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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 13

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verse 1



(Proverbs 13)

Heeding or Scorning Instructions

Verse 1, as often in Proverbs, commends as wise the son who heeds a faithful father’s instruction. In sharp contrast is the scornful son who hears not instruction or rebuke. Serious consequences follow such, 1 Samuel 2:25; Proverbs 9:12; Proverbs 15:10; Proverbs 26:12.

Verses 2-3

Words Bear Fruit

Verses 2-3 declare that words proceeding from the mouth bear fruit. Words rightly used accomplish good, Proverbs 12:14; Proverbs 12:17; Proverbs 15:23; James 3:13; Ephesians 4:29; 1 Peter 3:10-11. Words prompted by the soul (desire) of the transgressors (treacherous) (RV) are destructive, Proverbs 10:14-15; Proverbs 10:27; Proverbs 16:27; Proverbs 18:7; Proverbs 21:27; James 3:6. The admonition of these verses is be aware that words spoken continue, be careful what you say.

Verse 4

Diligence Vs Laziness

Verse 4 -(See comment on 10:4.)

Verse 5

Truth and Falsehood

Verse 5 suggests that a righteous man (a lover of truth) hates or detests lying; but a wicked man (who lies and slanders) is loathsome and will eventually come to shame. Proverbs 12:22 expresses the LORD’s view of lying and truthful persons. This verse emphasizes the consequences of lying; it exerts an evil influence which provokes abhorrence by men, Genesis 34:30; and leads to everlasting shame and contempt, Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 21:8.

Verse 6

Security Or Destruction

Verse 6 declares that righteousness protects the upright; but wickedness destroys the sinner, Proverbs 11:3; Proverbs 11:5-6; Proverbs 11:8; Proverbs 18:10. Compare the experience of Joseph, Genesis 39:4-9; Genesis 39:22-23 with that of the sons of Eli, 1 Samuel 2:12; 1 Samuel 2:22-25; 1 Samuel 2:34.

Verse 7

Riches and Poverty

Verse 7 suggests that there is material wealth which in reality is the greatest of poverty (Luke 12:16-21); and there is a material poverty co-existing with the possessing of all things spiritual (2 Corinthians 6:10).

Verse 8

The Advantage of Poverty

Verse 8 declares that the rich man may ransom his life or with money evade retribution for his actions; but the poor man, having nothing, is not subject to rebuke (RV - threats) such as the rich receive, Jeremiah 41:8; 2 Kings 25:8-12.

Verse 9

Expectations of Life

Verse 9 contrasts the enlightened and satisfying life of the righteous with the uncertain and hopeless life of the wicked, Proverbs 4:18; Job 18:5-6; Job 21:17.

Verse 10

Fruit of Pride

Verse 10 affirms that arrogance, the inflated view that one’s opinion is superior, is the cause of contention. In contrast is the wisdom of open-minded consideration of new ideas and other opinions, Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 16:5; Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 15:22.

Verse 11

Acquisition of Wealth

Verse 11 declares that wealth acquired by dishonest or questionable means shall not be permanent; but that gained by honest labor shall increase. The LORD frowns upon dishonesty, but blesses that which is honorable and just, Proverbs 6:16-19; Proverbs 10:2; Proverbs 21:6; Proverbs 20:21; Proverbs 28:20; Proverbs 28:22.

Verse 12

Patience In Hope

Verse 12 affirms that HOPE deferred depresses the heart or mind; but when that which is desired comes to pass, it is a source of renewed spiritual life. Abraham had reason to hope for a son at 75 (Genesis 12:2-4), despaired of it at 99 (Genesis 17:17; Genesis 17:24), then rejoiced in its reality at 100 (Genesis 21:5). The New Testament teaches patience in connection with hope, Hebrews 6:11-12; James 5:7; James 1:3; and recommends the comfort of the sure Word, Romans 15:4. This proverb also suggests care in making and keeping promises to others, lest through carelessness, needless discouragement be caused.

Verse 13

Obedience Important

Verse 13, by reference to the WORD and COMMANDMENT, recognizes the existing religious teachings and practices of Israel and

emphasizes the importance of obeying the Scriptures. He who does so will be rewarded. He who scorns their message will suffer grievous consequences here and hereafter, Proverbs 11:18; Proverbs 10:8; Proverbs 10:17; 2 Chronicles 36:15-16; Proverbs 1:24-33; Proverbs 28:9.

Verse 14

Enrichment and Protection

Verse 14 declares that the law (teaching) followed by the wise is a source of spiritual refreshment, also protection from the traps that ensnare others, Proverbs 14:27; Proverbs 16:22. Note the experience of David, 2 Samuel 22:1-7; Psalms 116:1-6.

Verse 15

Favor or Futility

Verse 15 affirms in the first line that good understanding obtains favor, Proverbs 3:13-18; Proverbs 4:1; Proverbs 4:7; (compare also 1 Samuel 18:14; Daniel 1:8-9). The second line is difficult, but the thought appears to be: the way of the transgressors (the faithless and treacherous) leads to their ruin or destruction, Proverbs 11:3; Judges 9:1-5; Judges 9:48-57; Isaiah 33:1.

Verse 16

Character Shows

Verse 16 declares that conduct reveals character. The prudent man acts wisely in accord with knowledge of the matter; but the fool with unrestrained vigor manifests his lack of knowledge or ability, Proverbs 12:23; Proverbs 15:2.

Verse 17

Selecting Agents

Verse 17 suggests caution in selecting an agent because a wicked representative will likely become involved in mischief adversely affecting those he represents; but a faithful ambassador will perform his mission in a manner to the advantage and well being of those he serves, Proverbs 25:13.

Verse 18

Response to Correction

Verse 18 states the consequences of response to needed instruction or correction To refuse such leads to poverty and shame which have eternal implications (Proverbs 1:20-32); but to accept correction is wise and leads to honor and security, Proverbs 13:18; Proverbs 15:5; Proverbs 15:31-32; Proverbs 1:33.

Verse 19

Folly of Fools

Verse 19 contrasts that relationship with the LORD which would gladden the heart of man (Psalms 4:6-7) with the unwillingness of foolish man to depart from evil and yield to the call of the LORD, Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 1:22-25; Proverbs 10:8; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 14:9.

Verse 20

Like Begets Like

Verse 20 emphasizes the influence of association. One who associates much with persons wise and active in the ways of the LORD will himself gain wisdom concerning the ways of the LORD, Proverbs 1:23; Proverbs 4:5-8. The person who spends his time in the company of fools will acquire their ways and share their destruction. Fools as used here refers not to mental deficiency but to stubbornness and a propensity to choose evil rather than good. Such reject the fear of the LORD, choosing to go their own way and influencing many to follow, Proverbs 1:29-32; Proverbs 10:8; Proverbs 10:14; Proverbs 10:21.

Verses 21-22

Just Recompense

Verses 21-22 reaffirm the promise of just recompense for both righteous and wicked. Evil is not hidden or overlooked but pursues the offender until justly recompensed in God’s own time. Likewise the good of the righteous is rewarded fairly. The following references describe recompense of the wicked as sorrow, sudden desolation, dishonest gain taken away and given to those who pity the poor, and destruction. The righteous shall be strong, eat good, eat fruit of enemies, leave an inheritance to their children forever, Psalms 32:10; Psalms 54:5; Isaiah 47:11; Proverbs 11:31; Proverbs 13:13; Isaiah 3:10; Ezra 9:12; Psalms 37:25; Proverbs 28:8; Ecclesiastes 2:26.

Verse 23

Discretion Pays

Verse 23 suggests that good judgment and diligent effort in the use of a plot of ground is rhore important than the size of the plot, Proverbs 12:11; Proverbs 28:19; Isaiah 28:24-26.

Verse 24

The Spared Rod

Verse 24 emphasizes the importance of proper and timely correction of the child including use of the rod when required. Such is necessary because (1) foolishness is in the heart of the child and needs to be dealt with early, Proverbs 19:18; Proverbs 22:15; (2) if not corrected, will bring shame to parents (Proverbs 29:15) and may .lead to a Christless death (23:14). Failure to correct is both failure to love as a parent should and disregard for the commands of God (Vs. 24; Proverbs 19:18; Proverbs 23:13). Correction is to be administered in the spirit Solomon’s parents demonstrated (4:3-4) and which he exhibits twenty times in the first 7 chapters of Proverbs. Excess is to be avoided (Ephesians 6:4). Properly administered, correction will bring peace of mind and delight to faithful parents (Proverbs 29:17).

Verse 25

Divine Recompense

Verse 25 contrasts the assurance that material needs of the righteous will be supplied with the forecast that the wants and cravings of the wicked will eventually be denied (soul in this verse refers to desire or appetite),Proverbs 10:3; Proverbs 11:31; Proverbs 13:21-22.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 13". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/proverbs-13.html. 1985.
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