Who, When, Where

Written by Solomon.
This is more a collection of proverbs than a single “book” or letter.
And they were probably collected and written between 960AD and 935AD.
And probably not all in one go. Chapter 25 on, sounds like it was added later - “which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out”.
Chapter 30 is attributed to Agur the son of Jakeh. Part of that is “the words of king Lemuel”, but these may hae been spoken to king Lemule, not by him.
But the rest seem to be from Solomon.

Solomon lived from around 1000BC to 931BC. And apart from the introduction which attributes the proverbs to him, 1 Kings 4 also says he composed 3,000 proverbs in his lifetime.

But it’s possible some of them were written by other people.
Since Solomon ruled from Jerusalem, they were presumably collated there. Although, proverbs, by their nature, are sayings that you mull over in your head, often over several years, looking for just the right way to say them.


These themes come up over and over in this book.

Listen to your parents.
Choose wisdom over money.
Don’t commit adultery.
Don’t be lazy.
Listen more than you talk.
Control your temper.
Don’t be proud.
Avoid gossip.
Don’t be a fool.

Maybe they’re important?

Before You Read

Do you have any words of advice you would pass to your children, or the next generation?

What if you could get 15 minutes with King Solomon - what would you ask him?

Do you have a goal in life?

Key Verses

Proverbs 1:2-6

to know wisdom and instruction; to discern the words of understanding; to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young man: that the wise man may hear, and increase in learning; that the man of understanding may attain to sound counsel: to understand a proverb, and parables, the words and riddles of the wise.

”Proverbs” are meant to give you wisdom. Meant to be pondered, applied, considered.
To help you understand deep things, and the world and events around you.
If you’re wise, they’ll help you. If you’re not, you’re probably wasting your time.

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

You afraid of Yahweh? Not in the trembling in your boots kind of way, but just in the, “recognising that he not only exists, but that he is so very much more powerful than you are. And deserves your full submission to his will.”
If you have that… you have at least started your journey to knowledge.
If you don’t have that… you’re wasting your time. Anything else you think you know, will have to be re-evaluated in the light of God’s existence, after you come to realise that he does. If you never do, … then you will die having never really learned anything, (no matter how smart you think you are), and moments after that, you will realise. Too late.

Proverbs 1:8-9

My son, listen to your father’s instruction, and don’t forsake your mother’s teaching: for they will be a garland to grace your head, and chains around your neck.

This generation thinks they know so much more than their parents. It’s hard to tell them that they don’t because they won’t listen. They listen to influencers, celebrities, people held up by the world as examples.
People who haven’t even learned the first thing - there is a God, and he is incredibly powerful.
Listen to your parents. You struggle to believe it, but they actually do know a few things.

Proverbs 1:22-23

How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? How long will mockers delight themselves in mockery, and fools hate knowledge? Turn at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make known my words to you.

Yahweh is calling out. Listen. Respond. And he will pour out his spirit on you, and change your life in ways you could never imagine. Awesome ways. Wonderful ways.
You’ll love it.

Proverbs 1:28

Then will they call on me, but I will not answer. They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me;

If you ignore him… one day you will need him… and he will ignore you. You didn’t want to know him. That has consequences.

Proverbs 1:32-33

For the backsliding of the simple will kill them. The careless ease of fools will destroy them. But whoever listens to me will dwell securely, and will be at ease, without fear of harm.

Your choice.

Proverbs 3:3

Don’t let kindness and truth forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Would you say that characterises you? How you deal with other people? Are you famous for it?
Kindness and truth?

Proverbs 3:5-7

Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Who knows best? The eternal god Yahweh, who created everything just by speaking? Or you?
And we have the arrogance to think we know better than him.

Proverbs 3:9-10

Honor Yahweh with your substance, with the first fruits of all your increase: so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.

Hold wealth loosely. Give plenty of money away. To Yahweh, but also to help those around you.
And you will always have enough.

Proverbs 3:11-12

My son, don’t despise Yahweh’s discipline, neither be weary of his reproof: for whom Yahweh loves, he reproves; even as a father reproves the son in whom he delights.

We tend to think that anything which happens which we don’t like is “bad”. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s Yahweh trying to teach us a lesson. To discipline us so we learn it.
Just like your parents grounding you to teach you how to behave. Yahweh can do things like that too.

Proverbs 3:13-15

Happy is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gets understanding. For her good profit is better than getting silver, and her return is better than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies. None of the things you can desire are to be compared to her.

This is literally saying that finding wisdom and understanding is worth way more to you than finding wealth.
And in life it really is a choice you have to make. If you want wisdom you will probably have to turn down wealth.
Get your priorities straight.

Proverbs 3:27

Don’t withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.

Now that you’ve read this verse, it will come to mind at the most inconvenient times. You will want to ignore someone in need, … but the spirit will use this verse to gnaw away at you, until you turn around and go back and help them like you should have from the first.
And you’ll be glad you did.

Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding.

This theme comes up again and again in this book. It’s like it was a really important thing to the authors.

Proverbs 4:18-19

The path of the righteous is like the dawning light, that shines more and more until the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness. They don’t know what they stumble over.

So is this. If you’re righteous you’ll have less troubles. If you’re wicked you will trip over all the time. Your whole live.

Proverbs 5:3-4

For the lips of an adulteress drip honey. Her mouth is smoother than oil. But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, and as sharp as a two-edged sword.

Adultery can seem like a tasty morsel. Everything in you can desire to partake. But it will make you sick to your stomach afterwards, and your life will feel like you’ve been cut in half by a sword.
Listen to those who have gone before you. Don’t do it.

Proverbs 6:1-5

… if you have become collateral for your neighbor, if you have struck your hands in pledge for a stranger; You are trapped by the words of your mouth. You are ensnared with the words of your mouth. … Go, humble yourself. Press your plea with your neighbor. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

When we’ve been trapped by something we said, we spend hours tossing it over in our heads, stomach knotted, anxious, sleepless.
The one thing we dread doing… going to talk with the other person and begging them to let us from from what we have said.
But what do we have to lose?
Be brave. Follow wisdom, not your own fear.

Proverbs 6:6

Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways, and be wise;

Do you ever spend time just sitting and watching bugs?
Or animals? Or just contemplating things of nature. (God’s creation). And wondering what you can learn.
What can you learn from ants! How not to be lazy at least! They just never stop working.

Proverbs 6:10-11

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so your poverty will come as a robber, and your scarcity as an armed man.

I find this largely ignored in my country - Australia.
We have social handouts for the unemployed, the disabled, the ill, the mentally challenged. That seems like a good thing. And it is good for us to look after them.
The problem we have, is that a whole culture has developed where generations don’t want to work. Working in low paid jobs only gives you a little more than the handouts already do. So why bother. Have all your free time. They’ll give you housing, healthcare, and even money every week for your other needs.
But if you can. Get out of your bed. Go and work, even if it’s not for much. And not only will you have a more successful life, you will feel so good about yourself. It will change your own self image. (Not to mention the image others around you have of you).

Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things which Yahweh hates; yes, seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood; a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers.

What’s your score?

Proverbs 7:22-23

He followed her immediately, as an ox goes to the slaughter, as a fool stepping into a noose. Until an arrow strikes through his liver, as a bird hurries to the snare, and doesn’t know that it will cost his life.

Who is he?
The one who goes to an adulteress.
This is another theme which is repeated time and again in this book. And it’s repeated time and again in life.
Nowadays, “the world” doesn’t even seem to see it as a big deal. (Unless it happens to them!)

Proverbs 8 - 9

Wisdom is calling out … Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my door posts. For whoever finds me, finds life, and will obtain favor from Yahweh. But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul. All those who hate me love death.

Wisdom was with Yahweh before he created the universe. Wisdom is calling you.
And still we choose sin and adultery instead of wisdom!

Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all wrongs.

Hatred is often our first reaction when people wrong us. But when we wrong others, we expect them to be more understanding and forgive us.
Next time, try to respond in love and see what happens. Just try it and see.

Proverbs 10:19

In the multitude of words there is no lack of disobedience, but he who restrains his lips does wisely.

Speak less. Listen more.
Ask Yahweh to give you the few words which can really contribute to a conversation and help the other members.
Sometimes you will also have to ask him to help you find a way to get a word into the conversation! Some people just prattle on, often about themselves, and it can be hard to contribute to your side of the conversation because they’re pretty happy speaking enough for both of you.
Sometimes it’s best to walk away.

Proverbs 10:24

What the wicked fear, will overtake them, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.

Wicked people are usually afraid of something.
It usually happens.

Proverbs 11:3

The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them.

Integrity isn’t just something to do because God tells you to… it’s actually the best choice just for your own long term benefit.

Proverbs 11:4

Riches don’t profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

Obviously some people do have both - riches and righteousness. But if you have to choose, one really stands out from the other. And if you disagree, let me ask you again five seconds after you die.

Proverbs 11:13

One who brings gossip betrays a confidence, but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret.

Can you keep a secret?
So can I.

How can you ever trust someone who has told you someone else’s secret? For sure they have told them yours too.

Proverbs 11:22

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout, is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.

Looking for a wife? Look at the inside, not just the outside. (Hopefully you will be blessed like me, and marry a woman who has both).

Proverbs 12:1

Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

Have you ever done something stupid? And thought, I didn’t realise. I wish someone had told me sooner and saved me this massive embarrassment.
If you have a compliments love language, you will really struggle to hear criticism, and often react badly. But after you calm down and have some time, you will realise they were right and change your ways. The rest of us often struggle to turn correction into change.

Proverbs 12:11

He who tills his land shall have plenty of bread, but he who chases fantasies is void of understanding.

It’s good to pursue opportunities as they come along, but be realistic, and let them pass by if they’re just fantasy. You are likely to end up with nothing.

Proverbs 12:15

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who is wise listens to counsel.

Some people just think they know everything, and they just won’t listen to advice. No matter how smart you think you are, even a child might say something which you never even thought of.
Always listen to advice. And honestly evaluate it, just in case.

Proverbs 12:16

A fool shows his annoyance the same day, but one who overlooks an insult is prudent.

Is that you? No doubt in anyone’s mind, when you’re annoyed, they’ll know for sure. Immediately.
Fools react slowly. Again, in case they’re right. They might have just saved you from bigger embarrassment. And if they’re wrong, prove it by your future actions, not by arguing.

Proverbs 12:22

Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh, but those who do the truth are his delight.

From what I’ve seen we all lie. The only difference is how often, and how big they are.
Usually we lie to cover up our own failings. How dumb is that, as if the other person doesn’t already know!

Proverbs 13:3

He who guards his mouth guards his soul. One who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Or, as we say these days… talk less, listen more.
Although this is saying a bit more… If you do, you will guard your soul, (from going astray), and if you don’t, you will come to ruin.

Proverbs 13:4

The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing, but the desire of the diligent shall be fully satisfied.

How about you? When you want something, do you do something to get it? Or are you too lazy, and you just “wish” you had it, and complain about how unfair it is that other people do.

Proverbs 13:8

The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, but the poor hear no threats.

Funny how we all want to be rich… but being poor is a much more peaceful life, with way less stress.

Proverbs 13:12

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.

Yeah, don’t you hate that, when you have expectation of something good, but it keeps getting put off… to the point you wonder if it will ever happen.
But that awesome feeling when it finally happens. So good.

Proverbs 13:20

One who walks with wise men grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

How would you describe the people you hang out with? How are you becoming like them?
Do you need to find new friends?

Proverbs 13:24

One who spares the rod hates his son, but one who loves him is careful to discipline him.

We’re not allowed to say that these days. Let alone do it!
But Solomon, wisest person who ever lived, said it as good advice.
Whatever you do, however you do it. Make sure you do discipline your children.
If you love them, discipline them.

Proverbs 14:12

There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Where is your way leading you?

Proverbs 14:21

He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who has pity on the poor.

How well do you know your neighbours? Friends?
Do you help them out if they’re struggling? Would you?
Who is your neighbour? How close do they have to live for you to include them in that list?

Proverbs 14:27

The fear of Yahweh is a fountain of life, turning people from the snares of death.

And yet so many people these days think they know better. That Yahweh is a fictional character because… well they don’t usually have a reason, they just “know” it.
Boy are they in for a surprise.

Proverbs 14:29

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a quick temper displays folly.

Proverbs 14:31

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for his Maker, but he who is kind to the needy honors him.

Did you notice? It’s not about them.

Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Do you have to count to 3 before you answer? Or does that just delay the inevitable?
Do you ever respond gently?

Proverbs 15:17

Better is a dinner of herbs, where love is, than a fattened calf with hatred.

Proverbs 15:22

Where there is no counsel, plans fail; but in a multitude of counselors they are established.

Do you ask advice, and talk over your plans with people you trust first?
Or do you just go to them for help when it all goes wrong?

Proverbs 15:23

… How good is a word at the right time!

So true. You just know it when you hear it don’t you. “That was exactly what I needed to hear!”

Proverbs 16:1

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from Yahweh.

We can only plan. Yahweh can make it happen. Or not.

Proverbs 16:2

All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but Yahweh weighs the motives.

Everything we do can be justified. We had good valid reasons for choosing that course of action.
But Yahweh sees past those to our motives, and he knows which ones are actually good or bad.
Actually this is an important Bible truth. Why you do things is usually more important than exactly what you do. (But somethings are just wrong, so don’t kid yourself that it’s OK to sin if you’re motivated by love).

Proverbs 16:3

Commit your deeds to Yahweh, and your plans shall succeed.

Ask him to bless your plans, but let him have the final say. Let him choose the outcome.

Proverbs 16:9

A man’s heart plans his course, but Yahweh directs his steps.

Remember that.
Plan away, but don’t be so proud to think that you determine the outcome.

Proverbs 16:16

How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! Yes, to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

I heard a really great sermon once, and afterwards someone said to the preacher, “I’d give everything I have to be able to preach like you.” To which he replied, “That’s what it cost me.”
Do you believe this verse is true?
Is that just lip service? Or do you really believe it?
Then why do you spend so much of your time getting money, and so little of your time getting wisdom?

Proverbs 16:18

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Oh, so many times I’ve proven that.
Sometimes I realise that the way I said something was proud, or that I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself because I’ve done well…
And then splat.

Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Aren’t they! It feels so good when someone says something really nice to you.
Spending time with someone who is just really nice leaves you with such a great feeling. Unlike spending time with snarky, complainers, … you just want to get out of there!

Proverbs 16:31

Gray hair is a crown of glory. It is attained by a life of righteousness.

Take that Gen-X.
Oh, sorry, I mean, … Take note of that Gen-X - and aim to have gray hair yourself one day.

But really, we all should respect the elderly. They’ve been there and done that. And if you take time to talk with them, they have some amazing and encouraging stories to share.

Proverbs 16:32

One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; one who rules his spirit, than he who takes a city.

It’s true isn’t it. It is so difficult to control your anger and keep it silent.

Proverbs 16:33

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from Yahweh.

Remember, everything which happens to you, (or to anyone else), was controlled by Yahweh, for some purpose he has.
There is no such thing as chance.
He’s not playing a cosmic board game, and if he rolls a 6 he has to give you a good day. He is choosing your day, your hour, even your next breath.

Proverbs 17:1

Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.

Trouble at home can’t be made up for by being wealthy or having great meals. You just don’t want to even be there, but you’re trapped by your marriage.
Make it your priority to resolve that.

Proverbs 17:3

The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold, but Yahweh tests the hearts.

We all want pure metals, especially the expensive ones.
But we don’t all want to be purified ourselves.
Think of it like Yahweh is turning you into pure gold, refining you and making you more precious and more glorious to those who see you.

Proverbs 17:9

He who covers an offense promotes love; but he who repeats a matter separates best friends.

Choose not to give in to the burning desire you have to share the secret you know. Especially if it is something bad someone did.
Something in us wants to show off that we know something others don’t. But better to show Yahweh that you can be trusted.
Nobody benefits from being told that you know. Not even you.

Proverbs 17:14

The beginning of strife is like breaching a dam, therefore stop contention before quarreling breaks out.

Exactly. Stop it before it gets worse. No need to score a point first. No need to prove that you’re right.
Do what it takes to get peace early. You’ll be glad you did.

Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity.

Do you have a friend like that? One you know will always be there for you. Even when you screw up?
Do you have a brother like that? Who counts family worth more than anything?
They are both massive blessings if you do.
Be that back to them too.

Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

How good are you at cheering people up?
At lifting their spirits when they’re down?
Do you try?

Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is counted wise. When he shuts his lips, he is thought to be discerning.

I have nothing to say about that. 😊

Proverbs 18:2

A fool has no delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own opinion.

They’re easy to spot. They’re the ones so busy prattling on that you can’t get a word in edgeways.
Best to just leave them to it. They won’t listen to what you have to say anyway. If there is any pause they’ll be busy thinking about what they’re going to say next instead of listening to what you’re saying.

Proverbs 18:8

The words of a gossip are like dainty morsels: they go down into a person’s innermost parts.

We can just never get enough gossip can we.
When you start to hear gossip it’s time to go and talk with someone else instead.

Proverbs 18:13

He who gives answer before he hears, that is folly and shame to him.

Why are so many of these proverbs about listening. And thinking before you speak. And being careful what you say… hmmm.

Proverbs 18:17

He who pleads his cause first seems right; until another comes and questions him.

So… always let the other person go first 😊 …

Proverbs 18:22

Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of Yahweh.

What can I say! It’s true.

Proverbs 18:24

A man of many companions may be ruined, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Find the one who will stick by you, and don’t waste your time trying to be friends with everyone who comes along. Most of them are just after what they can get, and will evaporate faster than dry ice when things get tough and you need their help. They’re not real friends, just companions, just acquaintances.

Proverbs 19:13

A foolish son is the calamity of his father. A wife’s quarrels are a continual dripping.

On the other hand, it’s such a blessing to have godly, wise children and a good wife to share your life with.

But … if you’re a son, how does your father feel? Are you making him proud? Or ashamed?
If you’re a wife… do you quarrel all the time? How is that working for you?

Proverbs 19:17

He who has pity on the poor lends to Yahweh; he will reward him.

Not that I usually support Catholic teaching, but once I heard Mother Theresa asked how she is able to do so much for poor, downtrodden, sick people always in need. She said, “I don’t see them. I see Jesus”

How do you see the poor? Do you see Yahweh needing a loan? If you did, would that change your behaviour?

Proverbs 19:24

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.

Now that is lazy!

Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker, and beer is a brawler. Whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

Not to say you should never drink wine or beer… but just don’t be led astray. Make sure it’s you in control not them.
You can stop when you’ve had one or two right?

Proverbs 20:6

Many men claim to be men of unfailing love, but who can find a faithful man?

Why is it that so many men cheat on their wives?
It’s like it’s we’re pre-disposed to it.
But we don’t have to. It’s our choice.
Just like we can’t blame the chocolate for us being fat.

Proverbs 20:22

Don’t say, “I will pay back evil.” Wait for Yahweh, and he will save you.

We want revenge don’t we.
But we’re glad Yahweh didn’t take revenge on our sin.
Let’s leave judgement and revenge or not, up to him, especially when we only think we know the truth, but he actually does.

Proverbs 20:25

It is a snare to a man to make a rash dedication, then later to consider his vows.

Rash promises. Did you know that you can’t take them back! And you will be judged if you don’t fulfil them.
Learn from Jephthah (Judges 11).

Proverbs 21:1

The king’s heart is in Yahweh’s hand like the watercourses. He turns it wherever he desires.

Yahweh is always in control of everything.
Good to know when you’re having a hard time.
He can fix it. If he doesn’t - why? What is he teaching you?

Proverbs 21:3

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to Yahweh than sacrifice.

We always look up to the people who sacrifice. Those who donate huge amounts of money, things like that.
But Yahweh is just looking for someone who will do the right thing, and show justice to others.
Can you do that for him?

Proverbs 21:5

The plans of the diligent surely lead to profit; and everyone who is hasty surely rushes to poverty.

Proverbs 21:9

It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than to share a house with a contentious woman.

This, from a man who had 300 wives. I guess not all of them were always great eh. Maybe he needed to hear this proverb back at him? “It is better to be a lowly peasant with one wife than to share a palace with 300 contentious women”.

Proverbs 21:13

Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he will also cry out, but shall not be heard.

Feel like God is ignoring you?
Is this why?

Proverbs 21:14

A gift in secret pacifies anger; and a bribe in the cloak, strong wrath.

Someone angry with you? Maybe you can give them a special gift?
Yeshua pacified Yahweh’s anger with us by becoming the gift himself. Our propitiation, (Romans 3, 1 John 2).

Proverbs 21:26

There are those who covet greedily all day long; but the righteous give and don’t withhold.

Giving, not hoarding, is the path to success.
Do you go down that road often? Or is it just an old dirt track that you walk past?

Proverbs 22:1

A good name is more desirable than great riches, and loving favor is better than silver and gold.

Not what the world says eh. My country is obsessed with owning super expensive houses. Young people will go into massive debt, multi-millions of dollars, so they can “own” a house, (the bank owns it, but they’re paying it off for 30 years). It is the reason they both go to work. They make huge sacrifices to afford this, and they are under huge financial pressure. But it is the guaranteed path to wealth.

But according to this proverb, there are things more important than wealth!
How much are you willing to sacrifice to get a good name? And what does verse 4 tell you about why you don’t have the wealth you crave?

And check out verse 7.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

These days I see so many parents who just want to get their child into day care, then off to school. All so they can get back to work and get that house paid off.
As a parent it is your responsibility to train your child. And if you push that off to other people, then in 20 or 30 years time, you can’t complain about how your child turned out to be such a lazy ratbag with no respect for you.

Proverbs 22:7

The rich rule over the poor. The borrower is servant to the lender.

That bank, which lent you millions to buy your house… is now your servant. Oh, not it’s the other way isn’t it. You are their servant. In fact, if your debt is big enough you’re actually their slave. You cannot afford to upset them. You have to do everything you can to make those payments or they will take away everything you worked for.

Is it worth renting to avoid this kind of enslavement?

Proverbs 22:13

The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I will be killed in the streets!”

Not sure what excuse they come up with these days. But for sure, the sluggard is still trying to justify their laziness with something.

Proverbs 22:16

Whoever oppresses the poor for his own increase and whoever gives to the rich, both come to poverty.

If you oppress the poor you become Yahweh’s enemy.
If you give to the rich, they just don’t care. They think you’re an idiot, because they would never do that themselves.
I was once invited to dinner by a rich friend who really likes wine. So as a “thank you” I took along what I thought was a pretty expensive bottle of wine.
He didn’t even look to see what it was, and just put it aside and didn’t even open it.

Proverbs 23:13-14

Don’t withhold correction from a child. If you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
Punish him with the rod, and save his soul from Sheol.

There have been several proverbs like this one along our journey. And we’re definitely not advocating beating children. But if you don’t correct your child, they will not learn the lesson while it is small, and when they are older it may well lead to premature death, or even worse… hell. That is surely not what you want for your child.
If they need correcting - correct them. Now.

Proverbs 23:23

Buy the truth, and don’t sell it. Get wisdom, discipline, and understanding.

Spend your money getting truth and wisdom. That is money well spent.
But … when you have it, give it to others without charging them. Treat it as your gift back to Yahweh.

Proverbs 23:31-32, 35

Don’t look at the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly. In the end, it bites like a snake, and poisons like a viper.

”They hit me, and I was not hurt! They beat me, and I don’t feel it! When will I wake up? I can do it again. I can find another.”

These days it’s more likely to be drugs.. that leads a young person into this danger. The world says it’s all OK. Hollywood encourages it as normal and fantastic fun. But in the end it will bite you like a snake. Leave it alone and walk away.

Proverbs 24:17-18

Don’t rejoice when your enemy falls. Don’t let your heart be glad when he is overthrown; lest Yahweh see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

Again, Hollywood teaches you to do exactly the opposite. But listen to this advice.
Love your enemy.

Proverbs 24:26

An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.

Proverbs 24:27

Prepare your work outside, and get your fields ready. Afterwards, build your house.

Make sure you have done what you need to have income and food. Then build your house.

Proverbs 24:33-34

a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep; so your poverty will come as a robber, and your want as an armed man.

You don’t need me to explain this to you.

Proverbs 25:6-7

Don’t exalt yourself in the presence of the king, or claim a place among great men; for it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen.

Don’t be proud. Don’t say, “look at me”.
Be humble, blend in. If you’re really as good as you think you are, someone will notice you and move you up.
If they don’t… maybe you’re not!

Proverbs 25:11

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

What a beautiful picture. Imagine the skill of a craftsman to make that kind of jewellery. Imagine how people would respond when they see it.
That’s what you’re making when you speak wise words at just the right time.

Proverbs 25:17

Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he be weary of you, and hate you.

Proverbs 25:21-22

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat. If he is thirsty, give him water to drink: for you will heap coals of fire on his head, and Yahweh will reward you.

Proverbs 26:1

Like snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.

Proverbs 26:2

Like a fluttering sparrow, like a darting swallow, so the undeserved curse doesn’t come to rest.

If you’re a Christian, nobody can curse you because you’re under Yeshua. Don’t let it stress you, just brush it off and forget it.

Proverbs 26:4-5

Don’t answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Comes down to how much you care about the fool. Are you willing to risk becoming like him in order to save him from his own ignorance?

Proverbs 26:11

As a dog that returns to his vomit, so is a fool who repeats his folly.

Have you ever seen a dog do that! I nearly vomited myself the first time I saw my little puppy do that.
And yet fools do worse all the time, by repeating the same foolish behaviour over and over.
I guess the difference between a wise person and a fool, is that the wise person learns from their mistakes and doesn’t repeat them.

Proverbs 26:12

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

You think you’re wise? Watch out - you might actually be worse than a fool.

Proverbs 26:22

The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels, they go down into the innermost parts.

Want to hear a secret?
I’m sure you do! Let me whisper it in your ear.

Proverbs 26:25-26

When his speech is charming, don’t believe him; for there are seven abominations in his heart. His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

Watch out for flattery.
Flatterers have motives, and they’re not good ones.

Proverbs 27:1

Don’t boast about tomorrow; for you don’t know what a day may bring.

Only Yahweh knows what will happen tomorrow.
James 4 tells us the same things. You say you’ll go here or there and make money, but you don’t even know if you’ll be alive tomorrow.
Instead, you ought to say, “If Yahweh is willing, and we should live, then we will do this or that.”

Proverbs 27:2

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

Even if you’re telling the truth… it’s still pride.
Do what you do for Yahweh to see, not so others will praise you. Then it doesn’t matter if nobody ever does. If you deserve it, then one day he will thank you.

Proverbs 27:9

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart; so does earnest counsel from a man’s friend.

Do any of your friends need to hear something?
If they’re really your friend, they’ll accept it when they see how you are motivated by your love for them.
Do you need to hear something? Do you have any friends you can ask who will tell you the truth?

Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend’s countenance.

Friends should be helping each other get rid of the rough edges. Friends should be saying things to each other, and not just covering things up and letting them simmer, rather than face the possibility of offending someone who should be grateful for the correction.

Proverbs 27:20

Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied; and a man’s eyes are never satisfied.

What do your eyes crave?
How can you get that under control?
How can you learn to tell them they’ve had enough?

Proverbs 28:1

The wicked flee when no one pursues; but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

What would you do if you got an anonymous letter in the mail. “We know what you have done. We are going to expose you.”
Would you have a nice relaxed day as if the letter had never come? Or is there something which would never leave your mind all day. Would you be looking at everyone you met, wondering if they were the ones who know?

Proverbs 28:6

Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, than he who is perverse in his ways, and he is rich.

So you just worry about your integrity. Let Yahweh worry about your wealth.

Proverbs 28:9

He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.

Is this why Yahweh isn’t answering your prayers?

Although, this was for Jews, and we’re Christians. Our prayers are answered because Yahweh looks down and sees Yeshua, not us.
But if you thought it might have been… maybe there is something you need to change.

Proverbs 28:13

He who conceals his sins doesn’t prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Want to tell someone something? At least tell Yahweh.

Proverbs 28:19

One who works his land will have an abundance of food; but one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.


Proverbs 28:23

One who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than one who flatters with the tongue.

At the time the other person might not take a loving rebuke very well… But usually the next day they will thank you.
If it’s your friend, you need to take the chance and tell them (for their sake).

Proverbs 29:11

A fool vents all of his anger, but a wise man brings himself under control.

Proverbs 29:12

If a ruler listens to lies, all of his officials are wicked.

Oh, I’ve seen this many times in business.
An easily flattered CEO has a staff of flatterers. And very little gets actually done because they’re just thinking of ways to suck up to the boss.
A harsh CEO has a staff who are all so scared that they constantly manipulate everything to make sure if it goes wrong they don’t get the blame. (And nothing ever goes right).
Are you dissatisfied with those under you? Look in the mirror.

Proverbs 29:20

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Think first, speak second.
Speak first, regret second.
Up to you.

Proverbs 30:4

Who has ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in his garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if you know?

Oh! Oh! Oh!… hand waving in the air… Ask me. Ask me. I know.

Proverbs 30:8-9

Remove falsehood and lies far from me. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that is needful for me; lest I be full, deny you, and say, ‘Who is Yahweh?’ or lest I be poor, and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

That’s a great prayer. We should all pray that one.

Proverbs 30:11

There is a generation that curses their father, and doesn’t bless their mother.
There is a generation that is pure in their own eyes, yet are not washed from their filthiness.

Feels like this is that generation.
The youth of today seems to think they know everything and their way is better than all who went before them. It feels like they have no respect for anyone over 30.

Proverbs 30:18-19

There are three things which are too amazing for me, four which I don’t understand: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent on a rock; the way of a ship in the middle of the sea; and the way of a man with a maiden.

Does anything amaze you?
Do you spend time thinking about things? Discussing them with others, searching for answers?
Or are you floating through life, just existing, until you die.

Proverbs 30:21-23

For three things the earth tremble, and under four, it can’t bear up: For a servant when he is king; a fool when he is filled with food; for an unloved woman when she is married; and a servant who is heir to her mistress.

What things make you think, “That’s just not right!”

Proverbs 30:24-28

There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are not a strong people, yet they provide their food in the summer. The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks. The locusts have no king, yet they advance in ranks. You can catch a lizard with your hands, yet it is in kings’ palaces.

Any little things amaze you?

Proverbs 30:10-29

Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband trusts in her. He shall have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works eagerly with her hands. She is like the merchant ships. She brings her bread from afar. She rises also while it is yet night, gives food to her household, and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field, and buys it. With the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard. She arms her waist with strength, and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp doesn’t go out by night. She lays her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her arms to the poor; yes, she extends her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes for herself carpets of tapestry. Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing. She laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom. Faithful instruction is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: ”Many women do noble things, but you excel them all.”

Proverbs 30:30

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears Yahweh, she shall be praised.

100% opposite the current world view.
It seems all they chase is charm and beauty. Fame. Things which all die with you, (or even before then).
None of which are the real you. None of which are valued by Yahweh.

After You Read

What verses really stood out to you?

How would you summarize this book in a sentence or two? What is it about? What is God trying to say to us?

Did any of those proverbs strike a chord with you?
Any new ones you’ve never seen where you thought, … yeah, I really should keep that one in mind and start living like that?

Any which convicted you that you need to stop doing something? Are you going to stop?

What if, instead of “wine”, it had said “drugs”?
What if, instead of “adulteress” it had said “pornography”?

What if you could get 15 minutes with King Solomon - would you just sit and listen, and let him drive the conversation?

Any recurring theme which stood out to you?
Pride maybe?
Your choice of friends?

What is your overriding life goal?
Is it the same as it was before you read Proverbs?
What are you willing to sacrifice to get it?

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