Proverbs 20:11-24

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Proverbs 20

11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them. (By listening to what someone says and observing what he does you will be able to discern if his work is pure. Both senses of hearing and seeing should be used.)

13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread. (Laziness results in sleeping when one should be working and results in poverty.)

14 It is naught (no good), it is naught (no good), saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth. (A common tactic of a shrewd buyer is to downplay the value of something being sold to the one attempting to sell it in order to get the seller to lower the price.)

15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. (Wise speech is the best adornment a person can have.)

16 Take his garment that is surety (i.e. co-signer) for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman. Bible Knowledge Commentary = A debtor's outer garment could be taken by a creditor as collateral to guarantee that the debtor would pay (Exodus 22:26 ). Here a creditor is commanded to take the garment of a person who cosigns for a stranger, especially if the stranger is a wayward woman. Obviously without the garment as a pledge the creditor is taking a big risk that he may never be paid by the debtor or the cosigner.]

17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel. Deceit does not produce good results in the long run.

18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

19 He that goeth about as a talebearer (i.e. a slanderer) revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not (i.e. do not associate) with him that flattereth with his lips. (Stevenson = The advice is practical: a man who slanders others to you will likely slander you to them. Have nothing to do with him!) Since gossiping betrays a confidence . . ., a person ought to be careful with whom he shares secrets. If a person talks about others to you, you can be certain he will talk about you to others.

20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness. [Under the Mosaic Law cursing one's father or mother was a capital offense. Exodus 21:17 says, And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.]

21 An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed. [An inheritance quickly gained may refer to getting one's inheritance prematurely by request, as in the case of the Prodigal Son or by dishonesty. Such wealth may be squandered and often squelches initiative and work. As a result, the recipient is not blessed at the end, or later, i.e. in the long run.]

22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee. (Stevenson = The idea is that we rely on the Lord to right the wrongs of this life that affect us.)

23 Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.

24 Man's goings (i.e. steps) are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way? (Stevenson = The rhetorical question makes the point that no man understands the full significance of events that happen to him. We do not have the eternal perspective necessary for such conclusions.) [He really cannot understand his own way. Therefore, rather than trying to manipulate things to get his own way, he ought to seek the Lord's direction(BBC), especially in light of the Lord's sovereignty in a situation (BKC).]

[Abraham was promised a son, but he did not wait for the Lord. He fathered a son through Hagar at Sarai's request. Eventually God caused Sarah to conceive Isaac.]