Wisdom is before him that has understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
I. THAT THE ONE HAS A MEANING, THE OTHER AN UNMEANING FACE. One translator renders the words "In the countenance of a wise man wisdom appeareth, but the fool's eyes roll to and fro." God has so formed man that his face is the index to his soul; it is the dial-plate of the mental clock. A wise man's face looks wisdom — calm, devout, reflective. The fool's face looks folly. As the translucent lake reflects the passing clouds and rolling lights of sky, so does the human countenance mirror the soul.
II. THAT THE ONE HAS AN OCCUPIED THE OTHER A VACANT MIND. The meaning of Solomon perhaps may be wisdom as before, that is, present, with the man that hath understanding. The principles of wisdom are in his mind, are ever before his eye. Wisdom is "before" his mind in every circumstance and condition. Its rule, the Word of God, is before him. Its principle, the love of God, is before him. Thus he has an occupied mind. But the mind of the fool is vacant. His "eyes are in the ends of the earth." He has nothing before him, nothing true, or wise, or good. He looks at emptiness. Alas! how vacant the mind of a morally unwise man! It is a vessel without ballast, at the mercy of the winds and waves. His thoughts are unsubstantial, his hopes are illusory, the sphere of his conscious life a mirage.
III. THAT THE ONE HAS A SETTLED, THE OTHER AN UNSETTLED HEART. The morally wise man is fixed, wisdom is before him and his heart is on it. He is rooted and grounded in the faith. He is not used by circumstances, but he makes circumstances serve him. But the fool is unsettled, his "eyes are in the ends of the earth." His mind, like the evil spirit, walks to and fro through the earth, seeking rest and finding none.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.