Proverbs 14:8-20

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Proverbs 14

III. The Proverbs of Solomon (10:1 - 22:16)

A. Proverbs contrasting righteous and wicked living (10:1 - 15:33)

10:1 - 22:16 - The central portion of the book contains 375 of Solomon's proverbs. These proverbs are general principles and guidelines that may have exceptions. They are true as general rules.

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand (i.e. discern, give thought to) his way (he considers the things he does and the path he is taking in life): but the folly (i.e. foolishness) of fools is deceit (Fools foolishly avoid considering the things they do and the paths they are taking. "The foolish man constantly strives for personal advantage and, to that end, constantly seeks to deceive others for what he perceives as an advantage" A Commentary on Proverbs by Peter A. Stevenson, BJU Press.).

9 Fools make a mock at sin (i.e. at the guilt sin brings. It can instead be understood as sin (or guilt) mocks fools; as a result they do not experience God's favor or grace): but among the righteous there is favour (They do not make a mock of sin, and sin does not make a mock of them; instead, they enjoy God's favor or grace.).

10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness (others do not understand the depths of your feelings.); and a stranger doth not intermeddle with (i.e. does not share) his joy.

11 The house (speaks of the anticipated permanent dwelling place) of the wicked shall be overthrown (i.e. destroyed, likely as a result of God's judgment): but the tabernacle (i.e. tent - it speaks of the temporary dwelling place) of the upright shall flourish (i.e. will do well because it has God's blessing on it.).

12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Repeated in Proverbs 16:25 . "A shortcut to success may be a false trail leading to destruction." - Ryrie Study Bible).

13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness (Laughter may provide temporary relief but it doesn't make the problem go away.).

14 The backslider in heart (might this be a reference to a carnal Christian?) shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself (i.e. with what is in himself. He is satisfied with life as he perceives it but has no thought of the future.).

15 The simple believeth every word (He believes whatever he is told. He does not look before he leaps into something. He does not carefully consider things.): but the prudent man looketh well to his going (He looks before he leaps into something. He carefully considers things.).

16 A wise man feareth (the LORD), and departeth from evil (He turns away from wickedness.): but the fool rageth (i.e. displays anger, is hot headed), and is confident (i.e. careless, reckless. He does not fear the LORD, and he does not depart from evil. He forges ahead in his evil ways.).

17 He that is soon angry (quick tempered, hot headed) dealeth (i.e. acts) foolishly (He is rash and impetuous.): and a man of wicked devices (i.e. a crafty man, a man of wicked intentions, a man of evil or wicked plans, a man of evil or mischievous devices) is hated (by those against whom he has devised his wicked plans).

18 The simple (i.e. naive) inherit folly (i.e. foolishness): but the prudent (those who have good sense) are crowned (i.e. surrounded, encircled) with knowledge (Those who sow foolishness reap more foolishness; whereas, those who sow lives characterized by prudence, reap knowledge.).

19 The evil bow before the good; and the wicked (bow down) at the gates of the righteous (This is a general statement, and there seem to be some exceptions. It is generally true because good men have God's blessing on them, e.g. Daniel, Joseph, David).

20 The poor is hated even of his own neighbour (They don't see how the poor can benefit them.): but the rich hath many friends (They think they can benefit from the rich.).