The collection of 375 short pithy sayings of Solomon continues in this chapter.
An unfriendly man. Some people are so selfish that they withdraw into themselves and are unfriendly.
defies all sound judgment. The Hebrew word for “defies” is laag. It is also translated as “mocks.” A selfish person “mocks” sound judgment.
no delight in understanding. A fool has a closed mind. He does not want to gain wisdom.
revealing his own opinion. A fool has an open mouth. He only wants to share his own views.
VERSE 3. When wickedness comes, contempt also comes, and with shame comes disgrace.
like deep waters. Possibly “like water in a cistern,” as in “hidden” or “difficult to access.”
like a flowing brook. When wise people share their views, their words are helpful and refreshing.
VERSE 5. To be partial to the faces of the wicked is not good, nor to deprive the innocent of justice.
A fool’s lips come into strife. The words of a fool lead him into trouble.
his mouth invites beatings. The words of a fool upset people. They might feel like they want to strike back.
VERSE 7. A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
dainty morsels. Many people are attracted to gossip.
slack in his work. People who are slack in their work are doing a poor job and leaving things unfinished. Their effect is like destruction.
This verse and the next one compare the security of a righteous person with that of a rich person:
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This verse and the previous one compare the security of a righteous person with that of a rich person:
VERSE 12. Before destruction the heart of man is proud, but before honor is humility.
answers before he hears. Some people blurt out whatever is on their mind. They do not filter what they say. Nor do they listen carefully to what is being said to them.
that is folly and shame. Inevitably such people say foolish things and bring shame upon themselves.
VERSE 14. A man’s spirit will sustain him in sickness, but a crushed spirit, who can bear?
gets knowledge. Intelligent people are continually learning more and more.
seeks knowledge. Intelligent people seek out more knowledge.
gift makes room. God’s gifts to the individual might bring about success and fulfillment.
pleads his cause. This is addressing lawsuits.
The lot. Sometimes decisions were made by casting lots. That is, by rolling dice. They give a yes-or-no answer.
Proverbs 16:33. The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.
Proverbs 18:18. The lot settles disputes, and keeps strong ones apart.
Esther 3:7. In the first month, which is the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, and chose the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
Acts 1:26. They drew lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles.
A brother. The Hebrew word can mean friend or blood relative.
VERSE 20. A man’s stomach is filled with the fruit of his mouth. With the harvest of his lips he is satisfied.
VERSE 21. Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.
NAB translation: He who finds a wife finds happiness; it is a favor he receives from the LORD.
He who finds a wife finds happiness. Many godly men have claimed this verse, in prayer, by faith, as they wait for a godly woman.
the rich answer harshly. Rich people often exhibit very little empathy. Arrogant treatment of less fortunate people is wrong.
VERSE 24. A man of many companions may be ruined, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.