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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Proverbs 10

 

 

Verse 1

Introduction - Proverbs 10:1 serves as an introduction to Solomon's first collection of proverbs ( Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 22:16). Figuratively, this verse symbolizes the sending out of the young man into his spiritual journey in life, having answered the call to pursue divine wisdom.

Proverbs 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

Proverbs 10:1 — "The proverbs of Solomon" - Comments- This superscription, or title, appears in the opening of the book. As Solomon has written the first nine chapters as an introduction to prepare the reader to receive his words of Wisdom of Solomon , he now provides a title for the beginning of these words of wisdom.

Proverbs 1:1, "The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;"

Note also:

Proverbs 25:1, "These are also proverbs of Song of Solomon , which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out."

Proverbs 10:1 — "A wise son maketh a glad father" - Word Study on "glad" - Strong says the Hebrew word "glad" ( שָׂמַח) (H 8055) is a primitive root that means, "to brighten up," thus, "to be blithe, or gleesome." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 152times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "rejoice 95, glad 45, joy 5, joyful 2, merry 2, misc 3."

Scripture Reference- Note similar verses on this subject in the book of Proverbs , where a son makes his parents glad:

Proverbs 15:20, "A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother."

Proverbs 23:15-16, "My Song of Solomon , if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things."

Proverbs 23:24-25, "The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice."

Proverbs 29:3, "Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance."

Proverbs 10:1 — "but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother" - Word Study on "heaviness" - Strong says the Hebrew word "heaviness" ( תּוּגָה) (H 8424) means, "depression, grief." The Enhanced Strong says it is used four times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "heaviness 3, sorrow 1."

Scripture Reference- Note similar proverbs on this subject in the book of Proverbs , where a son grieves his parents:

Proverbs 17:21, "He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy."

Proverbs 17:25, "A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him."

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

Proverbs 29:15, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."

Proverbs 10:1Comments- In God"s eyes, wisdom begins in the home. According to the Mosaic Law, the Jewish parents were required to train up their children in the ways of God.

Deuteronomy 4:10, "Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children."

Deuteronomy 6:7, "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Deuteronomy 11:19, "And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Those who failed to follow God"s divine laws reaped the consequences. One of the effects of negligence to the Law was to have the children go astray in rebellion and foolishness. Therefore, if parents give their children a nice home, a good education, but neglect to teach them the fear of God, they have raised a fool. The comfort of parents in their later years will depend largely upon their children"s relationship to God.

The entire book of Proverbs will be spent contrasting the wise man with the fool. The fool is not someone who is mentally deficient, but rather a person whose heart is rebellious towards the things of God. For example, in Luke 12:16-20, the rich man was intelligent enough to gather great wealth, but in God eyes, he was considered a fool.

A young child instinctively tries to please his parents. This gives the parents the advantage of being able to train the children in the way that they chose. There will come a time when the children are grown up and have to make independent decisions. But God placed within a child the instinct to please the parents in these early years of learning.

When a young Prayer of Manasseh , or a woman, first leaves home, they carry these close relationships of their parents with them. When we begin a journey on the path of wisdom as young adults, it requires that we leave home to become what God has called us to be. On this new and exciting venture in life, we will instinctively look by to our training at home and try to please our parents, as we have done so while living under their authority as children.

So naturally, the first proverb in this book deals with the issue of pleasing the parents. This is the characteristic of a child"s earliest behavior. The longing for home, with much homesickness, is the first experience of a young person"s journey away from home.

I can see the young man"s father giving his last words to his Song of Solomon , as he sends him off to college. He says, " Song of Solomon , remember the wisdom that I have taught you and make me a proud father. And remember, do not grieve your mother by doing foolish thing."

Every parent wants to see his child succeed. This is what makes his heart glad. Wise parents learn to guide their children safely along life's journey, knowing each child is uniquely gifted with a purpose and divine destiny. It is difficult enough for a person to fulfill his life's destiny, but almost impossible without parental support.

Why does Proverbs 10:1 separate the joy and heaviness between a father and a mother? Do not both parents suffer when their child makes the wrong decisions? Sadly, in many homes where only one parent is born-again, the training of righteousness becomes the job of the godly parent, while the ungodly parent neglects this responsibility. Thus, in this household, it is primarily the godly parent that either rejoices or grieves with the child and not both parents together.


Verses 1-9

Many commentators say that the individual proverbs in this book of the Holy Bible lack order; but, God is a God of order ( 1 Corinthians 14:40), as we are about to see.

1 Corinthians 14:40, "Let all things be done decently and in order."

Even the book of Proverbs has an order. This order is patterned like our lives. When we go through our day, it may appear to be a series of random events with no particular order; but the Scriptures tell us that a righteous man's steps are ordered by the Lord. Our day is ordered by the Lord ( Psalm 37:23) and we are to find His purpose in each day by seeking His face. The proverbs are organized in just such a way as we live our lives.

Psalm 37:23, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way."

The Lord will bring certain events into our lives to test us in order to train us and prepare us for future events that are on this journey.

When a young man first leaves home, his thoughts are on pleasing his parents ( Proverbs 10:1). Proverbs 10:2-3 deal with material possessions. A young man"s initial instinct as he journeys from home is to provide for himself. He is determined to survive, and to no longer depend upon his parents for support. Therefore, he quickly sees the wealth of the sinner as he struggles to make it on his own ( Proverbs 10:2); but, he must remember that God will provide for His children ( Proverbs 10:3).

Proverbs 10:4-5 deal with the physical body. The young man is taught that material provisions come through hard work and not through laziness ( Proverbs 10:4), but wise planning must be used as the earnings of his labour produce wealth ( Proverbs 10:5).

Proverbs 10:6-7 deal with the character of a person. We see the blessings and honour that come from a noble character, and the curses of the wicked. The young man sees that there is a greater value beyond material prosperity, and that is a good name. This good name comes only to those of a noble character. This section is about the soul, the mind, the will and the emotions of a Prayer of Manasseh , which produce this noble character.

Proverbs 10:8-9 deal with the heart of man. A noble character is developed in a person who has a heart that receives commandments ( Proverbs 10:8). There is much security in walking upright before God and man ( Proverbs 10:9).

Therefore, we see in Proverbs 10:2-9 that the order of discussion is on finances (2-3), the body (4-5), the soul (6-7) and the spirit of man (8-9). In contrast, Proverbs 3:3-12 has listed these same four topics in reverse order, first the heart, then the soul, the body and finances. We see this order also followed in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Why is this order reversed in the passage of Proverbs 10:2-9? Perhaps because this is the order in which the young man perceives them in his initial quest for a meaning in life.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Introduction — Proverbs 10:1

2. Finances — Proverbs 10:2-3

3. The Physical Body — Proverbs 10:4-5

4. The Mind of Man — Proverbs 10:6-7

5. The Heart of Man — Proverbs 10:8-9


Verses 1-16

Justification: Solomon"s First Collection (375 Sayings) 75] - The first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs serve as an introductory call from wisdom. In this introduction, we are exhorted to hear wisdom"s cry (chapter 1), and we are told how to find wisdom by putting it first in our lives (chapter 2). We are told of the blessings of finding wisdom (chapter 3) in contrast to the dangers of hearkening unto the call of the wicked and the harlot. We are shown how wisdom transforms our lives by learning the three paths of wisdom for the heart, mind and body of man (chapter 4). This is contrasted with three paths of destruction (chapters 5-6). We are shown the characteristics of the wicked man and the adulterous woman (chapters 6-7). Then, we are shown the excellence of wisdom and its characteristics (chapter 8). In conclusion, we have an invitation from wisdom to take food for the journey, with a choice to eat the stolen bread of the adulteress (chapter 9). The better we are able to understand the introduction of Proverbs , the better we will be able to understand its teachings in the rest of the book.

75] Sailhamer says that there are 375 proverbs in Solomon's First Collection ( to 22:16), which equals the numerical value of Solomon's Hebrew name. In addition, he says there are 611laws listed in the Pentateuch, which equals the numerical value of the Hebrew word "Torah" ( תורה). He adds that the laws listed in the "Covenant Codes" ( Exodus 21:1-23:12) are 42 (7 x 6), which was in intentional multiple of seven. His point is that such numerical coincidences reflect deliberate composition by the ancient Jewish scribes, and concludes that the laws, as well as the statutes, were not intended to be exhaustive. See John H. Sailhamer, Introduction to Old Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, c 1995), 257.

Once we have chosen the path of Wisdom of Solomon , we are ready to continue on in the book of Proverbs. The next section of this book Isaiah 10:1 thru Proverbs 22:16. This is referred to as Solomon"s First Collection. This section is characterized by the fact that each verse contains individual truths that stand alone. They are practical truths that form a couplet. In chapter 10, we are given the choice to answer wisdom's call to follow her by either obeying her words, or by disobeying her words and becoming the fool.

We now leave our preparation, which is compared to leaving our home and our parents. We now take a path on the journey of life. However, a quick observation of the following chapters shows us a list of randomly collected Proverbs , which have no apparent relationship to one another, unlike the first nine chapters. However, if we look carefully, we will see signposts along this path of life. The introduction of chapters 1-9 began and ended with signposts. These signposts are found in Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10.

Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

Proverbs 9:10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."

The fear of the Lord will be our signpost throughout the book of Proverbs. The first nine chapters are an introduction, or beginning, to this path of life. This is why these first two signposts use the phrase, "beginning of knowledge and wisdom."

If there is a beginning, then there is a journey; and if a journey, then a destination. These signposts will take us to our destination, which is to become like our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus, or we could say to walk in the fullness of Christ. We will liken this journey to John Bunyan"s book Pilgrim"s Progress, where the character named Christian made his way to the Eternal City. 76] Just as Pilgrim's Progress is an allegorical story of a person's journey to Heaven, so is the book of Proverbs a proverbial journey to Heaven.

76] George Offor, ed, The Works of John Bunyan, 3vols. (Edinburgh: Blackie and Song of Solomon , 1855).

Now, let us look for other signposts as we launch out on this journey in life. Note that the phrase "the fear of the Lord" is used throughout the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 10:27, "The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened."

Proverbs 13:13, "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded."

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

Proverbs 14:16, "A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident."

Proverbs 14:26, "In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge."

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

Proverbs 15:16, "Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith."

Proverbs 15:33, "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility."

Proverbs 16:6, "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil."

Proverbs 19:23, "The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil."

Proverbs 22:4, "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life."

Proverbs 23:17, "Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long."

Proverbs 24:21, "My Song of Solomon , fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:"

Proverbs 28:14, "Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief."

Proverbs 31:30, "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

Each of these signposts has been planted within a group of proverbs that emphasizes the subject related to that particular signpost. For example, Proverbs 10:27 tells us that the fear of the Lord gives us a long life. This proverb has been placed within a group of verses that largely deal with a long life ( Proverbs 10:24 to Proverbs 11:22). Thus, we can ask ourselves if we are walking in these blessings of long life, or in a life of problems. If our life is blessed in this way, we are on the journey. However, if we find problems in our life that are not in God's plan for us, then we have strayed off the path.

Proverbs 13:13 tells us of the rewards of fearing the Lord. This proverb is placed within a group of verses that refer to prosperity. Thus, we must check our life to see if the blessing of prosperity is operating in our life.

Proverbs 22:4 reminds us of the many blessings of Wisdom of Solomon , which are given in chapter 3. Thus, we can know while we are on the journey if we are still on the path of wisdom. We know this because the blessings of wisdom will be seen in our lives. If we find the curses in our lives, then we know that we have erred from the path of wisdom. This is how these signposts keep us on the right path.

These signposts symbolize the way in which the Lord guides our lives; for it is by the fear of the Lord that we make the decision to follow the path of wisdom. Without this fear, we may know the right decision, but as Song of Solomon , we would err from the journey by failing to adhere to wisdom.

On a daily basis God will give us enough light for our daily needs. This can be called our "daily bread" ( Matthew 6:11).

Matthew 6:11, "Give us this day our daily bread."

This daily bread gives us enough light to guide our short steps. But there are certain times when the Lord will intervene in our life and show us enough light to see farther down the path. When we face major decisions or changes in our life, God will often speak to us or reveal Himself to us in a supernatural way and show us the right path. During these times, we are able to look back and look ahead and see a bigger picture of God's plan for our lives. This is the way that God guided Jacob on special occasions, and this is the way that I have experienced the Lord's guidance during major changes in my life. We can see this two-fold method of guidance in Psalm 119:105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." The book of Proverbs symbolizes these occasions by planting signposts along the journey.

There are also warning signs along this journey. These warning signs symbolize those times when God gives us correction and discipline in order to keep us from straying from the path of life. As on a public highway, we must learn to heed the warning signs that tell us of dangers ahead, as well as the information signs that tell us where we are located. These signposts are warnings that tell us not to seek the richest, not to pursue the honor, or to pamper the flesh. Instead, we are to pursue the virtues, and not the blessings that come from these virtues. Some examples of these warnings are:

Proverbs 11:28, "He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch."

Proverbs 13:11, "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase."

Proverbs 18:12, "Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility."

Proverbs 23:5, "Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven."

Proverbs 29:23, "A man"s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."

Wisdom cries out in the busiest places in society. She cries out in the crowded streets. She lifts up her voice in the major places where people meet and in the gates of the city. This is because wisdom speaks through other people. It speaks through situations around you. Life itself becomes a classroom, and wisdom in the teacher. Thus, in the book of Proverbs , we are shown different types of people in order to learn divine wisdom. Listen, and you will hear.

Regarding the hundreds of individual proverbs that we encounter on this path, there appears to be no organized manner in which they are presented us. This is because in the journey of life, our encounters with the wise man and the fool appear to come in the same random order.

When we look at Proverbs 10:1 thru Proverbs 15:33, we see a similarity in all of these proverbs. They all give us a one-verse contrast between the wise man and the fool. This means that in every decision we make in life, we either make a wise decision, or a foolish one. There is no way to straddle the fence in making decisions. Then we see a signpost in Proverbs 15:33.

Proverbs 15:33, "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility."

This verse says that the fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom. In Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10, we are told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This is because the first nine chapters are a preparation, or beginning, of the journey. But here in Proverbs 15:33, we are in a phase of the journey called "the instruction of wisdom". We have been learning to identify the wise man and the fool under the instruction of these one-verse contrasts between these two people. Let me give a clear illustration. When my oldest daughter would sit on my lap, we would sometimes to Bible studies together. At the age of four, she began to ask me simple questions. "Daddy, is this person bad or good." I would reply, "David was good, and Goliath was bad. The prophet Samuel was good, but King Saul was bad." I would then explain, "Samuel was good because he obeyed God. Saul was bad because he tried to kill David." This became my child's first lesson about the wise man verses the fool. It is in this same pattern that God first teaches us how to identify the wise man and the fool as we journey through Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 15:33.

There are other signposts within this lengthy passage of Proverbs 10:1 thru Proverbs 15:33. One signpost is found in Proverbs 10:27.

Proverbs 10:27, "The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened."

This signpost is planted within a passage of Scriptures that deals with the longevity of the righteous verses the brevity of the wicked ( Proverbs 10:24 thru Proverbs 11:22). Thus, this verse promises long life to those who fear the Lord.

A second signpost within Proverbs 10:1 thru Proverbs 15:33 is found in Proverbs 13:13.

Proverbs 13:13, "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded."

This signpost is placed within a group of verses ( Proverbs 13:1-25) that deal largely with the issue of financial blessings from the Lord. Thus, it promises a reward to those who fear the Lord.

In Proverbs 14:26-27, we see a signpost that refers to an abundant life. These two verses are placed within a group of proverbs that deal with one's understanding of circumstances around him.

JFB notes that the parallelisms of Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 15:33 are mostly antithetic, that Isaiah , sayings that contrast values in life. They contrast the wise man to the fool. However, the couplets in Proverbs 16:1 to Proverbs 22:16 are synthetic. That Isaiah , these synthetic sayings in Proverbs 16:1 to Proverbs 22:16 are different in that they are one-verse proverbs that explain one another. The second part of the couplet further explains and builds its thoughts upon the first part of the couplet.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Justification: Antithetic Proverbs — Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 15:33

2. Indoctrination: Synthetic Proverbs — Proverbs 16:1 to Proverbs 22:16


Verses 1-27

Justification: The Journey to a Place of Rest ( Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 29:27) - In Proverbs 10-29 we find a new emphasis regarding our spiritual journey in life. We have heard the call of wisdom in the first nine chapters. Now we have to make the choice to follow the path of Wisdom of Solomon , or the path of the fool. It is our decision to pursue wisdom that will justify us before God. Thus, the underlying theme of Proverbs 10-29 is our justification before God the Father, while the final chapter brings us to a place of rest, which is the destination for man's spiritual journey in life.

Throughout Proverbs 10-29 we encounter hundreds of individual proverbs that appear to have no organized arrangement in which they are presented us. This is because in the journey of life, our encounters with the wise man and the fool appear to come in the same random order. However, God has placed all things in His divine order. When we read individual Proverbs , they appear to be randomly assembled, but if we will step back and look at them as a whole or in groups, we can see an order. These proverbs are clearly grouped together by themes, such as a pure heart, the tongue, a long life, and wealth. In the same way, the circumstances that we face in our daily lives appear to have no particular order. We see very little of God's hand in our lives in a single day, but when we step back and look as our lives over the months or years, we very clearly see God's sovereign hand at working in our lives. We recognize that He is divinely orchestrating His purpose and plan for our lives. This is the way that the verses in the book of Proverbs are arranged.

We have seen that Proverbs 1-9, about one third of the book, is man's call to follow the path of wisdom. Thus, about one third of the book of Proverbs is an introduction, or a preparation, for the rest of this book. Why is that so? We know that Solomon was chosen to be the successor to the throne at his birth. Therefore, he received many years of training under King David for this great task. Even today, we spent the first twenty years of our lives going to school and training for a profession, which is about one third of our lives. We spend the next two thirds of our lives building upon these twenty years of preparation. In our lives, we spend the first twenty years in preparation, the next twenty years sowing, and the last twenty years reaping what we have sown. This is why these years seem to be turning points in many people"s lives. This was the pattern in King Solomon"s life of preparation and growing in Wisdom of Solomon , and this is the pattern found in the book of Proverbs. It is important to note that a season of preparation is something that God has designed and instituted in the human life. He created every human being with the capacity to be shaped and molded through a training process. We often use the term "brainwashing" in a negative sense to refer to a person who has been programmed to think in a negative way; but proper training also reprograms the mind and prepares an individual for the tasks of life. Our human make-up of the spirit, soul, and body were designed to receive training before practical application and abundant living can be achieved.

Although we will study these Proverbs , we will find ourselves falling short of fulfilling them in our everyday lives. None of us has walked flawlessly in obedience to any single proverb. Therefore, each individual proverb reveals God's standard of righteousness, pointing us to Jesus, who alone fulfilled this divine standard in our behalf. In this sense, this collection of proverbs is a collection of redemptive Proverbs , revealing our need for a Redeemer, who alone fulfilled every proverb.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Justification: Solomon's First Collection — Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 22:16

2. Divine Service: Sayings of the Wise — Proverbs 22:17 to Proverbs 24:34

3. Perseverance: Solomon"s Second Collection by Hezekiah — Proverbs 25:1 to Proverbs 29:27


Verses 1-33

Justification: Solomon's First Collection of Proverbs (Antithetic Proverbs - Wisdom verses Foolishness) - The proverbs contained in chapters 10 through 15 are located within Solomon's First Collection of Proverbs. Almost all of these proverbs are similar in that they contrast the wise man with the fool, or good versus evil. 77] This means that in every decision we make in life, we either make a wise decision or a foolish one, a good one or a bad one. It will either bring us into a position of right standing with God, or separate us from God. There is no way to straddle the fence in making decisions. Thus, the primary theme of this passage in Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 15:33 is our justification before God. On our spiritual journey in life, we can most closely compare it to our justification through Jesus Christ our Lord. In other words, this group of proverbs provides a definition of true righteousness before God in the same way that the Sermon on the Mount expounds upon righteousness before God.

77] Graeme Goldsworthy also suggests that the contrast of righteousness with wickedness is being emphasized in this section when he says, " Proverbs 10 is a collection of sayings that mainly contrast wise and foolish behavior or, alternatively, righteous and wicked behavior. It would appear that these two pairs of opposites are synonymous. There is a cumulative effect to this chapter that works on the assumption of the character of God as the basis of assessing what is wise and righteous." See Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture (Michigan: Eerdmans, 2000), 189.

Also woven within Proverbs 10:1 through Proverbs 15:33 we can see smaller groups of proverbs that have been collected together with similar themes. It is important to note that not all of the proverbs within a collection listed above are about the same theme. This is because each day that the Lord guides us, he gives us a variety of wisdom on our place. We do not receive a one-course meal, although we are going through a season of learning a lesson on a particular subject.

Within this passage we see four major topics, which are long life ( Proverbs 10:27), riches ( Proverbs 13:13), abundant life ( Proverbs 14:26-27) and honor ( Proverbs 15:33). Thus, we see a reference to the heart, soul, body and finances of man. These topics will later be summarized in Proverbs 22:4, as this learning phase of the journey comes to an end. Thus, the secondary theme of this passage of Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 15:33 is how wisdom and foolishness is reflected in the four-fold aspect of a man's life.

Proverbs 22:4, "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life."

Also woven within Proverbs 10:2 through Proverbs 15:33 we can see smaller groups of proverbs that have been collected together with similar themes. These proverbs are groups by the same four-fold themes running throughout the book of Proverbs , which are the themes of the heart, of the tongue, of the labour of the body and of wealth. For example,

Proverbs 10:1-9 - Let your heart guide you

Proverbs 10:10-32 - The Tongue

Proverbs 10:27 to Proverbs 11:22 - Long life

Proverbs 11:24-31 - Wealth gained by sowing and reaping

Proverbs 12:1-12 - The Righteous heart

Proverbs 12:13 to Proverbs 13:5 - The Righteous tongue

Proverbs 12:24 to Proverbs 13:4 - Diligence

Proverbs 13:1-25 - Wealth gained by a righteous heart, guarding the tongue and diligence in work

Proverbs 14:1-35 - The Mind- Understanding must guide our decisions

Proverbs 15:1-33 - A Merry Heart

It is important to note that not all of the proverbs within a collection are about the same theme. For example, we will find a proverb about our mental, physical or financial wellbeing mingled within a group of verses that deals with our spiritual wellbeing. This is because each day that the Lord guides us, he gives us a variety of wisdom on our place. We do not receive a one-course meal, although we are going through a season of learning a lesson on a particular subject. Thus, wisdom offers us wine that is "mingled" as described in Proverbs 9:2.

Notes that these sections breaks are not distinct in that they overlap one another. This overlap represents the aspect of man's spiritual journey in which God takes man through phases of learning that overlap.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Let your heart guide you — Proverbs 10:1-9

2. The Tongue — Proverbs 10:10-32

3. Long life — Proverbs 10:27 to Proverbs 11:22

4. Wealth gained by sowing and reaping — Proverbs 11:24-31

5. The Righteous heart — Proverbs 12:1-12

6. The Righteous tongue — Proverbs 12:13 to Proverbs 13:5

7. Diligence — Proverbs 12:24 to Proverbs 13:4

8. Wealth by a right heart, guarded the tongue, & diligent work — Proverbs 13:1-25

9. The Mind- Understanding must guide our decisions — Proverbs 14:1-35

10. A Merry Heart — Proverbs 15:1-33

Signposts- Woven within the themes of this passage are signposts that help us to identify these themes. On this part of the journey, we find four main signposts:

Proverbs 10:27, "The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened."

Proverbs 13:13, "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded."

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

Proverbs 15:33, "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility."

These four signposts tell us that the fear of the Lord will give to us. Perhaps they refer to the four aspects of our wellbeing.

1. A long life ( Proverbs 10:27) — Our physical wellbeing

2. A reward ( Proverbs 13:13) — Our financial wellbeing

3. A fountain of life ( Proverbs 14:27) — Our spiritual wellbeing

4. Instruction and Honour ( Proverbs 15:33) — Our mental wellbeing

We know that we will receive these blessings if we follow the path of wisdom (see Proverbs 3:2).

Proverbs 3:2, "For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee."

We can see that a long life refers to the body, a reward refers to prosperity, a fountain of life refers to abundant life in our hearts, and instruction and honour reflects the character of a Prayer of Manasseh , which is revealed in his mind, will and emotions. Thus, this passage of Scripture deals again with the spirit, soul, body and finances in our lives.

Proverbs 10:10-21 deals primarily with the tongue. Of the 12verses in this passage, 8 deal directly with the words of our mouth. This is because our words set in motion the course of our lives.

First Signpost- Proverbs 10:24 to Proverbs 11:22 deals primarily with the theme of living a long life. Of these 33verses, 18 of them deal directly with the issue of living a long life, or being cut off (see Proverbs 10:25; Proverbs 10:27-30; Proverbs 11:3-9; Proverbs 11:11; Proverbs 11:14-15; Proverbs 11:17; Proverbs 11:19; Proverbs 11:21). Thus, the signpost that summarizes the theme of this passage is found in Proverbs 10:27, which theme is to follow the path of Wisdom of Solomon , and we will live a long life on this earth. Note:

Proverbs 10:27, "The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened."

This signpost is planted within a passage of Scriptures that deals with the longevity of the righteous verses the brevity of the wicked ( Proverbs 10:24 thru Proverbs 11:22). Thus, this verse promises long life to those who fear the Lord.

Proverbs 11:23-31 deals entirely with the issue of sowing and reaping. All nine verses clearly address this subject.

Second Signpost- A second signpost within this passage is found in Proverbs 13:13.

Proverbs 13:13, "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded."

This signpost is placed within a group of verses ( Proverbs 13:1-25) that deal largely with the issue of prosperity and financial blessings from the Lord. Thus, the signpost that summarizes the theme of this passage is found in Proverbs 13:13, which theme is to follow the path of Wisdom of Solomon , and we will be rewarded with prosperity from the Lord.

Third Signpost- In Proverbs 14:26-27, we see a signpost that refers to an abundant life. These two verses are placed within a group of proverbs that deal with the heart of a man.

Fourth Signpost- We see another signpost in Proverbs 15:33.

Proverbs 15:33, "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility."

Instruction and honor emphasize the mind of a man. This verse is found within a group of verses that place emphasis upon man's mind. However, this closing verse also identifies the underlying theme of Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 15:33. Proverbs 15:33 says that the fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom. In Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10, we were told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This is because the first nine chapters are a preparation, or beginning, of the journey. But here in Proverbs 15:33, we are in a phase of the journey called "the instruction of wisdom". We have been learning to identify the wise man and the fool under the instruction of these one-verse contrasts between these two people. Let me give a clear illustration. When my oldest daughter would sit on my lap, we would sometimes to Bible studies together. At the age of four, she began to ask me simple questions. "Daddy, is this person bad or good?" I would reply, "David was good, and Goliath was bad; the prophet Samuel was good, but King Saul was bad." I would then explain, "Samuel was good because he obeyed God; Saul was bad because he tried to kill David." This became my child's first lesson about the wise man verses the fool. It is in this same pattern that God first teaches us how to identify the wise man and the fool as we journey through Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 15:33.


Verse 2-3

Finances - Proverbs 10:2-3 deal with material possessions. A young man"s initial instinct as he journeys from home is to provide for himself. He is determined to survive, and to no longer depend upon his parents for support. Therefore, he quickly sees the wealth of the sinner as he struggles to make it on his own ( Proverbs 10:2). However,, he must remember that God will provide for His children ( Proverbs 10:3).

Illustration- I will never forget the summer of 1975. My father left my mother and us children in July 1975. I had just graduated from high school and just been accepted to the University of Florida. When Dad left, fear gripped my heart as I wondered how our remaining family was going to make it financially. However, mother was strong in faith. I went on to college with some small summer savings, enough to take me through a few weeks of college. By a miracle, I received one-hundred percent financial aid before my money ran out. Mother worked hard with a minimum wage Job , and later found a good job in a local bank. She would spend the next twenty-five years on this job. God was faithful, and we did not famish.

Proverbs 10:2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

Proverbs 10:2Comments- When a young man sets out on his own, he enters a new world of experiences that he has never known at home under his parent"s guidance. He sees people doing great things and possessing great treasures. A young"s man"s desire to become like his new peers and to please them, as he has always done with his parents, can be a strong impulse.

But here is one of his earliest tests of wisdom. He must now learn how to obtain possessions in this life. He now has a choice. He can choose to seek after earthly treasures, or he can choose to pursue righteousness. If he chooses to seek earthly treasures the way the wicked seek them, he will find a great loss, for he will leave the path of wisdom. If he chooses to pursue righteousness, he will remain on the path of wisdom.

He has heard this warning from his father before in Proverbs 1:10-19. He knows that the wicked will entice him with the pursuit of great possessions.

Proverbs 1:13-14, "We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:"

He has been told that their end is destruction.

Proverbs 1:19, "So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof."

Thus, this proverb explains that wicked treasures profit nothing, but rather, they lead to death. The ability to make the right choice here largely depends upon the training that the young man received in his parent"s home.

My pastor says that sin will take you further than you planned to go and it will cost you more than you planned to pay.

In the times of Noah, even rich men perished. Only Noah and His family lived, and this was because of the righteousness of Noah. Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 11:4, "Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death."

Proverbs 10:3 The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:3Comments- As we see the material prosperity of the wicked, we must be reminded that God will provide for His children. God will not allow us to famish. The path of the righteous is a walk of faith.

Psalm 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."

In contrast, the wealth of the wicked will be short lived. It will be quickly taken away.

Proverbs 13:11, "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase."

Proverbs 10:3 reveals the divine intervention of God in both the provision of the righteous and in the lack of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:3Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Proverbs 10:24, "The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted."

Proverbs 10:28, "The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish."


Verse 4-5

The Physical Body - Proverbs 10:4-5 deal with the physical body. The young man is taught that material provisions come through hard work and not through laziness ( Proverbs 10:4). Wise planning must be used as the earnings of his labour produce wealth ( Proverbs 10:5).

Proverbs 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

Proverbs 10:4Word Study on "hand….hand" - Two different Hebrew words are translated "hand" in Proverbs 10:4.

First Use- Strong says the Hebrew word "hand" ( כַּף) (H 3709) means, "the hollow hand or palm." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 192times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "hand 128, spoon 24, sole 19, palm 5, hollow 3, handful 2, apiece 1, branches 1, breadth + 040961, clouds 1, misc 7."

Second Use- Strong says the Hebrew word "hand" ( יָד) (H 3027) means, "a hand, power, means, direction." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 1615 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "hand 1359, by 44, consecrate + 0439014, him 14, power 12, them 11, places 8, tenons 6, thee 6, coast 6, side 5, misc 130."

Proverbs 10:4Word Study on "slack" - Strong says the Hebrew word "slack" ( רְמִיָּה) (H 7423) means, "remissness, treachery." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 15 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "deceitful 4, deceitfully 3, deceit 2, slothful 2, false 1, guile 1, idle 1, slack 1."

Comments- The opposite of diligent would be slothful, thus, the most likely meaning in this context.

Proverbs 10:4Comments- The contrast in Proverbs 10:4 is seen in the fact that a lazy hand makes one poor, but a diligent hand makes one rich.

Proverbs 10:5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

Proverbs 10:5Comments- Proverbs 10:5 tells us to plan for the future. Note this truth also in Proverbs 6:6-8.

Proverbs 6:6-8, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest."


Verse 6-7

The Mind of Prayer of Manasseh - Proverbs 10:6-7 deal with character of a person. It is through the soul, which is made up of the mind, the will and the emotions, that the character of a man is expressed. We see the blessings and honour that come from a noble character, and the curses of the wicked ( Proverbs 10:6). The young man sees that there is a greater meaning to life beyond material prosperity, and that is a good name. The name of a person represents his character. This good name comes only to those of a noble character.

Proverbs 10:6 Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:6Comments- A righteous man lives life and experiences much blessing, but this is not so for an evil Prayer of Manasseh , for he is always having problems and cursing under his breath.

Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

Proverbs 10:7Comments- People still name their children Peter, Paul and Mary, but few if any dare to choose the names of Judas or Ahab or Jezebeel.


Verse 8-9

The Heart of Prayer of Manasseh - Proverbs 10:8-9 deal with the heart of man. A noble character is developed in a person who has a heart that receives commandments ( Proverbs 10:8). There is much security in walking upright before God and man ( Proverbs 10:9).

Proverbs 10:8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

Proverbs 10:8Comments- An instructor can show a wise man how to perform a task, and the wise man will take heed to instructions and live and perform the task, but one who chatters on like a fool and thinks that he already knows how to do everything is a man who cannot receive instruction. He will fail at the task. The NLT reads, "The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces." Note also Proverbs 10:17, "He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth."

Proverbs 10:9 He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.

Proverbs 10:9 — "He that walketh uprightly walketh surely" - Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Psalm 23:4, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

Proverbs 10:9Comments- The contrast in Proverbs 10:9 is seen in the fact that there is much safety and security in building a strong foundation upon God's Word, while he that builds his life upon perverted ways will soon have his evil known. This exposure will lead to his ruin.

Proverbs 10:9 Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 28:18, "Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once."


Verses 10-32

The Tongue Emphasized - This section emphasizes the tongue, which represents the decisions we make and the thoughts of our minds.

Proverbs 10:10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.

Proverbs 10:10 — "He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow" - Comments- The eye is often used figuratively in the Scriptures to represent the heart of man. Note:

Deuteronomy 28:56, "The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her Song of Solomon , and toward her daughter,"

Psalm 31:9, "Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly."

Proverbs 22:9, "He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor."

Proverbs 23:6, "Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:"

Jeremiah 13:17, "But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD"S flock is carried away captive."

Matthew 20:15, "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?"

Luke 11:34, "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness." (See Matthew 6:22-23)

The Hebrew word for "wink" is ( קָרַץ) (H 7169). Strong says that it means "to pinch, to bite the lips, blink the eyes (as a gesture of malice), or (fully) to squeeze off (a piece of clay in order to mould a vessel from it)." It is used five times in the Old Testament.

The author has been warned of the wink of the eye in Proverbs 6:13. On his journey in life, he can now quickly recognize this man as a wicked person.

Proverbs 6:13, "He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;"

David also spoke about the wink of the eye in the book of Psalm.

Psalm 35:19, "Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause."

In addition to the three uses above, the other two uses are found in:

Job 33:6, "Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay.

Proverbs 16:30, "He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass."

We see another passage in the book of Job about the wink of the eye used in the context of a wicked person.

Job 15:12-13, "Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at, That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?"

The Hebrew word used in Job 15:12 is ( רָזַם) (H 7335), which means, "to twinkle the eye (in mockery)". This is the only place in the Old Testament where this Hebrew word is used.

Thus, from the context of Psalm 35:19 and Job 15:12, we can see that this is a person whose heart is rejoicing over and mocking others, since the eye represents the heart. We see this idea clearly in Proverbs 30:17.

Proverbs 30:17, "The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it."

Proverbs 10:10 — "but a prating fool shall fall" - Word Study on "fool" - Strong says the Hebrew word "fool" ( אֱוִיל) (H 191) means, "silly."

Word Study on "prating" - The Hebrew word "prating" is ( שְׂ֝פָתַ֗יִם), plural of ( שָׂפָה) (H 8193), and it means, "termination, lip, language, margin." (Strong). The Enhanced Strong says it is used 176 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "lip 112, bank 10, brim 8, edge 8, language 7, speech 6, shore 6, brink 5, border 3, side 3, prating 2, vain 2, misc 4."

Comments- The phrase "a prating fool" literally means, "the foolish of lips." Note other translations:

Rotherham, "he that is foolish with his lips, shall be thrust aside."

HNV, "But a chattering fool will fall."

NIV, "and a chattering fool comes to ruin."

YTL, "And a talkative fool kicketh."

This same Hebrew sentence appears in Proverbs 10:8, ( וֶאֱוִיל שְׂפָתַ֗יִם יִלָּבֵט). It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word preceding this same phrase in Proverbs 10:8 ( מִצְוֹת) (H 4687), meaning "command" (Strong) is very similar to the one in Proverbs 10:10 ( עַצָּבֶת) (H 6094), meaning "a pain, wound" (Strong). At a glance, they look the same. The point is that a copyist may have mistakenly copied this phrase in Proverbs 10:8 into Proverbs 10:10, or vice versa because of the similarity of the preceding words.

Within this context, one modern version takes the liberty to edit this translation to fit a more logical reading. BBE reads:

Proverbs 10:8, "The wise-hearted man will let himself be ruled, but the man whose talk is foolish will have a fall."

Proverbs 10:10, "He who makes signs with his eyes is a cause of trouble, but he who makes a man see his errors is a cause of peace."

Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:11Word Study on "covereth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "covereth" ( כָּסָה) (H 3680) is a primitive root that means, "to plump, that Isaiah , fill up hollows, to cover." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 152times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "cover 135, hide 6, conceal 4, covering 2, overwhelmed 2, clad 1, closed 1, clothed 1."

Proverbs 10:11 — "but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked" - Comments- Most translations support this reading. However, the Hebrew text can also read, "the mouth of the wicked concealeth violence." Note this interpretation in the JPS, "The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life; but the mouth of the wicked concealeth violence."

Proverbs 10:11Comments- Using the KJV translation, the contrast would mean that the righteous man speaks words of living truths, able to make one's life more abundant, but the wicked man only knows how to speak violently about everyone, revealing his wickedness. Using the alternative translation, "but the mouth of the wicked concealeth violence," the contrast would be that the righteous freely and openly speaks words that bless others, while the wicked attempts to cover up and hide his violent heart and violent words.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proverbs 10:12 — "but love covereth all sins" - Word Study on "covereth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "covereth" ( כָּסָה) (H 3680) is a primitive root that means, "to plump, that Isaiah , fill up hollows, to cover." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 152times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "cover 135, hide 6, conceal 4, covering 2, overwhelmed 2, clad 1, closed 1, clothed 1."

Comments- Love covers sins, but hatred tries to expose it.

Comments- Peter quotes Proverbs 10:12 b in 1 Peter 4:8 from the LXX.

1 Peter 4:8, "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."

Proverbs 10:12Comments- A man who allows hatred to rule him will cause strife and contention, but one who lets love guide him will not stir up trouble when sin is committed against him or others. He uses wisdom from God in the situation. Therefore, we have the contrast of how the wicked man proclaims and aggravates an offence, while the righteous man looks for the opportunity to heal all offences.

The word "all" in Proverbs 10:12 means that there is no wrong done against you that love cannot help you deal with. For example, the ministry of Corrie ten Boom illustrates a believer's ability to forgive even the worst of wrongdoing. She spent years in a Nazi concentration camp, yet she learned to forgive her German oppressors. 78]

78] Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place (New York: Random House, Inc, 1982).

Proverbs 10:13 In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.

Proverbs 10:13 — "In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found" - Word Study on "understanding" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "perceive" ( בִּין) (H 995) means, "to perceive, to separate." Strong says it is a primitive root that means, "to separate mentally (or distinguish), i.e. (generally) understand." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 170 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "understand 62, understanding 32, consider 22, prudent 8, perceive 7, regard 6, discern 3, instruct 3, misc 27." This Hebrew word is used 34times in the book of Proverbs.

Word Study on "void" - Strong says the Hebrew word "void" ( חָסֵר) (H 2638) means, "lacking, hence, without." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 19 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "void 6, want 5, lack 4, fail 2, destitute 1, need 1."

Proverbs 10:13 — "but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding" - Word Study on "understanding" - The second use of the word "understanding" in Proverbs 10:13 is the Hebrew word ( לֵב) (H 3820), which literally means, "heart" (Strong). The Enhanced Strong says it is used 593times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "heart 508, mind 12, midst 11, understanding 10, hearted 7, Wisdom of Solomon 6, comfortably 4, well 4, considered 2, friendly 2, kindly 2, stouthearted + 0472, care + 077602, misc 21."

Comments- The phrase "void of understanding" literally means, "lacking of heart." But most translations translate the phrase as, "void of understanding". But others use a similar phrase:

BBE, "without sense"

NIV, "lacks judgment"

YTL, "lacking understanding"

Proverbs 10:13Comments- Wisdom is the product of a heart that seeks and receives instruction and understanding. In contrast, the rod of judgment is the product of a wicked heart that refuses instruction. A man who has no understanding will find chastisement and judgment in his life. In other words, he will have many problems in his life because he does not follow instructions. But the wise man will be recognized for his wisdom and not for his problems.

Proverbs 10:14 Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.

Proverbs 10:14 — "Wise men lay up knowledge" - Word Study on "lay up" - Strong says the Hebrew word "lay up" ( צָפַן) (H 6845) means, "to hide, to hoard, to reserve," and figuratively, "to deny." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 33times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "hide 16, lay up 7, esteemed 1, lurk 1, hidden ones 1, privily 1, secret places 1, secret 1, misc 4."

LXX, "hide"

NIV, "store up"

Proverbs 10:14 — "but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction" - Comments- Foolish people speak rashly with no guard on their mouth. Therefore, their words bring imminent problems and destruction.

Proverbs 10:14Comments- We can see the contrast in the fact that the wise man guards his mouth, although he has a vast store of knowledge laid up. He waits for the appropriate time to speak and reveal his knowledge. In contrast, the foolish man brings problems in his life by speaking quickly and rashly. You can never predict what he will say.

Proverbs 10:10-14Comments- Characteristics of the Wicked Prayer of Manasseh - In this passage we see some of the same characteristics of the wicked man that are found in Proverbs 6:12-15. Compare the wink of the eye, the mouth of violence, and the stirring up of strife.

Proverbs 10:15 The rich man"s wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

Proverbs 10:15Comments- A rich man's wealth can bring him to ruin by trusting in riches and not in God ( 1 Timothy 6:17), and a poor man's poverty can bring him to ruin ( Proverbs 30:7-9).

1 Timothy 6:17, "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;"

Proverbs 30:7-9, "Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."

One possible contrast is to see how the rich man"s trust in his wealth will bring him to ruin, while the despair of the poor will cause him to not see the contentment that God can give anyone who lives a godly life. Wealth as well as poverty can destroy a person.

A second possible contrast is to see how the rich man can use his wealth to deliver him from the problems that come with poverty, while the poor man has to live with the despairs of life that accompanies poverty.

Proverbs 10:16 The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

Proverbs 10:16Comments- A righteous man will labour for the livelihood of himself, his family and those around him. All of the gain from his labour will be used to benefit mankind. In contrast, the wicked will use all that he gains for sinful, self-seeking purposes.

Proverbs 10:17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.

Proverbs 10:17 — "He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction" - Word Study on "way" - Strong says the Hebrew word "way" ( אׂרַח) (H 734) means, "a well trodden road." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 58 times in the Old Testament. In the KJV, it is translated, "way 26, path 25, highway 1, wayfaring Prayer of Manasseh 1:1, manner 1, race 1, ranks 1, traveller 1, troops 1."

Word Study on "keepeth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "keep" ( שׁמַר) (H 8104) means, "to hedge about, i.e. to guard," thus, "to protect to attend to." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 468 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "keep 283, observe 46, heed 35, keeper 28, preserve 21, beware 9, Mark 8, watchman 8, wait 7, watch 7, regard 5, save 2, misc 9."

Comments- The man of wisdom not only receives instruction, but he retains it and does not let it go, thus building his life around it.

Proverbs 10:17Comments- An alternative reading is possible with this Hebrew text. John Gill quotes the Jewish scholar Aben Ezra , who reads this clause in connection with the former, as said of one and the same person, "He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction, and forsakes or rejects the reproof of him that causeth to err." 79]

79] John Gill, Proverbs , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Proverbs 10:17.

Proverbs 10:17Comments- The contrast in Proverbs 10:17 is seen in that the man who receives instructions will be able to follow the path that leads to a fulfilled life. But the person that rejects corrections will always be erring from this path. Within the context of the book of Proverbs , we keep instruction pursuing the virtues of wisdom first. As we pursue these virtues, we will find ourselves on the path of wisdom.

Proverbs 10:16-17Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Galatians 6:8, "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

Proverbs 10:18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

Proverbs 10:18Comments- A fool is not able to manage proper conduct. If he conceals his hatred with silence or with lies, he is a fool. If he reveals his hatred with slanderous lips, he is still the fool. Either way, whether he speaks or keeps silent, the hatred in his heart makes him a fool. The fool is a person who has not dealt with his anger. We all experience anger, but, unlike a righteous person who removes anger from him, a fool harbors this anger until it develops into a deep-seated anger. The Scriptures tell us that anger resides in the bosom of a fool.

Ecclesiastes 7:9, "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools."

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Proverbs 10:19Comments- The contrast in Proverbs 10:19 is clearly seen. A person that speaks carelessly and often reveals a foolish and sinful heart, but the person who speaks carefully and sparingly reveals a wise heart.

Proverbs 10:19Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Ecclesiastes 5:3, "For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool"s voice is known by multitude of words."

James 1:19, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"

James 3:2, "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect Prayer of Manasseh , and able also to bridle the whole body."

Proverbs 10:20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

Proverbs 10:20 — "The tongue of the just is as choice silver" - Comments- God"s Words are also called choice silver ( Psalm 12:6).

Psalm 12:6, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."

Proverbs 10:20Comments- The value of a man is not measured by his material wealth, but by the virtues of the heart. Even the poorest of men can offer something valuable with their words, but the wicked heart cannot speak anything of value.

Proverbs 10:20Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Luke 6:45, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."

Proverbs 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.

Proverbs 10:21Comments- A righteous man can bring blessings to many people, but a fool cannot even provide for himself. A fool cannot even bring a blessing to himself.

Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Proverbs 10:22 — "The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich" - Comments- Kenneth Copeland teaches that "the blessing is the source of the wealth of the believer…You're not blessed because you're rich. You're rich because you're blessed." 80] He contrasts the riches of the ungodly mentioned in Psalm 73:12, which brings sorrow, to the wealth that God's blessings bring, which brings joy. The blessing of the Lord is made available under the new covenant in Christ's work of redemption. Every New Testament believer has the ability to partake of this blessing. This is stated in Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:"

80] Kenneth Copeland, "Kenneth Copeland Ministries Newsletter," June 2008 (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas).

Psalm 73:12, "Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches."

Proverbs 10:22 — "and he addeth no sorrow with it" - Comments- There is much sorrow in the pursuit of this world"s goods when that pursuit is placed above the pursuit of the things of God. Note:

Joshua 6:18, "And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it."

Proverbs 20:21, "An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed."

Proverbs 28:22, "He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him."

2 Kings 5:26-27, "And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow."

James 5:1-2, "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten."

This phrase can also be translated, "toil addeth nothing to it." The BBE, "The blessing of the Lord gives wealth: hard work makes it no greater." This translation means that it is God alone who gives to man blessings the rewards of his labours. However, this translation is rarely accepted.

Proverbs 10:22Comments- The blessings of God are not obtained by gathering, hoarding up and having it lost and spoiled. The blessings of God begin from within, in the heart of man. As he learns to trust in God, He can entrust a faithful man with all things to enjoy. Then the man is able to well manage these blessings so that they do not obstruct his walk with the Lord.

1 Timothy 6:17, "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;"

Illustration: God entrusted Abraham with great riches:

Genesis 24:35, "And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses."

Illustration: God was also able to entrust Isaac with riches:

Genesis 26:12, "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him."

However, contentment is God"s greatest blessing, beyond material blessings.

1 Timothy 6:6-8, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."

Paul learned this great truth in his ministry.

Philippians 4:11, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I Amos , therewith to be content."

In contrast, the blessings of this world are temporal and are accompanied with snares, lusts and sorrows. Note:

1 Timothy 6:9-10, "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Moths, rust, and thieves also accompany this world"s goods. Note:

Matthew 6:19-20, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:"

Proverbs 10:22Comments- All good things come from God. Note:

Deuteronomy 8:18, "But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."

Proverbs 8:21, "That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures."

James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

When we pursue the virtues of wisdom first, God will bring us His divine blessings. If we gain material prosperity without seeking God first, the pressures and stress from getting these blessings will bring much sorrow. Paul teaches us to pursue godliness with contentment.

1 Timothy 6:6-8, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."

The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh, in Proverbs 30:7-9 give us the proper balance to receiving God's blessings. He asked for neither riches nor poverty, but rather contentment when he says, "feed me with food convenient for me". This attitude will keep us on the path of receiving God's blessings. If we are not content, but rather seek this world's goods above the Lord, this path will bring us sorrow. But God's blessing will always enrich our lives.

Proverbs 10:23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.

Proverbs 10:23 — "It is as sport to a fool to do mischief" - Word Study on "sport" - Strong says the Hebrew word "sport" ( שְׂחוֹק) or ( שְׂחׂק) (H 7814) means "laughter," and it comes from the root verb ( שָׂחַק) (H 7832), which means, "to laugh, to play." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 15 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "laughter 6, derision 5, laughing 1, mock 1, laugh to scorn 1, sport 1."

Comments- The name "Isaac," which means "laughter," is derived from this root word.

Word Study on "mischief" - Strong says the Hebrew word "mischief" ( זִמָּה) (H 2154) means, "a plan, especially a bad one," and it comes from the root verb ( זָמַם) (H 2161), which means, "to plan, usually in a bad sense." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 29 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "lewdness 14, wickedness 4, mischief 3, lewd 2, heinous crime 1, wicked devices 1, lewdly 1, wicked mind 1, purposes 1, thought 1."

Comments- Proverbs 10:23 says that a fool delights in doing evil. If you every wonder why a person continues in his sins, even when he knows it is destroying him. The Scriptures tell us that there are "pleasures in sin for a season" ( Hebrews 11:25). However, as some point in time, his sins become addictive and he is bound in those sins, with no strength within himself to be set free. Without God's divine intervention, such a person will die in those sins.

Hebrews 11:25, "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;"

Proverbs 10:23Comments- When a righteous man sins, he is remorseful, ashamed and humbled. But, when a fool commits wickedness, he rejoices and enjoys what he has done. Note similar verses:

Proverbs 2:14, "Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;"

Therefore, this traveler has been taught by his father in Proverbs 2to identify this man. He will see him at other times on his journey.

Proverbs 14:9, "Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour."

Proverbs 15:21, "Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly."

Proverbs 26:18-19, "As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?"

In contrast to the fool who rejoices in wickedness, the man of understanding has the wisdom to know how to avoid sin.

Job 28:28, "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."

As a fool rejoices in his sins, a man of understanding delights in Wisdom of Solomon , thus, he delights in doing good.

As sin is taking pleasure in wickedness, wisdom is taking pleasure in that which is good.

Proverbs 10:23Scripture References- Note other translations:

HNV, "It is a fool"s pleasure to do wickedness, But wisdom is a man of understanding"s pleasure."

YLT, "To execute inventions is as play to a fool, And wisdom to a man of understanding."


Verses 24-30

Emphasis upon a Man's Long Life- Most of the verses in this passage clearly deal with the longevity of the righteous and the brevity of the wicked man"s life. The key verse in this passage is Proverbs 10:27, "The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened."

Proverbs 10:24 The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

Proverbs 10:24 — "The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him" - Comments- John Gill gives two Scriptural examples of Proverbs 10:24. The men of the earth decided to build the Tower of Babel for fear of being scattered upon the face of the earth ( Genesis 11:4). In their prideful hearts, God confused their tongues, and brought their fear upon them, as they scattered over the face of the earth to create the nations of the earth.

Genesis 11:4, "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."

A second example is in the Jews" treatment of Jesus. They feared that Jesus" action might bring the wrath of the Romans upon the city of Jerusalem ( John 11:48). In the divine judgment of the Jews for rejecting the Messiah, God allowed the Romans to destroy the city of Jerusalem in A.D 70. 81]

81] John Gill, Proverbs , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Proverbs 10:24.

John 11:48, "If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation."

The traveler has been taught this truth earlier by his father in preparation for this journey in Proverbs 1:27, "When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you."

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Psalm 90:11, "Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath."

Isaiah 66:4, "I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not."

Hebrews 10:27, "But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries."

Proverbs 10:24 — "but the desire of the righteous shall be granted" - Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Psalm 21:2, "Thou hast given him his heart"s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah."

Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the LORD and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

Psalm 84:11, "For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."

Psalm 145:19, "He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them."

John 16:24, "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."

1 John 5:14-15, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."

Proverbs 10:24Comments- The wicked fear God"s judgment, but lack the wisdom to avoid it. The righteous also fear God"s judgment, but they have the wisdom to avoid it and receive His blessings in place of judgment.

Proverbs 10:25 As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.

Proverbs 10:25 — "As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more" - Comments- As suddenly as a whirlwind comes, it is gone. Such are the wicked, here for a short time, and suddenly cut off from the earth.

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Job 20:5, "That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?"

Job 21:18, "They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away."

Job 27:19-21, "The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not. Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night. The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place."

Psalm 1:4, "The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away."

Psalm 58:9, "Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath."

Isaiah 40:24, "Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble."

Proverbs 10:25Comments- Proverbs 10:25 is clearly illustrated in the story that Jesus told in His Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 7:24-27, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise Prayer of Manasseh , which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish Prayer of Manasseh , which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

We also see this contrast in the book of Psalm:

Psalm 37:9-11, "For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."

Scripture References- Note also similar proverbs:

Proverbs 12:3, "A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved."

Proverbs 12:7, "The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand."

Illustration- When a powerful tornado strikes homes in the Midwest of the United States, often the only thing left intact is the foundation. Perhaps the writer of this proverb observed the stability of a strong foundation in the midst of a devastating whirlwind. The destruction of the home symbolizes the removal of the wicked, while the strong, unmovable foundation represents the life of the righteous.

Proverbs 10:24-25Comments- The End of the Wicked and the Reward of the Righteous- The theme of these two proverbs is also clearly seen in Psalm 37.

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

Proverbs 10:26Comments - Vinegar is "an acid liquor obtained from wine, cider, beer..." (Webster) As vinegar irritates the teeth and smoke irritates the eyes, a sluggard irritates the soul. It causes much irritation to a boss who tells his employee to do a task, only to find the task unfinished. It is also a hard thing to work with a lazy person, because you have to help carry the load that he puts off on others.

Illustration- In the early 1980"s, I was working a summer job with FloriBay Sanitation Company. The owner of this company hired a high school dropout and sent him on an errand. The young man used a company truck to drive into town and back. But this young man could not resist the temptation to drive to his high school campus and show off his vehicle to his schoolmates. Everything appeared to be going well until foolishness broke out at this gathering in the school parking lot and someone dented the company vehicle. Needless to say, this young man drove back to work with a fearful heart and was immediately fired after explaining what he had done, all to the grief of the company owner.

Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 26:6, "He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage."


Verse 27

The Physical Body of Man: Long life - This section emphasizes man's physical body, as Proverbs 10:1-9 has emphasized the heart of man and Proverbs 10:10-32 has emphasized the tongue, or mind, of man. Although there is still some verses that focus upon the tongue until Proverbs 10:32, we do find a transition in an emphasis about a long life.

Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

Proverbs 10:27 — "The fear of the LORD prolongeth days" - Comments- The phrase "the fear of the Lord" is used in the book of Proverbs as a signpost throughout this journey. Proverbs 10:27 confirms that the theme of this particular passage is the longevity of the righteous in contrast to the brevity of the wicked man"s life.

The phrase "prolongeth days" literally reads, "adds days." The Lord can add days to the life of a righteous man. We see this happen in the life of Hezekiah when he was told that he would not live. After pleading to God, the Lord added fifteen years to his life.

2 Kings 20:5-6, "Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David"s sake."

Proverbs 10:27"but the years of the wicked shall be shortened" - Illustration:

Genesis 6:3, "And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with Prayer of Manasseh , for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."

Proverbs 10:27Comments- The contrast is clear in Proverbs 10:27. God will add years to the righteous, and He will subtract years from the wicked. This is seen in the long life of Noah in contrast to the destruction of his wicked generation. It was at this time in history that God shortened man's life to one hundred and twenty years.

Genesis 6:3, "And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with Prayer of Manasseh , for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."

Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.

Proverbs 10:28Comments- Proverbs 10:28 contrasts the hope of the righteous with the expectation of the wicked. It is within every human being to have hope, but the hope of the wicked is vain. The righteous shall realize his hope and rejoice, but the wicked will only have disappointment ( Proverbs 13:12).

Proverbs 13:12, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."

A wicked man's hope is in this life. Our hope as Christians is in eternal life. Thus, when a wicked man dies, none of his hopeful expectations are realized, but rather disappointment and horror. His hope for anything comes to a complete end; it dies. In contrast, when a righteous man dies, his hopes are just beginning to be realizes, and far beyond his expectations and will continue throughout eternity ( Job 27:8, Proverbs 11:7; Proverbs 14:43).

Job 27:8, "For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?"

Proverbs 11:7, "When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth."

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

In the parable of the rich fool how the rich man's hopes were in the things of this world, for he said to himself, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." Once he died, his hope of good things died with him. ( Luke 12:13-21)

In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, we see how poor Lazarus's hope was realized in his death, while the expectations of the rich man perished at his death ( Luke 16:19-31). G. S. Bowes gives us the following examples of the fallen expectations of the wicked:

"Alexander the Great was not satisfied, even when he had completely subdued the nations. He wept because there were no more worlds to conquer, and he died at an early age in a state of debauchery. Hannibal, who filled three bushels with the gold rings taken from the knights he had slaughtered, committed suicide by swallowing poison. Few noted his passing, and he left this earth completely unmourned. Julius Caesar, ‘dyeing his garments in the blood of one million of his foes,' conquered 800 cities, only to be stabbed by his best friends at the scene of his greatest triumph. Napoleon, the feared conqueror, after being the scourge of Europe, spent his last years in banishment." (G. S. Bowes, Our Daily Bread 29 February 1991) 82]

82] William MacDonald, Proverbs , in Believer's Bible Commentary, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Proverbs 10:28.

Proverbs 10:29 The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

Proverbs 10:29 — "The way of the LORD is strength to the upright" - Scripture References- Note similar verses on "the way of the Lord":

Genesis 18:19, "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."

Deuteronomy 9:16, "And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you."

Judges 2:22, "That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not."

2 Kings 21:22, "And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the LORD."

2 Kings 22:2, "And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left."

Psalm 119:33, "HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end."

Hosea 14:9, "Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein."

Jeremiah 5:4, "Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God."

Jeremiah 21:8, "And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death."

Matthew 3:3, "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."

Acts 18:25, "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John."

Contrast "the way of the Lord" with "the way of the wicked":

1 Kings 15:34, "And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin."

1 Kings 22:52, "And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin:"

Psalm 146:9, "The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down."

Proverbs 8:13, "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."

Proverbs 15:9, "The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness."

Isaiah 53:6, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

"The way of the Lord" refers to the providence of God at work in our lives. Note:

Jeremiah 10:23, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."

Proverbs 20:24, "Man"s goings are of the LORD how can a man then understand his own way?"

Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Proverbs 10:29Comments- The contrast in Proverbs 10:29 is seen in the fact that the Way of the Lord brings a righteous man to a place of strength, but the way of the Lord brings weakness and destruction to the wicked man. Thus, the way of the Lord is God"s providence, both blessings and judgment, at work in our lives.

Proverbs 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

Proverbs 10:30Comments- The simple contrast in Proverbs 10:30 is to say that the righteous will eternally possess the earth if they will seek first the kingdom of God, while the wicked, in his desperate efforts to have the things of this world, will lose it all. Jesus spoke of this in the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 6:32-33, "(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Proverbs 10:31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.

Proverbs 10:31 — "The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom" - Word Study on "bringeth forth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "bringeth forth" ( נוּב) (H 5107) a primitive root word that literally means, "to germinate," and figuratively it means, "to flourish." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 4times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "bring forth 2, increase 1, make cheerful 1."

Proverbs 10:31 — "but the froward tongue shall be cut out" - Word Study on "cut out" - Strong says the Hebrew word "cut out" ( כָּרַת) (H 3772) is a primitive root that literally means, "to cut off, to cut down, or to cut asunder." The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 288 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "cut off 145, make 85, cut down 23, cut 9, fail 6, destroy 4, want 3, covenanted 2, hew 2, misc 9."

Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Psalm 12:3, "The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:"

Proverbs 10:31Comments- The two Hebrew verbs in Proverbs 10:31 give a clear picture of the contrast. The tongue of the righteous germinated, or bears fruit, but the tongue of the wicked must be pruned, or cut off. The mouth of the just brings forth good fruit. He is a tree of life ( Proverbs 15:4). In contrast, the tongue of the wicked will be cut down, as it is an unprofitable tree to the vinedresser.

Proverbs 15:4, "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit."

Proverbs 10:32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.

Proverbs 10:32Word Study on "frowardness" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "frowardness" ( תַּהְפֻּכָה) (H 8419) means, "deceit, fraud, perverse." Strong says it means, "perversity, fraud," and it comes from the root verb ( הָפַךְ) (H 2015), which means, "to turn, change, overturn, return pervert." Webster says the word "perverse" means, "Turned aside; hence, specifically, turned away from the right; willfully erring; wicked; perverted."

Proverbs 10:32Comments- The contrast seen in Proverbs 10:32 is that the righteous speaks Wisdom of Solomon , which is accepted by God, but the wicked speak perversity, which is unacceptable in God"s eyes.

Proverbs 10:31-32Comments- The Tongue of Man - Proverbs 10:31-32 appears to form a couplet, as they speak about the same issue, which is the tongue of man.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 10:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/proverbs-10.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 12th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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