The royal scribes of king Hezekiah collected more than 100 of Solomon’s proverbs. That collection concludes in this chapter.
stiffens his neck. That is, “stiff-necked.” In other words, someone who refuses to listen to correction.
When the righteous thrive. That is, when righteous leaders are in control.
the people rejoice. People rejoice because they are better off.
VERSE 3. Whoever loves wisdom brings joy to his father; but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
by justice. If a leader is motivated by justice, the nation will be stable.
he who takes bribes. If a leader is motivated by self-gain, he will tear down the nation.
VERSE 5. A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.
NLT translation: Evil people are trapped by sin, but the righteous escape, shouting for joy.
shouting for joy. For the righteous, the path to freedom is paved by shouts of praise. We shout our way out!
VERSE 7. The righteous care about justice for the poor. The wicked aren’t concerned about knowledge.
stir up. Literally “fan or blow on” embers. Mockers stir up trouble.
NIV translation: If a wise man goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.
the fool rages and scoffs. Loudmouthed fools can sway a court. In part, it is because they are so angry. People respond to their angry.
VERSE 10. The bloodthirsty hate a man of integrity; and they seek the life of the upright.
VERSE 11. A fool vents all of his anger, but a wise man brings himself under control.
vents all of his anger. Fools rage out.
brings himself under control. Wise people keep themselves calm. They remain in control of themselves.
VERSE 12. If a ruler listens to lies, all of his officials are wicked.
listens to lies. If a ruler accepts a liar into his cabinet of advisors, that wickedness will spread to the entire cabinet.
VERSE 13. The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.
VERSE 14. The king who fairly judges the poor, his throne shall be established forever.
fairly judges the poor. Fairness toward poor people is a mark of a good king.
VERSE 15. The rod of correction gives wisdom, but a child left to himself causes shame to his mother.
rod of correction. This could be either the verbal correction of a child, or a stick used to beat a child. From other passages, we know that Solomon believed in striking a child.
causes shame to his mother. In Solomon’s view, a child who is not disciplined with the “rod of correction” will become an unruly person.
VERSE 16. When the wicked increase, sin increases; but the righteous will see their downfall.
VERSE 17. Correct your son, and he will give you peace; yes, he will bring delight to your soul.
NAB translation: Without prophecy the people become demoralized.
prophecy. In our New Testament era, “prophecy” consists of preaching about Jesus Christ.
people become demoralized. Without the inspired preaching of Jesus Christ, Christian people become demoralized. We need to hear the truths of the faith, again and again, in convincing and uplifting ways, to inspire us to continue following Jesus Christ. Do you listen to inspiring, Bible-based preaching regularly?
VERSE 19. A servant can’t be corrected by words. Though he understands, yet he will not respond.
VERSE 20. Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
hasty in his words. This person blurts out thoughtless, insensitive remarks. He gushes folly and evil. He sometimes answers before he listens.
more hope for a fool. This person is worse than a fool.
VERSE 21. He who pampers his servant from youth will have him become a son in the end.
VERSE 22. An angry man stirs up strife, and a wrathful man abounds in sin.
An angry man. That is, a person with a volatile temperament. Hot-tempered.
VERSE 23. A man’s pride brings him low, but one of lowly spirit gains honor.
one of lowly spirit. That is, a person who is humble.
VERSE 24. Whoever is an accomplice of a thief is an enemy of his own soul. He takes an oath, but dares not testify.
VERSE 25. The fear of man proves to be a snare, but whoever puts his trust in the LORD is kept safe.
fear. This does not reverence before God. Rather, it means “tremble.”
VERSE 26. Many seek the ruler’s favor, but a man’s justice comes from the LORD.
Many seek the ruler’s favor. Many people want an audience with the ruler. They want something. They have an agenda. Some people state their agenda forthrightly. Others have a hidden agenda.
VERSE 27. A dishonest man detests the righteous, and the upright in their ways detest the wicked.
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.