1 The wicked flee when no man pursues: but the righteous are bold as a lion. 2 For the transgression of a land many are its princes: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state of it will be prolonged. 3 A poor man that oppresses the poor is like a sweeping rain that leaves no food. 4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but those that keep the law contend with them.
- The wicked are those who follow the evil one, like Adam and Eve in Eden listened to the serpent instead of God.
- The ‘righteous’ are those who trust in God— the righteousness that comes from faith.
- When God is your strength and shield you can be bold as a lion.
- Nothing can harm you. In the books of Kings and Chronicles the upright kings who followed God reigned a long time while the wicked who followed evil did not.
- Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song I will praise him.
God gives His people to understand all things
5 Evil men do not understand justice: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
- Isaiah 48:3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went out of my mouth, and I showed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.
- John 14:26 But the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you.
6 Better is the poor that walks in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he is rich. 7 Whoever keeps the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men/feeds gluttons shames his father. 8 He that by usury and unjust gain increases his substance, he will gather it for him that will pity the poor. 9 He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer will be an abomination. 10 Whoever causes the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he himself will fall into his own pit: but the upright will possess good things.
- This is the answer to lack of things in this life. Follow God and what He says.
- Revelation 2:9 I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
11 The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that has understanding searches him out. 12 When righteous men rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden/sought for. 13 He that covers his sins will not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. 14 Happy is the man that fears always: but he that hardens his heart will fall into evil.
- We would be foolish not to fear one smart enough and powerful to create the universe.
- Fear is more than shaking in dread. It is a reverential awe and trust toward God.
- 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
15 As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people. 16 The leader that lacks understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hates covetousness will prolong his days. 17 A man that does violence to the blood of any person will flee to the pit; let no man sustain him.
- Let no person prevent the lawful execution of violent murderers.
- The leader that lacks understanding doesn’t understand that God is the source of life and security rather than money.
- He taxes heavily to provide his own security—that is oppression.
18 Whoever walks uprightly will be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways will fall at once. 19 He that tills his land will have plenty of bread: but he that follows after vain persons will have poverty enough. 20 A faithful man will abound with blessings: but he that hurries to be rich will not be innocent/unpunished. 21 To have respect of persons is not good: because for a piece of bread that man will transgress. 22 He that hurries to be rich has an evil eye, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him. 23 He that rebukes a man afterwards will find more favor than he that flatters with the tongue.
- Flattery puffs up pride.
- Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
- James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.
24 Whoever robs his father or his mother, and says, It is not transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer. 25 He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife: but he that puts his trust in the LORD will be made fat. 26 He that trusts in his own heart is a fool: but whoever walks wisely, he will be delivered. 27 He that gives to the poor will not lack: but he that hides his eyes will have many a curse. 28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.
- Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
- Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean unto your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
1 He that being often reproved hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed without remedy. 2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked rule, the people groan. 3 Whoever loves wisdom rejoices his father: but he that keeps company with harlots wastes his substance. 4 The king by judgment establishes the land: but he that receives gifts overthrows it.
- Just actions brings God’s blessing to a people.
- Wrong actions bring trouble and divine judgment to a nation.
- God gives people and nations to eat of the fruit of their doings.
- Isaiah 3:10 Say to the righteous, that it will be well with him: for they will eat the fruit of their doings. 11 Woe to the wicked! it will be ill with him: for the reward of his hands will be given to him.
- Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in judgment.
5 A man that flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet. 6 In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous sings and rejoices. 7 The righteous considers the cause of the poor: but the wicked does not discern knowledge. 8 Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath. 9 If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest. 10 The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul. 11 A fool utters all of his mind: but a wise man holding back quiets it.
- The human mind can remember 800 memories per second for 75 years without getting tired. It doesn’t forget anything. We just can’t recall it.
- Science also tells us that we use only 2% of our brain’s ability.
The LORD enlightens our eyes
12 If a ruler listens to lies, all his servants are wicked. 13 The poor and the deceitful man/usurer meet together: the LORD enlightens both their eyes. 14 The king that faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever. 15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.
- Jesus has made His own kings and priests to God forever.
- In John 1:9 we are told that Jesus enlightens every man that comes into the world.
- Revelation 1:6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases: but the righteous will see their fall. 17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul. 18 Where there is no vision, the people are exposed/naked: but he that keeps the law, happy is he. 19 A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understands he will not answer. 20 Do you see a man that is hasty in his words/matters? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 21 He that pampers his servant from his youth will in the end find him to be his son.
- No one has pampered us more than God.
- He has been patient, gentle, longsuffering and tender.
- He gave up all that He had to save us (John 3:16).
- He offers us everything that He has (Revelation 3:21, Revelation 21:7).
- Proverbs 3:11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights.
- Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory...
22 An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression. 23 A man’s pride will bring him low: but honor will uphold the humble in spirit. 24 Whoever is partner with a thief hates his own soul: he hears cursing, but tells nothing.
- Because God gives us to reap what we sow thieves will be stolen from and violent men will receive violence.
- Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.
The LORD sets on high those who trust in Him
25 The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the LORD will be safe/set on high. 26 Many seek the ruler’s favor; but every man’s judgment comes from the LORD. 27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.
- Today the people trust everyone but God and blame everyone but themselves.
- God’s word shows us that our problems and the problems of the world fall on our shoulders and ours alone because of choosing evil rather than God’s good.
- Therefore there is much reason for hope rather than hopelessness about the current status of our lives and the world.
- Seek God and listen to Him. He will bring to unimaginable blessings.
- Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.
1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the prophecy: the man spoke to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal, 2 Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man. 3 I did not learn wisdom or know the knowledge of the Holy One. 4 Who has ascended up to heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if you can tell?
- Agur means gathered. It was a fancy name for Solomon.
- The name Ithiel means God has arrived. Ucal means devour, from the word meaning 'to eat.'
- Matthew 1:21 And she will bring forth a son, and you will call his name JESUS: for he will save his people from their sins.
- John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
God is a shield to those that trust Him
5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield to them that put their trust in him. 6 Do not add to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar. 7 Two things I have required of you; do not deny me them before I die: 8 Remove vanity and lies far from me: give me neither poverty or riches; feed me with my allotted food: 9 Lest I be full, and deny you, and say, Who is the LORD? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
- This was a wise prayer.
- In Revelation we are warned of dire consequences of adding to God’s words.
- Revelation 22:18 For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
- Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
- Psalm 33:20 Our soul waits for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
10 Do not hurt a servant with your tongue to his master, lest he curse you, and you be found guilty. 11 There is a generation that curses their father, and does not bless their mother. 12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. 13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
- 2Timothy 3:1 Know this also, that in the last days perilous times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, without self-control, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it: from such turn away.
15 The leech has two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yes, four things that will not say, Enough: 16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that does not say, It is enough. 17 The eye that mocks at his father, and despises to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it. 18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yes, four things that I do not understand: 19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.
- We cannot tell how, or which way these four will go.
20 This is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats, and wipes her mouth, and says, I have done no wickedness.
- Evil, like the hiss of the serpent in Eden, is the source of wickedness.
- The adulterous woman’s way of life leads others straight to hell.
- How many sorrows and ruined lives are left in her path?
- Proverbs 7:27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
21 Under three things the earth is quakes, and under four it cannot bear up: 22 For a servant when he reigns; and a fool when he is filled with food; 23 For a unloved woman when she is married; and a handmaid that is heir to her mistress. 24 There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceeding wise: 25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer; 26 The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; 27 The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; 28 The lizard you can take with your hands, and is in kings’ palaces. 29 There are three things that are stately in their march, yes, four are stately in their walk: 30 A lion that is strongest among beasts, and does not retreat before any; 31 A strutting rooster/greyhound; a he goat; and a king when his army is with him.
- Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a garment dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
32 If you have done foolishly in lifting up yourself, or if you have thought evil, lay your hand on your mouth. 33 Surely the churning of milk brings forth butter, and the wringing of the nose brings forth blood: so the forcing of wrath brings forth strife.
1 The words of king Lemuel/one belonging to God, the prophecy that his mother taught him. 2 What, my son? And what, the son of my womb? And what, the son of my vows? 3 Do not give your strength to women or your ways to that which destroys kings. 4 It is not for kings, O one belonging to his God, it is not for kings to drink wine; or for princes strong drink: 5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to those whose life is bitter. 7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
- This scripture gives valid reasons for the use of wine and strong drink.
- Rabbinical scholars identify Lemuel as Solomon.
- What destroys kings is alcohol and women.
- Deuteronomy 17:18-20 instructed the king to write a copy of God’s words and read in it all the days of his life that he might rule rightly before God.
- Hosea 4:11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. (Wine and adultery take a man’s heart away from God. God is the source of life.)
8 Open your mouth for the dumb in the cause of all those that are appointed to destruction. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
- Kings/rulers/leaders are to speak for their people who cannot speak for themselves.
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above jewels /pearls/ rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts in her, that he will have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she brings her food from afar 15 She rises up while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16 She considers a field, and buys it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She wraps her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms. 18 She tastes/perceives that her merchandise is good: her candle does not go out by night. 19 She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
- She doesn’t spend all her husband’s earnings. She is productive. She is productive in the evenings also.
20 She stretches out her hand to the poor; yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet/double garments. 22 She makes herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes fine linen, and sells it; and delivers girdles to the merchant. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; and she will rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
- Proverbs 2:6 the LORD gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel them all. 30 Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the LORD, she will be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
- Verse 10 in the original Hebrew text begins an acrostic or alphabetical sequence with each of 22 letters beginning the extolling of another virtue of a wife with integrity.
- Proverbs 18:22 Whoever finds a wife/Ishah (the one designed by God for him) finds a gift of grace, and receives an object of delight from the LORD.
SUMMARY: Proverbs 28-31
- God gives His people to understand all things
- The LORD enlightens our eyes
- The LORD sets on high those who trust in Him
- God is a shield to those that trust Him