|<< Prov 21|
|This is the New King James text of the passages.|
Proverbs 22-24 Listen
More on foolishness and spanking children (Proverbs 22)
1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor have this in common,
The LORD is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.
4 By humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches and honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow,
And the rod of his anger will fail.
9 He who has a generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor.
10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
Yes, strife and reproach will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart
And has grace on his lips,
The king will be his friend.
12 The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the faithless.
13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be slain in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;
He who is abhorred by the LORD will fall there.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches,
And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.
17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;
18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
19 So that your trust may be in the LORD;
I have instructed you today, even you.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth
To those who send to you?
22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;
23 For the LORD will plead their cause,
And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.
24 Make no friendship with an angry man,
And with a furious man do not go,
25 Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul.
26 Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge,
One of those who is surety for debts;
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take away your bed from under you?
28 Do not remove the ancient landmark
Which your fathers have set.
29 Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before unknown men.
Here are a few that I found particularly meaningful:
Reputation is extremely important.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
Who's training your children?
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
The Hebrew word for "Train up" here is interesting. The root is "khaw-nak´" which is used (with its derivatives) 17 times in the Old Testament. In every other occurrence it is translated "dedicate" (i.e. the temple, the altar, the House of God). Therefore, we may safely derive that Solomon's emphasis here is that a child be dedicated (set apart) just as the sacred altar, tabernacle or temple. Therefore, we're not just talking about training; we're talking about separating a child from corrupt influences as we train. So...what does "in the way he should go" mean? When one reads the Book of Proverbs, it appears quite clearly that Solomon differentiates two ways - the way of the wise and the way of the fool. For a clearer understanding of Solomon's reference to "fool," click here.
Are you familiar with the old saying, you reap what you sow? Here it is stated a little differently.
Proverbs 22:8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.
Lazy people find lots of excuses not to work.
Proverbs 22:13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!
Adulterers walk a dangerous path.
Proverbs 22:14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; He who is abhorred by the LORD will fall there.
Spanking...it's just Biblical
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
Note also Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 23:13-14; Proverbs 29:15.
Note about the word "foolishness" used here. It comes from the Hebrew word "ev-eel´" which basically means moral insolence. It's the same word used in Proverbs 14:9, "Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor." It would appear that Solomon is making reference to the Adamic nature with which all of us are born. (Click here to see all three words translated "fool" in Proverbs.)
These people just hurt your testimony
Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go,
On cosigning loans
Proverbs 22:26 Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, One of those who is surety for debts;
Solomon in his life must have seen a lot of sorrow as a result of cosigning on debts of others. He frequently warns against doing so. See also 6:1-5, 11:15, 17:18 and 20:16.
A warning against land fraud
Proverbs 22:28 Do not remove the ancient landmark Which your fathers have set.
Every 50 years the property in Israel was supposed to revert back to its original families according to Leviticus 25:8-55 (see notes).
Some really interesting advice (Proverbs 23)
1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
2 And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.
4 Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
6 Do not eat the bread of a miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
And waste your pleasant words.
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not remove the ancient landmark,
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 For their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from hell.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day;
18 For surely there is a hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.
29 Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 “They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?|”
So you have a really nice dinner invitation with a powerful man, huh? Watch it! If you're not his equal, he probably has an ulterior motive for inviting you (Verses 1-3). Perhaps verses 4-5 continue this thought, assuming that your motivation for going is a desire to be rich like him. And perhaps we're still continuing the same thought in verses 6-8 about accepting hospitality from a stingy person; he may be up to no good.
Verses 10-11 warn against taking advantage of the poor with regard to their property lines; they very well may have a strong advocate on their behalf. See the note above on those property lines in the comment associated with Proverbs 22:28.
Then we have a series of related thoughts about raising children into productive adults:
Verses 29-35 deal with excessive drinking. Verse 29 describes the symptoms of a drunk. The mixed wine of verses 30-32 probably refers to wine that was mixed with other ingredients to make it more intoxicating. His point here is that it is wrong to drink beverages for the purpose of dulling one's senses. There's no question that wine was the beverage of choice in the entire period of history covered by the Bible. However, Solomon warns that drinking to intoxication is wrong.
Today, Believers should be guided by the principles of Romans 14 (see notes), I Corinthians 8 (see notes) and I Corinthians 10:14-22 (see notes), which clearly teach that one's testimony is the most important possession a Believer carries from day to day. While Solomon's warning is against intoxication, each believer should consider how one's testimony will be affected if people see him partake of alcoholic beverage. Then one should ask the question: Is my Christian liberty to partake of alcohol in moderation more important than my testimony before a world who needs Christ?
More about wisdom (Proverbs 24)
1 Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
2 For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking.
3 Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4 By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.
5 A wise man is strong,
Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;
6 For by wise counsel you will wage your own war,
And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.
7 Wisdom is too lofty for a fool;
He does not open his mouth in the gate.
8 He who plots to do evil
Will be called a schemer.
9 The devising of foolishness is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.
10 If you faint in the day of adversity,
Your strength is small.
11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
12 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,”
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
13 My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;
14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;
If you have found it, there is a prospect,
And your hope will not be cut off.
15 Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not plunder his resting place;
16 For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity.
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the wicked;
20 For there will be no prospect for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21 My son, fear the LORD and the king;
Do not associate with those given to change;
22 For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin those two can bring?
23 ¶ These things also belong to the wise:
It is not good to show partiality in judgment.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him.
25 But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
26 He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.
27 Prepare your outside work,
Make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterward build your house.
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
For would you deceive with your lips?
29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”
30 I went by the field of the lazy man,
And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;
31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns;
Its surface was covered with nettles;
Its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw it, I considered it well;
I looked on it and received instruction:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest;
34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
This chapter contains several admonitions to pursue a wise, kind and deliberate lifestyle. Notice the first admonition regarding the company one keeps in verses 1-2, "Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violence, And their lips talk of troublemaking."
You will notice throughout this chapter a correlation which is prevalent throughout Proverbs: Evil/wickedness = foolishness versus righteousness = wisdom.
It's simple: Don't hang with people who reject the principles of your God. However, we see later in this chapter that we need to clearly identify these wicked people. Notice the following in verses 24-25, "He who says to the wicked, 'You are righteous,' Him the people will curse; Nations will abhor him. But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, And a good blessing will come upon them."
Again...simple: Call wickedness as you see it.
It ends in verses 30-34 with a warning about being a lazy guy. The wicked/foolish man takes a beating in this chapter with Solomon's solemn warnings against him and his lifestyle.