The Proverbs of Solomon  PDF  MSWord
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Proverbs Chapter 1  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 1

1The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel:
  2To know wisdom and teaching,a to understand words that give understanding,
  3to receive teaching in righteousness, justice, and integrity;
  4to give prudence to the naïve, knowledge and discretion to the youth.
  5A wise person will listen and increase in learning, and a discerning person will get wise guidance,
  6to understand a proverb and an obscure expression, words of the wise and their riddles.
  7The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge, but fools show contempt for wisdom and sound teaching.
  8Listen, my son, to your father’s teaching, and do not ignore the instruction of your mother,
  9because they are a wreath of grace for your head, and a necklace for your neck.
  10My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
  11If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood, let us ambush an innocent person for no reason.
  12We will swallow them alive, just as Sheol does, and whole, just as those who go down into the pit.
  13We will find all sorts of valuable things; we will fill our houses with plunder.
  14Throw your lot in with us; we will all share the loot.”
  15My son, do not walk on the road with them; keep your feet from their pathway,
  16for their feet run to do evil, and they make haste to shed blood.
  17For in vain the net is spread in the sight of a bird,
  18but these lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own souls!
  19This is the way of everyone who pursues unjust gain; it takes away the life of its owners.
  20Lady Wisdom shouts aloud in the street, in public places she raises her voice.
  21At the head of noisy streets she calls out, where the city gates open she speaks her words,
  22“How long, O naïve ones, will you love naivety? How long will mockers delight in mocking, and fools hate knowledge?
  23Are you all turning away from my reproof? Look! I will pour out my spirit upon you all, I will make known my words to you all.
  24But since you refused me when I called, I stretched out my hand but no one paid attention,
  25and you neglected all my counsel, and you did not want my reproof—
  26I also will laugh at your distress; I will mock when what you dread comes,
  27when your terror comes like a violent storm, and your calamity like a whirlwind, and trouble and distress come upon you all.
  28Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will diligently seek me, but will not find me.
  29Because they hated knowledge, and they did not choose the fear of Yahweh;
  30they were not interested in my counsel, and they spurned all my reproof,
  31so they will eat from the fruit of their own way, and they will be satisfied out of their own plans.
  32For the turning away of the naïve will kill them, and the false security of fools will destroy them.
  33But the one who listens to me will live in safety, and will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

Or, “discipline”

Proverbs Chapter 2  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 2

1My son, if you receive my words, and store up my commandments with you,
  2making your ear attentive to Wisdom, directing your heart to discernment,
  3for if you call out to understanding, if you raise your voice to discernment,
  4if you seek her like silver, and search for her like hidden treasure,
  5then you will understand the fear of Yahweh, and you will find the knowledge of God.
  6For Yahweh gives Wisdom, from his mouth comes forth knowledge and discernment.
  7He has stored up sound advice for the upright— a shield for those who walk blamelessly—
  8guarding the paths of justice, and watching over the way of his loyal ones.
  9Then you will understand righteousness and justice and integrity—every good path.
  10For Wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
  11discretion will watch over you, and discernment will guard you,
  12to deliver you from the way of evil, from the one speaking perverse things,
  13from the ones who forsake the upright paths to walk on the roads of darkness;
  14from the ones who are glad in doing evil, who rejoice in evil perversions;
  15from those whose paths are twisted, and from the devious in their ways;
  16and to deliver you from the strange woman, from the foreign woman who is flattering with her words,
  17who leaves the mate of her youth, and has forgotten the covenant she made before her God,
  18for her house sinks down to death, and her paths lead to the dead.
  19All who go into her do not return; they will not reach the paths of life.
  20Therefore you are to walk on the road of good people, and you are to keep to the paths of the righteous.
  21For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it.
  22But the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.

Proverbs Chapter 3  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 3

1My son, do not forget my instruction, and let your heart guard my commandments,
  2for they will add to you length of days, years of life, and peace.
  3Do not let covenant loyalty and faithfulness leave you; bind them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart,
  4then you will find favor and good repute in the eyes of God and people.
  5Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and do not lean upon your own understanding;
  6be mindful of Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.
  7Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear Yahweh and turn away from evil.
  8It will be healing for your navel, and a refreshing drink to your bones.
  9Honor Yahweh from your wealth, and from the firstfruits of all your revenue,
  10and your storehouses will be completely filled, and your wine vats will burst at the seams with new wine.
  11My son, do not reject the discipline of Yahweh, and do not abhor his reproof.
  12For the one whom Yahweh loves, he reproves, like a father to his cherished son.
  13Blessed is the person who finds Wisdom, and the one who obtains discernment,
  14for the gain from her is better than the gain from silver, and her revenue is better than gold.
  15She is more precious than gems, and no delightful thing can compare with her.
  16In her right hand is length of days, in her left hand are riches and glory.
  17Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her pathways are peace.
  18She is a tree of life to those taking hold of her, and blessed are those who are holding her fast.
  19Yahweh founded the earth by Wisdom; he established the heavens by discernment,
  20the depths of the ocean were split open by his knowledge, and the clouds drip dew.
  21My son, do not let these depart from before your eyes: guard sound advice and discretion,
  22so they will be life to your soul, and grace for your neck.
  23Then you will walk on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.
  24When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you fall asleep, your sleep will be sweet.
  25Do not be afraid of sudden terror, and of the devastation of the wicked when it comes,
  26for Yahweh will be your confidence, and he will keep your foot from being caught.
  27Do not withhold a good thing from those to whom it is due, when it is in your hands to do it.
  28Do not tell your neighbors, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” when it is with you.
  29Do not devise evil against your neighbor, when he is living securely by you.
  30Do not quarrel with someone for no reason if he has not committed evil.
  31Do not envy a man of violence, and do not choose any of his ways.
  32For devious people are an abomination to Yahweh, but his counsel is with the upright.
  33Yahweh’s curse is upon the house of the wicked one, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous one.
  34He mocks at the mockers, but he gives grace to the humble.
  35The wise will inherit glory, but the foolish display shame.

Proverbs Chapter 4  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 4

1Listen, O sons, to the teaching of a father, and pay attention in order to learn understanding,
  2for I give good teaching to you all; do not abandon my instruction.
  3When I was a son with my father, a tender and only son in the sight of my mother,
  4he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold on to my words, keep my commandments and live.
  5Get Wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
  6Do not abandon her and she will watch over you, love her and she will guard you.
  7Wisdom is the principal thing, so get Wisdom;a and with all your purchases, purchase understanding.
  8Exalt her and she will lift you up; she will honor you because you embrace her.
  9She will place on your head a wreath of grace; she will present to you a beautiful crown.”
  10Listen, my son, and receive my words, and the years of your life will be many.
  11On the road of Wisdom I teach you; I lead you on the upright paths.
  12When you walk, your steps will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.
  13Hold on to my teaching, do not let her go. Guard her because she is your life.
  14Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not proceed on the road of the evil ones.
  15Disregard it; do not pass upon it. Turn away from it and pass on by.
  16For they cannot sleep unless they do evil, and their sleep is stolen unless they cause another to stumble.
  17For they eat the bread of wickedness, and they drink the wine of violence.
  18But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining ever brighter until the full light of day.
  19The road of the wicked is like the gloomy darkness; they do not know what they are stumbling over.
  20My son, pay attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings.
  21Do not let them depart from before your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart.
  22For they are life to the ones discovering them, and health to a person’s whole body.
  23More than anything else you protect, guard your heart, because from it flow the issues of life.
  24Put away from you a crooked mouth, and put deceitful lips far away from you.
  25Focus your eyes in front of you, and let your eyelids look straight ahead of you.
  26Carefully weigh the path of your feet, and let all your roads be established.
  27Do not turn to the right or to the left; keep your foot away from evil.

The Heb. can also be: “The beginning of wisdom is: get Wisdom;

Proverbs Chapter 5  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 5

1My son, pay attention to my wisdom; incline your ear to my discernment,
  2in order that you keep discretion, and your lips guard knowledge.
  3For the lips of the strange woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil,
  4but in the end she is bitter as wormwood; she is sharp as a two-edged sword.
  5Her feet go down to death; her steps proceed toward Sheol.
  6She will not consider the path of life; her roads are unstable, yet she is not aware of it.
  7But now, my sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
  8Keep your road far away from her, and do not go near to the door of her house,
  9lest you give your vigor to others, and your years to a cruel person;
  10lest strangers eat their fill from your strength, and your hard-earned goods end up in the house of a foreigner,
  11and in the end you groan when your flesh—even your body—are used up.
  12Then you will say, “O how I have hated discipline, and my heart has spurned reproof.
  13I did not listen to the voice of my teachers, nor did I incline my ear to those instructing me.
  14I was soon in all sorts of trouble in the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
  15Drink water from your own cistern, and fresh water from the midst of your own well.
  16Should your springs overflow outside, streams of water in the open places?
  17Let them be for you alone, and not for strangers with you.
  18Let your fountain be continually blessed, and rejoice because of the wife of your youth.
  19She is a loving doe and a graceful mountain goat; let her breasts satisfy you at every opportune time— going astray in her love.
  20So why go astray, my son, with a strange woman, and why do you embrace the bosom of a foreign woman?
  21For a person’s waysa are before the eyes of Yahweh, and he weighs all his paths.
  22The one acting wickedly—his own iniquities will capture him, and he will be seized by the cords of his own sin.
  23He will die because of lack of discipline, and in the abundance of his foolishness he goes astray.

Lit. “roads”

Proverbs Chapter 6  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 6

1My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands with a stranger,
  2then you have been ensnared by the words of your mouth, you have been captured by the words of your mouth.
  3Do this now, my son, and be set free, for you have put yourself into the hand of your neighbor. Go forth. Humble yourself and pressure your neighbor.
  4Do not give any sleep to your eyes, or slumber to your eyelids.
  5Be rescued like a gazelle from a hunter, and like a bird from the hand of a fowler.
  6Go to the ant, O lazy one, watch its ways and become wise.
  7Because it has no leader, overseer, or ruler,
  8yet it prepares its bread in summer; it gathers its food in the harvest.
  9How long, O lazy one, will you lie there? When will you rise up from your sleep?
  10“Just a little more sleep, a little more slumber, a little more folding of the arms to lie here,”
  11and your poverty will come like a robber, and your needs like an armed man.
  12A person of Belial, a man of wickedness, is the one walking with a crooked mouth,
  13winking with his eyes, signaling with his foot, instructing with his fingers.
  14With perversions in his heart he devises evil, at every moment he sows strife.
  15Therefore, his calamity will come suddenly, in an instant he will be broken and there will be no remedy.
  16There are six things that Yahweh hates, indeed, seven things are abominations to his soul:
  17prideful eyes, a lying tongue, and hands shedding innocent blood;
  18a heart that devises wicked thoughts, feet that are swift to run to do evil,
  19a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows strife among brothers.
  20My son, keep your father’s commandments, and do not ignore the instruction of your mother.
  21Bind them upon your heart always, tie them around your neck.
  22As you walk here and there, she will lead you; when you lie down, she will watch over you, and when you wake up, she will speak with you.
  23For the commandment is a lamp and the instruction is a light, and reproofs that correct are a road leading to life,
  24to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of the foreign woman.
  25Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not allow her to capture you with her eyes.
  26For on account of a prostitute a man is reduced to a piece of bread, and an adulteress hunts for a precious life.
  27Can a man snatch up fire against his chest and his clothes not be burnt?
  28Or can a man walk upon hot coals and his feet not get burned?
  29So is the one who goes into his neighbor’s wife; all who touch her will not go unpunished.
  30People do not despise a thief when he steals to feed himself when he is hungry.
  31But when he is caught, he will repay seven times; he will repay with all the wealth of his house.
  32The man committing adultery with a woman lacks sense; he who does this is destroying his own soul.
  33He will find affliction and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be blotted out.
  34For jealousy enrages a husband, and he will not spare him in the day of his vengeance.
  35He will not be persuaded by any ransom, nor will he be satisfied when you make many bribes.

Proverbs Chapter 7  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 7

1My son, keep my words, and store up my commandments with you.
  2Keep my commandments and live, and my instruction as the pupil of your eye.
  3Bind them upon your fingers; write them upon the tablet of your heart.
  4Say to Wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding, “my relative,”
  5in order to keep you from the strange woman, from the foreign woman who flatters with her words.
  6For at the window of my house, I looked down through my lattice,
  7and I saw among the naïve, and I discerned among the youths a young man lacking sense.
  8He was passing along the street near her corner, and he was taking steps on the road to her house,
  9at dusk, in the evening of the day, in the middle of the night and the gloomy darkness,
  10And look! A woman comes to meet him, dressed as a prostitute and with a cunning heart.
  11She is boisterous and rebellious; her feet do not stay in her house.
  12She is now on the street, now in the city square; she lies in wait at every corner.
  13So she seizes him and kisses him, and shamelessly she says to him,
  14“I made peace offerings; today I fulfilled my vows.
  15So I came out to meet you, to diligently seek your face, and I have found you.
  16I have spread covers on my couch; embroidered fabrics from Egypt.
  17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
  18Come, let us drink our fill of lovemaking until the morning; let us delight ourselves with much love.
  19For my husband is not home; he has gone on a long journey.
  20He took a bag of silver in his hand; he will come home at the full moon.”
  21By her great persuasion she seduces him, by the seductiveness of her lips she leads him astray.
  22Suddenly he walks after her, like an ox goes to the slaughter, like a stag stepping into a snare,
  23until an arrow pierces his liver. He is like a bird rushing into a trap; and he does not know that his life will end.
  24And now, O sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth.
  25Do not allow your heart to turn aside to her ways; do not wander off onto her paths,
  26for she has caused many men who have been pierced to fall, and numerous are all her slain.
  27Her house has many roads to Sheol; they are descending to the chambers of death.

Proverbs Chapter 8  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 8

1Does not Wisdom call out, and discernment raise her voice?
  2At the top of the heights overlooking the road, at the crossroads she takes her stand.
  3Beside the gates, at the opening to the city, at the entrance of the gateways she shouts aloud:
  4“To you, O men, I call out, and my voice is to all humankind.
  5Understand prudence, O naïve ones, and understand good sense, O foolish ones.
  6Listen, for I speak of things that are correct, and the opening of my lips brings forth upright words.
  7For my mouth will utter truth, and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
  8All the words of my mouth are spoken in righteousness; nothing in them is twisted or perverted.
  9All of them are straightforward to the one who understands, and they are right to those finding knowledge.”
  10Take my teaching, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold.
  11Because Wisdom is better than gems, and all delightful things cannot be compared with her.
  12“I, Wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.
  13The fear of Yahweh is to hate evil— pride and arrogance and the evil road and a perverse mouth, I hate.
  14Counsel belongs to me, along with sound advice. I have understanding; strength belongs to me.
  15By me kings reign, and by me rulers decree righteousness.
  16By me rulers govern; even nobles—all who judge with righteousness.
  17I love those who love me, and those who desire me will find me.
  18Riches and glory are with me, enduring prosperity and righteousness.
  19My fruit is better than gold, even better than refined gold, and my gain is better than silver.
  20I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice,
  21to cause those who love me to inherit property, and I will fill their storehouses.
  22Yahweh created me at the beginning of his journey, prior to his works from back then.
  23From antiquity I was woven together, from the start, from the earlier times of the earth.
  24I was born when there were no deep oceans, when there were no springs abounding with waters.
  25Before the mountains were settled, before the hills were formed I was born;
  26when he had not yet made the earth and the fields, or the initial dust of the world;
  27when he prepared the heavens, I was there; when he inscribed the horizon above the face of the deep;
  28when he fixed the clouds above, when he strengthened the springs of the deep;
  29when he set for the sea its limit so the waters would not disobey his mouth; when he marked out the foundations of the earth;
  30then I was beside him growing up, and I was his great delight daily, playing in his presence at every moment;
  31playing in the world—his earth, and full of delight with humankind.
  32So now, O sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.
  33Listen to my teaching and become wise, and do not neglect it.
  34Blessed is the one who listens to me, keeping watch at my doors day after day, watching at the entrance to my gates,
  35because the one finding me finds life, and he will obtain favor from Yahweh.
  36But the one sinning against me is doing violence to his own soul; all those who hate me love death.”

Proverbs Chapter 9  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 9

1Lady Wisdom has built her house; she has carved out her seven pillars.
  2She has slaughtered her meat; she has mixed her wine; indeed, she has prepared her table.
  3She has sent out her female servants; she calls out from the tops of the heights of the town,
  4“Whoever is naïve, let him turn in here.” To the one lacking sense, she says,
  5“Come! Eat my food, and drink the wine that I have mixed.
  6Leave your naïve ways and live. And go straight ahead on the road of understanding.”
  7The one who rebukes a mocker receives for himself shame, and the one who reproves a wicked person brings injury upon himself.
  8Do not reprove a mocker or he will hate you; reprove a wise man and he will love you.
  9Give instruction to a wise man and he will become even wiser; teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning.
  10The fear of Yahweh is the starting point of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is the starting point of understanding.
  11For by mea your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.
  12If you are wise, you are wise for your own benefit; and if you mock, you will bear the consequence by yourself.
  13Lady Folly is boisterous, lacking in understanding, and does not know anything.
  14And she sits at the entrance of her house, on a throne at the heights of the city,
  15calling out to those passing by on the road, to the ones making their paths straight,
  16“Whoever is naïve, let him turn in here.” And she says to the one lacking sense,
  17“Stolen waters are sweet, and food eaten in secret is pleasant.”
  18But he does not know that the dead are there; the ones who have accepted her invitation are in the depths of Sheol.

“Me” is Wisdom, who is speaking.

Proverbs Chapter 10  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 10

1The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes his father glad, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
  2Treasures gained by wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness will deliver from death.
  3Yahweh does not cause the righteous soul to go hungry, but he will push away what the wicked desire.
  4The poor person makes his palm idle, but a diligent hand makes one rich.
  5The man who gathers in the summer is an insightful son; the man who is fast asleep at the harvest is a shameful son.
  6Blessings are upon the head of a righteous person, but the mouth of the wicked conceals wrongdoing.
  7The memory of a righteous person is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.
  8The wise heart accepts commandments, but the one who is foolish with his lips will come to ruin.
  9The one who walks blamelessly walks securely, but the one who perverts his ways will be made known.
  10The one winking his eye causes pain, and the one who is foolish with his lips will come to ruin.
  11The mouth of a righteous person is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals wrongdoing.
  12Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers over all transgressions.
  13Wisdom is found upon the lips of the discerning, but a rod will strike the back of the one lacking sense.
  14The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of the unreasonable fool brings destruction near.
  15The rich person’s wealth is his fortified city; the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
  16The wage of the righteous person is life; the revenue of the wicked is sin.
  17The one who heeds sound teaching is on the path to life, but the one who ignores reproof goes astray.
  18The one hiding his hatred has deceitful lips, and the one spreading slander, he is a fool.
  19By an abundance of words transgression will not cease, but the one who restrains his lips is insightful.
  20The tongue of a righteous person is as choice silver; the heart of the wicked is worth little.
  21The lips of a righteous person will shepherd many people, but fools will die for a lack of sense.
  22The blessing from Yahweh is what makes one rich, and he does not combine pain with the blessing.
  23Acting indecently is pleasure to a fool, so also is wisdom for a person with discernment.
  24The wicked person’s horror will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be given to them.
  25When the storm passes through, then the wicked person is no more, but the righteous person has a foundation that endures.
  26As vinegar is to the teeth and as smoke is to the eyes, so too is the lazy one to those who send him.
  27The fear of Yahweh adds to one’s days, but the years of the wicked will be cut short.
  28The hope of the righteous is joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
  29The road of Yahweh is a safe place for the blameless person, but it is destruction for those who act wickedly.
  30The righteous person will not ever be moved, but the wicked will not live in the land.
  31The mouth of a righteous person will bring forth the fruit of wisdom, but the tongue speaking perversions will be cut off.
  32The lips of a righteous person know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked knows perversions.

Proverbs Chapter 11  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 11

1Deceitful balances are an abomination to Yahweh, but a fair weight finds his favor.
  2Overconfidence comes, then dishonor comes, but wisdom is with the modest.
  3The integrity of the upright will lead them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
  4Riches will not profit on the day of fury, but righteousness will deliver from death.
  5The righteousness of the blameless person will make his road straight, but the wicked person will fall by his wickedness.
  6The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the unfaithful will be taken captive by their desire.
  7When a wicked person dies, his hope perishes, and his hope of wealth perishes.
  8A righteous person is delivered from trouble, but a wicked person takes his place.
  9The godless person ruins his neighbor with his mouth, but the righteous will be delivered by knowledge.
  10A town rejoices at the prosperity of the righteous, and there is joyful shouting at the death of the wicked.
  11By the blessing of the upright a town will be exalted, but it will be thrown down by the mouth of the wicked.
  12The one who shows contempt for his neighbor lacks sense, but a person with understanding will be silent.
  13A slanderer walks around revealing secrets, but the person who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.
  14Without wise guidance, people will fall, but with a multitude of advisors, there is deliverance.
  15The one who makes deals with a stranger will suffer badly, but the one who hates making deals is carefree.
  16A gracious woman will attain glory, but ruthless men will attain riches.
  17The kind person gives to himself,a but the cruel person does himself harm.
  18The wicked person makes a deceptive wage, but the one who sows righteousness will receive a true reward;
  19indeed, righteousness leads to life, but the one who eagerly pursues evil is heading to his death.
  20A twisted heart is an abomination to Yahweh, but the road of the blameless leads to his favor.
  21Be assured: an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will escape.
  22Just as a gold ring is in the snout of a pig, so too is a beautiful woman without good judgment.
  23The desire of the righteous is surely good, but the hope of the wicked is fury.
  24There is one who generously scatters wealth, and it is continually added to him, and one who is withholding what is right, which surely will end in poverty.
  25The person who blesses others will be made prosperous, and the one who waters, indeed, he himself will be watered.
  26The people will curse the one who withholds grain, but a blessing will be upon the head of the one who sells grain.
  27The one who is on the lookout for what is good seeks favor, but the one who is intent on evil, it will come to him.
  28The one who trusts in his wealth, he will fall, but the righteous will bud like a leaf.
  29The one who troubles his household will inherit wind, and the fool will be a servant to one who is wise of heart.
  30The fruit of a righteous person is a tree of life, and the wise person takes away souls from death.
  31Behold! The righteous person will be repaid on the earth; indeed, how much more the wicked person who sins!

Lit. “gives to his soul.”

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Go to Commentary on Prov 12

1The one who loves discipline loves knowledge, but the one who hates reproof is stupid.
  2A good person will obtain favor from Yahweh, but a person with wicked schemes, he will condemn.
  3A person will not be established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will not be moved.
  4An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but one who puts him to shame is like decay in his bones.
  5The thoughts of the righteous are just, but the guidance of the wicked is deceitful.
  6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright will deliver them.
  7The wicked will be overthrown and will be no more, but the house of the righteous will stand.
  8A person will be praised for his insightful mouth, but the one who has a twisted heart will be viewed with contempt.
  9Better is one who is dishonored and has a servant for himself, than one who glorifies himself and lacks bread.
  10The righteous person cares for the life of his animal, but the compassions of the wicked are cruel.
  11The one who works his land will be satisfied with bread, but the one who pursues worthless things lacks sense.
  12The wicked person treasures the mountain stronghold of evil people, but the root of the righteous is secure.
  13By the transgression of his lips an evil person will fall into a snare, but the righteous person will escape from trouble.
  14From the fruit of his mouth a person is satisfied with good, and the accomplishments of a person’s hands will return to him.
  15The road of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise person listens to counsel.
  16The anger of a fool is known at once, but a prudent person conceals dishonor.
  17The one who speaks what is faithful declares an honest testimony, but a false witness utters deceit.
  18There is one who speaks recklessly, like the stabbings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise is healing.
  19Truthful lips will be established continually, but a lying tongue will linger only for a moment.
  20Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who counsel peace have joy.
  21No disaster will come upon the righteous person, but the wicked are filled with misfortune.
  22Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh, but those who do what is faithful obtain his favor.
  23A prudent person conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.
  24The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will become a forced laborer.
  25Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.
  26A righteous person shows the way for his neighbor, but the road of the wicked causes thema to wander astray.
  27Laziness does not cook a person’s food, but his precious wealth is diligence.
  28In the path of righteousness is life, and the journey of that road will not end in death.

Refers to the wicked people themselves

Proverbs Chapter 13  top  PDF  MSWord

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1A wise son listens to his father’s discipline, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.
  2From the fruit of his mouth a person enjoysa what is good, but the desireb of unfaithful people is violence.
  3The one who guards his mouth watches over his life; destruction will come to the one who opens his lips wide.
  4A lazy person’s soul is greedy yet he obtains nothing, but a diligent person’s soul will be made prosperous.
  5A righteous person hates a deceptive word, but a wicked person will become a stench and display his shame.
  6Righteousness guards the blameless person on his road, but wickedness perverts a sinner.
  7There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing; every one pretending to be poor has great wealth.
  8The ransom for a person’s soul is his wealth, but the poor does not hear a threatening rebuke.
  9The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked will go out.
  10Over-confidence only causes strife, but Wisdom is with those who accept advice.
  11Wealth obtained by fraud will become little, but the one who gathers by handc will make much.
  12Hope delayed makes the heart sick, but a desire that arrives is a tree of life.
  13The one who despises a word is still bound by a pledge to it, but the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
  14The instruction of a wise person is a fountain of life, that one may turn aside from the snares of death.
  15Good judgment brings favor, but the road of the unfaithful never changes.
  16Every prudent person acts with knowledge, but a fool displays foolishness.
  17A wicked messenger will fall into evil, but a faithful messenger brings healing.
  18The one who ignores discipline will get poverty and dishonor, but the one who heeds reproof will be honored.
  19A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but it is an abomination to fools to turn away from evil.
  20The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but the one who associates with fools will suffer harm.
  21Evil eagerly pursues sinners, but goodness will reward the righteous.
  22A good person will provide an inheritance for his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is being stored up for the righteous person.
  23An abundance of food is in the unplowed soil of the poor,d but it is carried away because of a lack of justice.
  24The one who withholds his rod hates his son, but the one who loves him desires discipline for him.
  25The righteous person eats to the satisfaction of his appetite, but the belly of wicked lacks food.

Literally, “eats.”
Literally “soul.” This is one of the places where “soul” refers to the activities of the mind including desire.
The literal Hebrew, “by hand” is an idiom for “little by little” or “over time.”
Or, for the poor.

Proverbs Chapter 14  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 14

1Lady Wisdoma builds her house, but Lady Folly tears it down with her hands.
  2The one who walks in his integrity fears Yahweh, but the one who is devious in his ways shows contempt for him.
  3In the mouth of a fool is a prideful rod, but the lips of the wise will watch over them.
  4With no oxen, the feeding trough is clean, but abundant revenue comes by the strength of an ox.
  5A faithful witness will not lie, but a deceptive witness speaks lies.
  6A mocker searches for wisdom but finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the one who has understanding.
  7Walk away from the presence of a foolish person, or you will not understand lips that speak knowledge.
  8The wisdom of a prudent person is to understand his road, but the foolishness of fools is deceit.
  9Fools mock at a guilt offering,b but among the upright is favor.c
  10The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not take part in its joy.
  11The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will sprout forth.
  12There is a road that seems upright to a person, but its end is roads leading to death.
  13Even in laughter the heart might be in pain, and the end of joy may be grief.
  14The one who is disloyal in his heart will be satisfiedd from his own ways, but the good man will be satisfied from his deeds.
  15A naïve person will believe any word, but the prudent person carefully considers his steps.
  16A wise person is cautious and turns aside from evil, but a fool is angry and is overconfident.
  17An easily angered person acts foolishly, and a schemer will be hated.
  18The naïve inherit foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
  19An evil person will bow down in the presence of good people, and the wicked will bow at the gates of a righteous person.
  20A poor person is hated even by his neighbor, but there are many who love the rich.
  21The one who shows contempt toward his neighbor is sinning, but blessed are those who show favor to the poor.
  22Do not those who plan evil go astray? But loyalty and faithfulness are with those who plan good.
  23In all hard work there is profit, but mere words from the lips surely lead to poverty.
  24The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the foolishness of fools is still foolishness.
  25A faithful witness rescues lives, but the one who speaks lies is treacherous.
  26In the fear of Yahweh there is strong confidence, and he will be a shelter for his children.
  27The fear of Yahweh is a fountain of life, that one may turn aside from the snares of death.
  28The king’s glory is in the abundance of people, but a ruler’s ruin is in the lack of people.
  29The one who is slow to get angry possesses great understanding, but the one who is easily angerede displays foolishness.
  30A peaceful heart is the life of the flesh, but envy is decay to the bones.
  31The person who oppresses the poor taunts the one who created him, but the person who shows favor to the needy glorifies him.
  32A wicked person will be cast down by his own evil, but the righteous person takes refuge in his own blamelessness.
  33Wisdom rests in the heart of the one who has understanding, and even among fools she makes herself known.
  34Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is the people’s shame.
  35The king’s favor is toward an insightful servant, but his anger will be upon the one who acts shamefully.

Lady Wisdom is plural--the plural of emphasis. She is portrayed as being very wise.
Heb. also can mean “guilt”
Heb. also can mean “acceptance”
Double entendre: “satisfied” and “paid back.”
Or, “hasty of spirit.”

Proverbs Chapter 15  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 15

1A gentle response turns away rage, but a hurtful word increases anger.
  2The tongue of the wise produces good knowledge, but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness.
  3The eyes of Yahweh are in every place, watching the evil and the good.
  4A healing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it breaks one’s spirit.
  5A fool spurns discipline from his father, but the one who heeds reproof acts prudently.
  6The house of the righteous person has great treasure, but trouble is stirred up by the revenue of the wicked person.
  7The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but it is not so with the heart of fools.
  8A sacrifice made by the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh, but the prayer of the upright brings his favor.
  9The road of the wicked person is an abomination to Yahweh, but he loves the one who eagerly pursues righteousness.
  10Harsh discipline will be for the one who abandons the path; the one who hates reproof will die.
  11Sheol and Abaddon are in the sight of Yahweh, how much more are human hearts!
  12A mocker will not love anyone who reproves him; he will not go to the wise.
  13A joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but when the heart is in pain, the spirit is broken.
  14The heart of the one who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools shepherds foolishness.
  15All the days of the afflicted person are bad, but a merry heart has a lasting feast.
  16Better is a little with the fear of Yahweh than great treasure and turmoil with it.
  17Better is a meal of vegetables when love is present, than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
  18A hot-tempered person incites strife, but one who is slow to get angry peacefully settles a dispute.
  19The road of the lazy person is like a hedge of thorns, but the way of the upright is smooth.
  20A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish person shows contempt for his mother.
  21Foolishness is a joy to the one who lacks good sense,a but a person with understanding walks with integrity.
  22By a lack of counsel, plans are shattered, but with a multitude of advisors a plan will stand.
  23A person gets joy from the answer of his mouth, and how good is a word in its proper time!
  24The path of life leads upward for the one who has insight in order to turn him away from Sheol below.
  25Yahweh will tear down the house of the proud, but he will cause the territory of the widow to stand.
  26Evil thoughts are an abomination to Yahweh, but pleasant words are pure.
  27The one who pursues unjust gain troubles his household, but the one who hates gifts that influence will live.
  28The heart of a righteous person considers how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
  29Yahweh is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
  30Bright eyesb make the heart glad, and a good report fattens the bones.
  31An ear that listens to reproof leading to life will dwell among the wise.
  32The one who ignores discipline rejects his own soul, but the one who listens to reproof acquires good sense.c
  33The fear of Yahweh leads to wise instruction, and humility goes before glory.

Lit. “heart” but here referring to the activity of the mind, thus, good sense.
Lit. “light of the eyes”
Lit. “heart,” here meaning “good sense.”

Proverbs Chapter 16  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 16

1The plans of the heart belong to people, but the answer of the tongue comes from Yahweh.
  2All a person’s waysa are pure in his own eyes, but Yahweh examines the motives.b
  3Commit your works to Yahweh, and your plans will be established.
  4Yahweh made everything with an answer to it, and even the wicked person on a day of evil.
  5Every arrogant heart is an abomination to Yahweh; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
  6Iniquity is atoned for by covenant loyalty and faithfulness, and by the fear of Yahweh one turns away from evil.
  7When Yahweh takes pleasure in a person’s ways, even his enemies will make peace with him.
  8Better is a little with righteousness, than great income with a lack of justice.
  9A person’s heart devises his own road, but Yahweh prepares his steps.
  10A verdict is on the lips of the king; his mouth should not violate justice.
  11A just balance and scales are according to Yahweh; all the weights in the bag are established by him.c
  12It is an abomination ford kings to commit wickedness because the throne is established in righteousness.
  13Righteous lips are the delight of kings, and the one who speaks with integrity will be loved.
  14A king’s rage is like messengers of death, but a wise person will pacify the anger.
  15In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor is like clouds that bring spring rain.
  16How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
  17The highway of the upright is to turn away from evil; the one who guards his roade is keeping watch over his lifef.
  18Pride goes before disaster, and a puffed-up spirit before stumbling.
  19Better to be humble in spirit with the poor than to share the plunder with the proud.
  20The one who comprehends a wise saying will find good, and blessed is the one who is trusting in Yahweh.
  21A person with a wise heart will be called “one who understands,” and the sweetness of his lips will increase persuasiveness.
  22Good judgment is a fountain of life for its owner, but the teaching of fools is foolishness.
  23The heart of a wise person gives insight to his mouth, and it increases the persuasiveness of his lips.
  24Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
  25There is a road that seems upright to a person, but its end is roads leading to death.
  26A laborer’s appetite labors for him, for his mouth urges him on.
  27A man of Belial digs up evil, and the words upon his lips are like a burning fire.
  28A perverse person sows strife, and a gossipg separates close friends.
  29A violent person entices his neighbor, and he leads him on a road that is not good.
  30The one who winks his eyes devises perversions; the one who purses his lips brings evil to pass.
  31Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is found on the road of righteousness.
  32The one who is slow to get angry is better than a mighty person, and one who rules his spirit is better than one who captures a city.
  33The lot is cast into the lap,h but each of its judgments is from Yahweh.

Lit. “roads”
Lit. “spirits,” but here referring to the activities of the mind, including thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and motives.
Lit. “are his work”
Or, “to.” Both are true.
“His road” refers to his way of life.
“Life” is “soul” in Hebrew.
Heb. can also mean “slanderer.”
“lap.” Actually, the fold in the garment over the lap.

Proverbs Chapter 17  top  PDF  MSWord

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1Better is a dry piece of crust and peace with it, than a household full of feasting with strife.
  2An insightful servant will rule over a shameful son, and he will share the inheritance among brothers.
  3A crucible is for silver and a furnace is for gold, but Yahweh puts hearts to the test.
  4An evildoer pays attention to wicked lips; a liar listens to a destructive tongue.
  5The one who mocks the poor taunts the one who created him; the one who is joyful at a calamity will not go unpunished.
  6The crown of old men is their children’s children, and the glory of children is their fathers.
  7Eloquent speech is not fitting for a godless person, how much less fitting are deceptive lips for a nobleman?
  8A bribe is a ‘magic stone’ in the eyes of its owner; every direction he turns, he prospers.
  9The one who covers over a transgression seeks love, but the one who repeats the issue separates close friends.
  10A rebuke goes deeper into a person who has understanding than a hundred blows on a fool.
  11Surely a rebellious person seeks evil, so a cruel messengera will be sent against him.
  12Better for a person to encounter a bear deprived of her cubs than to encounter a fool in his foolishness.
  13The one who repays good with evil, evil will not depart from his house.
  14The starting point of strife is like letting water flow freely, so abandon the dispute before it breaks out.
  15The one who declares the wicked to be righteous, and the one who condemns the righteous; indeed, both of them alike are an abomination to Yahweh.
  16Why is there payment in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom when he has no sense?
  17A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for times of distress.
  18A person lacking sense shakes hands on an agreement, making a solemn pledge in the presence of his neighbor.
  19The one who loves transgression loves strife, the one who exalts his doorway seeks disaster.
  20A twisted heart will not find good, and the one who twists his tongueb will fall into evil.
  21He who fathers a fool does so to his own grief, and the father of a godless person will have no joy.
  22A cheerful heart is a good cure, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
  23A wicked person takes a secret bribec to twist the paths of justice.
  24Wisdom is with the one who understands, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
  25A foolish son causes angerd for his father and bitterness to the woman who bore him.
  26It is not good to issue a finee to a righteous person, nor to beat nobles for their uprightness.
  27The one who holds back his words knows knowledge,f and the one who has a cool spirit is a person of understanding.
  28Even a fool who remains silent is thought to be wise; when he shuts his lips, he is considered to be discerning.

Or, “cruel angel.” The Hebrew word can refer to human messengers, angels, or demons.
Twists what he says; lies.
Literally, “a bribe from the bosom,” i.e., the fold in the garment.
Also, “grief,” “vexation.”
A synecdoche for “punishment” in general.
Idiomatic: “has attained knowledge.”

Proverbs Chapter 18  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 18

1The one who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he quarrels with every piece of sound advice.
  2A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in expressing his own mind.
  3When a wicked person enters, contempt also enters, and with dishonor comes scorn.
  4The words of a person’s mouth are deep waters, a flowing stream, a fountain of wisdom.
  5It is not good to show favoritism toward a wicked person, nor to deprive a righteous person of justice.
  6The lips of a fool bring strife, and his mouth calls for beatings.
  7The mouth of a fool will bring destruction to him, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
  8The words of a gossipa are like delicacies, and they go down into one’s innermost being.
  9The one who shows himself to be lax in his work is a brother to the one who destroys.
  10Yahweh’s name is a strong tower; the righteous person runs to it and is secure.
  11A rich person’s wealth is his strong city, indeed, like a high wall in his imagination.
  12Before disaster the heart of a person is puffed up, but humility goes before glory.
  13The person who gives an answer before he listens— foolishness and disgrace belong to him.
  14A person’s spirit can endure his sickness, but a broken spirit, who can bear that?
  15The heart of one who understands gets knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
  16A person’s gift creates opportunity for him and leads him before great people.
  17The first person to present his case in a dispute seems right until a neighbor comes and questions him.
  18Casting lots causes quarrels to cease and decides between mighty opponents.
  19An offended brother is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the barred gate of a castle.
  20A person’s stomach will be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; he will be satisfied from the revenue of his lips.
  21Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat of its fruit.
  22He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and he obtains favor from Yahweh.
  23The poor person who speaks pleads for favor, but the rich person answers forcefully.
  24A person has many friends to socialize with, but there is one who loves him who stays closer than a brother.

The Hebrew word can also mean “slanderer.”

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Go to Commentary on Prov 19

1Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who has twisted lips and is rich.
  2It is not good to have a desire without knowledge, and one who makes haste with his feet commits sin.
  3A person’s foolishness subverts his road, but his heart rages against Yahweh.
  4Wealth will add many friends, but a poor person will be separated from his friend.
  5A false witness will not go unpunished, and the one who tells lies will not escape.
  6Many will entreat the favora of a generous personb, and everyone is a friend to a person who gives gifts.
  7All the brothers of a poor person hate him; indeed, how much more does his friend who distances himself from him. He eagerly pursues him with words, but they are of no avail.
  8The one who gets good sense loves his own soul; the one who safeguards discernment will find good.
  9A false witness will not go unpunished, and the one who tells lies will perish.
  10Luxury is not fitting for a fool; indeed, how much less fitting for a servant to rule over princes.
  11A person’s good judgment makes him slow to anger, and it is his honor to overlook an offense.
  12The king’s rage is like the growl of a lion, but his favor is like the dew upon the grass.
  13A foolish son brings destruction to his father, and the contentions of a wife are like a constantly leaking roof.
  14A house and wealth are the inheritance from fathers, but an insightful wife is from Yahweh.
  15Laziness causes one to fall into deep sleep, and the idle personc will go hungry.
  16The one who keeps the commandment watches over his life,d but the one who has contempt for his road will be killed.
  17The one who shows favor to a poor person lends to Yahweh, and he will repay him according to his good work.
  18Correct your son, for there is hope, and do not be intente on causing his death.
  19A person with great anger will bear the penalty, surely, if you deliver him, then you will do it again and again.
  20Listen to counsel and accept discipline in order that you may be wise in your latter days.
  21Many plans are in a person’s heart, but Yahweh’s counsel itself will stand.
  22A person’s wicked desire is his shame, and it is better to be poor than one who tells lies.
  23The fear of Yahweh leads to life, and the one who has it will sleep satisfied through the night and not be visited by evil.
  24The lazy person buries his hand in the dish; indeed, he will not bring it back to his mouth.
  25Strike a mocker and a naïve person will act prudently, and if you reprove the one who has understanding, he will discern knowledge.
  26He who assaults his father and drives his mother away is a shameful and disgraceful son.
  27My son, cease listening to teaching and you will go astray from words of knowledge.
  28A witness of Belial mocks justice, and the mouth of criminals devours wickedness.
  29Judgments have been prepared for mockers, and beatings have been prepared for the backs of fools.

Lit. “face.”
Or, “a noble.”
Heb. is nephesh, “soul,” here put for an individual person.
Heb. is nephesh, “soul,” here put for a person’s life.
Lit. “lift up your soul”

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Go to Commentary on Prov 20

1Wine is a mocker, beer is a loudmouth, and everyone who goes astray by them is not wise.
  2The terror of a king is like the growl of a lion; the one who infuriates him does wrong to his own soul.
  3It is an honor for a person to cease from strife, but every fool will quarrel.
  4A lazy person does not plow in the proper season, so he begs at the harvest and has nothing.
  5The counsel in a person’s heart is like deep water, but a person with discernment will draw it out.
  6Many people claim to be loyal, but a faithful man, who can find?
  7A righteous person who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him.
  8A king sitting upon the throne of justice scatters every evil with his eyes.
  9Who can declare, “I have made my heart pure, I am cleansed from my own sin”?
  10Unequal weights and unequal measures of grain; indeed, both of them alike are an abomination to Yahweh.
  11Even a young boy distinguishes himself by his deeds, if his conduct is pure and upright.
  12The ear that hears and the eye that sees, indeed, Yahweh made them both.
  13Do not love sleep, lest you become impoverished; open your eyes and be satisfied with bread.
  14“Bad! Bad!” says the buyer, but when he goes his way, he boasts.
  15There is gold and a multitude of gems, but lips bearing knowledge are a precious ornamentation.
  16Take his garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and if it is for foreigners, hold him as security.
  17Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a person, but afterwards his mouth will be filled with gravel.
  18Plans are established by counsel, so make war by wise guidance.
  19A slanderer walks around revealing secrets, so do not get involved with a person who opens his lips.
  20The one who curses his father or his mother, his lamp will go out in a time of darkness.
  21An inheritance gained quickly at the beginning will not be blessed in the end.
  22Do not say, “I will repay an evil person!” Wait for Yahweh and he will deliver you.
  23Unequal weights are an abomination to Yahweh, and deceitful scales are not good.
  24The person’s steps are directed by Yahweh; how then can a person understand his road?
  25It is a snare for a person to carelessly declare, “It is holy!” and then to inquire about it after making his vows.
  26A wise king separates out the wicked, and he rolls the threshing wheel over them again and again.
  27The breath of a person is the lamp of Yahweh, searching out his innermost being.
  28Covenant faithfulness and truth guard the king, yes, with covenant faithfulness, God supports the king’s throne.
  29Strength is the splendor of young men, and gray hair is the majesty of old men.
  30Blows that wound cleanse away evil, and beatings cleanse the innermost parts of the body.

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Go to Commentary on Prov 21

1The heart of a king is like water canals in Yahweh’s hand; he turns it wherever he delights.
  2Every person’s road is right in his own eyes, but Yahweh examines the hearts.
  3To do righteousness and justice is preferred by Yahweh over a sacrifice.
  4Haughty eyes and an arrogant heart— the lamp of the wicked—is sin.
  5The plans of a diligent person surely will lead to abundance, but everyone who acts hastily surely will come to poverty.
  6Acquiring treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor of those who seek death.
  7The violence of the wicked will drag them away because they refused to act with justice.
  8The road of a guilty person is crooked, but as for the pure person, his works are upright.
  9It is better to live on the corner of a rooftop than in a house with a contentious wife.
  10The soul of the wicked person desires evil; his neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
  11When a mocker gets punished, the naïve person becomes wise, and when a wise person is instructed, he accepts knowledge.
  12A righteous person keeps an eye on the house of the wicked person, bringing the wicked to their ruin.
  13The one who closes his ear to the cry of the poor, he will also cry out and not be answered.
  14A gift given in secret subdues anger, and a secret bribe averts strong wrath.
  15To do justice is joyful for the righteous person, but it is a terror to those doing wickedness.
  16The person who wanders from the road of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead.
  17The one who loves pleasure will become a poor person; the one who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
  18A wicked person is a ransom for a righteous person, and the one acting unfaithfully is in the place of the upright.
  19It is better to live in a desolate land than with a contentious and angry woman.
  20Desirable treasure and oil are in the dwelling place of the wise person, but the foolish person consumes it.
  21The one who pursues righteousness and loyalty will find life, righteousness, and glory.a
  22A wise person scales the city of the mighty, and he brings down the strength of the city’s confidence.
  23The one who keeps watch over his mouth and his tongue watches over his lifeb from trouble.
  24“Presumptuous,” “Proud,” “Mocker,” are his names; they belong to the one who acts with arrogant presumptuousness.
  25The lazy person’s desire will kill him because his hands refuse to work.
  26All day long he craves what he desires, but the righteous person gives and does not withhold his generosity.
  27A sacrifice offered by the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with deceitful intent.
  28A false witness will perish, but a person who listens will go on speaking.
  29A wicked person hardens his face, but an upright person, he gives thought to his ways.
  30There is no wisdom and no discernment and no counsel that can stand against Yahweh.
  31A horse is prepared for a day of battle, but the deliverance belongs to Yahweh.

Heb. also means “honor.”
Heb. is nephesh, “soul.”

Proverbs Chapter 22  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 22

1A good name is to be chosen over great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold.
  2The rich and the poor have this in common: Yahweh is the one who creates them all.
  3A prudent person sees evil and hides, but the naïve continue on and are punished.
  4The reward of humility—the fear of Yahweh— is wealth, glory, and life.
  5Thorns and traps are on the road of the twisted person; the one who watches over his life will stay far from them.
  6Train a child in the way he should go; even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it.
  7The rich person rules over the poor, and the one who borrows is a slave to the one who lends.
  8The one who sows injustice will reap wickedness, and the rod of his anger will fail.
  9The generous person himself will be blessed because he gave of his bread to the poor.
  10Drive out the mocker and strife will go out, even quarrelling and insults will cease.
  11The person who loves a pure heart, whose lips are gracious—a king is his friend.
  12The eyes of Yahweh guard knowledge, but he overturns the words of the one acting unfaithfully.
  13The lazy person says, “There is a lion in the street! I will be killed out in the open.”
  14The mouth of strange women is a deep pit; the person with whom Yahweh is angry will fall in there.
  15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; a rod of discipline will remove it far from him.
  16The one who oppresses the poor does so for his own gain; the one who gives to the rich surely will come to poverty.

17Incline your ear and listen to the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,
  18for it is delightful when you keep them within you, then they will be established together upon your lips.
  19So that your trust may be in Yahweh, I have made them known to you today—yes, you.
  20Have I not written to you thirty sayings containing counsel and knowledge,
  21to make known to you true words of faithfulness, and to return words of faithfulness to those who sent you?
  22Do not rob a poor person because he is poor, and do not crush the needy at the city gate,
  23for Yahweh will defend their case, and he will rob the life of those who robbed them.
  24Do not make friends with an angry person, and do not associate with a person who is hot-tempered
  25lest you learn his path and get your soul caught in a snare.
  26Do not be among those who shake hands in a pledge, among those who put up security for loans.
  27If you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take your bed out from under you?
  28Do not move the ancient boundary marker that your fathers made.
  29Do you see a man skilled in his occupation? He will take his stand before kings; he will not take his stand before obscure people.

Proverbs Chapter 23  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 23

1When you sit to eat with a ruler, carefully discern whoa is before you,
  2and put a knife in your throat if you have a greedy appetite.
  3Do not crave his tasty foods, for it is deceptive bread.
  4Do not wear yourself out by attempting to get rich; cease from relying upon your own understanding.
  5If your eyes fly to it, then it is gone, for it surely makes wings for itself like an eagle, and it flies into the sky.
  6Do not eat the bread of a stingy person,b and do not crave his tasty foods.
  7For as he calculates in his soul, so he is. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
  8The piece of bread you ate, you will vomit, and you have ruined your pleasant words.
  9Do not speak into the ears of a fool, for he will have contempt for the prudence of your words.
  10Do not move an ancient boundary marker, and do not enter into the fields of orphans,
  11for he who redeems them is mighty; he will defend their case against you.
  12Apply your heart to sound teaching, and apply your ears to words of knowledge.
  13Do not withhold discipline from a child; he will not die when you strike him with the rod.
  14You will strike him with the rod, and his soul will be delivered from Sheol.
  15My son, if your heart is wise, my own heart will indeed rejoice.
  16My inward partsc will rejoice when your lips speak with great integrity.
  17Do not let your heart be envious of the sinners; rather, fear Yahweh all day long,
  18for certainly there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
  19You had better listen, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart on the upright road.
  20Do not be among those addicted to wine, or with gluttonous meat-eaters.
  21For the addict and the glutton will become impoverished, and drowsiness wears rags.
  22Listen to your father who begot you, and do not show contempt ford your mother when she is old.
  23Get truth and do not sell it; get wisdom and teaching and understanding.
  24The father of a righteous person will rejoice exceedingly, and the man who fathers a wise son will delight in him;
  25may your father and your mother be glad, and may she rejoice—she who gave birth to you.
  26My son, give your heart to me, and let your eyes observe my ways,
  27for a prostitute is a deep pit, and a foreign woman is a narrow well.
  28Indeed, she lies in wait like a robber, and she encourages people to act unfaithfully.
  29Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has a complaint? Who has wounds without cause? Who has bleary eyes?
  30It is those who linger over wine; those who come in to taste mixed wine.
  31Do not look at the wine when it sparkles with red, when it gleams in the cup, when it goes down smoothly.
  32In the end, it bites like a serpent, and it poisons like a viper.
  33Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will speak perverse things.
  34And you will become like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, or like one who lies down on the top of a ship’s mast.
  35“They struck me, but I did not feel pain. They hit me, but I did not know it. When will I awaken? I will seek it yet again.”

Or, “what.”
Heb. “man with an evil eye.”
Lit. “kidneys”
“Have contempt for; count as insignificant, despise.”

Proverbs Chapter 24  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 24

1Do not envy evil people, and do not crave to be with them.
  2For their heart groans for violence, and their lips speak trouble.
  3By Wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established,
  4and by knowledge its rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant wealth.
  5A wise man is strong, and a person with knowledge grows in strength.
  6For with wise guidance you should wage your war, and with a multitude of advisors there is deliverance.
  7Wisdom is too high for a fool; he does not even open his mouth at the city gate.
  8He who devises to do evil, they will call him, “Schemer.”
  9A foolish plan is sin, and a mocker is an abomination to humankind.
  10If you show yourself to be lax on a day of trouble, your strength is limited.
  11Deliver those who are being dragged off to death, and do not hold back from helping those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
  12If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he himself who examines the hearts discern it? Does not he himself who guards your soul know it? Will he not repay a person according to his work?
  13My son, eat some honey, for it is good, and honey from the comb is sweet on the roof of your mouth,
  14so, know that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, then there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
  15Do not lie in wait like the wicked against the dwelling place of the righteous; do not assault his place of rest.
  16For a righteous person will fall seven times, and he stands back up, but the wicked stumble in times of distress.
  17Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart celebrate when he stumbles,
  18lest Yahweh sees it, and it is evil in his eyes, and he turns away his anger from him.
  19Do not be agitated because of those who do evil; do not be envious of the wicked.
  20For there will be no future for the evil person; the lamp of the wicked will go out.
  21My son, fear Yahweh and the king; do not get involved with those who think otherwise,
  22for disaster will suddenly arise from them, and who knows the ruin that can come from the two of them?
  23These proverbs also are for the wise: To show favoritism in judgment is not good.
  24The one who says to the wicked person, “You are righteous,” people will curse him; a nation will be indignant with him.
  25But for those who offer rebuke, it will go well,a and upon them will come a good blessing.
  26He kisses the lips—he who replies with a straight answer.
  27Prepare your work outside, and carefully prepare it for yourself in the field; afterwards, then, build your house.
  28Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, or would you try to persuade with your lips?
  29Do not say, “Just as he does to me, so I will do to him, I will repay the man according to his evil work.”
  30I passed by the field of a lazy person, and by the vineyard of a person lacking sense,
  31and behold, it was all overgrown with thistles; its surface was covered with weeds, and its stone wall had fallen down.
  32When I noticed, I paid attention; I observed, and I learned this lesson:
  33“Just a little more sleep, a little more slumber, a little more folding of the arms to lie here,”
  34and your poverty will come like a robber, and your needs like an armed man.

Lit. “it will be a delight”

Proverbs Chapter 25  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 25

1These also are the proverbs of Solomon that the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed:
  2It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but it is the glory of kings to search out a matter.
  3As to the height of the heavens and to the depth of the earth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
  4Remove the dross from silver, and a vessel comes out for the refiner;
  5remove the wicked person from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.
  6Do not honor yourself in the presence of the king, and do not stand among great people;
  7for it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” than to be placed lower in the presence of a noble. What your eyes have seen,
  8do not go out to argue your dispute too hastily; otherwise, what will you do in the end when your neighbor humiliates you?
  9Argue your dispute with your neighbor, but do not reveal another person’s secret,
  10lest the one who hears it puts you to shame, and your bad reputation will not go away.
  11Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken at the proper moment.
  12Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise person reproving a listening ear.
  13Like the cold of snow at the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters.a
  14Like clouds and wind but no rain is a person who boasts of a gift never given.
  15With patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break someone’s strength.
  16Did you find some honey? Eat just enough for you, lest you have too much of it and then vomit it up.
  17Let your foot visit your neighbor’s house sparingly, lest he have too much of you and hate you.
  18Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is a person bearing false witness against his neighbor.
  19Like a bad tooth or a foot that slips is confidence in a person who acts unfaithfully in a time of distress.
  20Like one who removes clothing on a cold day, or vinegar upon a wound, is one who sings a song to a heavy heart.
  21If the one who hates you is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
  22for you will heap burning coals upon his head, and Yahweh will reward you.
  23The north wind brings rain, and a tongue telling secrets brings an angry face.
  24It is better to sit on the corner of a rooftop than in a house with a contentious wife.
  25As cold water is to a weary soul, so is a good report from a distant land.
  26Like a spring that has been trampled in and like a ruined fountain is a righteous person who wavers in the presence of a wicked person.
  27It is not good to eat much honey, nor for people to seek glory after glory.
  28Like a city broken into, one without a wall, is a person who has no self-control over his emotions.

Or, “the ones over him”

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Go to Commentary on Prov 26

1Like snow in the summer and rain during the harvest, so too honor is not fitting for a fool.
  2Like an aimless bird and like a flying swallow, so too an undeserved curse fails to arrive.
  3A whip is for the horse, a bridle is for the donkey, and a rod is for the backs of fools.
  4Do not answer a fool according to his foolishness, lest you, too, become just like him.
  5Answer a fool according to his foolishness, lest he become wise in his own eyes.
  6One who cuts off his own feet, and one who drinks violence, is a person who sends messages by the hand of a fool.
  7Like the legs of a lame person that are withered up, so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
  8Like one who entangles a stone in a sling, so is a person who gives honor to a fool.
  9Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard, so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
  10Like an archer who wounds everyone, so is the one who hires a fool or hires those who are just passing by.
  11Like a dog that returns to its vomit, so is a fool who repeats his foolishness.
  12Do you see a person who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
  13A lazy person says, “There is a lion on the road! A lion in the open area!”
  14As a door turns on its hinges, so does a lazy person upon his bed.
  15A lazy person buries his hand in the dish; he is too tired to bring it back to his mouth.
  16A lazy person is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer with good judgment.
  17Like a person who seizes a dog by its ears is one who while passing by gets angry over a dispute that is not his own.
  18Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows, arrows, and death,
  19so is a person who deceives his neighbor, then says, “Was I not simply joking?”
  20When the wood is gone, a fire will go out, and when there is no gossip, contentions will grow quiet.
  21Like charcoal for hot coals and wood for fire, so a contentious person for kindling strife.
  22The words of a gossip are like delicacies, and they go down into one’s innermost being.
  23Like a clay vessel covered with silver dross are smootha lips and a wicked heart.
  24A person who hates disguises himself with his lips, but he harbors deceit in his inner being;
  25when his speech is gracious, do not believe him, for in his heart are seven abominations.
  26Hatred covers itself with deception, but his evil will be uncovered in the congregation.
  27The person who digs a pit will fall into it, and the person rolling a stone, it will come back upon him.
  28A lying tongue hates those it oppresses, and a flattering mouth creates a calamity.

LXX is “smooth,” Heb. is “burning”

Proverbs Chapter 27  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 27

1Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what the day will bring forth.
  2Let another praise you and not your own mouth— a stranger—and not your own lips.
  3A stone is heavy and the sand is weighty, but vexation by a fool is heavier than both of them.
  4Rage is cruel and anger is a flood, but who is able to stand in the presence of a jealous person?
  5Better is open reproof than love that is being hidden.
  6Faithful are the wounds of one who loves you,a but deceptive are the kisses of one who hates you.b
  7A satisfied soul tramples on a honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
  8Like a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a person who wanders from his place.
  9Oil and incense make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend is better than one’s own counsel.c
  10Do not forsake your friend or your father’s friend, and do not enter into your brother’s house on the day of your distress; better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.
  11Become wise, my son, and make my heart glad, so that I may give an answer to the one who reproaches me.
  12The prudent person sees evil and hides, but the naïve continue on and are punished.
  13Take his garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and if for a foreign woman, hold him as security.
  14The one who blesses his friend with a loud voice in the early morning, it will be regarded as a curse to him.
  15A persistent dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious wife are alike;
  16whoever can restraind her can even restrain the wind, and can even grasp oil in his right hand.
  17Iron sharpens iron, and a person sharpens his friend.
  18The one who keeps watch over a fig tree will eat of its fruit, and the one who cares for his master will be honored.
  19As the surface of the water reflects a face, so the heart of a person reflects a person.
  20Sheol and Abaddon will never be satisfied, nor will the eyes of a person ever be satisfied.
  21A crucible is for silver and a furnace is for gold, and a person is tested by the praise he receives.
  22Although you pound the fool with a pestle among the grain in the mortar, his foolishness will not depart from him.
  23Know well the condition of your flock; pay attention to your herds,
  24for treasure will not last, nor does a crown last for multiple generations.
  25Grass disappears and grass will appear, and the mountain’s herbs are gathered together;
  26lambs are for your clothing, and male goats cover the price of a field;
  27and there is enough milk from the female goats for your food, for the food of your house, and the care of your female servants.

Or, “a friend.”
Or, “an enemy.”
That is, “self-counsel.”
Lit. “hide her...hide the wind”

Proverbs Chapter 28  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 28

1A wicked person flees when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are confident like a lion.
  2On account of the transgression of the land, many are its rulers, but by a person with understanding and knowledge order will be prolonged.
  3A poor man who oppresses the weak is like a beating rain that does not leave food.
  4Those who abandon the Law praise the wicked, but those who keep the Law contend against them.
  5Evil people do not understand justice, but those who are seeking Yahweh will come to understand it all.
  6Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than a person who is crooked in his ways, even though he is rich.
  7He who keeps the Law is a discerning son, but he who associates with those who lack restraint brings shame upon his father.
  8The person who increases his wealth by interest and by profiteering collects it for the one who shows favor to the poor.
  9The person who turns his ear away from listening to the Law, even his prayer is an abomination.
  10The person who leads the upright astray onto an evil road will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will inherit a good thing.
  11A rich person is wise in his own eyes, but the poor person with understanding sees right through him.
  12When the righteous triumph,a there is great glory, but when the wicked rise up, people conceal themselves.
  13The person who hides his transgressions will not prosper, but the person who confesses and forsakes them will be shown mercy.
  14Blessed is the person who continually trembles before God, but the one who hardens his heart will fall into evil.
  15A roaring lion and a charging bear are like a wicked person ruling over a helpless people.
  16A ruler who lacks understanding commits many extortions, but the one who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
  17A person who is oppressed by shedding a person’s blood will flee until death; do not let anyone support him.
  18The one who walks blamelessly will be delivered, but the one who is crooked in his ways will fall suddenly.
  19The one who works his land will be satisfied with food, but the one who eagerly pursues worthless things will be “satisfied” with poverty.
  20A faithful person will have many blessings, but the one who makes haste to get rich will not go unpunished.
  21To show favoritism is not good, nevertheless, a person will do wrong for a piece of bread.
  22A stingy personb makes haste toward wealth, but he does not know that poverty will come to him.
  23One who reproves a person will find favor afterwards, more than the person who flatters with the tongue.
  24The person who robs his father or his mother and says, “It is not a transgression,” he is a friend of a person who causes destruction.
  25A greedy soul stirs up strife, but the person who trusts in Yahweh will be made prosperous.
  26The person who trusts in his own heart—he is a fool; but the one who walks in wisdom—he will be delivered.
  27The person who gives to the poor will not be in need, but the one who shuts his eyes will receive many curses.
  28When the wicked rise up, people hide themselves, but when they perish, the righteous increase.

Lit. “rejoice.”
Heb. “man with an evil eye.”

Proverbs Chapter 29  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 29

1A person who stiffens his neck after multiple rebukes will suddenly be broken and there will be no remedy.
  2When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked person rules, the people groan.
  3A person who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but the man who associates with prostitutes destroys his wealth.
  4A king brings stability to the land by justice, but a person who demands “contributions” will overthrow the land.
  5A person who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.
  6An evil person is ensnared by transgression, but a righteous person sings aloud and rejoices.
  7A righteous person knows the legal claim of the poor; a wicked person does not understand this knowledge.
  8Scornful people inflame a city, but the wise turn away anger.
  9A wise person disputes with a foolish person; and he rages or laughs, but there is no calm.
  10People who cause bloodshed hate a blameless person, but the upright show concern for his life.
  11A fool lets out all of his emotions, but a wise person keeps them calm within.
  12A ruler who pays attention to deceptive words— all his officials become wicked.
  13The poor person and the one who oppresses others have this in common: Yahweh gives light to the eyes of them both.
  14A king who judges the poor with faithfulness— his throne will be established forever.
  15A rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who is left to itself puts his mother to shame.
  16When the wicked increase, transgression increases, but the righteous will see their ruin.
  17Correct your son, and he will give you rest, and he will give delight to your soul.
  18When there is no vision, people are unrestrained, but blessed is the one who keeps the Law.a
  19A servant cannot be corrected simply with words, for he understands, but he does not respond.
  20Do you see a person who is hasty with his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
  21The one who spoils his servant from childhood— in the end he will become rebellious.
  22An angry person stirs up strife, and a vengeful person commits much transgression.
  23A person’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain glory.b
  24The person who partners with a thief hates his own soul; he is put under oathc to testify, but discloses nothing.
  25The fear of people will bring a snare, but the one who trusts in Yahweh will be protected.d
  26Many seek the attention of the one who rules, but a person receives justice from Yahweh.
  27A dishonest person is an abomination to the righteous, and the one whose road is upright is an abomination to a wicked person.

Or, the father’s “instruction”
Heb. also means “honor.”
Lit. “hears an oath,” but the Hebrew can also mean “curse.”
Heb. “set on high” can also mean “exalted.”

Proverbs Chapter 30  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 30

1The words of Agur, son of Yakeh, the Massaite. The inspired utterance of the man for Ithiel, for Ithiel and Ucal.
  2Surely I am more stupid than anyone, and I do not have the understanding of a man.
  3And I did not learn wisdom, nor do I know the knowledge of the Holy One.
  4Who has ascended into heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind into the palms of both hands? Who has bound up the waters into his garment? Who has set up all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is the name of his son? Surely you know!
  5Every word of God is refined; he is a shield for those who take refuge in him.
  6Do not add to his words or else he will reprove you, and you will be found to be a liar.
  7Two things I ask from you, do not withhold these from me before I die:
  8remove deceitfulness and false speech far from me; give me neither poverty nor wealth; provide to me my portion of bread.
  9Lest I become satisfied and deny you and say, “Who is Yahweh?” Or lest I become impoverished and steal and desecrate the name of my God.
  10Do not slander a servant to his master, lest he curse you and you will be found guilty.
  11There is a generation that curses its father and that does not bless its mother.
  12A generation that is pure in its own eyes but has not been washed from its excrement.
  13A generation—how haughty are its eyes, and how high its eyelids are lifted up!
  14A generation whose teeth are swords and fangs are knives, to devour the poor from the land and the needy from humankind.
  15Two daughters belong to the leech; “Give!” “Give!” There are three things that will never be satisfied, four that will never say, “Enough!”
  16Sheol and the barren womb; land that is never satisfied with water; and fire never says, “Enough!”
  17An eye that mocks at his father and despisesa obedience to his mother— ravens of the valley will peck it out, and the offspring of a vulture will eat it.
  18These three things are difficult for me, and four that I do not understand:
  19the way of an eagle in the heavens, the way of a serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship in the heart of the sea, and the way of a man with a young woman.
  20This is the way of the woman who commits adultery: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, “I have not committed any wickedness.”
  21The land trembles under three things, and under four it cannot bear up:
  22under a servant when he becomes king, and a godless person when he is satisfied with food,
  23under a hated woman when she gets married, and a slave when she displaces her mistress.
  24These four things are small on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise:
  25the ants are a clan who are not mighty, but they prepare their food in the summer;
  26the rock-badgers are a clan who are not mighty, yet they make their dwellings in the cliffs;
  27the locusts have no king, yet they all go out organized in ranks;
  28you can grab a lizard with the hands, yet it lives in the king’s palaces.
  29These three are confident as they step, and four are confident as they walk:
  30the lion is mighty among the beasts and it does not retreat in the face of anything;
  31the strutting rooster, also the male goat, and a king when his army is with him.
  32If you acted foolishly by exalting yourself, or if you plan to do so, put your hand over your mouth!
  33For the churning of milk brings forth butter, and the churning of the nose brings forth blood, so the churning of anger brings forth strife.

Or, “has contempt for.”

Proverbs Chapter 31  top  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Prov 31

1The words of Lemuel, king of Massa, that his mother taught him:
  2What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?
  3Do not give your strength to women, or your ways to those who destroy kings.
  4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, not for kings to drink wine, nor for those who rule to drink beer.
  5Lest they drink and forget that which has been decreed, and alter the legal claim of all the afflicted people.
  6Give a beer to the person who is disheartened, and wine to the bitter soul.
  7Let him drink and forget his poverty, and he will no longer remember his troubles.
  8Open your mouth for those who have no voice, for the legal claim of all defenseless people.
  9Open your mouth, judge with righteousness, and defend the cause of the afflicted and needy person.
  10An excellent wife, who can find? For her value is far more than gems.
  11The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
  12She brings him good and not evil all the days of her life.
  13She seeks out wool and linen and with delight she works with her hands.
  14She is like the ships of a merchant; she brings in her food from afar.
  15She gets up while it is still night, and provides food for her household and tasksa for her female servants.
  16She considers a field and purchases it; from the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
  17She wraps her waist with strength and makes her arms strong.
  18She perceives that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out during the night.
  19She stretches out her hand to the distaff, and her hands grasp the whorl of the spindle.
  20She extends her hands to the afflicted, and stretches out her hands to the needy.
  21She does not fear the snow for her household because her whole household is clothed in scarlet.
  22She makes coverings for herself, and her clothing is fine linen and purple.
  23Her husband is known at the city gates, when he sits with the elders of the land.
  24She makes and sells linen garments, and provides belts to the traders.
  25Strength and majesty are her clothing, and she laughs at the days to come.
  26She opens her mouth with wisdom, and instruction about covenant faithfulness is upon her tongue.
  27She keeps watch over the activities of her household, and she does not eat the bread of idleness.
  28Her children rise up and call her blessed, and her husband praises her,
  29“Many daughters have demonstrated themselves to be strong, but you have risen up above them all.”
  30Charm is deceptive and beauty is but a vapor, but a woman who fears Yahweh—she will be praised.
  31Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Or, “portions” of food

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