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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 10

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-32

Chapter 10

Now in chapter 10 we have individual proverbs. Most of these individual proverbs are in contrast, where they are contrasting the wise with the foolish, or the wicked with the righteous. Or the diligent with the slothful. I mean, you'll see in each of them a contrast, and there is really not any kind of a tie between the proverb. Each one is a separate little, neat little truth all packaged by itself. Each one is self-explanatory. Thus, there isn't really much that you can say without being redundant.

The Proverbs of Solomon ( Proverbs 10:1 ).

So now we're getting into the little individual, pithy statements.

A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother ( Proverbs 10:1 ).

You see, that's my boy. Or that's her boy. The wise son is my boy. The foolish son is hers.

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing ( Proverbs 10:2 ):

Or gain that is made through wickedness.

but righteousness delivers from death. The LORD will not allow the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked ( Proverbs 10:2-3 ).

An interesting proverb. God will take care of His own. He'll not allow the soul of the righteous to famish. But ultimately, the wicked are going to have the substance taken away.

He becomes poor that deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent makes rich ( Proverbs 10:4 ).

Now, one thing that is noted in the proverbs and in the Bible is that God does respect and desire that in your business dealings you always be absolutely honest and upright. Don't be trying to always shyster the other guy or take advantage of another guy. Or we read a little further where the buyer says, "It's not worth a thing, it's not worth a thing." But when he walks away, he brags about what kind of a deal he got. "It's worth nothing. It's worth nothing." And you go away, "Man, did I ever have a deal! Look what I bought for $5. Really took that sucker." And he speaks against that kind of stuff. "He who deals with a slack hand." Deal honestly. Don't deal with a slack hand. But be diligent. He'll become poor that deals with a slack hand. It'll come back to you. You won't stay in business. You won't last in business. But if you are honest and diligent in business, then you're going to get the reputation for that. You cannot keep your reputation from getting around. It'll either be good or bad.

He that gathers in summer is a wise son: but he who sleeps in the harvest is one that causes shame. Blessings are on the head of the just: but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. The memory of the just is [sweet or] blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot ( Proverbs 10:5-7 ).

Think that one over. How do you want people to think of you when you're gone? The memory of the just will be blessed. But if you've been rotten then your name will rot.

The wise in heart will receive commandments: but the prating fool shall fall. He that walks uprightly walks surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known. He that winketh with the eye causes sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall. The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. Hatred stirs up strifes: but love covers all sins ( Proverbs 10:8-12 ).

This is quoted in the New Testament where we are told, "But love covereth a multitude of sins" ( 1 Peter 4:8 ). Hatred, if you're filled with hatred, it's just going to stir up strife. Everybody's going to hate you. But if you're a loving person, they're willing to overlook your faults. It just covers so many faults if you're a loving person. If you're a hateful person, man, then people are looking, they're scrutinizing you for faults. They can't wait to find it. It satisfies them when they can find something wrong and to see the flaws. But if you're a loving kind of a person, then they're just going to overlook all kinds of mistakes. So if you're not a perfect person, then you better be a loving person and you'll be able to get along all right. For "love covers a multitude of sins, all sins."

In the lips of him that has understanding wisdom is found: but the rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding. Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. A rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty. The labor of the righteous tends to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin. He that is in the way of life that keeps instruction [or he that is in the way of life keeps instruction]: but he that refuses reproof errs. He that hides hatred with lying lips, and he that utters a slander, is a fool ( Proverbs 10:13-18 ).

Now there is no contrast here. There are just two things that are declared. The man who hides hatred with his lying lips, that is the deceitful, hypocrite, and the man who utters a slander. You utter something slanderous about someone else, you're a fool.

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin ( Proverbs 10:19 ):

In other words, the more you talk, the more you're going to... the greater possibility you're going to sin.

but he that refraineth his lips is wise ( Proverbs 10:19 ).

Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're a fool, rather than to open it and remove all doubt. That's Pro 1:4 by Chuck. I took it from the nineteenth here. There's nothing new under the sun.

The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is worth little. The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for lack of wisdom ( Proverbs 10:20-21 ).

I love this one.

The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and he adds no sorrow with it ( Proverbs 10:22 ).

Oh, the blessings of the Lord. How rich they are. How rich is the time that we can spend together in a Christian fellowship and all. And there's no sorrow with it. You know there are a lot of people out doing things and all, oh, have a great time, but oh, man, the sorrow that follows. The remorse as, you know, the chickens come home to roost, and as it begins to come back on you. But the blessings of the Lord, they just make you so rich and there's no sorrow attached to it. It's just good all the way.

It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding has wisdom. The fear of the wicked shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted. As the whirlwind passes, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation ( Proverbs 10:23-25 ).

The wicked are to be destroyed, but the righteous will endure forever.

As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to him that sends him ( Proverbs 10:26 ).

I don't know what vinegar is to the teeth, but I do know what smoke is to the eyes. It smarts. And if you send a sluggard to do a job, man, it smarts. So is the sluggard to him who sends him.

The fear of the LORD prolongs ones days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish. The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. The mouth of the just brings forth wisdom: but the perverse tongue shall be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaks perversity ( Proverbs 10:27-32 ).

So all of these little nuggets, as I say, they are contrasts. And this is classic Hebrew poetry. For they found beauty in the ideas and the thoughts that were expressed rather than in the rhyme or the rhythm. Whereas, to us poetry has to be in rhyme and has to be in a rhythm to be attractive to us, but with the Hebrew poetry, it's all in the thoughts that are expressed. And usually in either the contrasting thoughts which in this chapter we have an excellent example as we were contrasting the righteous with the wicked and all, all of these contrasts to the Hebrew, that's just beautiful. They revel in the thought, the contrasting thoughts. Where for us, you got to have the rhyme. You got to have the rhythm, you know. And then we dig on the rhyme or the rhythm of a thing.

There are strange things done neath the midnight sun

By the men who toil for gold.

The arctic trails, oh, their secret tales

That would make your blood run cold.

The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

But the clearest they ever did see.

Was a night on the marge of the Lake Lebarge

When I cremated...

You know, the rhyme and the... We love it. You love to throw the rhyming words together. And the rhythm of it carries us. But with the Hebrew poetry, there is, there isn't the rhythm, there isn't the rhyme, there's just the thoughts. And you get the beauty in the contrasting thoughts, or in the compounding of a thought, which some of these were in the compounding. A couple of them were compounding of thoughts, but most of them were contrasting thoughts.

So you get the idea of what a proverb is now as we move into these little three liners or whatever. You begin to catch the idea of the contrast of a proverb, and also of what constitutes poetry in the Hebrew idea and all.

So next week we will continue on eleven through fifteen. A lot of wisdom, a lot of understanding, a lot of knowledge packed away in these proverbs. And I pray that as we study them, that you will gain, you'll begin to receive the words of wisdom and instruction, justice, judgment and equity; give you knowledge and discretion.

Father, we thank You for the study of Your Word and we ask You, Father, make us wise. Men of understanding hearts. Oh God, help us to come into the fear of the Lord where we might have a proper respect for You. Learning to love the things that You love. Hating those things that You hate. That we might walk in righteousness and in the uprightness of our heart before Thee, Lord, knowing that Thou, Lord, seest us day by day. Nothing is hid from Thy sight. So may we live, Lord, as in Thy presence and conscious of Thy presence. So let us walk in all purity, holiness, righteousness. Oh God, make us pure even as Jesus Christ is pure. In His name we pray. Amen. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Proverbs 10". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/proverbs-10.html. 2014.
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