Enduring Word Bible Commentary Proverbs 18 (2023)

Proverbs 18:1

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.

a. A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire: To cut one’s self off from family, friends, and community is often to express a selfish desire. It shows an unwillingness to make the small (and sometimes large) sacrifices to get along with others.

i. “The Mishnah uses this passage to teach the necessity of not separating from the community, because people have responsibilities as social beings (Aboth 2:4).” (Ross)

b. He rages against all wise judgment: God designed us after His own triune nature; He designed us to live in community. The instinct many have for isolation must not be over-indulged; it is against all wise judgment.

i. “The protest of this proverb is against the self-satisfaction which makes a man separate himself from the thoughts and opinions of others. Such a one finally ‘rages against,’ or ‘quarrels with all sound wisdom.’” (Morgan)

Proverbs 18:2

A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart.

a. A fool has no delight in understanding: The wise man or woman has great satisfaction in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. This is not so with the fool; they find no delight in wisdom.

i. “He is wilful, and so stands as a stake in the midst of a stream; lets all pass by him, but he stands where he was. It is easier to deal with twenty men’s reasons, than with one man’s will.” (Trapp)

b. But in expressing his own heart: What doesdelight the fool is expressinghis own heart. If he asks questions it is to show how clever he is rather than to learn. He is focused on self instead of God, and his folly flows from this wrong priority and wrong place to find delight.

i. “It is a fact that most vain and foolish people are never satisfied in company, but in showing their own nonsense and emptiness.” (Clarke)

ii. Expressing his own heart: “The verb occurs in Hithpael elsewhere only in connection with the drunken Noah indecently uncovering himself (Genesis 9:21; cf.).” (Waltke)

Proverbs 18:3

When the wicked comes, contempt comes also;
And with dishonor comes reproach.

a. When the wicked comes, contempt comes also: The wickedbringscontempt with them; the proud, superior attitude that thinks itself better than others and looks at those thought to be lesser with scorn. Yet it can also be said that contemptfollows the wicked because God will scorn those who scorn others.

b. With dishonor comes reproach: The wicked bring insults (reproach) upon those they consider dishonorable.

Proverbs 18:4

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.

a. The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters: The idea isn’t that everyone’s speech is deep and meaningful. Instead, the idea is that we reveal the depths of our heart by the words of our mouth.

i. “That is, the wise sayings of a wise man are like deep waters; howsoever much you pump or draw off, you do not appear to lessen them.” (Clarke)

b. The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook: When the wellspring of a man’s being is rooted in wisdom, it will then flow out from their words.

i. Deep waters…flowing brook: “Fitly are the words of the wise resembled to waters, saith one, inasmuch as they both wash the minds of the hearers, that the foulness of sin remain not therein, and water them in such sort that they faint not, nor wither by a drought and burning desire of heavenly doctrine.” (Trapp)

Proverbs 18:5

It is not good to show partiality to the wicked,
Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.

a. It is not good to show partiality to the wicked: This is obvious to the person with a moral compass. Yet there are many reasons why someone might be tempted to show partiality to the wicked. They may do it out of misplaced compassion, out of a desire to please others, because of some kind of bribe, or many other reasons.

i. “We must not, in judicial cases, pay any attention to a man’s riches, influence, friends, offices, etc., but judge the case according to its own merits. But when the wicked rich man opposes and oppresses the poor righteous, then all those things should be utterly forgotten.” (Clarke)

b. Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment: When one shows partiality to the wicked, they will overthrow the righteous in judgment whether they intend to or not. Each aspect of injustice is sin.

i. “For justice to happen, the cause must be heard, not the person. Let the person be punished for his wickedness, not the wickedness be covered for the person’s sake. When one is partial to the wicked, the rights of God are despised, and the claims of his justice are thrown away.” (Bridges)

Proverbs 18:6

A fool’s lips enter into contention,
And his mouth calls for blows.

a. A fool’s lips enter into contention: It is in the nature of the fool to argue. Their words often bring them into contention.

b. His mouth calls for blows: The contentious words of the fool invite punishment, and sometimes this punishment will be physical correction, the blows of the rod of correction.

Proverbs 18:7

A fool’s mouth is his destruction,
And his lips are the snare of his soul.

(Video) Proverbs 18 Explained

a. A fool’s mouth is his destruction: The words of the fool show his folly, but they also work towards his destruction. Many a fool has been ruined because of his foolish words.

b. His lips are the snare of his soul: As in most places in Proverbs, snare here speaks of the life of being of the fool. It includes the inner spiritual self but is not restricted to it. The fool’s life is trapped – caught in a snare – by his foolish words.

i. “It is most remarkable that the apostle Paul, when analyzing man’s depravity, focuses on the little member and all that is linked to it—the throat, the tongue, the lips, and the mouth (Romans 3:13-14).” (Bridges)

Proverbs 18:8

The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles,
And they go down into the inmost body.

a. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles: The gossip and evil reports brought by the talebearer are almost impossible to resist. Those who should know better find it difficult to tell the talebearer to stop talking. The importance of this proverb is expressed in its repetition, being repeated in Proverbs 26:22.

i. Yet the damage the talebearer brings is great. “He that takes away a man’s good name kills him alive, and ruins him and his posterity; being herein worse than Cain, for he, in killing his brother, made him live for ever, and eternalised his name.” (Trapp)

ii. “Unlike the fool’s insolent speech that hurts himself in hurting others, gossip destroys the relationship of others, even the closest friends.” (Waltke)

iii. “The words of a gossip [talebearer] in an unguarded moment may inflict irreparable injury. This evil may be welcomed in certain circles that thrive on scandal. But that does not alter the real character of a gossip, who is detested by both God and man.” (Bridges)

b. They go down into the inmost body: When we receive the words of a talebearer, they normally have an effect on us. The words go down into us and often change the way we think and feel about people, even if what the talebearer says isn’t true or isn’t confirmed. God gave a strong word regarding the confirmation of testimony (Deuteronomy 19:15, 2 Corinthians 13:1, 1 Timothy 5:19).

i. Once we start eating these tasty trifles, it is hard to stop. “When such tasty bits are taken into the innermost being, they stimulate the desire for more.” (Ross)

ii. Instead of eating the tasty trifles of the talebearer, “Jeremiah sets a better model: he ate God’s word and delighted in it (Jeremiah 15:16; cf. Colossians 3:12-20).” (Waltke)

Proverbs 18:9

He who is slothful in his work
Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.

a. He who is slothful in his work: There are times of entertainment or leisure where perhaps laziness can be excused. There is never an excuse to be lazy or slothful in work. As previously noted at Proverbs 15:19:

· Laziness is theft – you live off the work of others.

· Laziness is selfishness – you live for yourself and comfort.

· Laziness is neglect of duty – you don’t do what you should.

b. Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer: We often think of laziness as a fairly innocent sin, but it is not. The lazy man is a close associate (brother) to the one who brings great destruction.

i. “It means that in life there can be no neutrality. Every man lives in the midst of a conflict between good and evil. He must and does take part therein. If he is not helping Jehovah against the mighty, he is helping the mighty against Jehovah” (Morgan). Morgan also noted this principle in other Biblical passages.

· “It was in the mind of Deborah when she cursed Meroz for not coming to the help of Jehovah against the mighty.”

· “It found explicit statement when our Lord said: ‘He that gathereth not with me scattereth’”

· “James recognized it when he wrote: ‘To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’”

ii. “This proverb applies this principle to work. Constructive work is the law of human life and progress. There· is an active principle of destruction operating in the history of man; and· he who is a slacker at his work, who does not put into it all his strength, is a brother to the man who in wickedness sets himself to the activity of destruction. No living being can be merely a spectator. Each works or wastes. Not to work well, is to aid the process of waste.” (Morgan)

iii. If a person is given management over a large estate and ruins it through vandalism and outright destruction, it is easy to see them as a great destroyer. Yet if the same person allows it to fall into disrepair and uselessness through neglect and laziness, they also are a great destroyer – they just did it another way. Laziness destroys.

Proverbs 18:10

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.

a. The name of the LORD is a strong tower: God provides a wonderful and strong defense. This is rooted not in a magical saying of His name as if it were a charm or a spell, but in the name of the LORD as a declaration of His character, His person. In all that He is and all that He stands for, Yahweh (the LORD) is a strong tower.

i. “This is the only place in Proverbs where ‘the name of the LORD’ is found; it signifies the attributes of God, here the power to protect (cf. Exodus 34:5-7).” (Ross)

ii. Because the name of Yahweh represents His character in all its aspects, the believer can think about the aspects of God’s character and find a strong, safe refuge in them. It can be as simple as this:

· Lord, You are a God of love – so I find refuge in Your love.

· Lord, You are a God of mercy – so I find refuge in Your mercy.

· Lord, You are a God of strength – so I find refuge in Your strength.

· Lord, You are a God of righteousness – so I find refuge in Your righteousness.

(Video) Bible Commentary by David Guzik at Enduring Word

iii. “Numberless are those castles in the air to which men hasten in the hour of peril: ceremonies lift their towers into the clouds; professions pile their walls high as mountains, and works of the flesh paint their delusions till they seem substantial bulwarks; but all, all shall melt like snow, and vanish like a mist.” (Spurgeon)

iv. A strong tower: “Within these walls, which of us needs to worry that the sharpest arrow can harm us? We realize our security from external trouble as we exercise our faith. We are safe from God’s avenging justice, from the curse of the law, from sin, from condemnation, from the second death.” (Bridges)

b. The righteous run to it and are safe: God invites all to find refuge in His name; whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, and Romans 10:13). Those who humbly run to God and find refuge with Him are His righteous ones, so it is the righteous who run to it.

i. “All creatures run to their refuges when hunted….Run therefore to God, by praying and not fainting. [Luke 18:1] This is the best policy for security.” (Trapp)

ii. Run to it: “This running appears to me to imply, that they have nothing to carry. A man who has a load, the heavier the load may be, the more will he be impeded in his flight. But the righteous run, like racers in the games, who have thrown off everything, their sins they leave to mercy, and their righteousness to the moles and bats.” (Spurgeon)

Proverbs 18:11

The rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own esteem.

a. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: In contrast to the righteous who find their strong tower in God and His character, the rich man (here used in the sense of the man who trusts in his riches, who is only rich and nothing else) finds refuge in his wealth.

i. Such a man who trusts in his own riches has no refuge when they fail. “A wicked man beaten out of earthly comforts is as a naked man in a storm, and an unarmed man in the field, or a ship tossed in the sea without an anchor, which presently dasheth upon rocks, or falleth upon quicksands.” (Trapp)

b. Like a high wall in his own esteem: The rich man sees his wealth as safe and sure as a high wall around a strong city. Yet this is only in his own esteem; both the LORD and the wise know that wealth is not a truly strong city and not a high wall.

i. “Wealth does afford a measure of protection, but the danger of wealth is precisely that it gives its possessor the illusion of greater security than it can provide.” (Garrett)

Proverbs 18:12

Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty,
And before honor is humility.

a. Before destruction the heart of man is haughty: Since pride leads the way to destruction (Proverbs 16:18), we should expect that the haughty heart is ready to receive its just destruction.

i. “There is no wisdom in a self-exaltation. Other vices have some excuse, for men seem to gain by them; avarice, pleasure, lust, have some plea; but the man who is proud sells his soul cheaply. He opens wide the flood-gates of his heart, to let men see how deep is the flood within his soul; then suddenly it floweth out, and all is gone – and all is nothing, for one puff of empty wind, one word of sweet applause – the soul is gone, and not a drop is left.” (Spurgeon)

b. And before honor is humility: Wise people know that humility leads the way to honor. If you want destruction, be haughty; if you want honor, show humility.

i. “It is not humility to underrate yourself. Humility is to think of yourself, if you can, as God thinks of you.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “Very likely the most humble man in the world won’t bend to anybody. John Knox was a truly humble man, yet if you had seen him march before Queen Mary with the Bible in his hand, to reprove her, you would have rashly said, ‘What a proud man!’ (Spurgeon)

iii. “The humility and exaltation of Jesus provides the classic example of this truth (see Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Philippians 2:1-10).” (Ross)

Proverbs 18:13

He who answers a matter before he hears it,
It is folly and shame to him.

a. He who answers a matter before he hears it: It is common to give a quick, impulsive answer to questions and problems. We respond without thinking, or without hearing the full story, sometimes more interested in what we hope to say than what the matter before us really is.

i. This is “a special snare of the self-important.” (Kidner)

b. It is folly and shame to him: To whatever extent we do this, it is foolish and shameful. It is folly because a wrong or misguided answer is likely; it is shame because we do not represent ourselves well in doing so.

i. “There are many also that give judgment before they hear the whole of the cause, and express an opinion before they hear the state of the case. How absurd, stupid, and foolish!” (Clarke)

Proverbs 18:14

The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness,
But who can bear a broken spirit?

a. The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness: Many who have labored long under sickness have felt themselves sustained – sometimes miraculously so – by the strength of their spirit.

i. “Christian principle strengthens natural strength. Outward troubles are bearable, yes, more than bearable, if there is peace within.” (Bridges)

b. Who can bear a broken spirit? When the spirit is broken, instead of giving life it proves to be something few people can bear.

i. “In physical sickness one can fall back on the will to live; but in depression the will to live may be gone, and there is no reserve for physical strength. The figure of a ‘crushed’ spirit suggests a broken will, loss of vitality, despair, and emotional pain. Few things in the human experience are as difficult to cope with as this.” (Ross)

ii. “There are some who have been greatly wounded, no doubt, through sickness. A wounded spirit may be the result of diseases which seriously shake the nervous system. Let us be very tender with brethren and sisters who got into that condition. I have heard some say, rather unkindly, ‘Sister So-and-so is so nervous, we can hardly speak in her presence.’ Yes, but talking like that will not help her; there are many persons who have had this trying kind of nervousness greatly aggravated by the unkindness or thoughtlessness of friends. It is a real disease, it is not imaginary. Imagination, no doubt, contributes to it, and increases it; but, still, there is a reality about it. There are some forms of physical disorder in which a person lying in bed feels great pain through another person simply walking across the room. ‘Oh!’ you say, ‘that is more imagination ‘Well, you may think so, if you like; but if you are ever in that painful condition, – as I have been many a time, – I will warrant that you will not talk in that fashion again.” (Spurgeon)

Proverbs 18:15

The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

a. The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge: The wise desire more wisdom and know how to get it. They show their prudence (wisdom) by seeking and getting more knowledge.

b. The ear of the wise seeks knowledge: Wise men and women seek after wisdom with all their being – their heart and their ear are given over to the pursuit of more wisdom.

(Video) Proverbs 18 Explained (KJV) - Death & Life In The Tongue

i. “By paralleling ‘heart’ and ‘ears,’ the verse stresses the full acquisition of knowledge: the ear of the wise listens to instruction, and the heart of the wise discerns what is heard to acquire knowledge.” (Ross)

Proverbs 18:16

A man’s gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.

a. A man’s gift makes room for him: A previous proverb (Proverbs 17:8) spoke of a present in the sense of a bribe, but a different word is used here. This proverb is a simple recognition of fact: generosity and politeness open many doors.

i. “Matan (‘gift’) is more general than ‘bribe’ (soh ad as in Proverbs 17:8, 23)…. Here the proverb simply says that a gift can expedite matters but says nothing about bribing judges.” (Ross)

ii. “This Jacob [Genesis 43:11] knew well, and therefore bade his sons take a present for the governor of the land, though it were but of every good thing a little. So Saul, [1 Samuel 9:7] when to go to the man of God to inquire about the asses.” (Trapp)

iii. “It can also be an innocent courtesy or eirenicon [gift to reconcile], like the present (minhah) sent to the captain in 1 Samuel 17:18, or to Esau or Joseph (Genesis 32:20; 43:11).” (Kidner)

b. And brings him before great men: It is true that a gift can be effective in gaining an audience of even great men. We are grateful that no gift is required to come before the greatest Man, the Man Christ Jesus who offers His work as mediator without cost (1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 5:1-2).

i. “Blessed be God! We do not lack any gifts to bring before him. Our welcome is free. The door of access is forever open. Our treasure of grace in his unchanging favor is unfathomable.” (Bridges)

Proverbs 18:17

The first one to plead his cause seems right,
Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

a. The first one to plead his cause seems right: This is a strong and familiar principle. When we hear the first side of a dispute or a debate, we often think the first one to plead his cause seems right, and we are quick to take their side against the other.

b. Until his neighbor comes and examines him: The judgment is very different when the other side is heard from his neighbor. The second voice may confront the first one to plead his cause and give both sides of the story.

i. “Any man may, in the first instance, make out a fair tale, because he has the choice of circumstances and arguments. But when the neighbour cometh and searcheth him, he examines all, dissects all, swears and cross-questions every witness, and brings out truth and fact.” (Clarke)

ii. “Thus the proverb teaches the equality of disputants and instructs the disciple not only to hear both sides of an argument but to demand direct cross-examination before rendering a decision (cf. Deuteronomy 19:16-18).” (Waltke)

iii. With this principle in mind, it is important that we argue for and defend Biblical truth in a way that can stand before the examination of others. Giving arguments that sound convincing but can be easily exposed or answered by an adversary do no good in defending and advancing God’s kingdom.

Proverbs 18:18

Casting lots causes contentions to cease,
And keeps the mighty apart.

a. Casting lots causes contentions to cease: When there is an argument or dispute, appealing to an outside authority to solve the matter can make contentions to cease. In this case, the outside authority is the casting of lots, but the principle can be applied to other agreed-upon authorities.

i. “Proverbs 18:18 speaks of a practice that was widely practiced and highly regarded in ancient Israel, the casting of lots to settle disputed matters. The intent is to give the controversy over to God.” (Garrett)

ii. “Today God’s word and spiritual leaders figure prominently in divine arbitration (1 Corinthians 6:1-8).” (Ross)

b. And keeps the mighty apart: When an outside authority settles the contention, it can keep mighty warriors from fighting and killing each other.

Proverbs 18:19

A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city,
And contentions are like the bars of a castle.

a. A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city: There is a price to pay in offending a brother. To win him back to friendship and cooperation is difficult, more than we often think. Therefore, we avoid offending our brother, doing so only if necessary and doing all we can to be blameless so that whatever offense is taken is because of him and not us.

i. “If we take the words according to the common version, we see them express what, alas! we know to be too generally true: that when brothers fall out, it is with extreme difficulty that they can be reconciled. And fraternal enmities are generally strong and inveterate.” (Clarke)

ii. “It is as if the closer the relationship, the wider the breach. The thread, once snapped, is not easily joined.” (Bridges)

b. Contentions are like the bars of a castle: The conflict and contentions that come from a brother offended can be as difficult to break as the bars of a castle. They also may imprison those caught in the contentions.

i. “The proverb so understood is a forceful warning of the strength of the invisible walls of estrangement, so easy to erect, so hard to demolish.” (Kidner)

ii. “Chrysostom gives this rule: ‘Have but one enemy, the devil. With him never be reconciled; with your brother never fall out.’” (Bridges)

Proverbs 18:20

A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

a. A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth: For some, it is possible for them to make their living by what they say. They satisfy their stomach and perhaps that of their family from the fruit of the mouth.

b. From the produce of his lips he shall be filled: What he says shall fill his stomach and fulfill his financial obligations.

i. At the same time, this proverb “forces the thought that whatever a person dishes out, whether beneficial or harmful, he himself will feed on it to full measure through what his audience in return dishes out to him.” (Waltke)

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

(Video) Spirit Filled Life

a. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: The previous proverb said how what a man speaks could provide for his stomach. Here the idea is extended to remind us that the tongue not only has the power of provision but also of death and life.

i. “The Midrash mentions this point, showing one way it can cause death: ‘The evil tongue slays three, the slanderer, the slandered, and the listener’ (Midrash Tehillim 52:2).” (Ross)

ii. “Solomon doth vary his words: he speaketh sometimes of the ‘mouth,’ sometimes of the ‘lips,’ sometimes of the ‘tongue,’ as Proverbs 18:21, to show that all the instruments or means of speech shall have, as it were, their proper and just reward.” (Trapp)

b. Those who love it will eat its fruit: Those who are wise enough to love and appreciate the power of what a man says will be blessed and will eat the pleasant fruit of wise and effective speech.

Proverbs 18:22

He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the LORD.

a. He who finds a wife finds a good thing: God brought together the first husband and wife in Genesis 2:21-25. In this God gave marriage between a man and woman as a gift to humanity, both as a whole and a blessing on an individual level.

i. Some commentators believe that this proverb implies finds a good wife (such as John Trapp and Allen Ross); others insist it does not (such as Matthew Poole and Adam Clarke).

ii. “Although it does not say it, the verse clearly means a ‘good’ wife.” (Ross)

iii. “For a wife, though she be not the best of her kind, is to be esteemed a blessing, being useful both for society of life, Genesis 2:18, and for the mitigation of a man’s cares and troubles, and for the prevention of sins.” (Poole)

iv. “Marriage, with all its troubles and embarrassments, is a blessing from God; and there are few cases where a wife of any sort is not better than none…. As to good wives and bad wives, they are relatively so, in general; and most of them that have been bad afterwards, have been good at first; and we well know the best things may deteriorate, and the world generally allows that where there are matrimonial contentions, there are faults on both sides.” (Clarke)

b. And obtains favor from the LORD: In Genesis 2:18 God said that it was not good for man to be alone. His gift of Eve to Adam was a demonstration of God’s favor, and He still gives that gift of favor. In the modern western world, the cultural incentives for marriage seem to become weaker year by year, but God’s declaration of good and the giving of His favor doesn’t depend on cultural incentives.

i. “As with the first man, the Creator gives each fractured male with whom he is pleased one wife to complete the abundant life he intended.” (Waltke)

ii. “The wording, especially in the Hebrew, strikingly resembles that of Proverbs 8:35, and so suggests that after wisdom itself, the best of God’s blessings is a good wife.” (Kidner)

Proverbs 18:23

The poor man uses entreaties,
But the rich answers roughly.

a. The poor man uses entreaties: It is sadly true that often, when a person is poor in money or influence, all they can do is beg for favor and justice.

i. “Speaks supplications; comes in a submissive manner; uses a low language, as a broken man. How much more should we do so to God…creeping into his presence with utmost humility and reverence.” (Trapp)

b. The rich answers roughly: The rich man or woman can speak boldly – even rudely – because they have resources of money and influence. Solomon here described the world as it is, not as it should be. We sense in this proverb a quiet plea to make a better world than what is described in the proverb.

i. Answers roughly: “Speaketh proudly and scornfully, either to the poor, or to others that converse with him, being puffed up with a conceit of his riches, and of his self-sufficiency.” (Poole)

ii. “The well-bred man of the world, who is all courtesy and refinement in his own circle, is often insufferably rude to those who are under him.” (Bridges)

iii. “Was Jesus not as considerate to blind Bartimaeus as to the nobleman of Capernaum? All classes of people alike shared in his tenderest sympathy.” (Bridges)

Proverbs 18:24

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

a. A man who has friends must himself be friendly: This is a basic but often ignored principle. If you want friends, you should be friendly to others.

b. There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother: Even when a man has friends, there is something that will disappoint in human friendship. The flesh and blood friends of this world are important and a blessing, but we need the friend who sticks closer than a brother – Jesus Christ Himself, who called us no longer servants but friends (John 15:14-15).

i. “The bond of real friendship is often closer than the natural tie. The friendship between David and Jonathan is such an example.” (Bridges)

ii. The transition between the plural (friends) and the singular (a friend) is significant. “It is better to have one good, faithful friend than numerous unreliable ones.” (Ross)

iii. We apply this to Jesus our Friend as a spiritual principle; it is likely that Solomon did not have the Messiah in mind. “In many cases the genuine friend has shown more attachment, and rendered greater benefits, than the natural brother. Some apply this to God; others to Christ; but the text has no such meaning.” (Clarke)

iv. “The friend whose loyalty transcends the solidarity of blood is realized in Jesus Christ (cf. John 15:12-15; Hebrews 2:11, 14-18).” (Waltke)

v. “Now I have a question to ask: that question I ask of every man and every woman in this place, and of every child too – Is Jesus Christ your friend? Have you a friend at court – at heaven’s court? Is the Judge of quick and dead your friend? Can you say that you love him, and has he ever revealed himself in the way of love to you? Dear hearer, do not answer that question for thy neighbor; answer it for thyself. Peer or peasant, rich or poor, learned or illiterate, this question is for each of you, therefore, ask it. Is Christ my friend?” (Spurgeon)

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com


(Video) Psalm 18- Great Praise from a Place of Great Victory


What is the message on proverb 18? ›

As deep waters hide what lurks beneath them, a person's words may hide his thoughts as well as reveal them. Only the naïve take everyone's words at face value, and the Book of Proverbs scorns the naïve.

What does commentary Proverbs 18 24 mean? ›

This proverb is echoed in the English expression "a friend in need is a friend, indeed." The meaning is that being willing to meet another person's need is a sign of true friendship. False and shallow companions don't act like friends, at all, when the relationship might cost them something.

What does it mean your gifts will make room for you? ›

Proverbs 18:16 is a powerful statement that reveals the answer: "A man's gift makes room for him" (NKJV). What you were designed to be known for is your gift. God has put a gift or talent in every person that the world will make room for. It is this gift that will enable you to fulfill your vision.

What does it mean that the bread of deceit is sweet to a man? ›

The bread of deceit is the choice to lie. Lying may be sweet in the beginning, like a sweet roll or cinnamon bun, but it will not be later. A mouth full of gravel is the latter result of lying. Far from sweet, it is painful, impossible to enjoy, and usually fatal.

What can we learn from Proverbs 18 21? ›

This proverb notes the often-ignored fact that words are powerful. Verbal attacks, themselves, cannot break bones. However, speech can inspire positive or negative responses. It can build up, or it can tear apart.

Who wrote Proverbs 18 and why? ›

Who wrote this book? Some of the book of Proverbs is attributed to “Solomon the son of David, the king of Israel” (see Proverbs 1:1; 10:1; 25:1; see also 1 Kings 4:32; Guide to the Scriptures, “Proverb—the book of Proverbs”; scriptures.lds.org).

What does it mean to be more pure of heart in your life? ›

This is a pure heart: a heart that desires nothing more than to be with God because that truly is all our life should be about! Within this beatitude, Jesus also promises that those who embody this pure heart will see God. Only those with a pure heart will know Jesus because that is what Jesus sees.

What does proverb 18 23 mean? ›

”The poor use entreaties, but the rich answer roughly." (Proverbs 18:23, ESV) The proverb above shows us a reality of our world. In this world, riches enable someone to treat others roughly, but those in poverty are forced to plead for mercy, for they are often at the mercy of others.

What is the commentary of Proverbs 18 17? ›

Solomon wrote this proverb to teach his son wise discretion when judging accusations, declarations, and propositions. This is wisdom – the power of right judgment! Truth can withstand intense examination, but most causes are not truth. Challenging unsubstantiated claims will often expose them as false and frivolous.

How do you know the gift God has given to you? ›

Discover Your Gifts
  • Ask others to let you know. Sometimes we don't see in ourselves what others can see in us. ...
  • Look for gifts in adversity. ...
  • Pray for the help to recognize your gifts. ...
  • Don't be afraid to branch out. ...
  • Search the word of God. ...
  • Look outside yourself. ...
  • Think about people you look up to. ...
  • Reflect on your family.

What does God want us to do with our gifts? ›

As the Bible reminds us in 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV), “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.”

Why God wants us to use our gifts? ›

Using Your Talents for God. The Bible encourages Christians to be “faithful stewards” of our God-given gifts. Using your talents for God can help you find purposeful work and share God's love. Depending on what your gifts are, you will most likely be using those talents in different ways.

What does the bread of the Lord represent? ›

Bread is also a gift from God: when Moses fed his people in the desert with food which fell from heaven, and during the last supper, when bread became the body of Christ. When Jesus multiplied the bread to feed the crowd, bread became a sign of sharing. It also symbolised the Word of God which nourished the crowds.

Why is Jesus referred to as the Bread of Life? ›

So what does Jesus mean when he says, “I am the Bread of Life?” Well, simply put, he means that we are not satisfied spiritually unless we know Jesus; we are not spiritually satisfied unless we have Jesus in our lives. Or to be more blunt, we cannot survive spiritually without Jesus.

What is bread a metaphor for in the Bible? ›

Bread, as metaphor, becomes a vehicle of transition from grain to spiritual life. This is possible because metaphor in the Bible is to be understood within the context of special revelation of God, the story of the Bible.

What is the key message of Proverbs? ›

The central message of the book is that true wisdom is based on our relationship to God: we cannot have true wisdom apart from a living relationship with the Lord.

What does this mean the foolishness of God is wiser than men? ›

When Paul speaks of the "foolishness of God," he is not implying that God is foolish. Rather he is saying that since God's way of reasoning is in accord with things of the spirit, it confounds the reasoning of this world. It is wiser than human reasoning, because spiritual things are wiser than carnal ones.

What does it mean to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding? ›

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. ( Proverbs 3:5) To trust in the Lord means more than believing in who he is and what he says; the word here for trust can also mean “to have confidence in.” Having confidence in something means having an assurance that leads to action.

What does the commentary Proverbs 18 20 mean? ›

What does Proverbs 18:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑] Solomon emphasizes the importance of words in producing a good conscience. If a person's words are kind, gracious, and uplifting, he will benefit. His conscience will not trouble him, and his heart and mind will be at peace.

What does Proverbs 18 vs 19 mean? ›

It is a rule of nature that offending those who love you may create hatred and revenge. Because they gave you their affection, loyalty, service, and trust, the offence strikes deeper in their soul and requires more repair than if done by merely an acquaintance or stranger. So be extra careful with those closest to you.

What does Proverbs 18 24 say devotional? ›

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

How do you keep your heart pure before God? ›

Here are some key elements to consider in your fight for purity.
  1. Get a New Heart. We are not pure people by nature. ...
  2. Love What God Loves. Indeed, this is the heart of the matter: having a heart that fears and loves God and wants to do the things that bring Him glory. ...
  3. Control Yourself. ...
  4. Be Accountable.
Feb 10, 2020

What does the heart represent spiritually? ›

The heart is the locus of physical and spiritual being, and represents the "central wisdom of feeling as opposed to the head-wisdom of reason" (Cooper, 82). It is compassion and understanding, life-giving and complex. It is a symbol for love. Often known as the seat of emotions, the heart is synonymous with affection.

How do we become pure in heart? ›

' So to be pure in heart means to have a single-minded devotion to Jesus. To be pure in heart is to seek to live a holy life, because that is the secret to happiness. If you want to be happy, then seek to be holy.

What is the enduring word in Proverbs 18 14? ›

"A man's spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?" (Proverbs 18:14)

What is the meaning of Proverbs 18 11? ›

CSB The wealth of the rich is his fortified city; in his imagination it is like a high wall. NLT The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense; they imagine it to be a high wall of safety. KJV The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.

What is the meaning of Proverbs 18 12? ›

“Before a downfall the heart is haughty” indicates a starting point with someone sitting up high (“haughty”) — at least in their own “heart” and mind. But thinking “I'm all that!” is not a very safe place to be. This high perch is the place from which he or she will have a “downfall.”

What does it mean you are worth more than many sparrows? ›

He cares for us. In other words, God is in love with every one of us. The Gospel says that not even a sparrow will fall to the ground outside our heavenly Father's care. Yet, “sparrows” continue to fall, innocents die, children are sold for a few dollar s or thrown away as soon as their short flight of life took off.

How do you guard your heart Proverbs? ›

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (NIV). The Hebrew translation of guard means to keep above all keepings. So, above ALL you guard – your marriage, family, bank account, passwords, your car or house – guard your heart with more vigilance than anything else.

How does one hunger and thirst for righteousness mean? ›

Jesus tells us that the ones who are blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. In other words, the blessed ones are not those who think they have righteousness, but those who feel they lack righteousness.

What are the 7 major gifts from God? ›

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are an enumeration of seven spiritual gifts first found in the book of Isaiah, and much commented upon by patristic authors. They are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

What are the 5 gifts from God? ›

The gift of the Holy Spirit
  • The gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • The gift of faith.
  • The gift of forgiveness.
  • The gift of the church, and.
  • The gift of heaven.
Mar 3, 2020

What is the greatest gift God gave us? ›

So, instead of abandoning us or retaliating against us, he offers us a gift, the best gift that has ever been given: his Son, crucified and raised to life again.

What are the 7 spiritual gifts in the Bible? ›

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. While some Christans accept these as a definitive list of specific attributes, others understand them merely as examples of the Holy Spirit's work through the faithful.

What is the difference between a gift and a talent in the Bible? ›

Natural talents are just that: “natural”! They can be attributed to the natural genetic material existing within all of us, passed down from generation to generation. Spiritual gifts, on the other hand, come directly from the Spirit of God; that's why they are called “gifts” in the first place!

How do we use our gifts and talents to glorify God? ›

Glorify God with Your Gifts: 9 Steps for Using Your Talents for His Glory
  1. One – Find your gift whether it is a God-given talent or a Spiritual Gift. ...
  2. Two – Thank God for your gift. ...
  3. Three – Pray and ask how you can glorify God with your talents. ...
  4. Four – Practice your passion.

How do you understand your life as a gift? ›

Life will have meaning when we understand it is a gift, an amazing gift. Think for a moment about the things that you are worry about; I mean if you think seriously nothing is more precious or amazing than life itself. When you understand life is a splendid gift from above you will never miss out a thing.

Why is the gift of the Holy Spirit important? ›

The gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest the power and influence of the Holy Spirit in a Christian. They are very necessary divine provision and empowerment for operating at a supernatural level and demonstrating God's power in the life and ministry of a Christian, as well as the Church.

What does the grain symbolize in the Bible? ›

Jesus uses the metaphor of the grain of wheat to illustrate the importance of ego death in the pursuit of salvation and entering the Kingdom of Heaven.

What do the 12 loaves of bread represent? ›

shewbread, also spelled Showbread, also called Bread Of The Presence, any of the 12 loaves of bread that stood for the 12 tribes of Israel, presented and shown in the Temple of Jerusalem in the Presence of God.

What is the significance of breaking of the bread? ›

This gesture, breaking bread together, has a rich meaning. It's a symbol of familiarity, of welcome, of openness, as well as a gesture signifying peace and friendship.

What is the difference between the bread of life and ordinary bread? ›

The analogy between earthly and heavenly bread lies in the ability to sustain life; the difference lies in the inability of ordinary bread to sustain life in the presence of death (Blank 1981:361; Rusch 1978:388), while the Bread of Life sustains life eternally (Bultmann 1978:168; Keil 1997:111).

What does bread and water represent in the Bible? ›

Through His Atonement and Resurrection, Jesus Christ enlivens our spirits and bodies. Because of His Resurrection, our bodies and spirits will be united inseparably, never to die. Through Him, the Bread of Life, we are fed spiritually, receiving spiritual energy and strength. The sacrament reminds us of this.

How do you become a bread of life to others? ›

To be the “living bread” for others. The very nature of bread is to be broken and consumed, so that it would nourish and sustain the life of the one who takes it. Thus, the very life of Jesus is to be given to one and all, to be sacrificed for our sake.

Who is the bread of life in Bible? ›

Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.” (John 6:35-36).

What is the bread of the face of God? ›

Showbread (Hebrew: לחם הפנים Leḥem haPānīm, literally: "Bread of the Faces"), in the King James Version: shewbread, in a biblical or Jewish context, refers to the cakes or loaves of bread which were always present, on a specially-dedicated table, in the Temple in Jerusalem as an offering to God.

What does the wine represent? ›

It has always been an important symbol in the Christian tradition as well. Wine is a constant in Christianity: it's said to be a gift of God to humanity, it's in the Last Supper, it symbolizes Christ's blood, and it is used in modern rituals.

What does it mean out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks? ›

Overwhelming feeling will express itself in speech; originally with biblical allusion to Matthew 12:34, 'Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

What is Proverbs main message? ›

Therefore, the chief aim of the book of Proverbs is to bring divine truth into proper focus, enabling us to look at life through God's eyes—from His eternal, all-knowing point of view—and then live accordingly. Proverbs teaches us how to gain wisdom from God's reproofs so that, in the power of the Spirit, we will obey.

What is the connection between the mouth and the heart? ›

Inflammation, which causes swelling, is proven to lead to hardened arteries, putting you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke. Bacteria and other toxins spreading below the gum line can cause infection that can then lead to heart problems. Your gums are full of blood vessels, and your mouth is full of bacteria.

How can I speak more from the heart? ›

  1. Ground yourself in good intentions, whatever they may be. ...
  2. Get a basic sense of what you want to say. ...
  3. Be confident. ...
  4. Take a breath and settle into your body.
  5. Recall being with people who care about you. ...
  6. Soften your throat, eyes, chest, and heart. ...
  7. Bring to mind what you want to say.
Jun 14, 2011

What is the best way to study Proverbs? ›

How to Interpret Proverbs: 5 Principles to Guide Your Study
  1. Interpret each proverb dependent on God's assistance. ...
  2. Study the proverb's historical and cultural context. ...
  3. Examine the proverb's literary context. ...
  4. Consider how the proverb incorporates general revelation. ...
  5. Analyze the proverb's internal structure.
Jul 22, 2021

What are the 5 areas of life covered by Proverbs? ›

As I meditated on these five elements—rooted in His grace, obeying and delighting in His Word, humble before other people, sacrificially generous toward our neighbor, and steadfast in trials—I thought of Jesus. You can only grow in these five areas if you know you are saved by costly grace.

What are the six functions of Proverbs? ›

When proverbs are used in the speech, they have various functions. Some of the functions of proverbs in the Dawro Society are: advising, warning, criticizing, encouraging, informing, expressing feelings etc. To advise means to tell somebody what to do or not to do with enough reasons.

What is 25 for the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength? ›

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

What is foolish in the eyes of God? ›

He identifies the fool as one who refuses to acknowledge God's ample evidence of who He is, His love for us, His desire that we might come to know Him through Jesus Christ, and His provision for us throughout our lives. When people refuse to believe God's Word, they will eventually find out how foolish they really are.

How has God made the wisdom of the world foolish? ›

God has made the wisdom of the world foolish. In the wisdom of God the world did not know God through its own wisdom. So God chose to use the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe.

What do sparrows symbolize in the Bible? ›

He used sparrows as an illustration of God's love. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt.

What do sparrows symbolize? ›

What Do Sparrows Symbolise? In modern new-age circles, sparrows are believed to symbolise joy, community, teamwork, protection, simplicity, hard work or self-worth. This hasn't always been the case, however. In Europe's middle ages, sparrows were believed to represent peasants and the lower class.

What is special about sparrows? ›

It is a social species, found in groups of eight to 10, chirping and chattering to communicate with each other. True to its love for urban spaces, the house sparrow is known to nest in buildings, finding crevices and holes in walls, or at best, using the bird houses and nest boxes put out by humans in their gardens.


1. Proverbs Chapter 18 Summary and What God Wants From Us
(The Bible Says What?!?!)
2. How To Study The Bible (Part 1)
(David Guzik)
3. The Story of Enduring Word (Shorter Version)
(David Guzik)
4. Open Bible Discussion: Studying the Book of Revelation.
(End Time Warriors)
5. Proverbs 18 | Before Honor is Humility
(Calvary Chapel Chino Valley)
6. Where Did Cain Get His Wife? Q&A with David Guzik - May 9, 2019
(David Guzik)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Mrs. Angelic Larkin

Last Updated: 06/28/2023

Views: 6540

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Mrs. Angelic Larkin

Birthday: 1992-06-28

Address: Apt. 413 8275 Mueller Overpass, South Magnolia, IA 99527-6023

Phone: +6824704719725

Job: District Real-Estate Facilitator

Hobby: Letterboxing, Vacation, Poi, Homebrewing, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Cabaret

Introduction: My name is Mrs. Angelic Larkin, I am a cute, charming, funny, determined, inexpensive, joyous, cheerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.