Proverbs 22:1-29 (NIV)
1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
2 Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.
3 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
4 Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.
5 In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them.
6 Train a]">[a] a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.
9 A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.
10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.
11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
12 The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.
13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside!" or, "I will be murdered in the streets!"
14 The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is under the LORD's wrath will fall into it.
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.
16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.
Sayings of the Wise17 Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach,
18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the LORD, I teach you today, even you.
20 Have I not written thirty b]">[b] sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge,
21 teaching you true and reliable words, so that you can give sound answers to him who sent you?
22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court,
23 for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.
24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered,
25 or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.
26 Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts;
27 if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.
28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.
29 Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.
5 examples of rod of anger failing:
1. Balak (Numbers 24:10)
2. Solomon (1 Kings 11:14, 23, 31, 40)
3. Ahaziah (2 Kings 1:9-17)
4. Sennacherib (2 Chronicles 32:21; Isaiah 30:31)
5. Haman (Esther 5:11-13; 7:10)
4 examples of overthrowing traitors:
1. Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:14)
2. Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14-16)
3. Ezra's opponents (Ezra 3:3, 3)
4. The Sanhedrin (Acts 5:34)
2 great evils that affect life:
1. Oppression of the poor to increase personal riches (Proverbs 22:16; James 2:6; 5:1-6)
2. Giving to the rich great gifts (aka bribes) to obtain personal favors (Proverbs 18:16; 22:16)
Both classes guilty of these evils will come to want because the poor are robbed in either case. While in the first, the poor are oppressed, in the second, the gifts given to the rich to secure favor should be given to the poor that they might be supplied.
In verses 17-21 there are no proverbs, but directions on how to profit by that which wisdom has already delivered, the nature of the instructions given, and purpose of which they were written:
3-fold command how to profit:
1. Bow down your ears (Proverbs 22:17)
2. Hear the words of the wise
3. Apply your heart to knowledge
4-fold purpose of these commands:
1. That one may receive personal pleasure and profit tot he soul (Proverbs 22:18)
2. That one may get experimental knowledge and be equipped to speak wisdom to others (Proverbs 22:18, 21)
3. That one may learn to trust in the LORD (Proverbs 22:19)
4. That one may know the absolute certainty of truth (Proverbs 22:21)
5-fold nature of the message:
1. The words of the wise (Proverbs 22:17)
2. Knowledge (Proverbs 22:17, 20)
3. Pleasant things (Proverbs 22:18)
4. Excellent things in counsels and knowledge (Proverbs 22:20)