Verse 1. Boast not - Of any good thing which thou purposeth to do, or hopest to receive tomorrow, or hereafter. Knowest not - What may happen in the space of one day. The day is said to bring forth, what God by his almighty power either causes or suffers to be brought forth or done in it.
Verse 3. Heavier - More grievous, being without cause, without measure, and without end.
Verse 5. Open - When it is needful, in which case, though it put a man to some shame yet it doth him good. Better - More desirable and beneficial. Secret love - Which does not shew itself by friendly actions, and particularly by free and faithful reproof.
Verse 6. Wounds - The sharpest reproofs. Kisses - All the outward profession of friendship.
Verse 8. Wandereth - That flies from place to place, whereby she is exposed to all the arts of fowlers, and to birds of prey. So - So is he who through vanity or lightness changes his abode, or his calling.
Verse 10. Neither go - For comfort and relief, so as to forsake thy friend for him. A neighbour - The friend, who hath shewed himself to be a good neighbour. Near - In affection.
Verse 11. Reproacheth - For being the father of a wicked son.
Verse 14. Blesseth - That praises him to his face. A loud voice - That both he, and others, may be sure to take notice of it. Rising early - To shew his great forwardness. A curse - His friend will value this kind of blessing no more than a curse.
Verse 16. Hideth - Attempts to smother her passion. Right-hand - Which being the great instrument of action, by its much stirring, diffuses the savour of it.
Verse 17. Iron - Iron tools are made sharp and fit for use, by rubbing them against the file, or some other iron. The countenance - The company or conversation of his friend.
Verse 18. So he - That serves him faithfully, prudently, and diligently.
Verse 19. So - So one man resembles another in the corruption of his nature.
Verse 20. Hell - The grave devours all the bodies which are put into it, and is always ready to receive and devour more. The eyes - The desires, which discover themselves by the eyes.
Verse 21. To his praise - Or, according to his praise. So a man is tried by praise.
Verse 23. Flock - Flocks and herds are here put for all possessions, because anciently they were the chief part of a man's riches.
Verse 24. For - What thou dost now possess, will not last always. If a man had the wealth of a kingdom, without care and diligence it would be brought to nothing.
Verse 25. The hay - Another encouragement to diligence; God invites thee to it by the plentiful provisions wherewith he has enriched the earth for thy sake. The mountains - Even the most barren parts afford thee their help.
Verse 26. The price - By the sale whereof thou mayest either pay the rent of the field which thou hirest, or purchase fields or lands. Goats might better be spared and sold than sheep, which brought a more constant profit to the owner.
Verse 27. Goat's milk - Or, if thou chusest rather to keep thy goats, the milk will serve thee for food to thyself and family. In ancient times men used a plain and simple diet.