The Proverbs – 31

1 10 2015

31

Proverbs 31

The Words of Lemuel

The words of King Lemuel, the oracle, which his mother taught him:


What, O my son?
And what, O son of my womb?
And what [shall I advise you], O son of my vows?

Do not give your [generative] strength to women [neither foreign wives in marriages of alliances, nor concubines],
Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.

It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Or for rulers to desire strong drink,

Otherwise they drink and forget the law and its decrees,
And pervert the rights and justice of all the afflicted.

Give strong drink [as medicine] to him who is ready to pass away,
And wine to him whose life is bitter.

Let him drink and forget his poverty
And no longer remember his trouble.

Open your mouth for the mute,
For the rights of all who are unfortunate and defenseless;

Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And administer justice for the afflicted and needy.

Description of a Worthy Woman

10 
An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her?
Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubiesor pearls.
11 
The heart of her husband trusts in her [with secure confidence],
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 
She comforts, encourages, and does him only good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 
She looks for wool and flax
And works with willing hands in delight.
14 
She is like the merchant ships [abounding with treasure];
She brings her [household’s] food from far away.
15 
She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And assigns tasks to her maids.
16 
She considers a field before she buys or accepts it [expanding her business prudently];
With her profits she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
17 
She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task]
And makes her arms strong.
18 
She sees that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out, but it burns continually through the night [she is prepared for whatever lies ahead].
19 
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands hold the spindle [as she spins wool into thread for clothing].
20 
She opens and extends her hand to the poor,
And she reaches out her filled hands to the needy.
21 
She does not fear the snow for her household,
For all in her household are clothed in [expensive] scarlet [wool].
22 
She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry.
Her clothing is linen, pure and fine, and purple [wool].
23 
Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 
She makes [fine] linen garments and sells them;
And supplies sashes to the merchants.
25 
Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure;
And she smiles at the future [knowing that she and her family are prepared].
26 
She opens her mouth in [skillful and godly] wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue [giving counsel and instruction].
27 
She looks well to how things go in her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 
Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired);
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying,
29 
“Many daughters have done nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness],
But you excel them all.”
30 
Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.
31 
Give her of the product of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city].

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The Proverbs – 30

30 09 2015

30

Proverbs 30

The Words of Agur

The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle:

The man says to Ithiel, to Ithiel and to Ucal:


Surely I am more brutish and stupid than any man,
And I do not have the understanding of a man [for I do not know what I do not know].

I have not learned [skillful and godly] wisdom,
Nor do I have knowledge of the Holy One [who is the source of wisdom].

Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has bound the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is His Son’s name?
Certainly you know!


Every word of God is tested and refined [like silver];
He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him.

Do not add to His words,
Or He will reprove you, and you will be found a liar.


Two things I have asked of You;
Do not deny them to me before I die:

Keep deception and lies far from me;
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,

So that I will not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or that I will not be poor and steal,
And so profane the name of my God.

10 
Do not slander or malign a servant before his master [stay out of another’s personal life],
Or he will curse you [for your interference], and you will be found guilty.

11 
There is a generation (class of people) that curses its father
And does not bless its mother.
12 
There is a generation (class of people) that is pure in its own eyes,
Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
13 
There is a generation (class of people)—oh, how lofty are their eyes!
And their eyelids are raised in arrogance.
14 
There is a generation (class of people) whose teeth are like swords
And whose jaw teeth are like knives,
To devour the afflicted from the earth
And the needy from among men.

15 
The leech has two daughters,
“Give, give!”
There are three things that are never satisfied,
Four that do not say, “It is enough”:
16 
Sheol, and the barren womb,
Earth that is never satisfied with water,
And fire that never says, “It is enough.”
17 
The eye that mocks a father
And scorns a mother,
The ravens of the valley will pick it out,
And the young vultures will devour it.

18 
There are three things which are too astounding and unexpectedly wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
19 
The way of an eagle in the air,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.
20 
This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth
And says, “I have done no wrong.”

21 
Under three things the earth is disquieted and quakes,
And under four it cannot bear up:
22 
Under a servant when he reigns,
Under a [spiritually blind] fool when he is filled with food,
23 
Under an unloved woman when she gets married,
And under a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.

24 
There are four things that are small on the earth,
But they are exceedingly wise:
25 
The ants are not a strong people,
Yet they prepare their food in the summer;
26 
The shephanim are not a mighty folk,
Yet they make their houses in the rocks;
27 
The locusts have no king,
Yet all of them go out in groups;
28 
You may grasp the lizard with your hands,
Yet it is in kings’ palaces.

29 
There are three things which are stately in step,
Even four which are stately in their stride:
30 
The lion, which is mighty among beasts
And does not turn back before any;
31 
The strutting rooster, the male goat also,
And the king when his army is with him.

32 
If you have foolishly exalted yourself,
Or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth.
33 
Surely the churning of milk produces butter,
And wringing the nose produces blood;
So the churning of anger produces strife.





The Proverbs – 29

29 09 2015

29

Proverbs 29

Warnings and Instructions

He who hardens his neck and refuses instruction after being often reproved (corrected, criticized),
Will suddenly be broken beyond repair.

When the righteous are in authority and become great, the people rejoice;
But when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh.

A man who loves [skillful and godly] wisdom makes his father joyful,
But he who associates with prostitutes wastes his wealth.

The king establishes (stabilizes) the land by justice,
But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

A man who flatters his neighbor [with smooth words intending to do harm]
Is spreading a net for his own feet.

By his wicked plan an evil man is trapped,
But the righteous man sings and rejoices [for his plan brings good things to him].

The righteous man cares for the rights of the poor,
But the wicked man has no interest in such knowledge.

Scoffers set a city afire [by stirring up trouble],
But wise men turn away anger [and restore order with their good judgment].

If a wise man has a controversy with a foolish and arrogant man,
The foolish man [ignores logic and fairness and] only rages or laughs, and there is no peace (rest, agreement).
10 
The bloodthirsty hate the blameless [because of his integrity],
But the upright are concerned for his life.
11 
A [shortsighted] fool always loses his temper and displays his anger,
But a wise man [uses self-control and] holds it back.
12 
If a ruler pays attention to lies [and encourages corruption],
All his officials will become wicked.
13 
The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives light to the eyes of both.
14 
If a king faithfully and truthfully judges the poor,
His throne shall be established forever.
15 
The rod and reproof (godly instruction) give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
16 
When the wicked are in authority, transgression increases,
But the righteous will see the downfall of the wicked.
17 
Correct your son, and he will give you comfort;
Yes, he will delight your soul.
18 
Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained;
But happy and blessed is he who keeps the law [of God].
19 
A servant will not be corrected by words alone;
For though he understands, he will not respond [nor pay attention].
20 
Do you see a [conceited] man who speaks quickly [offering his opinions or answering without thinking]?
There is more hope for a [thickheaded] fool than for him.
21 
He who pampers his slave from childhood
Will find him to be a son in the end.
22 
An angry man stirs up strife,
And a hot-tempered and undisciplined man commits many transgressions.
23 
A man’s pride and sense of self-importance will bring him down,
But he who has a humble spirit will obtain honor.
24 
Whoever is partner with a thief hates his own life;
He hears the curse [when swearing an oath to testify], but discloses nothing [and commits perjury by omission].
25 
The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in and puts his confidence in the Lord will be exaltedand safe.
26 
Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the Lord.
27 
An unjust man is repulsive to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way [of the Lord] is repulsive to the wicked.





The Proverbs – 28

28 09 2015

28

Proverbs 28

Warnings and Instructions

The wicked flee when no one pursues them,
But the righteous are as bold as a lion.

When a land does wrong, it has many princes,
But when the ruler is a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability endures.

A poor man who oppresses and exploits the lowly
Is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food.

Those who set aside the law [of God and man] praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law [of God and man] struggle with them.

Evil men do not understand justice,
But they who long for and seek the Lord understand it fully.

Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked and two-faced though he is rich.

He who keeps the law [of God and man] is a wise and discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father [and himself].

He who increases his wealth by interest and usury (excessive interest)
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.

He who turns his ear away from listening to the law [of God and man],
Even his prayer is repulsive [to God].
10 
He who leads the upright astray on an evil path
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good.
11 
The rich man [who is conceited and relies on his wealth instead of God] is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor man who has understanding [because he relies on God] is able to see through him.
12 
When the righteous triumph, there is great glory and celebration;
But when the wicked rise [to prominence], men hide themselves.
13 
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and turns away from his sins will find compassionand mercy.
14 
Blessed and favored by God is the man who fears [sin and its consequence] at all times,
But he who hardens his heart [and is determined to sin] will fall into disaster.
15 
Like a roaring lion and a charging bear
Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 
A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding and common sense [and his wickedness shortens his days],
But he who hates unjust gain will [be blessed and] prolong his days.
17 
A man who is burdened with the guilt of human blood (murder)
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him or give him refuge.
18 
He who walks blamelessly and uprightly will be kept safe,
But he who is crooked (perverse) will suddenly fall.
19 
He who cultivates his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who follows worthless people and frivolous pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 
A faithful (right-minded) man will abound with blessings,
But he who hurries to be rich will not go unpunished.
21 
To have regard for one person over another and to show favoritism is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.
22 
He who has an evil and envious eye hurries to be rich
And does not know that poverty will come upon him.
23 
He who [appropriately] reprimands a [wise] man will afterward find more favor
Than he who flatters with the tongue.
24 
He who robs his father or his mother
And says, “This is no sin,”
Is [not only a thief but also] the companion of a man who destroys.
25 
An arrogant and greedy man stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be blessed and prosper.
26 
He who trusts confidently in his own heart is a [dull, thickheaded] fool,
But he who walks in [skillful and godly] wisdom will be rescued.
27 
He who gives to the poor will never want,
But he who shuts his eyes [from their need] will have many curses.
28 
When the wicked rise [to power], men hide themselves;
But when the wicked perish, the [consistently] righteous increase andbecome great.





The Proverbs – 27

27 09 2015

27

Proverbs 27

Warnings and Instructions

Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring.

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.

Stone is heavy and the sand weighty,
But a fool’s [unreasonable] wrath is heavier and more burdensome than both of them.

Wrath is cruel and anger is an overwhelming flood,
But who is able to endure and stand before [the sin of] jealousy?

Better is an open reprimand [of loving correction]
Than love that is hidden.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend [who corrects out of love and concern],
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [because they serve his hidden agenda].

He who is satisfied loathes honey,
But to the hungry soul any bitter thing is sweet.

Like a bird that wanders from her nest [with its comfort and safety],
So is a man who wanders from his home.

Oil and perfume make the heart glad;
So does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart.
10 
Do not abandon your own friend and your father’s friend,
And do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your disaster.
Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
11 
My son, be wise, and make my heart glad,
That I may reply to him who reproaches (reprimands, criticizes) me.
12 
A prudent man sees evil and hides himself and avoids it,
But the naive [who are easily misled] continue on and are punished [by suffering the consequences of sin].
13 
[The judge tells the creditor,] “Take the garment of one who is surety (guarantees a loan) for a stranger;
And hold him in pledge when he is surety for an immoral woman [for it is unlikely the debt will be repaid].”
14 
He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning,
It will be counted as a curse to him [for it will either be annoying or his purpose will be suspect].
15 
A constant dripping on a day of steady rain
And a contentious (quarrelsome) woman are alike;
16 
Whoever attempts to restrain her [criticism] might as well try to stop the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.
17 
As iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion].
18 
He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit,
And he who faithfully protects and cares for his master will be honored.
19 
As in water face reflects face,
So the heart of man reflects man.
20 
Sheol (the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the underworld) are never satisfied;
Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.
21 
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold [to separate the impurities of the metal],
And each is tested by the praise given to him [and his response to it, whether humble or proud].
22 
Even though you pound a [hardened, arrogant] fool [who rejects wisdom] in a mortar with a pestle like grain,
Yet his foolishness will not leave him.

23 
Be diligent to know the condition of your flocks,
And pay attention to your herds;
24 
For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
25 
When the grass is gone, the new growth is seen,
And herbs of the mountain are gathered in,
26 
The lambs will supply wool for your clothing,
And the goats will bring the price of a field.
27 
And there will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
For the food of your household,
And for the maintenance of your maids.





The Proverbs – 26

26 09 2015

26

Proverbs 26

Similitudes, Instructions

Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a [shortsighted] fool.

Like the sparrow in her wandering, like the swallow in her flying,
So the curse without cause does not come and alight [on the undeserving].

A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the backs of fools [who refuse to learn].

Do not answer [nor pretend to agree with the frivolous comments of] a [closed-minded] fool according to his folly,
Otherwise you, even you, will be like him.

Answer [and correct the erroneous concepts of] a fool according to his folly,
Otherwise he will be wise in his own eyes [if he thinks you agree with him].

He who sends a message by the hand of a fool
Cuts off his own feet (sabotages himself) and drinks the violence [it brings on himself as a consequence].

Like the legs which are useless to the lame,
So is a proverb in the mouth of a fool [who cannot learn from its wisdom].

Like one who [absurdly] binds a stone in a sling [making it impossible to throw],
So is he who [absurdly] gives honor to a fool.

Like a thorn that goes [without being felt] into the hand of a drunken man,
So is a proverb in the mouth of a fool [who remains unaffected by its wisdom].
10 
Like a [careless] archer who [shoots arrows wildly and] wounds everyone,
So is he who hires a fool or those who [by chance just] pass by.
11 
Like a dog that returns to his vomit
Is a fool who repeats his foolishness.
12 
Do you see a man [who is unteachable and] wise in his own eyes and full of self-conceit?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 
The lazy person [who is self-indulgent and relies on lame excuses] says, “There is a lion in the road!
A lion is in the open square [and if I go outside to work I will be killed]!”
14 
As the door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy person on his bed [never getting out of it].
15 
The lazy person buries his hand in the dish [losing opportunity after opportunity];
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
16 
The lazy person is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven [sensible] men who can give a discreet answer.
17 
Like one who grabs a dog by the ears [and is likely to be bitten]
Is he who, passing by, stops to meddle with a dispute that is none of his business.
18 
Like a madman who throws
Firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 
So is the man who deceives his neighbor (acquaintance, friend)
And then says, “Was I not joking?”
20 
For lack of wood the fire goes out,
And where there is no whisperer [who gossips], contention quiets down.
21 
Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 
The words of a whisperer (gossip) are like dainty morsels [to be greedily eaten];
They go down into the innermost chambers of the body [to be remembered and mused upon].
23 
Like a [common] clay vessel covered with the silver dross [making it appear silver when it has no real value]
Are burning lips [murmuring manipulative words] and a wicked heart.
24 
He who hates, disguises it with his lips,
But he stores up deceit in his heart.
25 
When he speaks graciously and kindly [to conceal his malice], do not trust him,
For seven abominations are in his heart.
26 
Though his hatred covers itself with guile and deceit,
His malevolence will be revealed openly before the assembly.
27 
Whoever digs a pit [for another man’s feet] will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone [up a hill to do mischief], it will come back on him.
28 
A lying tongue hates those it wounds and crushes,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.





The Proverbs – 25

25 09 2015

25

Proverbs 25

Similitudes, Instructions

These are also the proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied:


It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
So the hearts and minds of kings are unsearchable.

Take away the dross from the silver,
And there comes out [the pure metal for] a vessel for the silversmith [to shape].

Take away the wicked from before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.

Do not be boastfully ambitious and claim honor in the presence of the king,
And do not stand in the place of great men;

For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,”
Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince,
Whom your eyes have seen.


Do not rush out to argue your case [before magistrates or judges];
Otherwise what will you do in the end [when your case is lost and]
When your neighbor (opponent) humiliates you?

Argue your case with your neighbor himself [before you go to court];
And do not reveal another’s secret,
10 
Or he who hears it will shame you
And the rumor about you [and your action in court] will have no end.

11 
Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken at the right time.
12 
Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold
Is a wise reprover to an ear that listens and learns.
13 
Like the cold of snow [brought from the mountains] in the time of harvest,
So is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
For he refreshes the life of his masters.
14 
Like clouds and wind without rain
Is a man who boasts falsely of gifts [he does not give].
15 
By patience and a calm spirit a ruler may be persuaded,
And a soft and gentle tongue breaks the bone [of resistance].
16 
Have you found [pleasure sweet like] honey? Eat only as much as you need,
Otherwise, being filled excessively, you vomit it.
17 
Let your foot seldom be in your neighbor’s house,
Or he will become tired of you and hate you.
18 
Like a club and a sword and a piercing arrow
Is a man who testifies falsely against his neighbor (acquaintance).
19 
Like a broken tooth or an unsteady foot
Is confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble.
20 
Like one who takes off a garment in cold weather, or like [a reactive, useless mixture of] vinegar on soda,
Is he who [thoughtlessly] sings [joyful] songs to a heavy heart.
21 
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 
For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire upon his head,
And the Lord will reward you.
23 
The north wind brings forth rain;
And a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance.
24 
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop [on the flat roof, exposed to the weather]
Than in a house shared with a quarrelsome (contentious) woman.
25 
Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
So is good news from a distant land.
26 
Like a muddied fountain and a polluted spring
Is a righteous man who yields and compromises his integrity before the wicked.
27 
It is not good to eat much honey,
Nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.
28 
Like a city that is broken down and without walls [leaving it unprotected]
Is a man who has no self-control over his spirit [and sets himself up for trouble].