|<< Prov 18
|This is the New King James text of the passages.
Proverbs 19-21 Listen
A word about fools (Proverbs 19)
1 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
2 Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge,
And he sins who hastens with his feet.
3 The foolishness of a man twists his way,
And his heart frets against the LORD.
4 Wealth makes many friends,
But the poor is separated from his friend.
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies will not escape.
6 Many entreat the favor of the nobility,
And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.
7 All the brothers of the poor hate him;
How much more do his friends go far from him!
He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him.
8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies shall perish.
10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool,
Much less for a servant to rule over princes.
11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger,
And his glory is to overlook a transgression.
12 The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.
13 A foolish son is the ruin of his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping.
14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the LORD.
15 Laziness casts one into a deep sleep,
And an idle person will suffer hunger.
16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is careless of his ways will die.
17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD,
And He will pay back what he has given.
18 Chasten your son while there is hope,
And do not set your heart on his destruction.
19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment;
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.
21 There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the LORD’S counsel—that will stand.
22 What is desired in a man is kindness,
And a poor man is better than a liar.
23 The fear of the LORD leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.
24 A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl,
And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary;
Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.
26 He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother
Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.
27 Cease listening to instruction, my son,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28 A disreputable witness scorns justice,
And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And beatings for the backs 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 makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend.
This one gets double mention
Proverbs 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape.
Proverbs 19:9 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies shall perish.
...and again in Proverbs 21:28 A false witness shall perish, But the man who hears him will speak endlessly.
Solomon must have seen a lot of lazy people in his lifetime.
Proverbs 19:15 Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger.
With regard to children, it's painful, but it must be done.
Proverbs 19:18 Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction.
Gettin' old ain't so bad! (Proverbs 20)
1 Wine is a mocker,
Strong drink is a brawler,
And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
2 The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion;
Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life.
3 It is honorable for a man to stop striving,
Since any fool can start a quarrel.
4 The lazy man will not plow because of winter;
He will beg during 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 each his own goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?
7 The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.
8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment
Scatters all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I have made my heart clean,
I am pure from my sin”?
10 Diverse weights and diverse measures,
They are both alike, an abomination to the LORD.
11 Even a child is known by his deeds,
Whether what he does is pure and right.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The LORD has made them both.
13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.
14 “It is good for nothing,” cries the buyer;
But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.
15 There is gold and a multitude of rubies,
But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress.
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 Plans are established by counsel;
By wise counsel wage war.
19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets;
Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.
20 Whoever curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will be put out in deep darkness.
21 An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning
Will not be blessed at the end.
22 Do not say, “I will recompense evil”;
Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.
23 Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD,
And dishonest scales are not good.
24 A man’s steps are of the LORD;
How then can a man understand his own way?
25 It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy,
And afterward to reconsider his vows.
26 A wise king sifts out the wicked,
And brings the threshing wheel over them.
27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
28 Mercy and truth preserve the king,
And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
And the splendor of old men is their gray head.
30 Blows that hurt cleanse away evil,
As do stripes the inner depths of the heart.
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 a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
Some folks just can't let it go.
Proverbs 20:3 It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool [kes-eel´] can start a quarrel.
Here's one I memorized back in my 20's to motivate myself.
Proverbs 20:13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.
Here's some shrewd negotiation
Proverbs 20:14 “It is good for nothing,” cries the buyer; But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.
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 a man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
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 being.
An encouraging word to the elderly
Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength, And the splendor of old men is their gray head.
And more wisdom from Solomon (Proverbs 21)
1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD,
Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the hearts.
3 To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4 A haughty look, a proud heart,
And the plowing of the wicked are sin.
5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.
6 Getting treasures by a lying tongue
Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.
7 The violence of the wicked will destroy them,
Because they refuse to do justice.
8 The way of a guilty man is perverse;
But as for the pure, his work is right.
9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
11 When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12 The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked,
Overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness.
13 Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be heard.
14 A gift in secret pacifies anger,
And a bribe behind the back, strong wrath.
15 It is a joy for the just to do justice,
But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.
16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous,
And the unfaithful for the upright.
19 Better to dwell in the wilderness,
Than with a contentious and angry woman.
20 There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it.
21 He who follows righteousness and mercy
Finds life, righteousness and honor.
22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty,
And brings down the trusted stronghold.
23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles.
24 A proud and haughty man—“Scoffer” is his name;
He acts with arrogant pride.
25 The desire of the lazy man kills him,
For his hands refuse to labor.
26 He covets greedily all day long,
But the righteous gives and does not spare.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
How much more when he brings it with wicked intent!
28 A false witness shall perish,
But the man who hears him will speak endlessly.
29 A wicked man hardens his face,
But as for the upright, he establishes his way.
30 There is no wisdom or understanding
Or counsel against the LORD.
31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance 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 weighs the hearts.
The following one speaks for itself.
Proverbs 21:9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
...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 Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and 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 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.
I'd like for some politicians to memorize this one.
Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom or understanding Or counsel against the LORD.