps. 36:2. 2. How apt sinners are to relapse into it notwithstanding. As the dog, after he has gained ease by... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Proverbs 26:12

Here is, 1. A spiritual disease supposed, and that is self-conceit: Seest thou a man? Yes, we see many a one, wise in his own conceit, who has some little sense, but is proud of it, thinks it much more than it is, more than any of his neighbours, have, and enough, so that he needs no more, has such a conceit of his own abilities as makes him opinionative, dogmatical, and censorious; and all the use he makes of his knowledge is that it puffs him up. Or, if by a wise man we understand a... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Proverbs 26:13

When a man talks foolishly we say, He talks idly; for none betray their folly more than those who are idle and go about to excuse themselves in their idleness. As men's folly makes them slothful, so their slothfulness makes them foolish. Observe, 1. What the slothful man really dreads. He dreads the way, the streets, the place where work is to be done and a journey to be gone; he hates business, hates every thing that requires care and labour. 2. What he dreams of, and pretends to dread?a lion... read more

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