Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Proverbs 14

Verses 1-35

Proverbs 14:1-35 — The Mind: Understanding Must Guide Our Decisions - This section places emphasis upon the mind of man.

Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Proverbs 14:1 — "Every wise woman buildeth her house" - Comments- A wise woman will work so that her house and home will grow and prosper. A house that is built correctly is established, or steady and secure, not broken with divorce or full of strife and division ( Proverbs 24:3-4). This takes God"s wisdom from above ( James 3:17-18). This home has material riches to bless others with. Wisdom builds and works and prepares ( Proverbs 9:1).

Proverbs 24:3-4, "Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches."

Proverbs 9:1, "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:"


1. The virtuous wife ( Proverbs 31:10-31):

Proverbs 14:11 - Her husband trusts her as a steward not to waste his hard-earned substances:

Proverbs 14:12 - She does not do evil towards him in anger but strives to please him.

Proverbs 14:13 - She works hard for the benefit of her household.

Proverbs 14:20 - She gives to the poor so God blesses the house.

Proverbs 14:26 - She speaks kindly and not with contentions.

2. The widow indeed ( 1 Timothy 5:10). She works hard to raise her children. She helps those in need.

1 Timothy 5:10, "Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints" feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work."

3. Rachel and Leah:

Ruth 4:11, "And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:"

Proverbs 14:1"but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands" - Comments- Characteristics of the foolish woman:

1. She is always talkative about worthless chatter.

Proverbs 9:13, "A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing."

2. Her mind is on men and the world, excitement, entertainment

Proverbs 9:14-15, "For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, To call passengers who go right on their ways:"

3. She is full of contentions, arguing and fussing, and angry.

Proverbs 19:13, "A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping."

Proverbs 21:9, "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house."

Proverbs 21:19, "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman."


Jezebel: 1 Kings 21:25, "But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up."

Athaliah: 2 Kings 11:1, "And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal."

Because of her own actions, her home and family are destroyed, and not because of chance and ill fate, even though outsiders may be involved in the destruction.

Proverbs 14:2 He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.

Proverbs 14:2Word Study on "uprightness" - Strong says the Hebrew word "uprightness" ( יָשָׁר) (H 3477) literally means, "straight."

Comments- One who walks a straight path, doing that which is right.

Psalm 25:8, "good and upright is the Lord." - We are to be like Him.

The upright:

Psalm 7:10 - God saves them

Psalm 11:7 - We can see God, have communication with Him

Psalm 18:25 - God rewards the upright in many ways according to their uprightness

Psalm 32:11 - They can be glad in heart and rejoice

Psalm 33:1 - Praise is comely for them

Psalm 36:10 - God gives his loving kindness and righteousness to them

Psalm 37:18 - God gives them an inheritance forever

Psalm 37:37 -Their end is peace

Psalm 49:14 - They have dominion over them in the morning

Psalm 64:10 - They shall rejoice in the Lord

Psalm 94:15 - They will follow God's judgment

Psalm 97:11 - Gladness is theirs

Psalm 112:2 - Their generation is blessed

Psalm 112:4 - God gives them light in the darkness

Psalm 125:4 - God does good to them

Psalm 140:13 - They dwell in God's presence

Proverbs 2:21 - They dwell and remain in the land

Proverbs 10:29 - God's way is strength to them

Proverbs 11:3 - Their integrity guides them

Proverbs 11:6 - Their righteousness delivers them (also Proverbs 13:6)

Proverbs 11:11 - Their blessings exalt a city

Proverbs 11:20 - God delight in them

Proverbs 12:6 - Their mouth delivers them

Proverbs 14:11 -Their tabernacle flourishes

Proverbs 15:8 - Their prayer is God's delight

Proverbs 16:17 - Their depart from evil

Proverbs 21:29 - He considers his ways

Proverbs 28:10 - They possess good things

Proverbs 29:27 - They are an abomination to the wicked

Proverbs 14:2Word Study on "perverse" - Strong says the Hebrew word "perverse" ( לוּז) (H 3868) literally means,, "to turn aside."

Comments - This word means the opposite of "straight" or "upright."

Proverbs 14:2Comments- Proverbs 14:2 shows that a man's lifestyle and conduct are a clear indication of how he regards God in his own heart.

James 2:18, "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."

Proverbs 14:3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

Proverbs 14:3Word Study on "pride" - Strong says the Hebrew word "pride" ( גַּאֲוָה) (H 1346) means, "arrogance, majesty."

Comments- Foolish people speak arrogantly, even though it costs them dearly, but a wise person will guide and control his tongue so that it will carry him safely through the situation. Note:

Proverbs 18:6, "A fool"s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes." His talk brings strife and comes to blows.

Proverbs 13:10, "Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom."

Proverbs 21:24, "Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath."

Proverbs 28:25, "He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat."

Proverbs 14:4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Proverbs 14:4Comments- Without the ox, there will be no harvest of grain, and without a harvest of grain, you cannot provide for the ox. Both the ox and the grain provide for each other. If you have one, you naturally have the other.

Proverbs 14:5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

Proverbs 14:6 A scorner seeketh Wisdom of Solomon, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.

Proverbs 14:6 — "A scorner seeketh Wisdom of Solomon, and findeth it not" - Scripture References- Note:

Proverbs 18:2, "A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself."

HNV, "A fool has no delight in understanding, But only in broadcasting his own opinion."

Proverbs 26:12, "Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him."

Isaiah 8:20, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

Proverbs 14:6"but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth" - Comment- There are two kinds of people shown in Proverbs 14:6 :

A. The scorner can be a sinner looking for happiness and peace and wisdom and never truly finding it. But the child of God has much understanding which God gives him.

B. The Christian who scorns the Pentecostal message while seeking his walk and ministry with the Lord verses a Pentecostal man who had received the anointing and much revelation into spiritual things. For some scorners who have categorized and classified and labeled their theology, many verses in the Bible are difficult to be interpreted, but to him whose heart and mind is open to his heavenly Father, who does not fit into man's mindset, this man receives the Scriptures as they are written and Gods word is simple to understand.

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Psalm 119:99-100, "I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts."

Proverbs 8:9, "They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge."

Proverbs 17:24, "Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth."

Proverbs 14:6Comment- It is easy to get the right interpretation and understanding of the Scriptures when a man is in tune with God through the Holy Spirit, but to those Pharisee-type church people and sinners, it is difficult to understand God's word.

Those who scoff the full Gospel message of divine healing and miracles have difficulty with many passages in the Holy Bible, but for those who humble themselves to God"s Word, understanding is easy ( James 1:21).

James 1:21, "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls."

Proverbs 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish Prayer of Manasseh, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

Proverbs 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.

Proverbs 14:8 — "but the folly of fools is deceit" - Comments- My paths have crossed the paths of those who live their lives in deceiving and robbing others. I have seen them go to church, while committing embezzlement in their daily jobs. They have deceived many people, but in the end, the person that they have deceived the most is themselves.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a Prayer of Manasseh, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Proverbs 14:12Comments- Kenneth Copeland explains that Proverbs 14:12 gives us an example of a person who is walking by his five senses of the flesh and not by the Word of God. 102] In other words, living by the senses of the flesh is to be walking by the law of sin and death. This will bring a person to destruction. He uses Romans 8 to explain that this is a person who is walking under the law of sin and death, instead of being under the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.

102] Kenneth Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

This same verse is repeated in Proverbs 16:25, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a Prayer of Manasseh, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Proverbs 14:13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.

Proverbs 14:13Comments- A person"s outward appearance does not always portray what is going on inside the heart. Before I rededicated my life to the Lord in June of 1979, I had been under conviction for about two years. I remember driving down the road and weeping without understanding why. I was in college and appeared to be having a wonderful time; but inside, I was convicted of my sins. I was not truly happy.

Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

Proverbs 14:14Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Proverbs 1:31, "Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices."

Proverbs 11:6, "The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness."

Proverbs 14:15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

Proverbs 14:15Illustration- King Achish believed David ( 1 Samuel 27:12).

1 Samuel 27:12, "And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever."

Proverbs 14:20-21Comments- Everyone sees himself in need and in poverty when compared to a person of more wealth. The tendency is for a person to set his eyes on the wealth of the rich Prayer of Manasseh, but a wise person casts his eyes in the other direction, upon the poor. Thus, the wise man realizes his wealth and is moved in his heart to give to the poor.

Proverbs 14:21"He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth" - Comments- Our neighbour is any one in need. Note the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.

Proverbs 14:21 — "but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he" - Comments- What a joy it gives a man when he helps the poor. There comes a joy of knowing you are in God's will.

Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

Proverbs 14:23Comments- Proverbs 14:23 shows one reason why God said, "that with quietness they work" in 2 Thessalonians 3:12. Talk produces very little, but action gets the job done.

2 Thessalonians 3:12, "Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread."

Illustration- As a young child, my brothers and I spent a lot of time helping in the garden. As teenagers, we spent years helping our father build a house and work at a sawmill in the back yard. On one Labour Day weekend, our father had us digging a drainage ditch in order to drain water off of our wetland. In the heat of this day"s labour, while all of our schoolmates were enjoying a holiday to rest, we asked our father why we had to work. Without slowing his work pace, he simply said, "Because it"s Labour Day". He meant jokingly that Labour Day was meant to be a day of work, instead of a holiday to take a rest.

Despite our complaints growing up and having to work around the home, my brothers and I developed good work habits. These habits have given us the ability to do well in the workplace, around many lazy people who never had good work ethics instilled in them as young people.

I am no longer hoeing in a garden nor building a house. But, I am still using the work ethics that I learned as a child.

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

Proverbs 14:27Comments- David Atkinson notes that a fountain is "refreshing, cool, beautiful, life-giving." In contrast, a snare is "hidden, entrapping, destructive, the source of pain." 103]

103] David Atkinson, The Message of Proverbs, in The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996), 102.

Proverbs 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

Proverbs 14:29Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 14:17, "He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated."

Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

Proverbs 14:30Comments- Proverbs 14:30 tells us that a heart that is upright with God results in a healthy body, but a heart full of envy brings sickness. Peace of mind is the result of a godly lifestyle, but sinners fret and worry about their life, and this causes ill health.

ASV, "A tranquil heart is the life of the flesh; But envy is the rottenness of the bones."

Proverbs 14:31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

Proverbs 14:31Illustration- Note the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25:31-46. The sheep and the goats will be separated on Judgment Day.

Proverbs 14:32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.

Proverbs 14:32Comments- A good example of the wicked being driven away in his wickedness is seen in the story of Daniel and the Lion's den. Those who tried to destroy Daniel were themselves destroyed by the same means. We see this in the story of Esther. For evil Haman was hung on the very gallows that he had prepared for righteous Mordecai.

Proverbs 14:33 Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

Proverbs 14:34Scripture References- Note:

Proverbs 11:11, "By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked."

Proverbs 14:35 The king"s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.

Proverbs 14:35Illustration:

Joseph: Genesis 39:2-5, "And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian"s house for Joseph"s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field."

Daniel: Daniel 1:17, "As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams."

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 14". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.