Wisdom for Today
1The wisdom of Solomon: # 10:1 The title of this section starting with Prov. 10 indicates a different form. Solomon’s four hundred sayings of wisdom fill this section, going through 22:16. This compilation is an assorted collection of proverbs that is not easily outlined but is profound in its scope.
When wisdom comes to a son,
joy comes to a father.
When a son turns from wisdom,
a mother grieves.
2Gaining wealth through dishonesty # 10:2 Or “the treasures of wickedness.” is no gain at all.
But honesty brings you a lasting happiness. # 10:2 Or “Righteousness [honesty] delivers you from death.”
3The Lord satisfies the longings of all his lovers, # 10:3 Or “satisfies the souls of the righteous.”
but he withholds from the wicked what their souls crave. # 10:3 The Aramaic is “the property of the evil he demolishes.”
4Slackers will know what it means to be poor,
while the hard worker becomes wealthy.
5Know the importance of the season you’re in
and a wise son you will be.
But what a waste when an incompetent son
sleeps through his day of opportunity! # 10:5 Or “To gather in the summer is to be a wise son, but to sleep through the harvest is a disgrace.”
6The lover of God is enriched beyond belief,
but the evil man only curses his luck. # 10:6 The Hebrew is ambiguous and is literally translated “the mouth of the wicked covers violence.”
7The reputation of the righteous
becomes a sweet memorial to him,
while the wicked life only leaves a rotten stench. # 10:7 Some Hebrew manuscripts and the Aramaic read “the name of the wicked will be extinguished.”
8The heart of the wise will easily accept instruction.
But those who do all the talking
are too busy to listen and learn.
They’ll just keep stumbling ahead
into the mess they created.
9The one who walks in integrity # 10:9 Or “innocence.” The Aramaic is “He who walks in perfection walks in hope.”
will experience a fearless confidence in life,
but the one who is devious
will eventually be exposed.
10The troublemaker always has a clever plan
and won’t look you in the eye,
but the one who speaks correction honestly
can be trusted to make peace. # 10:10 As translated from the Septuagint. The Hebrew is “the babbling fool comes to ruin.”
11The teachings of the lovers of God are like
living truth flowing from the fountain of life,
but the words of the wicked
hide an ulterior motive. # 10:11 Or “hide violence.”
12Hatred keeps old quarrels alive, # 10:12 The Aramaic is “Hatred stirs up judgment.”
but love draws a veil over every insult # 10:12 Love will cover up offenses against us, but never our own offenses.
and finds a way to make sin disappear.
13Words of wisdom flow from the one with true discernment.
But to the heartless, words of wisdom
become like rods beating their backside.
14Wise men don’t divulge all that they know, # 10:14 Or “Those who are wise store up knowledge [like treasure].”
but chattering fools blurt out words
that bring them to the brink of ruin.
15A rich man’s wealth becomes like a citadel of strength, # 10:15 Or “his fortified city.”
but the poverty of the poor leaves their security in shambles.
16The lovers of God earn their wages for a life of righteousness,
but the wages of the wicked are squandered on a life of sin. # 10:16 Or “their harvest of wickedness.”
17If you readily receive correction,
you are walking on the path to life.
But if you reject rebuke,
you’re guaranteed to go astray. # 10:17 The Aramaic is even more blunt: “Reject rebuke and you’re a moron!”
18The one who hides his hatred while pretending to be your friend
is nothing but a liar.
But the one who slanders you behind your back
proves that he’s a fool, never to be trusted.
19If you keep talking, it won’t be long
before you’re saying something really wrong.
Prove you’re wise from the very start—
just bite your tongue and be strong!
20The teachings of the godly ones are like pure silver,
bringing words of redemption to others, # 10:20 Or “The tongue of the just is like choice silver.” Silver is a metaphor for redemption.
but the heart of the wicked is corrupt.
21The lovers of God feed many with their teachings, # 10:21 The Aramaic is “The lips of the righteous multiply mercy.”
but the foolish ones starve themselves
for lack of an understanding heart.
22True enrichment comes from the blessing of the Lord,
with rest and contentment # 10:22 Or “with no labor or sorrow attached.” in knowing
that it all comes from him.
23The fool # 10:23 The word translated “fool” means “moron” in the Aramaic. finds fun in planning to do wrong,
but the wise delight in having discernment.
24The lawless are haunted by their fears
and what they dread will come upon them, # 10:24 This speaks of the consequences of sin. There is a Judge who sees all that we do and will call us to account one day.
but the longings of the lovers of God will all be fulfilled.
25The wicked are blown away by every stormy wind.
But when a catastrophe comes,
the lovers of God have a secure anchor.
26To trust a lazy person to get a job done
will be as irritating as smoke in your eyes—
as enjoyable as a toothache!
27Living in the worship and awe of God
will bring you many years of contented living.
So how could the wicked ever expect to have a long, happy life?
28Lovers of God have a joyful feast of gladness,
but the ungodly see their hopes vanish right before their eyes.
29The beautiful ways of God are a safe resting place
for those who have integrity. # 10:29 The Aramaic is “The way of Yahweh is power to the perfect.”
But to those who work wickedness
the ways of God spell doom.
30God’s lover can never be greatly shaken.
But the wicked will never inherit
the covenant blessings. # 10:30 Or “land.” This is metaphor for all of the covenantal blessings.
31The teachings of the righteous are loaded with wisdom,
but the words of the evil ones are crooked and perverse.
32Words that bring delight pour from the lips of the godly,
but the words of the wicked are duplicitous.