Verse 1. The kings - He names kings not to exclude other men, but because they are more arbitrary and uncontrollable than others. As rivers - Which husband-men draw by little channels into the adjacent grounds as they please.
Verse 4. The plowing - Even their civil or natural actions, which in themselves are lawful, are made sinful as they are managed by ungodly men, without any regard to the glory of God, which ought to be the end of all our actions.
Verse 5. Hasty - Who manages his affairs rashly.
Verse 6. Lying tongue - By any false or deceitful words or actions. Is tossed - Is like the chaff or smoak driven away by the wind. Of them - That take those courses which will bring destruction upon them.
Verse 8. The way - Of every man by nature. Strange - Estranged from God. Right - But he whose heart is pure, his conversation is agreeable to it.
Verse 10. Desireth - To do mischief. No favour - He spares neither friend nor foe.
Verse 11. The wise - The simple learn wisdom, both from the punishment of wicked men, and from the prosperity of good men.
Verse 12. Considereth - He looks through its present glory to that ruin for which it is designed.
Verse 14. In secret - Which makes it more acceptable. In the bosom - Secretly conveyed into the bosom.
Verse 16. Shall remain - Shall, without repentance, be condemned to eternal death.
Verse 17. Wine and oil - Delicious fare and luxurious feasting. Wine and oil were much used in feasts in those parts.
Verse 18. A ransom - The wicked shall be brought into those troubles, which were designed by wicked men for the righteous: thus Haman was a ransom for Mordecai.
Verse 20. The wise - Wise men lay up desirable treasures for their own use, and for their families. Oil is particularly mentioned, because that was a considerable part of their wealth and treasures in those countries.
Verse 22. The strength - The strongest sorts to which the citizens trust.
Verse 25. Killeth - Torments him to death, while he passionately desires what he sees, he shall not enjoy, and will not take pains to procure.
Verse 26. Coveteth - Spends his wholetime in vain and lazy desires. Giveth - By God's blessing upon his industry he procures enough, not only for his own support, but for the relief of others.
Verse 27. The sacrifice - All the most costly services which they offer to God. Because - As all the ancient translators render it, the Hebrew particle, aph, being expletive: or, even because; so the following clause gives the reason. A wicked mind - Not in obedience to God's command, but either to cover, or countenance, or promote some wicked design.
Verse 28. Heareth - He witnesses nothing but what he has heard or seen. Constantly - Always affirms the same thing.
Verse 29. Hardeneth - Continues in evil with obstinacy and impudence. Directs - He orders his steps aright.
Verse 31. The horse - Under which all war-like provisions are comprehended.