Proverbs Chapter 24  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Proverbs 24
 
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Pro 24:9

“foolish plan.” The Hebrew text has the genitive, “plans (or ‘schemes’) of folly.” This is a beautiful double entendre. The genitive can be a genitive of relation, “the schemes that involve folly” (cp. ESV, NASB, NKJV), or a genitive of origin, “the schemes that come from folly” (Waltke). We have trouble bringing both concepts into English in one line except by just leaving the genitive in place as the NIV does. We need to be aware of the close relationship between foolishness and sin. Schemes that come from a foolish heart, and those that involve “foolishness” (which is related to the “stubborn fool,” the kesiyl (#03684 כְּסִיל), see Appendix 9; “Fool and Foolish”) are not “just fun,” they are sin, as this verse says.

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Pro 24:10(top)
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Pro 24:20

“no future.” The evil person will not have everlasting life.

“lamp of the wicked will be put out.” This is an idiom, meaning the evil person will die. The wicked will die in the Lake of Fire. They will not live forever in torment, as many people teach, but will burn up in the flames and be annihilated. [For more information on annihilation in the Lake of Fire, see Appendix 5, “Annihilation in the Lake of Fire”].

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Pro 24:21(top)
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Pro 24:24

“wicked…righteous.” “Wicked” and “righteous” are the lexical meanings of the Hebrew words, and the proverb is true as it is worded. However, it is also true that in a legal context, which might include this verse, the word “wicked” means “guilty,” and the word “righteous” means “innocent.” In that case, the proverb would be like the NIV translation, “Whoever says to the guilty, ‘You are innocent’…”

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Pro 24:25(top)
Pro 24:26

“with a straight answer.” A straight and honest answer is friendly and intimate, like a kiss on the lips. This proverb shows that it is not just in our modern times that it is difficult to get an honest answer. It has always been difficult to get a straight and honest answer from people, and this can be true for a number of reasons. Certainly there are dishonest people who do not want to tell the truth because they are involved in immoral or illegal dealings. But often a “friend” does not want to give an honest answer because they don’t want to take the risk of hurting anyone’s feelings or damaging the relationship.

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Pro 24:30

“lazy.” See commentary on Prov. 6:6, “lazy one.”

“sense.” The Hebrew word is leb (#03820 לֵב), which is often translated “heart,” but this is one of those cases where that translation would cause confusion. In modern English, the word “heart” usually refers to emotion or passion, but that is not its meaning here. The function of the brain was unknown in biblical times, so things that we generally assign to the brain, like thinking, attitudes, understanding, and good sense, were assigned to the heart. In this context, leb, “heart” refers to the activity of the mind that includes good sense.

A lazy person lacks good sense, because he does not do those things that would sustain his life, allow him to be in a position to help others, and build up rewards in the next life. The Bible says we are to work so that we can give to others (Eph. 4:28), not just do what we have to in life so we “just get by.” Even when God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden they were to work it and “keep” it (or, watch over it; guard it. Gen. 2:15). God created people to do good works (Eph. 2:10), and that is a sacred duty. [For more on the Hebrew word leb and “heart,” see commentary on Prov. 15:21, “sense”].

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Pro 24:31(top)
Pro 24:32

“I learned this lesson.” The Hebrew is more literally, “I took this teaching.”

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