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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Proverbs 24

 

 

Verse 1-2

Eighteenth Saying (Tetrastitch) - Proverbs 23:26-28 forms a single proverbial thought using four lines, which is called a tetrastitch. This proverb warns us not to envy the evil man because he is a man of mischief and destruction. We have just been warned against envying the sinner in Proverbs 23:17-18. We also find an example of this proverb in Psalm 73, a psalm of Asaph, of how he envied the wicked until he went into the sanctuary of God and his mind became clear enough to reflect upon their end.

Psalm 73:3, "For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked."

Illustration- David also warned against this type of envy in Psalm 37 and of how the evildoer will soon be cut off.

Psalm 37:1-2, "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb."

Proverbs 24:1 Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.

Proverbs 24:2 For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.


Verse 3-4

Nineteenth Saying (Tristitch) - Proverbs 23:26-28 forms a single proverbial thought using three lines, which is called a tristitch. This proverb reminds us of the results and rewards that come from pursuing wisdom.

Proverbs 24:3 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:

Proverbs 24:3Comments- God is building a spiritual house. It must be build by God's instructions or it will not be a fit house. Note:

Psalm 127:1, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

Illustration- Noah built the ark with God's instructions.

Proverbs 24:4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.


Verse 5-6

Twentieth Saying (Tetrastitch) - Proverbs 24:5-6 forms a single proverbial thought using four lines, which is called a tetrastitch. It tells us that wisdom and knowledge gives a man strength.

Proverbs 24:5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Proverbs 24:6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Proverbs 24:6Comments- God has given us a "multitude of counselors" when seeking His divine will for our lives. We can know God's will by reading His Word. A second way to know God's will is by the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. A third way that God leads us is by the confirmation of circumstances. However, God will always give to us two or three witnesses in order to confirm His will ( Deuteronomy 19:15).

Deuteronomy 19:15, "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."


Verse 7

Twenty-First Saying (Distitch) - Proverbs 24:7 forms a single proverbial thought using two lines, which is called a distitch.

Proverbs 24:7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.

Proverbs 24:7Comments - Regarding the phrase, "in the gate," the gate of each fortified city became the meeting place of leaders. Here city ordinances were transacted, and agreements were made and confirmed by witnesses. The elders of the city gathered here to make decisions to benefit the citizens. It was no place for fools. While living in a guarded compound in Kampala, the entry gate was guarded by security personnel. It became a place for passersby to sit and talk with each other. In a developed nation with cars, mobile telephones and a busy lifestyle, this type of sitting and talking is not found very often. But in a city where the pace of life is slow, an entry gate becomes a natural meeting place for pedestrians.


Verses 8-22

Proverbs 24:8 — Twenty-Second Saying (Distitch) - Proverbs 24:8 forms a single proverbial thought using two lines, which is called a distitch.

Proverbs 24:9 — Twenty-Third Saying (Distitch) - Proverbs 24:9 forms a single proverbial thought using two lines, which is called a distitch.

Proverbs 24:10 — Twenty-Fourth Saying (Distitch) - Proverbs 24:10 forms a single proverbial thought using two lines, which is called a distitch.

Proverbs 24:11-12 — Twenty-Fifth Saying (Hexastitch) - Proverbs 24:11-12 forms a single proverbial thought using six lines, which is called a hexastitch.

Proverbs 24:13-14 — Twenty-Sixth Saying (Pentastitch) - Proverbs 24:13-14 forms a single proverbial thought using five lines, which is called a pentastitch.

Proverbs 24:15-16 — Twenty-Seventh Saying (Tetrastitch) - Proverbs 24:15-16 forms a single proverbial thought using four lines, which is called a tetrastitch.

Proverbs 24:17-18 — Twenty-Eighth Saying (Tetrastitch) - Proverbs 24:15-16 forms a single proverbial thought using four lines, which is called a tetrastitch.

Proverbs 24:19-20 — Twenty-Ninth Saying (Tetrastitch) - Proverbs 24:19-20 forms a single proverbial thought using four lines, which is called a tetrastitch.

Proverbs 24:21-22 — Thirtieth Saying (Tetrastitch) - Proverbs 24:21-22 forms a single proverbial thought using four lines, which is called a tetrastitch.


Verses 23-34

Proverbs 24:23-34 — Sayings of the Wise: Second Collection (Four Sayings) - Proverbs 24:23-34 is considers by many scholars to be the second collection of the "Sayings of the Wise", with Proverbs 22:17 to Proverbs 24:22 being the first collection. It is possible that these sayings were collected by Solomon from outside his kingdom. We know that Solomon identified two sources of wisdom outside of Israel, which were the East and Egypt; for we read in 1 Kings 4:30, "And Solomon"s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt."

We know that the first collection of sayings has similarities with ancient Egyptian wisdom. Thus, it most likely originated from Egypt. 130] We can then suggest that the second, but shorter, collection of sayings ( Proverbs 24:23-34) either came from Egypt as miscellaneous Wisdom of Solomon , or it may have been that wisdom which Solomon collected from the East.

130] Miriam Lichtheim, The Instruction of Amenemope, in Ancient Egyptian literature: Volume II: The New Kingdom (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973- 80]), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004).

We know that Solomon gathered and compiled both collections of sayings. Thus, we read the words of Solomon in the opening statement, "These things also belong to the wise," ( Proverbs 24:23 a).

There are at four proverbial sayings in this shortest of collections (ASV). Some commentators count them as five or six. It is interesting to note that these sayings deal with the condition of a man's heart, mind and body, and in that order.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. First Saying (The Heart) (Hexastitch) — Proverbs 24:23-26

2. Second Saying (The Mind - How We Think) (Tristitch) — Proverbs 24:27

3. Third Saying (The Mind - How We Speak) (Tetrastitch) — Proverbs 24:28-29

4. Fourth Saying (The Body) (Decastitch) — Proverbs 24:30-34

Proverbs 24:23-26 — First Saying (Regarding the Heart) (Hexastitch) - Excluding the introductory statement, "These things also belong to the wise," Proverbs 24:23-26 forms a single proverbial thought using six lines, which is called a hexastitch.

Proverbs 24:27 — Second Saying (Regarding the Mind - How We are to Think) (Tristitch) - Proverbs 24:27 forms a single proverbial thought using three lines, which is called a tristitch.

Proverbs 24:27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.

Proverbs 24:27Comments- Proverb 24:27 deals with a man's priorities and the principles of sowing and reaping. Creflo Dollar defines priorities as "those things which we place a higher value on." 131] How we schedule our lives reflects our priorities. The field represents our source of income, or substance, which enables us to have the resources to build and maintain a house ( Ecclesiastes 5:9). In contrast, the slothful man does not prepare his field. Hebrews , therefore, will not have any income with which to build and maintain a house ( Proverbs 24:30-34).

131] Creflo Dollar, Changing Your World (College Park, Georgia: Creflo Dollar Ministries, 18 August 2009), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Ecclesiastes 5:9, "Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field."

Proverbs 24:30-34, "I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man."

Proverbs 24:27 also reflects the principle of sowing and reaping. We are to sow our labours in the field of harvest, so that we will reap our wages to build a home and find rest. If we do not sow in the fields of labour, we will have no provision to build our home. We are to sow in the Lord's fields so that He can bless us with a place of rest in this life.

A home is a place of rest, and the field is the place of labour and toil. When we place this two-fold aspect of labor and rest into the Song of Solomon , we learn that the place of labour is found in the king's vineyard, and the place of rest is the garden of prayer and communion with the Father. Proverbs 24:7 places our labours in the field as an act of sowing and our rest in the house as reaping what we have sown. For example, get a good education, then get a good Job , then marry and buy a home. Many young married people have married to early, before they could afford to provide for a family. These marriages have been much more challenging and they have a higher rate of divorce than a well planned marriage.

Proverbs 24:28-29 — Third Saying (Regarding the Mind - How We are to Speak) (Tetrastitch) - Proverbs 24:28-29 forms a single proverbial thought using four lines, which is called a tetrastitch.

Proverbs 24:28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.

Proverbs 24:28Word Study on "deceive" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "entice" ( פָּתָה) (H 6601) means, "to spread out, to open, to be roomy." Strong says this primitive root word literally means, "to open, to be roomy." In a mental or moral sense, it is used figuratively to mean, "to be made simple or to delude." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 28 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "entice 10, deceive 8, persuade 4, flatter 2, allure 1, enlarge 1, silly one 1, silly 1." From this same primitive root comes the much-used word "simple" ( פֶּתִי) (H 6612), which is found 15 times in the book of Proverbs of its 19 Old Testament uses.

Proverbs 24:29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

Proverbs 24:30-34 — Fourth Saying (Regarding the Body) (Decastitch) - Proverbs 24:30-34 forms a single proverbial thought using ten lines, which is called a decastitch. This passage is about the sluggard. Note that another passage on the sluggard is found in Proverbs 6:6-11.

Proverbs 24:32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.

Proverbs 24:32Comments- We also can learn much from the lives around us, both good and bad.

Proverbs 24:33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

Proverbs 24:34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

Proverbs 24:33-34Scripture References- Note the same verse in Proverbs 6:10-11 and a similar verse in Ecclesiastes 4:5.

Proverbs 6:10-11, "Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man."

Ecclesiastes 4:5, "The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh."

 


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 24:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/proverbs-24.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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