The Word Made Fresh
1Those who love discipline also love knowledge.
Those who hate discipline are ignorant.
2Good people receive the LORD’s favor,
but those who plot evil are condemned.
3No one becomes safe by being evil,
but the foundation of those who are good cannot be removed.
4A wife of good character elevates her husband;
a shameful wife is like a weakness in his very bones.
5The righteous think fair thoughts;
the wicked think treacherous thoughts.
6The words spoken by wicked people are a daily source of destruction;
the words spoken by the upright uphold others.
7Those who are wicked will be done away with;
those who are righteous will survive.
8A good person is honored for good deeds;
a bad person is despised for evil ideas.
9It is better to be served as one who is unimportant
than to be self-important and starve to death.
10Good people know what their animals need;
bad people are merciless.
11Those who work the land will have plenty to eat;
but those who live aimless lives are senseless.
12Wicked people covet the gains of wickedness;
but only the gains of the righteous are worth having.
13Wicked people are entrapped by their own words;
but good people avoid that kind of trouble.
14A person’s good words will be rewarded
just as hard work will be rewarded.
15Fools always think they know the right way;
but those who are wise listen to good advice.
16A fool’s anger is instantly seen;
but the wise have learned how to ignore an insult.
17The one who speaks the truth speaks honestly;
but the one who does not only deceives.
18Rash words cut like the sword;
but the words of the wise bring healing.
19Honest words last;
lies last only a moment.
20The mind of those who plan evil are constantly full of lies;
but those who plan peace are always filled with joy.
21The righteous suffer no harm;
but trouble tracks down the wicked.
22The LORD detests those whose lips speak lies;
but delights in those who are faithful.
23The wise keep their wisdom to themselves;
but fools blabber about everything they know.
24Hands hard at work tend to rule
while the hands of the lazy are forced to labor for others.
25Criticism can weigh down a person’s heart,
but a good word can raise it up again.
26Good people give good advice;
bad people give bad advice.
27Lazy hunters don’t bother to prepare their game;
but those who are wise understand the true value of labor.
28Life awaits those who walk the righteous path;
and death is not to be seen there.
1: An oft-expressed sentiment in Proverbs is the idea that discipline is a necessary ingredient for a good life. What the Bible calls discipline we might often think of as punishment, but in Proverbs punishment is not necessarily a bad thing. A wise person accepts rebuke when it is appropriate (to love being rebuked is a bit out there, though).
2-3: Good (righteousness) contrasted with evil (wickedness) is the major theme of this section of the book.
4: The good wife is another theme that is mentioned a number of times; indeed, the book of Proverbs will end with a chapter extolling the virtues of the good wife.
5-10, 12-13, 21, 26, 28: More righteous/wicked comparisons.
11, 14, 24, 27: The virtue of hard work is often extolled.
15-16: The wise and the foolish compared.
17-20: The subject in these verses is truth-telling.
22: The difference between lying and acting faithfully is addressed here.
23: The blabbermouth is excoriated.
25-28: Handling anxiety and managing stress has always been a concern for people, even in those simpler days.
Every event in life is a learning experience. Being able to tell the difference between positive and negative learning is a key to spiritual growth.