The collection of Solomon’s 375 proverbs continues.
VERSE 1. Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in his lips and is a fool.
the poor who walks in his integrity. A poor person who has integrity is much better than …
he who is perverse in his lips and is a fool. We see these people shouting at each other on cable news.
VERSE 2. It isn’t good to have zeal without knowledge; nor being hasty with one’s feet and missing the way.
zeal without knowledge. Some Christians are very zealous for Jesus Christ.
But they have very little knowledge about the Bible or the history of the faith, and so they end up doing things that are unwise.
For example, in the Medieval era, the Catholic church kept people illiterate for centuries.
Such people were pliable in the hands of their bishop. They could easily be persuaded to fight in the Crusades. They were willing to buy Indulgences.
subverts his way. Foolish people rarely take responsibility for their own actions. They keep getting themselves in trouble.
Wealth adds many friends. If you are rich, lots of people will try to become your friends.
You will never know if they are attracted to you as a person, or to your money.
A false witness. Some witnesses lie to a court.
However, in our day, it is more likely that the witness is telling the truth, and the lawyers are maligning the witness.
Lawyers often malign a truth-telling witness in order to win the trial.
VERSE 6. Many will entreat the favor of a ruler, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.
VERSE 7. All the relatives of the poor shun him: how much more do his friends avoid him! He pursues them with pleas, but they are gone.
relatives of the poor. If you become homeless, there is a good chance that your family and friends will disown you.
wisdom. Literally “heart.”
VERSE 9. A false witness shall not be unpunished. He who utters lies shall perish.
VERSE 10. Delicate living is not appropriate for a fool, much less for a servant to have rule over princes.
NIV translation: A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
patience. Godly people are to be patient and magnanimous.
VERSE 12. The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.
A wife’s quarrels are a continual dripping. The nagging of a wife is like a leaky faucet. It always annoys.
Of course the same can be said in reverse. Should be said.
A husband can be more annoying than his wife. That is because culturally, men have far more latitude than women to be obnoxious.
If a man is obnoxious, he almost never faces repercussions.
a prudent wife is from the LORD. Many godly men have claimed this verse by faith, as they wait for a godly woman.
Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep. Laziness is associated with sleeping too much.
VERSE 16. He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is contemptuous in his ways shall die.
has pity on the poor. This is the demeanor of a godly person. They have compassion on poor people and help them.
VERSE 18. Discipline your son, for there is hope; don’t be a willing party to his death.
hot-tempered man. Such people are always getting themselves into trouble.
VERSE 20. Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter end.
many plans in a man’s heart. We humans have a hundred things we want to do.
but the LORD’s counsel will prevail. Most people plan for the future. But we don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. We should say “God-willing” and speak tentatively of our future. Read more »
kindness. Would other people say you are kind?
VERSE 23. The fear of the LORD leads to life, then contentment; he rests and will not be touched by trouble.
VERSE 24. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
the sluggard. To be called a sluggard is a great biblical insult. Solomon often writes about the sluggardly person. Read more »
VERSE 25. Flog a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke one who has understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
VERSE 26. He who robs his father and drives away his mother, is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.
his father … his mother. Solomon sees an unruly child as causing a great number of problems.
However, Solomon never comments on the reverse situation. Some parents are abusive toward their children. That is far worse than an unruly child.
VERSE 27. If you stop listening to instruction, my son, you will stray from the words of knowledge.
VERSE 28. A corrupt witness mocks justice, and the mouth of the wicked gulps down iniquity.
VERSE 29. Penalties are prepared for scoffers, and beatings for the backs of fools.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.