The collection of 30 sayings of the wise men conclude. And the Other Sayings of the Wise begin.
Don’t be envious of evil men. In the 30 Sayings of the Wise Men, it warns us three times against being envious of the wicked.
violence. Whether it is silent speech or violent actions, violence is part and parcel of the life of evil people.
a house is built. This might refer to constructing a literal house. Or the undertaking of any enterprise.
VERSE 4. by knowledge the rooms are filled with all rare and beautiful treasure.
great power. Wisdom gives us strength to accomplish our tasks.
NIV translation: So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers.
victory depends on having many advisers. Some Christian leaders as a sort of modern-day Moses or Paul: large and in-charge, totally in-tune with the movement of the Holy Spirit, surrounded by lesser people whose job is to “follow.”
Such people act as though they are unimpeachable. However, that is not the biblical model. In this verse we see that a leader needs advisors.
Even the modern-day super-genius Steve Jobs had a board of directors that he conferred with. He surrounded himself with fellow super-geniuses, people he could bounce ideas past. By making himself accountable to them, this did not diminish his role as undisputed leader. It enhanced it. He is considered one of the greatest CEOs of all time.
VERSE 7. Wisdom is too high for a fool: he doesn’t open his mouth in the gate.
a schemer. Some people are always scheming to harm others.
VERSE 9. The schemes of folly are sin. The mocker is detested by men.
in the time of trouble. If we act unwisely during a stressful time, then perhaps we were not wise all along.
NIV translation: Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
Rescue those being led away to death. There are real-world instances where people are being beaten to death. We could intervene to save their lives, although the risks to ourselves can be substantial.
For example, during World War II, some Christians in Germany sheltered Jewish people in their homes. The risks to themselves were severe. However, they literally rescued those being led away to death. They are true heroes of the faith.
VERSE 12. If you say, “Behold, we didn’t know this;” doesn’t he who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, doesn’t he know it? Shall he not render to every man according to his work?
sweet to your taste. In those days, honey was the sweetest substance known.
VERSE 14. so you shall know wisdom to be to your soul; if you have found it, then there will be a reward, your hope will not be cut off.
Don’t lay in wait. That is, don’t attack or rob other people.
VERSE 16. for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.
Don’t rejoice when your enemy falls. We are to love our enemies:
Job 42:10. The LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends. The LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Proverbs 24:17. Don’t rejoice when your enemy falls. Don’t let your heart be glad when he is overthrown;
Matthew 5:44. But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,
VERSE 18. lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
Don’t fret yourself because of evildoers. That is, fretting over what sinners have and do. Wanting to join them is wrong because they have no future hope.
Psalm 37:1. Don’t fret because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness.
VERSE 20. for there will be no reward to the evil man; and the lamp of the wicked shall be snuffed out.
and the king. A king can punish the unrighteous.
VERSE 22. for their calamity will rise suddenly; the destruction from them both—who knows?
SUMMARY: These verses present an additional six sayings of the wise men
partiality in judgment. The Bible condemns unjust judges.
VERSE 24. He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous;” peoples will curse him, and nations will abhor him—
VERSE 25. but it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and a rich blessing will come on them.
like a kiss on the lips. Honest words are a wonderful treasure.
your work outside. Most people in Israel were farmers. They first needed to tend to plowing and sowing and reaping and other farm work. Then they could attend to their house.
VERSE 28. Don’t be a witness against your neighbor without cause. Don’t deceive with your lips.
as he has done to me. Taking revenge through perjury is forbidden.
the sluggard. To be called a sluggard is a great biblical insult. Solomon often writes about the sluggardly person. Read more »
VERSE 31. Behold, it was all grown over with thorns. Its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.
I saw, and considered. A wise person not only sees, but also considers what was seen. They observe and consider and grow from it.
VERSE 33. a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep;
VERSE 34. so your poverty will come as a robber, and your want as an armed man.
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.