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Proverbs 19-21 Listen
A word about fools (Proverbs 19)
1 Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
2 Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.
3 The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
4 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
6 Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.
7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.
8 He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.
9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.
10 Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.
11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
12 The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass.
13 A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
14 House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
16 He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.
17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
19 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.
20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
22 The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.
23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
24 A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
25 Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.
26 He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.
27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
28 An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.
29 Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.
The words fool(s), foolish, foolishness and foolishly occur 84 times in the Book of Proverbs. In none of these 84 times does the word describe one of diminished mental capacity. It always addresses the negative attributes of a person which can be changed by the individual.
Three different Hebrew words are rendered fool in the Book of Proverbs:
In this chapter of Proverbs, "kes-eel´" is used in verses 1, 10, 13 and 29.
Take special note to these proverbs:
Sadly, this one is certainly prevalent.
Proverbs 19:4 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
This one gets double mention
Proverbs 19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
Proverbs 19:9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.
...and again in Proverbs 21:28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
Solomon must have seen a lot of lazy people in his lifetime.
Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
With regard to children, it's painful, but it must be done.
Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Gettin' old ain't so bad! (Proverbs 20)
1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
2 The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.
3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.
4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
8 A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
10 Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.
11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.
13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
14 It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.
15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
21 An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.
22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
23 Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.
24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?
25 It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.
26 A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.
27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.
29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.
30 The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.
Proverbs of particular note in this chapter...
It's not like we don't have other beverages to drink!
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Some folks just can't let it go.
Proverbs 20:3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool [kes-eel´] will be meddling.
Here's one I memorized back in my 20's to motivate myself.
Proverbs 20:13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
Here's some shrewd negotiation
Proverbs 20:14 It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.
In that verse the buyer complains about the deal he is getting until the deal is consummated. Only then does he boast about his savvy negotiation skills.
This refers to the breath of life
Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
The Hebrew word used here is always translated "breath" except in two places, here and Job 26:4 where it is translated "spirit." To understand the meaning in context here, one only needs to look at the first occurrence of this Hebrew word in the Old Testament in Genesis 2:7, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." This word refers to the breath which gives us life.
An encouraging word to the elderly
Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.
And more wisdom from Solomon (Proverbs 21)
1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
7 The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
8 The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
10 The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.
11 When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
12 The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.
13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
14 A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
15 It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.
19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.
22 A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.
23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
26 He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
29 A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.
30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.
Some verses I have always liked...for various reasons...
The old nature is not responsive to God's direction.
Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
The following one speaks for itself.
Proverbs 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
...which reminds me of a plaque I saw in a kitchen which said, "When mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."
Here's another one.
Proverbs 21:19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
Solomon certainly had the experience to know. Apparently a couple of his marriages could have used a little more courtship time.
Road rage prevention.
Proverbs 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
I'd like for some politicians to memorize this one.
Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.