Smorgasbord of random proverbs
- 10:1 Solomon’s proverbs.1
Wise children make their father proud.
Dimwits are a pain in their mother’s neck.
- 10:2 Getting rich by doing wrong produces a net loss.
Goodness, on the other hand, will save your life.
- 10:3 The LORD doesn’t let good people go hungry.
But he’ll ignore whatever bad people crave.
- 10:4 Laziness makes you end up poor.
Hard work is what makes you rich.
- 10:5 When summer harvest comes, you’re smart to work hard.
But if you catch Z’s instead, shame on you.
- 10:6 Blessings shower the head of a good person.
A bad person gets a punch in the mouth.2
- 10:7 Memories about good people are lovingly preserved.
Memories about bad people rot.
- 10:8 Wise people listen and obey instructions.
Fools can’t stop talking, and it ruins their lives.
- 10:9 People with integrity walk safely through life.
But the person driving crooked, is going to get pulled over.
Fools can’t stop talking
- 10:10 People who wink3 at bad behavior make the matter worse.
Fools can’t stop talking, and it ruins their life.4
- 10:11 When good people talk, their words are a fountain of life.
Bad people fill their mouth with violence.
- 10:12 Hatred exacerbates trouble.
Love evaporates it.
- 10:13 Wisdom falls from the lips of folks who understand a thing or two.
A rod falls across the back of folks who don’t.
- 10:14 Wise people stockpile knowledge like treasure in a bank.
Foolish people run their mouth to disaster.
- 10:15 The rich take shelter in their wealth.
The poor live in poverty among their ruins.
- 10:16 On payday, good and godly people get to live.
Bad people get punished.
- 10:17 You’re on the right path if you’re willing to learn.
But you’ll get lost if you don’t let people steer you in the right direction.
Hidden hate sneaks past your lips
- 10:18 You think you hide your hatred,
But it sneaks past your lips as lies,
And as slandering by a fool.
- 10:19 The more you talk,
The more likely you are to say something dumb.
Be smart. Don’t talk so much.
- 10:20 When good people talk, what they say is worth more than silver.
People bad to the bone got nothin’.
- 10:21 When good people talk, they nourish others.
Fools kill themselves with stupidity.
- 10:22 The LORD blesses people by making them rich.
And he doesn’t apologize for it.
- 10:23 Bad people enjoy doing bad things.
Smart people enjoy doing smart things.
- 10:24 What bad people fear is what they’ll get.
What good people want is what they’ll receive.
- 10:25 When the storm is over, bad folks are dead and gone.
Good folks have a basement. They live on, with a solid foundation.
Lazy people are smoke in the eyes
- 10:26 A lazy employee is as unsettling as,
Sucking on vinegar,
Or getting smoke blown in your eyes.
- 10:27 People live longer when they respect the LORD.
The bad die young.
- 10:28 Good people can look forward to happiness.
Bad people can look forward. But nothing’s there.
- 10:29 Good people are safe on God’s path.
Bad people can’t stay on the road.
- 10:30 Good people will never get shaken from their land.
Bad people aren’t allowed to live there.
- 10:31 Good people give wise advice.
Lying tongues get cut off.
- 10:32 Good and godly people say the right thing at the right time.
Bad people talk like perverts.
More literally, “Proverbs of Solomon.” That’s a vague way to phrase it. It could mean the proverbs were by Solomon, for Solomon, about Solomon, or devoted to Solomon, among other possibilities. Students of the Bible, for a long time, said Solomon wrote Proverbs. They were encouraged by 1 Kings 3:6-12. There’s where God promised to answer the new king’s prayer for wisdom by making him wiser than anyone who had ever lived. And 1 Kings 4:32 says Solomon wrote 3,000 proverbs. The Book of Proverbs has less than 1,000. Solomon starts off reigning with lots of wisdom, but he ends up worshiping idols of his too-many wives (1 Kings 11). Some of the proverbs come from other sources, as the proverbs themselves report. For example, some otherwise unknown king named Lemuel reportedly wrote Proverbs 31. Actually, it sounds like his mother wrote it for him. He credits her with the insight. Some scholars would credit her with the words, given what is said about women.
More literally, “the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” That puzzles many Bible experts, it doesn’t seem to parallel the first line. Parallel lines that repeat or contrast are customary in Hebrew poetry, much like rhyming is in much of English poetry. But some scholars say the line could be translated as “violence fills the mouth of the wicked.” That would seem to work as a parallel line, contrasting with the first line. Good people get blessed. Bad people get blasted.
This is a guess. Scholars say it’s unclear what kind of wink the writer is talking about. Magical? Deceptive? Insincere? We can probably rule out that it’s flirting and code for “Hey there, cutie.”
Déjà vu. This line repeats the last line in 10:8. Some Bible scholars wonder out loud if an editor was trying to create a unifying theme in a collection of proverbs no more united than a wok full of fortune cookies. That’s a common question about a variety of proverbs that don’t seem to make much sense and they don’t read like poetry.