King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Proverbs 20

Proverbs 20 Audio:

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1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

2 The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.

3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

8 A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.

9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

10 Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.

13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

14 It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

16 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.

21 An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.

22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

23 Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.

24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

25 It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.

26 A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.

27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.

30 The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. A luxurious thing. Heb. “a scoffer.” Chal. “renders one a scoffer.” — Drunkenness. Heb. ssocor, any strong drink, particularly palm-wine. Intemperance places the strongest obstacles in the way of wisdom. It causes a person to mock at all sacred things, and to be quarrelsome. C. xxiii. 29. Eph. v. 18.

Ver. 3. Reproaches. It is better not to commence a lawsuit, even when we are in the right. C. xvii. 11. C. — Plena victoria est ad clamantem tacere. Val. Max.

Ver. 5. Out. So David discovered the meaning of the Thecuite, 2 K. xiv. 18. A wise politician carefully examines everything in a foreign court.

Ver. 6. Faithful. Few continue steady to their engagements or friends, whom they will assist to a certain point. In God these two virtues always go together. Ps. lxxxiv. 11. But they are rarely found in men. C.

Ver. 8. Look. It is the duty of kings to administer justice.

Ver. 9. Sin. Prot. “my sin?” We know not when it is remitted. H. — Without a special revelation, no one can be secure, 1 Jo. i. 8. Eccle. ix. 1. Bayn. S. Aug. in Ps. cxlix.

Ver. 10. Measures. In commerce, (C.) as well as in judging. S. Greg. in Ezec. iv.

Ver. 11. Right. We may form some judgment of his future conduct, from the inclinations which he manifests in his infancy.

Naturam expellas furca, tamen ipsa recurret,

Et mala perrumpet furtim fastidia victrix. Hor.

Ver. 12. Both. Consequently he will know all our actions. Ps. xciii. 9. We must refer all to him, as he gives us the means of learning. C.

Ver. 13. Sleep. Sept. “back-biting, that thou mayst not be taken off.” H.

Ver. 14. Buyer. This is the common practice; yet it is not without exceptions. S. Aug. (Trin. xiii. 3.) observes, that the mountebank having promised to tell what every person had in his heart, many came to the theatre, when he told them that they all wished to by cheap, and to sell dear. They all applauded the remark. C. — Sept. is here defective. H.

Ver. 16. Strangers. For whom he has bound himself foolishly. C. vi. 1. All who have the care of others, must answer for them. C.

Ver. 17. Lying. Deceit, and unlawful pleasures. C. ix. 17. But God mingles disgust with them, and will punish the guilty, at least hereafter. Worldly enjoyments seem sweet, but they are full of gravel, and hurtful.

Ver. 18. Governments. Or prudence, else the best designs may prove abortive.

Ver. 19. Lips. And speaketh much. These people are unworthy of our friendship.

Ver. 20. Lamp. Prosperity, or children.

Ver. 21. Blessing. It is morally impossible that they should have been acquired justly. C. xiii. 11. and xxi. 5.

Ver. 22. Evil. And revenge myself. This belongs to the Lord. Deut. xxxii. 35. Man would be too favourable to himself, and would also pronounce his own condemnation, as he is also a sinner.

Ver. 24. Way? Jer. x. 23. Independently of God, who can do any good? C.

Ver. 25. Ones. Heb. “the saint or holy thing.” H. — Chal. “to make a vow for the sanctuary, and afterwards repent;” having acted inconsiderately at first. To attack the persons or relics of the saints, or to plunder what is consecrated to pious uses, will bring on destruction; so also to make vows, and then seek to evade them, will not pass unpunished. C.

Ver. 26. Wheel. Or triumphal arch, fornicem. Ven. Bede. Jans. — He will make his enemies lie prostrate under his chariot-wheels, 2 K. xii. 31.

Ver. 27. Lamp. The breath of life, (Gen. ii. 7.) and the light of man. 1 Cor. ii. 11.

Ver. 28. Clemency. Such a king need not fear rebellion. C.

Ver. 29. Hairs, and experience. They have a greater contempt of death and pleasures. S. Amb. Hex. i. 8.

Ver. 30. Evils. The wicked shall derive benefit from correction. — Belly. They shall feel the remorse of conscience, as Chal. seems to indicate. C. — A serious illness often causes people to repent. M.