Matthew Henry Complete Commentary
on the Whole Bible
Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he
that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
1. What will be the credit and comfort of a poor man, and make him more
excellent than his neighbour, though his poverty may expose him to
contempt and may dispirit him. Let him be honest and walk in
integrity, let him keep a good conscience and make it appear that
he does so, let him always speak and act with sincerity when he is
under the greatest temptations to dissemble and break his word, and
then let him value himself upon that, for all wise and good men will
value him. He is better, has a better character, is in a better
condition, is better beloved, and lives to better purpose, than many a
one that looks great and makes a figure.
2. What will be the shame of a rich man, notwithstanding all his pomp.
If he have a shallow head and an evil tongue, if he is perverse in
his lips and is a fool, if he is a wicked man and gets what he has
by fraud and oppression, he is a fool, and an honest poor man is
to be preferred far before him.
2 Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not
good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.
Two things are here declared to be of bad consequence:--
1. Ignorance: To be without the knowledge of the soul is not
good, so some read it. Know we not our own selves, our own hearts?
A soul without knowledge is not good; it is a great privilege
that we have souls, but, if these souls have not knowledge, what the
better are we? If man has not understanding, he is as the
An ignorant soul cannot be a good soul. That the soul be without
knowledge is not safe, nor pleasant; what good can the soul do, of what
is it good for, if it be without knowledge?
2. Rashness. He that hastes with his feet (that does things
inconsiderately and with precipitation, and will not take time to
ponder the path of his feet) sins; he cannot but often miss the
mark and take many a false step, which those prevent that consider
their ways. As good not know as not consider.
3 The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart
fretteth against the LORD.
We have here two instances of men's folly:--
1. That they bring themselves into straits and troubles, and run
themselves a-ground, and embarrass themselves: The foolishness of
man perverts his way. Men meet with crosses and disappointments in
their affairs, and things do not succeed as they expected and wished,
and it is owing to themselves and their own folly; it is their own
iniquity that corrects them.
2. That when they have done so they lay the blame upon God, and their
hearts fret against him, as if he had done them wrong, whereas really
they wrong themselves. In fretting, we are enemies to our own peace,
and become self-tormentors; in fretting against the Lord we
affront him, his justice, goodness, and sovereignty; and it is very
absurd to take occasion from the trouble which we pull upon our own
heads by our wilfulness, or neglect, to quarrel with him, when we ought
to blame ourselves, for it is our own doing. See
4 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from
1. We may see how strong men's love of money is, that they will love
any man, how undeserving soever he be otherwise, if he has but a deal
of money and is free with it, so that they may hope to be the better
for it. Wealth enables a man to send many presents, make many
entertainments, and do many good offices, and so gains him many
friends, who pretend to love him, for they flatter him and make their
court to him, but really love what he has, or rather love themselves,
hoping to get by him.
2. We may see how weak men's love of one another is. He who, while he
prospered, was beloved and respected, if he fall into poverty is
separated from his neighbour, is not owned nor looked upon, not
visited nor regarded, is bidden to keep his distance and told he is
troublesome. Even one that has been his neighbour and acquaintance will
turn his face from him and pass by on the other side. Because men's
consciences tell them they ought to relieve and succour such, they are
willing to have this excuse, that they did not see them.
5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that
speaketh lies shall not escape.
Here we have,
1. The sins threatened--bearing false witness in judgment and
speaking lies in common conversation. Men could not arrive at
such a pitch of impiety as to bear false witness (where to the guilt of
a lie is added that of perjury and injury) if they had not advanced to
it by allowing themselves to speak untruths in jest and banter, or
under pretence of doing good. Thus men teach their tongues to speak
Those that will take a liberty to tell lies in discourse are in a fair
way to be guilty of the greater wickedness of false-witness-bearing,
whenever they are tempted to it, though they seemed to detest it. Those
that can swallow a false word debauch their consciences, so that a
false oath will not choke them.
2. The threatening itself: They shall not go unpunished; they
shall not escape. This intimates that that which emboldens them
in the sin is the hope of impunity, it being a sin which commonly
escapes punishment from men, though the law is strict,
But it shall not escape the righteous judgment of God, who is
jealous, and will not suffer his name to be profaned; we know where all
liars will have their everlasting portion.
6 Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man
is a friend to him that giveth gifts.
7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do
his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet
they are wanting to him.
These two verses are a comment upon
1. How those that are rich and great are courted and caressed, and have
suitors and servants in abundance. The prince that has power in his
hand, and preferments at his disposal, has his gate and his
ante-chamber thronged with petitioners, that are ready to adore him for
what they can get. Many will entreat his favour, and think
themselves happy in it. Even great men are humble suppliants to the
prince. How earnest then should we be for the favour of God, which is
far beyond that of any earthly prince. But, it should seem, liberality
will go further than majesty itself to gain respect, for there are many
that court the prince, but every man is a friend to him that gives
gifts; not only those that have received, or do expect, gifts from
him, will, as friends, be ready to serve him, but others also will, as
friends, give him their good word. Prodigals, who are foolishly free of
what they have, will have many hangers-on who will cry them up as long
as it lasts, but will leave them when it is done. Those that are
prudently generous make an interest by it which may stand them in good
stead; those that are accounted benefactors exercise an authority which
may give them an opportunity of doing good,
2. How those that are poor and low are slighted and despised. Men may,
if they please, court the prince, and the princely, but they may not
trample upon the poor and look at them with disdain. Yet so it often
is: All the brethren of the poor do hate him; even his own
relations are shy of him, because he is needy and craving, and expects
something from them, and because they look upon him as a blemish to
their family; and then no marvel if others of his friends, that were
nothing akin to him, go far from him, to get out of his way.
He pursues them with words, hoping to prevail with them by his
importunity to be kind to him, but all in vain; they have nothing for
him. They pursue him with words (so some understand it), to
excuse themselves from giving him any thing; they tell him that he is
idle and impertinent, that he has brought himself into poverty, and
therefore ought not to be relieved; as Nabal said to David's
messengers: "There are many servants now a days that run away from
their masters; and how do I know but that David may be one of
them?" Let poor people therefore make God their friend, pursue him with
their prayers, and he will not be wanting to them.
8 He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth
understanding shall find good.
Those are here encouraged,
1. That take pains to get wisdom, to get knowledge, and grace,
and acquaintance with God; those that do so show that they love
their own souls, and will be found to have done themselves the
greatest kindness imaginable. No man ever hated his own flesh,
but loves that, yet many are wanting in love to their own souls, for
only those love their souls, and consequently love themselves, aright,
that get wisdom, true wisdom.
2. That take care to keep it when they have got it; it is health, and
wealth, and honour, and all, to the soul, and therefore he that
keeps understanding, as he shows that he loves his own
soul, so he shall certainly find good, all good. He that
retains the good lessons he has learnt, and orders his conversation
according to them, shall find the benefit and comfort of it in his own
soul and shall be happy here and for ever.
9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that
speaketh lies shall perish.
1. A repetition of what was said before
for we have need to be again and again warned of the danger of the sin
of lying and false-witness-bearing, since nothing is of more fatal
2. An addition to it in one word; there it was said, He that speaks
lies shall not escape, and intimated that he shall be punished.
Here it is said, His punishment shall be such as will be his
destruction: he shall perish; the lies he forged against others
will be his own ruin. It is a damning destroying sin.
10 Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to
have rule over princes.
1. Pleasure and liberty ill become a fool: Delight is not seemly
for such a one. A man that has not wisdom and grace has no right
nor title to true joy, and therefore it is unseemly. It ill becomes
those that do not delight in God to delight in any thing, nor how to
manage themselves, and therefore they do but expose themselves. It
becomes ungracious fools to be afflicted, and mourn, and weep, not to
laugh and be merry; rebukes are more proper for them than delights.
Delight is seemly for a man of business, to refresh him when he is
fatigued, but not for a fool, that lives an idle life and abuses
his recreations. The prosperity of fools discovers their folly
and destroys them.
2. Power and honour ill become a man of a servile spirit. Nothing is
more unseemly than for a servant to have rule over princes; it
is absurd in itself, and very preposterous, for none are so insolent
and intolerable as a beggar on horseback, a servant when he
It is very unseemly for one that is a servant to sin and his lusts to
rule over and oppress those that are God's freemen and made kings and
priests to him.
11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his
glory to pass over a transgression.
A wise man will observe these two rules about his anger:
1. Not to be over-hasty in his resentments: Discretion teaches
us to defer our anger, to defer the admission of it till we have
thoroughly considered all the merits of the provocation, seen them in a
true light and weighed them in a just balance; and then to defer the
prosecution of it till there be no danger of running into any
indecencies. Plato said to his servant, "I would beat thee, but that I
am angry." Give it time, and it will cool.
2. Not to be over-critical in his resentments. Whereas it is commonly
looked upon as a piece of ingenuity to apprehend an affront quickly, it
is here made a man's glory to pass over a transgression, to
appear as if he did not see it
or, if he sees fit to take notice of it, yet to forgive it and meditate
12 The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his
favour is as dew upon the grass.
This is to the same purport with what we had
and the design of it is,
1. To make kings wise and considerate in dispensing their frowns and
smiles. They are not like those of common persons; their frowns are
very terrible and their smiles very comfortable, and therefore it
concerns them to be very careful that they never frighten a good man
from doing well with their frowns, nor ever give countenance to a
wicked man in doing ill with their smiles, for then they abuse their
2. To make subjects faithful and dutiful to their princes. Let them be
restrained from all disloyalty by the consideration of the dreadful
consequence of having the government against them; and let them be
encouraged in all good services to the public by the hopes of the
favour of their prince. Christ is a King whose wrath against his
enemies will be as the roaring of a lion
and his favour to his own people as the refreshing dew,
13 A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the
contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
It is an instance of the vanity of the world that we are liable to the
greatest grief in those things wherein we promise ourselves the
greatest comfort. It is as it proves. What greater temporal comfort can
a man have than a good wife and good children? Yet,
1. A foolish son is a great affliction, and may make a man wish
a thousand times he had been written childless. A son that will apply
himself to no study or business, that will take no advice, that lives a
lewd, loose, rakish life, and spends what he has extravagantly, games
it away and wastes it in the excess of riot, or that is proud, foppish,
and conceited, such a one is the grief of his father, because he
is the disgrace, and is likely to be the ruin, of his family. He hates
all his labour, when he sees to whom he must leave the fruit of it.
2. A cross peevish wife is as great an affliction: Her contentions
are continual; every day, and every hour in the day, she finds some
occasion to make herself and those about her uneasy. Those that are
accustomed to chide never want something or other to chide at; but it
is a continual dropping, that is, a continual vexation, as it is
to have a house so much out of repair that it rains in and a man cannot
lie dry in it. That man has an uncomfortable life, and has need of a
great deal of wisdom and grace to enable him to bear his affliction and
do his duty, who has a sot for his son and a scold for his wife.
14 House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a
prudent wife is from the LORD.
1. A discreet and virtuous wife is a choice gift of God's providence to
a man--a wife that is prudent, in opposition to one that is
For, though a wife that is continually finding fault may think it is
her wit and wisdom to be so, it is really her folly; a prudent
wife is meek and quiet, and makes the best of every thing. If a man
has such a wife, let him not ascribe it to the wisdom of his own choice
or his own management (for the wisest have been deceived both in and by
a woman), but let him ascribe it to the goodness of God, who made him a
help meet for him, and perhaps by some hits and turns of providence
that seemed casual brought her to him. Every creature is what he makes
it. Happy marriages, we are sure, are made in heaven; Abraham's servant
prayed in the belief of this,
2. It is a more valuable gift than house and riches, contributes
more to the comfort and credit of a man's life and the welfare of his
family, is a greater token of God's favour, and about which the divine
providence is in a more especial manner conversant. A good estate may
be the inheritance of fathers, which, by the common direction of
Providence, comes in course to a man; but no man has a good wife by
descent or entail. Parents that are worldly, in disposing of their
children, look no further than to match them to house and
riches, but, if withal it be to a prudent wife, let God have
Circumspection and Charity.
15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul
shall suffer hunger.
See here the evil of a sluggish slothful disposition.
1. It stupefies men, and makes them senseless, and mindless of their
own affairs, as they were cast into a deep sleep, dreaming much,
but doing nothing. Slothful people doze away their time, bury their
talents, live a useless life, and are the unprofitable burdens of the
earth; for any service they do when they are awake they might as well
be always asleep. Even their souls are idle and lulled asleep, their
rational powers chilled and frozen.
2. It impoverishes men and brings them to want. Those that will not
labour cannot expect to eat, but must suffer hunger: An idle
soul, one that is idle in the affairs of his soul, that takes no
care or pains to work out his salvation, shall perish for want of that
which is necessary to the life and happiness of the soul.
16 He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but
he that despiseth his ways shall die.
1. The happiness of those that walk circumspectly. Those that make
conscience of keeping the commandment in every thing, that live
by rule, as becomes servants and patients, keep their own souls;
they secure their present peace and future bliss, and provide every way
well for themselves. If we keep God's word, God's word will keep us
from every thing really hurtful.
2. The misery of those that live at large and never mind what they do:
Those that despair their ways shall die, shall perish eternally;
they are in the high road to ruin. With respect to those that are
careless about the end of their ways, and never consider whither they
are going, and about the rule of their ways, that will walk in the way
of their hearts and after the course of the world
that never consider what they have done nor what they are concerned to
do, but walk at all adventures
right or wrong, it is all one to them--what can come of this but the
17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and
that which he hath given will he pay him again.
I. The duty of charity described. It includes two things:--
1. Compassion, which is the inward principle of charity in the heart;
it is to have pity on the poor. Those that have not a penny for
the poor, yet may have pity for them, a charitable concern and
sympathy; and, if a man give all his goods to feed the poor and
have not this charity in his heart, it is nothing,
1 Corinthians 13:3.
We must draw out our souls to the hungry,
2. Bounty and liberality. We must not only pity the poor, but give,
according to their necessity and our ability,
That which he has given. Margin, His deed. It is charity
to do for the poor, as well as to give; and thus, if they have their
limbs and senses, they may be charitable to one another.
II. The encouragement of charity.
1. A very kind construction shall be put upon it. What is given to the
poor, or done for them, God will place it to account as lent to him,
lent upon interest (so the word signifies); he takes it kindly,
as if it were done to himself, and he would have us take the comfort of
it and to be as well pleased as ever any usurer was when he had let out
a sum of money into good hands.
2. A very rich recompence shall be made for it: He will pay him
again, in temporal, spiritual, and eternal blessings. Almsgiving is
the surest and safest way of thriving.
18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul
spare for his crying.
Parents are here cautioned against a foolish indulgence of their
children that are untoward and viciously inclined, and that discover
such an ill temper of mind as is not likely to be cured but by
1. Do not say that it is all in good time to correct them; no, as soon
as ever there appears a corrupt disposition in them check it
immediately, before it gets head, and takes root, and is hardened into
a habit: Chasten thy son while there is hope, for perhaps, if he
be let alone awhile, he will be past hope, and a much greater
chastening will not do that which now a less would effect. It is
easiest plucking up weeds as soon as they spring up, and the bullock
that is designed for the yoke should be betimes accustomed to it.
2. Do not say that it is a pity to correct them, and that, because they
cry and beg to be forgiven, you cannot find in your heart to do it. If
the point can be gained without correction, well and good; but if you
find, as it often proves, that your forgiving them once, upon a
dissembled repentance and promise of amendment, does but embolden them
to offend again, especially if it be a thing that is in itself sinful
(as lying, swearing, ribaldry, stealing, or the like), in such a case
put on resolution, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. It
is better that he should cry under thy rod than under the sword of the
magistrate, or, which is more fearful, that of divine vengeance.
19 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou
deliver him, yet thou must do it again.
1. As we read this, it intimates, in short, that angry men never want
woe. Those that are of strong, or rather headstrong, passions, commonly
bring themselves and their families into trouble by vexatious suits and
quarrels and the provocations they give; they are still smarting, in
one instance or other, for their ungoverned heats; and, if their
friends deliver them out of one trouble, they will quickly involve
themselves in another, and they must do it again, all which
troubles to themselves and others would be prevented if they would
mortify their passions and get the rule of their own spirits.
2. It may as well be read, He that is of great wrath (meaning
the child that is to be corrected and is impatient of rebuke, cries and
makes a noise, even that wrath of his against the rod of correction)
deserves to be punished; for, if thou deliver him for the sake
of that, thou wilt be forced to punish him so much the more next time.
A stomachful high-spirited child must be subdued betimes, or it will be
the worse for it.
20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be
wise in thy latter end.
1. It is well with those that are wise in their latter end, wise
for their latter end, for their future state, wise for another world,
that are found wise when their latter end comes, wise virgins, wise
builders, wise stewards, that are wise at length, and understand the
things that belong to their peace, before they be hidden from their
eyes. A carnal worldling at his end shall be a fool
but godliness will prove wisdom at last.
2. Those that would be wise in their latter end must hear
counsel and receive instruction, in their beginnings must be
willing to be taught and ruled, willing to be advised and reproved,
when they are young. Those that would be stored in winter must gather
21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the
counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
Here we have,
1. Men projecting. They keep their designs to themselves, but they
cannot hide them from God; he knows the many devices that are in
men's hearts,--devices against his counsels (as those,
devices without his counsel (no regard had to his providence, as those
this and the other they will do, and not take God along with
them),--devices unlike God's counsels; men are wavering in their
devices, and often absurd and unjust, but God's counsels are wise and
holy, steady and uniform.
2. God overruling. Various men have various designs, according as
their inclination or interest leads them, but the counsel of the
Lord, that shall stand, whatever becomes of the devices of men. His
counsel often breaks men's measures and baffles their devices; but
their devices cannot in the least alter his counsel, not disturb the
proceedings of it, nor put him upon new counsels,
What a check does this give to politic designing men, who think they
can outwit all mankind, that there is a God in heaven that laughs at
What comfort does this speak to all God's people, that all God's
purposes, which we are sure are right and good, shall be accomplished
in due time!
22 The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is
better than a liar.
1. The honour of doing good is what we may laudably be ambitious of. It
cannot but be the desire of man, if he have any spark of virtue
in him, to be kind; one would not covet an estate for any thing so much
as thereby to be put into a capacity of relieving the poor and obliging
2. It is far better to have a heart to do good and want ability for it
than have ability for it and want a heart to it: The desire of a
man to be kind, and charitable, and generous, is his
kindness, and shall be so construed; both God and man will accept
his good-will, according to what he has, and will not expect
more. A poor man, who wishes you well, but can promise you
nothing, because he has nothing to be kind with, is better than a
liar, than a rich man who makes you believe he will do mighty
things, but, when it comes to the setting to, will do nothing. The
character of the men of low degree, that they are vanity, from
whom nothing is expected, is better than that of men of high degree,
that they are a lie, they deceive those whose expectations they
23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath
it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
See what those that get by it that live in the fear of God, and always
make conscience of their duty to him.
1. Safety: They shall not be visited with evil; they may be
visited with sickness or other afflictions, but there shall be no evil
in them, nothing to hurt them, because nothing to separate them from
the love of God, or hurt to the soul.
2. Satisfaction: They shall abide satisfied; they shall have
those comforts which are satisfying, and shall have a constant
contentment and complacency in them. It is a satisfaction which will
abide, whereas all the satisfactions of sense are transient and soon
gone. Satur pernoctabit, non cubabit incoenatus--He shall not
go supperless to bed; he shall have that which will make him easy
and be an entertainment to him in his silent and solitary hours,
3. True and complete happiness. Serious godliness has a direct
tendency to life; to all good, to eternal life; it is the sure
and ready way to it; there is something in the nature of it fitting men
for heaven and so leading them to it.
24 A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will
not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
A sluggard is here exposed as a fool, for,
1. All his care is to save himself from labour and cold. See his
posture: He hides his hand in his bosom, pretends he is lame and
cannot work; his hands are cold, and he must warm them in his bosom;
and, when they are warm there, he must keep them so. He hugs himself in
his own ease and is resolved against labour and hardship. Let those
work that love it; for his part he thinks there is no such fine life as
sitting still and doing nothing.
2. He will not be at the pains to feed himself, an elegant hyperbole;
as we say, A man is so lazy that he would not shake fire off him, so
here, He cannot find in his heart to take his hand out of his bosom,
no, not to put meat into his own mouth. If the law be so that those
that will not labour must not eat, he will rather starve than stir.
Thus his sin is his punishment, and therefore is egregious folly.
25 Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one
that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.
1. The punishment of scorners will be a means of good to others. When
men are so hardened in wickedness that they will not themselves be
wrought upon by the severe methods that are used to reclaim and reform
them, yet such methods must be used for the sake of others, that
they may hear and fear,
If the scorner will not be recovered from his sin, the disease
being inveterate, yet the simple will beware of venturing upon
the sin which exposes men thus. If it cure not the infected, it may
prevent the spreading of the infection.
2. The reproof of wise men will be a means of good to themselves. They
need not be smitten; a word to the wise is enough. Do but reprove
one that has understanding and he will so far understand himself
and his own interest that he will understand knowledge by it,
and not miss it again through ignorance and inadvertency when once he
has been told of it; so kindly does he take reproof and so wisely
26 He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his
mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.
1. The sin of a prodigal son. Besides the wrong he does to himself, he
is injurious to his good parents, and basely ungrateful to those that
were instruments of his being and have taken so much care and pains
about him, which is a great aggravation of his sin and renders it
exceedingly sinful in the eyes of God and man: He wastes is
father, wastes his estate which he should have to support him in
his old age, wastes his spirits, and breaks his heart, and brings his
gray head with sorrow to the grave. He chases away his
mother, alienates her affections from him, which cannot be done
without a great deal of regret and uneasiness to her; he makes her
weary of the house, with his rudeness and insolence, and glad to retire
for a little quietness; and, when he has spent all, he turns her out of
2. The shame of a prodigal son. It is a shame to himself that he should
be so brutish and unnatural. He makes himself odious to all mankind. It
is a shame to his parents and family, who are reflected upon, though,
perhaps, without just cause, for teaching him no better, or being in
some way wanting to him.
27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err
from the words of knowledge.
This is a good caution to those that have had a good education to take
heed of hearkening to those who, under pretence of instructing them,
draw them off from those good principles under the influence of which
they were trained up. Observe,
1. There is that which seems designed for instruction, but really tends
to the destruction of young men. The factors for vice will undertake to
teach them free thoughts and a fashionable conversation, how to
palliate the sins they have a mind to and stop the mouth of their own
consciences, how to get clear of the restraints of their education and
to set up for wits and beaux. This is the instruction which
causes to err from the forms of sound words, which should be
held fast in faith and love.
2. It is the wisdom of young men to turn a deaf ear to such
instructions, as the adder does to the charms that are designed to
ensnare her. "Dread hearing such talk as tends top instil loose
principles into the mind; and, if thou art linked in with such, break
off from them; thou hast heard enough, or too much, and therefore hear
no more of the evil communication which corrupts good manners."
28 An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the
wicked devoureth iniquity.
Here is a description of the worst of sinners, whose hearts are
fully set in them to do evil.
1. They set that at defiance which would deter and detain them from
sin: An ungodly witness is one that bears false witness against
his neighbour, and will forswear himself to do another a mischief, in
which there is not only great injustice, but great impiety; this is one
of the worst of men. Or an ungodly witness is one that profanely
and atheistically witnesses against religion and godliness, whose
instructions seduce from the words of knowledge
such a one scorns judgment, laughs at the terrors of the Lord,
mocks at that fear,
Tell him of law and equity, that the scriptures and an oath are sacred
things, and not to be jested with, that there will come a reckoning
day; he laughs at it all, and scorns to heed it.
2. They are greedy, and glad of that which gives them an opportunity to
sin: The mouth of the wicked eagerly devours iniquity, drinks
it in like water,
29 Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the
back of fools.
1. Scorners are fools. Those that ridicule things sacred and serious do
but make themselves ridiculous. Their folly shall be manifest unto
2. Those that scorn judgments cannot escape them,
The unbelief of man shall not make God's threatenings of no effect;
those that devour iniquity swallow the hook with the bait. The
civil magistrate has judgments prepared for scorners, for
otherwise he would bear the sword in vain; but if he be remiss,
and connive at sin, yet God's judgments slumber not; they are prepared,