+ THE BOOK OF PROVERBS +
A Bible Study

Date

If Solomon is granted a prominent role in the book, (which we believe he is) most of Proverbs would stem from the 10th century BC during the time of Israel's united kingdom. The peace and prosperity of that era accord well with the development of reflective wisdom and the production of literary works.

Authors

Although Proverbs begins with a title ascribing the book of Proverbs to Solomon, it is clear from later chapters that he was not the only author of the book. Proverbs 22:17 refers to the "sayings of the wise" and Proverbs 24:23 mention additional "sayings of the wise.” The pre­sence of an introduction in 22:17-21, further indicates that these sections are from a circle of wise men, not from Solomon himself. Chapter 30 is attributed to Agur son of Jekeh and 31:1-9 to King Lemuel, neither of whom is mentioned elsewhere. It is interesting to note that Lemuel's sayings contain several Aramaic spellings that point to a non‑Israelite background. Most of the book of Proverbs, however, is closely linked to King Solomon.

Purpose of Proverbs

Proverbs was written to give "prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young" (1:4) and to make wise men wiser (1:5). The frequent references to "my son" (1:8, 10; 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1) emphasize instructing the youth and guiding them into a happy and prosperous life. Acquiring wisdom and knowing how to avoid pitfalls of folly will lead to health and success. Although Proverbs is a practical book dealing with the art of living, it bases wisdom solidly on the fear of the Lord (1:7). Throughout the book this reference for God is set forth as the path to life and security (cf. 3:5; 9:l0; 22:4). People must trust in the Lord (3:5) and not in themselves 28:26). The reference to the "tree of life" (3:18; 11:30; 13:12) recall the joyful bliss of the Garden of Eden and figuratively say that the one who finds wisdom will be greatly blessed.

Outline

I.     Introduction  1:1-7
II.     Lessons On Wisdom 1:8-9:18
III.     Proverbs Of Solomon 10:10-22:16
IV.     Two Collections Of Sayings Of Wise Men  22:17-24:34
V.     More Of Solomon's Wisdom (Hezekiah's Collection)             25-29
VI.     Sayings Of Agur 30
VII.     Sayings Of King Lemuel 31:1-9
VIII.     The Perfect Wife 31:10-31

Table of Contents

1.     The Purpose Of The Book Of Proverbs

2.     Evil Companions

3.     Discipline - Correction - Criticism (Constructive)

4.     Fools

5.     Friends

6.     God

7.     Godly-Righteous

8.     The Government

9.     Home & Family

10.  Vices

11.  Virtues

1. THE PURPOSE OF THE BOOK OF PROVERBS

The opening verses of Proverbs, written by "Solomon, David's son, King of Israel" state his purpose in writing this book under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Christian parents are to impart the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ to their offspring; they are to train the young in the way which they should go and prepare them to live fruitful, productive and godly lives.  The people of God are enabled then by the Holy Spirit and empowered by the Gospel, to impart wisdom, to be righteous, just and fair.

A. The Purpose of Proverbs

"The Proverbs of Solomon, David's son, king of Israel: to give people wisdom and discipline, to understand intelligent speech, and to learn the discipline of understanding, to be righteous, just and fair. They should make the simple shrewd and give young people knowledge and skill.” 1:1-4

B. Advice

"Give advice to a wise man and he'll be wiser still. Teach a righteous man and he'll learn the more.” 9:9 

"It is intelligent to keep one's counsel." 11:12b

"Where there's nobody to lead them. An army will fall, but many advisors can save it." 11:14

"If you shun making rash bargains you're safe." 11:15b

"Those who take advice are wise " 13:10b

"Plans go wrong without advice, but with many advisers they succeed" 15:22

"Listen to advice and take criticism if you want to be wise the rest of your life.” 19:20

"Advice brings plans to realization; with shrewd guidance one carries on a war. " 20 :18

"A man who listens to advice may speak.” 21:18b

2. EVIL COMPANIONS

"Tell me with whom you associate, and I will tell you who you are.” The Book of Proverbs bears out that old saying in a power­ful and telling manner. Those with whom we have to do in life can radically influence us either for good or for evil. Too often children and teens believe their parents are trying to "run their lives, " when they warn them against certain companions. Failing to heed such warnings can result in a lifetime of misery and feelings of guilt. Reading Proverbs on EVIL COMPANIONS can help today's Christian young person as well as parents avoid the pitfalls that damage and destroy so many. It's as true now as when inspired Solomon wrote it 3,000 years ago.

A. Companions, Evil

"Walk with wise men and you'll be wise; but keep company with fools and you'll suffer for it.” 13:20

"Don't be a friend of one who has a temper, and don't accompany a hothead, or you will learn his ways and get yourself into a trap." 22:24, 25

"Don't envy men or wish you were with them, because they're busy planning crime, and what they say brings misery to others.” 24:1, 2

"Fear the Lord, my son, and the king: don't mix with those who insist on change.” 24:21

"Like a spring trampled by animals and a polluted well is a righteous person who yields to the wicked.” 25:26

"If anyone leads good people astray, he will fall into his own pit, but the innocent will inherit prosperity.” 28:10

3. DISCIPLINE - CORRECTION - CRITICISM (CONSTRUCTIVE)

The nation's correctional institutions are populated with inmates who were never disciplined or corrected or who were always allowed "to do their own thing.” Many in our society are crude, disrespectful and obnoxious because "they just growed up like Topsy."  Many parents of our day have allowed their offspring to reach adulthood without ever criticizing or correcting or restraining their rebellious destructive ways. Many have never experienced the blessings of a good spanking administrated by loving parents at a critical stage in their lives. This section deals with issues like these.

"Like a gold ring and a necklace of fine gold is a wise criticism to those of the ear of the one who listens." 25:12

"A wicked person...dies because he had no discipline.” 5:22a, 23a

"If you correct a scoffer, you get insulted. If you criticize a wicked person, you get hurt. Don't correct a scoffer or he will hate you; correct a wise person and he will love you.” 9:7, 8

"If you practice discipline you're on the way to life, and if you ignore criticism you'll go wrong.” 10:17

"If you delight in discipline, you'll love to learn; but a stupid person refuses correction.” 12:1

"If you despise a word of warning you'll pay the penalty for it.” 13:13a

"Anyone who hates criticism will die.” 15:10b

"Criticism to an intelligent person has more effect than a hundred lashes on a fool.” 17:10

"When a scoffer is punished, a simple person gets wiser.” 21:11a

Open criticism is better than hidden love. Well meant are the wounds made by a friend, but an enemy's kisses are too much to bear.” 27:5, 6  

"Criticize a man, and afterwards he'll be kinder than if you had flattered him." 28:23

4. FOOLS

The title of this section has a rather jarring effect on our ears! At the same time, who of us would argue that all too often we are the victims of our own foolishness or of the foolishness of others. Every reader can profit greatly from this section by practicing some real introspection. One is reminded of Poet Robert Burns who wrote: "O wad some power the gift to see ourselves as others see us" No book of Scripture deals as extensively with the subject of this section as does Proverbs.

"Better to meet a bear robbed of her young than a fool involved with his nonsense.” 17:12

"Fools despise wisdom and training.” 1:7b

"Fools will bear disgrace.” 3:35b

"A rod is for the back of one who has no sense...a fool's mouth threatens ruin.” 10:13b, 14b

"Anyone who reveals hatred with lying lips is a fool, as is the person who spreads slander.” 10:23a

"Fools die for lack of sense.” 10:21b

"Doing something lewd is fun for a fool.” 10:23a

"Being a fool you will be a slave for the wise.” 11:29b

"A fool considers his own way right.” 12:15a

"When a fool is irritated, he shows it immediately.” 12:16a

"'The stupidity of fools misleads them.” 14:8b

"A fool scorns guilt.” 14:9a

"Fine talk doesn't fit a fool.” 17:7a

"'The mouth of fools pours out nonsense.” 15:2b

"A fool scorns his father's correction" 15:5a

"Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he doesn't have a mind to grasp it?" 17:16

"Even a fool is thought wise if he remains silent, and considered intelligent if he keeps his lips closed.” 17:28

"A fool doesn't delight in reasoning but only in expressing what he thinks.” 18:2

"By talking, a fool gets into a quarrel, and his mouth calls out for beating. A fool's mouth ruins him, and his lips trap him." 18:6, 7

“When a man by his own foolishness is a failure, his heart rages against the Lord.” 19:3

"Any fool can start a fight.” 20:3b

"Don't talk to a fool because he will despise the wise things you say.” 23:9

“The purpose of a fool is sin. A scoffer gets hated by everyone.” 24:9

"A stone is heavy and sand weighs much, but a fool's annoyance is heavier than both.” 27:3

“When a wise person argues with a fool, the fool may rage or laugh without fear.” 29:9

"A fool expresses all his emotion, but a wise person holds it back.” 29:11

5. FRIENDS

We all need friendship. We need others to share life's ups and downs, to be there for us, to cry on their shoulder, to pray for us. Who are your friends? We have many who are close to us but those who we can count on when the chips are really down can probably be counted on one hand. Our greatest friend is our Lord and Savior Jesus, the FRIEND of sinners. Here the book of Proverbs tells us what a friend is all about.

"A friend will always love you, and a brother is born to share trouble.” 17:17

"A man and his friends can destroy one another, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” 18:24

"Step infrequently into your neighbor's house, or he'11 see too much of you and hate you.” 25:17

"Well meant are the wounds of a friend, but an enemy's kisses are too much to bear.” 27:6

"Perfume and incense may delight the heart, but look, the sweetness of a friend is an aromatic forest.  Don't forsake your friend or your father's friend...When anyone gets up early in the morning and blesses his friend in a loud voice, the friend may consider it a curse.” 27:9, 10a, 14

6. GOD

Does God exist? How did the universe come into being? What about the world of animals, birds and insects? What about God's Son? Does God become angry? Does He discipline us? Is He watching us? Are we to respect Him? Does He call us to account? What about His name, his providence? Are we to search for Him? Does He test our heart? Should we put our trust in Him? Is our victory in Him? What about vows made to Him? Is His Word reliable? Solomon responds to all of these questions in this GOD chapter.

A. God-The Creator

"By wisdom the Lord laid the foundations of the earth, and by understanding, He set up the sky. By His knowledge the deep waters broke out and the clouds dropped dew.” 3:19, 20

"The Lord has made everything for its own purpose.” 16:4a

"A hearing ear and a seeing eye, the Lord made both of them.” 20:12

"A rich man and poor man meet, the Lord made them both.” 22:2

B. God's Son

"The Lord became My Father at the beginning of His way, long before any of His works. I was set up from everlasting, from the first, before the earth was. Before there was any ocean, I was born, before there were springs, or sources of water. Before the mountains were settled in their places and before the hills, I was. When He hadn't yet made 1and or gravel or the mass of soil in the world, when He set up the heavens, I was there. When He made the horizon on the surface of the ocean, when He set limits for the sea and wouldn't let the water flow farther than He ordered, when He set up the foundations of the earth then I was beside Him as a master workman. From day to day I was delighted, always happy before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and delighted with human beings.” 8:22-31

C. God-The Anger of

"The Lord hates the thoughts of an evil man, but friendly words are pure.” 15:26

"The mouth of adulterous women is a deep pit; anyone with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.” 22:14

D. God-The Eyes of

"The Lord's eyes see the road every person takes; He observes all his paths.” 5:21

"The Lord's eyes are everywhere, watching the wicked and the good.” 15:3

"The Lord's eyes are watching over knowledge.” 22:12a

E. God-The Fear of

"Fearing the Lord is the best way to know anything.” 1:7a

"They...would rather not fear the Lord.” 1:29b

"Then you will know how to fear the Lord and will get to know God.” 2:5 (read 2:1-4 first)

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” 9:10

"The man who lives right fears the Lord, but if you live wrong you'll despise Him.” 14:2

When you fear the Lord, you are trained in wisdom.” 15:33a

"Fearing the Lord leads to life.” 19:23a

F. God-The Justice of

"The Lord hates everyone who is proud; let me assure you he will not escape punishment.” 16:5

"Don't rob the weak because he's helpless or tramp on the rights of the needy at the gate, because the Lord will defend them and will rob the life of those who rob them.” 22:22, 23

"If you say, 'Look this isn't our business,' won't He who weighs hearts consider it? And He who guards your life, won't He know it?" 24:12

"Many want a ruler to be kind to them, but justice comes from the Lord.” 29:26

"An eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother will be picked out by the crows in the valley and eaten by vultures.” 30:17

G. God's Name

"The Lord's name is a strong tower; a righteous person runs into it and is safe.” 16:10

H. God-The Providence of

"A lot is cast into a lap, but how it will come out is decided by the Lord." 16:33

"Lambs will provide you with clothes, and the money you get for the goats will buy a field. There will be enough goat's milk to feed you and your family and it will keep your maids alive.” 27:26, 27

I. God-Tests Hearts

"Like a crucible for silver and a smelter for gold, the Lord tests the hearts of men.” 17:3

J. God-Trust in

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don't depend on your own wisdom. Acknowledge Him in everything you do, and He will make your paths smooth.” 3:5-6

"Don't be afraid of anything that could suddenly terrify you or of the destruction of the wicked when it comes, because you trust the Lord and He will keep your foot from getting caught.” 3:25, 26

"Happy is the man who trusts in the Lord.” 16:20b

"Don't think you can pay back evil for evil; trust the Lord and He will save you.” 20:22

"I'm telling you this today, yes you, so that you will trust in the Lord.” 22:19

"A greedy person stirs up trouble, but one who trusts the Lord will prosper.” 28:25

"A man's fear lays a trap for him, but one who trusts the Lord is protected.” 29:25

Everything God said has proved to be true. He's a shield to those who come to Him for protection.” 20:5

K. God-Victory is of

"Horses may be made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” 21:31

L. God-Word of

"Everything God said has proved to be true...Don't add anything to what He says or He will correct you, and you will be found a liar.” 20:5a, 6  

7. GODLY - RIGHTEOUS

Does it pay to be a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior from sin? Does it pay to live a godly life, to speak as it becomes a follower of Jesus, to treat enemies with forgiveness and love, and to walk in the ways of the Lord? Solomon responds at length and in a very positive manner to these questions for the encouragement of all who believe in and love the Lord Jesus.

A. Godly-The Righteous  

"The thoughts of the righteous are honest.” 12:5a

"A fine understanding is gracious, but the manners of the treacherous are rough." 13:15

"The Lord's name is a strong tower; a righteous person runs into it and is safe." 18:10

"He who keeps the commandments preserves life.” 19:16a

"Even a child shows what he is by what he does, whether his work is pure and right.” 20:11

"Doing what is right and fair is more pleasing to the Lord than sacrifice.” 21:3

"A pure man does what is right.” 21:8b

"A righteous person may fall seven times and get up again.” 24:16a

“The righteous feel safe as a young lion.” 28:1b

"To an evil man sin is a snare, but a righteous person overcomes it an is glad...A person who knows what is right champions the cause of the weak; a wicked person has no understanding of this... Blood‑thirsty men hate an innocent person, but good people seek to live like him...When a king honestly provides justice for the poor, his throne will be secure forever...Where there are many wicked, crime increases, but the righteous will see their downfall... Righteous people hate those who do wrong, and the wicked hate those who do right.” 29:6, 7, 10, 14, 16, 27

B. Godly-Righteous, Blessings of

"Good people are guided by their innocence.” 11:3a

"The righteousness of the innocent makes their road smooth.” 11:5a

"Good people are saved by their righteousness.” 11:6a

"By knowledge the righteous are rescued.” 11:9b

"A kind man does himself a favor.” 11:17a

"He (God) is delighted with those whose ways are innocent.” 11:20b

"Righteous behavior is a tree of life.” 11:30a

"The house of the righteous will stand.” 12:7b

"No harm can come to the righteous.” 12:21a

"The house of the righteous is blessed" 14:9b

"When the Lord is pleased with anyone's ways, He makes even his enemies become his friends.” 16:7

"The highway of good people turns away from evil; if you watch your step, you can preserve your life.” 16:17

"Happy is the man who trusts in the Lord.” 16:20a

"Silver hair is a beautiful crown when found on a person who has lived a righteous life.” 16:31

"If you live right and you're honest, your children after you will be blest.” 20:7

"A good person is sure in his way.” 21:29b

"To be gracious is better than silver or gold.” 22:1b

"You see a man who is efficient in his work; he will serve kings; he will not serve unknown people" 22:29

"A trustworthy man has many blessings, but one who is in a hurry to get rich will not stay innocent...A greedy person stirs up trouble, but one who trusts the Lord will prosper.” 28:20, 25

"When there are many righteous, people are happy, but when a wicked person rules, people groan.” 29:2

C. Godly-Righteous, Way Or Path Of

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don't depend on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in everything you do, and He will make your paths smooth.” 3; 5, 6

"The path of the righteous is like the morning light that gets brighter till it has reached the brightest of the day.” 4:18

"A heart that has turned away will get it fill of its ways, but a good man will be satisfied with his ways.” 14:14

"A shrewd person watches where he's going.” 14:15b

"The road of good people is a highway.” 15:19b

"Entrust your work to the Lord, and your plans will be fulfilled.” 16:3

"A man's mind may plan his journey, but the Lord directs his steps.” 16:9

"A person who develops the mind lives himself; one who fosters understanding finds what is best.” 19:8

"The Lord is the One who directs a man's steps; how else can a man understand which way to go?" 20:24  

D. Godly-Righteous, Death Of

"The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot away.” 10:7

"A righteous person has a refuge even when he's dying.” 14:32b

8. THE GOVERNMENT

This is a timely section! It's a period in our nation's history marked by widespread corruption in government, by unbridled lawlessness, time when many citizens are doing what is right in their own eyes, when many judges and courts of law justifiably merit little respect, when our nation, in the opinion of many citizens, is in danger of "going down the tube.” Solomon's day wasn't that much different, and he was the King! Christians keep praying fervently: "God bless our native land, Firm may she ever stand.” May we never forget Solomon's words on this subject

A. Government-Rulers

"A bad envoy makes trouble, but a dependable one heals trouble.” 13:17

"In a large population a king has honor, but without people a ruler is ruined.” 14:28

"A king delights with a servant who acts intelligently, but he's angry with one who acts shamefully.” 14:35

"When an oracle is on a king's lips, he cannot speak wrong in a legal decision.” 16:10

"Kings hate wrongdoing, because doing right makes a throne stand secure. Kings delight in honest words, anyone telling the truth is loved. A king's anger comes as a messenger of death, but a wise man can pacify it.

"A king's shining face is like a spring cloud bringing rain.” 16:12-15

"A wise king scatters the wicked and drives the wheel over them.” 20:26

“When you sit and eat with a ruler, pay close attention to what is set before you. If you're a big eater, put a knife at your throat. Don't go on craving his delicacies. This is food that deceives you.” 23:1-3

B. Government-Rulers, Godly

"Mercy and truth protect a king, and by kindness he strengthens his throne.” 20:28

"Only with a man of intelligence and knowledge will it (the country) last long.” 28:2b

"By justice a king strengthens a country, but one who is deceitful tears it down.” 29:4

"When a king honestly provides justice for the poor, his throne will be secure forever.” 29:14

C. Government-Ruler, Wicked

"A wicked man ruling over poor people is like a roaring lion and a prowling bear. A ruler without understanding is a great oppressor, but those who hate plunder live long...When the wicked rise men hide, but when they perish, the righteous flourish.” 28:15, 16, 28

"When there are many righteous, people are happy, but when a wicked person rules, people groan.” 29:2

"By justice a king is strengthening the country, but one who is deceitful tears it down.” 29:4

"If a ruler listens to lies, all his servants will be wicked.” 29:12

D. Courts-Witnesses

"The Lord hates...a dishonest witness telling lies.” 6:16, 19a

"A true witness speaks honestly, but a lying witness utters deceit.” 12:17

"The word of truth last forever, but a lying tongue only as long as it takes to wink an eye.” 12:19

"A witness you can trust doesn't lie, but a dishonest witness breathes lies.” 14:5

"An honest witness saves lives, but on who tells lies is a betrayer.” 14:25

"The first to state his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.” 18:17

"A worthless witness mocks at justice and the mouth of the wicked gulps down wrong.” 19:28

"With patience you can persuade a judge.” 25:15a

"A man who lies in testifying against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.” 25:18

D. Courts-Justice

A person is swept away where there's no justice.” 13:23b

“When a wicked person secretly accepts a bribe, he prevents the ways of justice.” 17:23

"It isn't right to favor the guilty nor to deprive the innocent of justice.” 18:5

"The practice of justice delights the innocent but terrifies those who do wrong.” 21:15

"It isn't good to show partiality in court. If anyone says to the guilty, 'You are innocent, ' people will curse him and nations will abhor him. Things will go well for those who convict the guilty and they will have prosperity.” 24:23a, 24-25

E. Government-Nation, City

"When the righteous prosper a city is glad.” 11:10a

"With the blessing of good people a town prospers, but the talk of the wicked tears it down.” 11:11

"Righteousness lifts up a nation, but sin is the disgrace of people.” 14:34

"When a country is in revolt, it has many rulers, but only with a man of intelligence and knowledge will it last long.” 28:2

"Scoffers put a city in an uproar, but wise men turn away anger.” 29:8

"Where there is no divine revelation, a people run wild, but a people who keep the law are happy.” 29:18  

9. HOME & FAMILY

As the home goes, so goes the nation. In a time when half of all marriages end in divorce , when there are millions of latch-key children in the land, when more than a million fetuses are des­troyed annually through abortion, when abuse of parents and abuse and neglect of children by parents is endemic, when hosts of Americans totally ignore and ridicule Christian moral values, there is cause to fear for the future of the land we love. Solomon's timely and timeless words in this section come as a real and very necessary breath of fresh air for all who read and hear.

A. Home-Family, Father/Mother

"My son, listen to your father's criticism, and don't neglect your mother's teaching because they are a beautiful garland on your head and an ornament around your neck.” 1:8-9

"A father corrects a son he delights in.” 3:12b

“My son, do what your father orders, and don't reject your mother's teaching.” 6:20

"Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention to get understanding. The learning I give you is good so don't give up anything I teach you. Once I was a boy with my father, a tender and only child around my mother. He used to teach me by telling me: 'With your heart get understanding.  Don't forget what I tell you or turn away from it. Cling to what I say. Keep my instructions and you will live.”

"A wise Son is corrected by his father.” 13:1a

"If you love wisdom, you make your father happy.” 29:3a

B. Home-Family, Adultery/Infidelity

"The mouth of adulterous women is a deep pit; anyone with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.” 22:14

"Like a bird wandering from her nest, so is a man wandering from his home.” 27:8

"This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats, wipes her mouth, and says, 'I've done nothing wrong'." 30:20

C. Home-Family, Godly Wife

"A good wife is her husband's crown.” 12:4a

Every wise woman builds her home." 14:1a

"If you have found a wife, you've found something good, and the Lord will be pleased with you.” 18:22

"A home and wealth are inherited from our fathers, but a sensible wife comes from the Lord.” 19:14

D. Home-Family, Ungodly wife

"A good wife is her husband's crown, but one who brings disgrace is like rot in his bones.” 12:4

"Every wise woman builds her home, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” 14:1

E. Home-Family, Nagging Wife

"A nagging wife is like water dripping continually.” 19:13b

"Better live on the comer of a roof than share a home with a quarreling woman.” 21:9 & 25:24

"Better to live in a desert than with a quarreling and nagging woman.” 21:19

"A constant dripping on a rainy day and a nagging wife are alike. The one who can control her can control the wind; and pick up olive oil with his right hand." 27:15-16

F. Home-Family, Married Love

"Drink water from your own cistern, water flowing from your own well.  Why should the water from your spring flow outside, like streams of water out on the streets? Keep them for yourself alone, and don't share them with strangers. Let your own fountain be blessed; have pleasure with the girl you married when you were young‑ a doe to be loved and a lovely wild goat. " 5:15-19

G. Home-Family, Parents

"If you neglect your family you'll inherit the wind." 11:29a

"If you are the parent of a fool, you'll have grief; the father of a fool has no joy." 17:21

"If you live right and you're honest, your children after you will be blessed." 20:7

"She (the ideal wife) watches well the conduct of her family and doesn't allow the bread of idleness to be eaten." 31:27

H. Home-Family, Blessings of Child Training

"Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he's old he will not leave it." 22:6

"A righteous man's father can surely rejoice; who has a wise son will take delight in him." 23:34

"Correct your son, and he will give you peace of mind and delight your soul." 29:17

I. Home-Family, Grandparents/Grandchildren

"Grandchildren are the crown of old people, and parents are the glory of their children." 17:6

J. Home-Family, Instruction/Teaching.

"The teaching of a wise person is a fountain of life; it turns away the snares of death." 13:14

"A scoffer searches for wisdom without finding it." 14:6a

"If you answer before you listen, you are stupid and insulting." 18:13

"Allow your mind to be trained and listen to intelligent words." 23:12

"Buy truth and don't sell it; acquire wisdom, training, and under­standing." 23:23

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the wits of another." 27:17  

10. VICES

There are forty such vices counted in Proverbs. They're all a direct result of the human family's alienation from God as a consequence of the sin of Adam. Scripture tells us that before conversion the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. The whole gamut of human vices has its roots in sin. The entire list of these is in full flower today. Read and ponder!

A. Vices-Anger

"It is intelligent to control your anger." 19:11a

"A king's anger is like a lion's roar, but his being pleased is like dew on the grass." 19:12

"A person who gets really angry will pay a price for it; if you rescue him you will have to do it again." 19:19

"The rod of your anger will do you in." 22:8b

"Anger is cruel and fury a torrent, but who can stand before jealousy . " 27: 4

"Scoffers put a city in an uproar, but wise men turn away anger." 29:8

"An angry person starts a fight, and a hot-headed person does a lot of wrong. " 29: 22

"Just as churning milk produces curds, and squeezing a nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces a fight." 30:33

B. Vices-Arrogance/Pride/Self-Trust

"Don't think you are wise." 3:7a

"A fool is careless and overconfident." 14:6b

"A proud and conceited person is called a scoffer; there is arrogance and conceit in what he does." 21:24

"If you trust your own mind, you're a fool, but if you live wisely, you will survive." 28:26

"Don't give me poverty or riches. Feed me with the food I need. Or I may feel satisfied and deny You, saying, 'Who is the Lord?'" 30:8b, 9a

C. Vices-Betrayal

"An honest witness saves lives, but one who tells lies is a betrayer." 14:25

"When you argue your case with your neighbor, don't tell another person's secret, or when he hears about it he will denounce you, and you will not be able to undo the slander." 25:9, 10

D. Vices-Betrayal

"Bad! Bad! says the buyer, then as he goes away, he brags about his purchase." 20:14

"Like misty clouds and a wind without rain is a man who brags about a gift he doesn't give." 25:14

"Don't brag about tomorrow because you don't know what a day may bring." 27:1

E. Vices-Bribery

"No money you pay him will move him and the biggest bribe will not satisfy him." (the jealous husband) 6:35

"If you refuse bribed you will live." 15:27b

"When a wicked person secretly accepts a bribe, he prevents the ways of justice." 17:23

F. Vices-Cursing

"If anyone curses his father and his mother, his light will go out in total darkness." 20:20

"Don't slander a slave to his master, or he will curse you, and you will have to pay for it. There is a generation who curse their fathers and don't bless their mother." 30:10, 11

G. Vices-Deceit

"One person pretends to be rich and has nothing; another pretends to be poor and is very rich." 13:7

"Don't testify against your neighbor without a reason, nor deceive anyone with your lips." 24:28

"Trusting a treacherous person when you're in trouble is like having a crumbling tooth and a lame foot." 25:19

"One filled with hate disguises it with his lips, but inside he harbors deceit. When he talks charmingly, don't trust him, because he has seven abominations in his mind. His wicked hatred is deceitfully hidden, but his wickedness will show up in the community." 26:24-26

H. Vices-Dishonesty

"Put away from you a mouth that says crooked things." 4:24a

"The Lord hates dishonest scales but accurate weights please him." 11:1

"A double standard of weights and measures - the Lord hates them both." 20:10

"Food gotten dishonestly tastes good, but afterwards your mouth will be filled with grit." 20:17

"Like a crazy person shooting firebrands and deadly arrows, is one who cheats his neighbor and says, 'I was only joking! '; " 26:18, 19

"Better be poor and innocent than rich and dishonest." 28:6

I. Vices-Drunkenness

"Wine makes people scoff, and liquor makes them noisy; anyone who staggers with it isn't wise." 20:1

"If you love win and oil, you will not get rich." 21:17b

"Don't keep company with those who drink too much wine or eat too much meat for pleasure, because a drunkard and a glutton will get poor, and being in a stupor will dress you in rags." 23:20, 21

J. Vices-Enticement to Evil (Crime)

"My son, if sinners tempt you don't be willing to sin." 1:10

"If anyone leads good people astray, he will fall into his own pit, but the innocent will inherit prosperity." 28:10

"Where there are many wicked, crime increases, but the righteous will see their downfall. " 29: 16

K. Vices-Flattery

"A flattering mouth causes ruin." 26:28b

"Silver is refined in a melting pot and gold in a furnace, but flattery is the way a man is tested." 27:21

"Criticize a man, and afterwards he'll be kindlier than if you had flattered him. " 28: 23

"A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet." 29:5

L. Vices-Gluttony

"A good person eats to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked is never filled. " 13: 25

"When you find honey, eat only as much as you need; if you get too much you may vomit it." 25:16  

M. Vices-Gossiping (Slandering)

"Anyone...is a fool...who spreads slander." 10:18

"A person who gossips gives away secrets." 11:13

"A malicious man starts quarrels, and a slanderer can break a friendship." 16:28

"If you cover a friend's wrong, you seek his goodwill, but if you repeat the thing, you will break up the friendship." 17:9

"One with a malicious tongue will get into trouble." 17:20b

"The tongue has power over death and life, those who love to talk will have to eat what they say." 18:21

"A gossip goes around and tells secrets; don't have anything to do with a person whose mouth is always open." 20:19

"As the north wind produces rain, a whispering tongue brings angry looks." 25:23

"Without wood a fire goes out, and without slandering a quarrel dies down." 26:20

"Do you see someone who is quick to talk? There is more hope for a fool than for him." 29:20

N. Vices-Greed

"The unfaithful are trapped by their greed." 11:6b

"The greedy man brings trouble to his home." 15:27a

"The wants of a lazy man kill him because his hands refuse to work. He is always feeling greedy." 21:25, 26a

"A greedy person is in a hurry to get rich, not realizing that want is about to overtake him." 28:22

O. Vices-Hatred

"Ate stirs up quarrels, but love covers every wrong." 10:12

A scoffer gets hated by everyone." 24:9b

"Bloodthirsty men hate an innocent person but good people seek to live like him." 29:10

P. Vices-Honor-Seeking

"Don't glorify yourself before a king or stand in the place that belongs to nobles. It is better to be told "Come up here', than to be put down before a prince." 25:6-7  

"Another person should praise you and not your own mouth, a stranger, and not your own lips." 27:2

Q. Vices-Hypocrisy

"The hypocrisy of unfaithful people leads them to ruin." 11:3b

"A wicked person puts on a bold face." 21:29a

R. Vices-Immorality, Enticement to

"He who winks with his eyes causes heartaches." 10:10a 

"Doing something lewd is fun for a fool." 10:23a

S. Vices-Influence Buying

"Giving a gift provides access for a person and brings him before great men." 18:16

"Many try to win the kindness of a generous person." 19:6a

T. Vices-Ingratitude

"If you pamper your slave from the time he's a child, he will be ungrateful." 29:21

U. Vices-Jealousy

"Jealousy makes a husband furious. He will have no mercy when he takes revenge." 6:34

"A calm mind makes a healthy body, but jealousy means a rotting of the bones." 14:30

"Anger is cruel and fury a torrent, but who can stand before jealousy?"

V. Vices-Laziness

"Go to the ant you lazy one.  Watch her ways and get wise. She has no judge, overseer, or governor. In summer she prepares her nourishment, in the harvest she gathers her food. How long are you going to lie there, you lazy one?  When are you going to get up from sleep?  "Just a little sleep, a little more slumber, a little more folding of the hands to rest" "So your poverty will come like a vagabond and your need like a beggar." 6:-11

"You're a wise son if you gather in summer but a disgrace if you sleep at harvesting." 10:5

"A lazy man's path is overgrown with thorns, but the road of good people is a highway." 15:19

"If you're lazy in your work, you're a brother to him who loves to destroy." 18:9

"A lazy person buries his hand in a dish and won't even bring it back to his mouth." 19:24

"A lazy man will not plow in the fall; he will look for something in the harvest and find nothing." 20:4

"If you work your ground, you'll have plenty to eat; but if you chase after illusions, you'll get plenty of nothing." 28:19

W. Vices-Lying

"The Lord hates lips that lie." 12:22

“One who tells lies is a betrayer." 14:25a

"A liar pays attention to a slanderous tongue." 17:4b

"One who tells lies is a betrayer." 14:25a

"Better to be poor than a liar." 19:22b

"The way of a liar is crooked." 21:8a

"A lying tongue hates its victims." 26:28a

X. Vices-Mocking.

"He (the Lord) mocks those who mock." 3:34a

"A scoffer doesn't listen to criticism." 13:1b

“A scoffer searches for wisdom without finding it." 14:6a

"A scoffer doesn't like to be corrected; he stays away from the wise." 15:12

A scoffer gets hated by everyone." 24:9b

Y. Vices-Oppressing

"One man oppresses the poor and makes himself rich; another gives to the rich and makes himself poor." 22:16

"Don't rob the weak because he's helpless or tramp on the rights of the needy at the gate, because the Lord will defend them and will rob the life of those who rob them." 22:22, 23

"There are those whose teeth are like swords and whose jaws are like knives to devour the poor from tile earth and the needy from the land." 30:14

Z. Vices-Partiality

"These are also the sayings of the wise men: It isn't good to show partiality in court." 24:23

"It's bad to show special favors to anyone; a man will do wrong even for a bite of food." 28:21

AA. Vices-Perjury

"A lying witness utters deceit ." 12:17b

"An honest witness saves lives, but on who tells lies is a betrayer." 14:25

"A lying witness will be punished and one who utters lies will not escape." 19:5

BB. Vices-Pleasure, Loving, Being

"If you love pleasure, you will be poor." 21:17a

CC. Vices-Plotting 

"Don't plan to do wrong to your neighbor while he's sitting there with you, suspecting nothing." 3:29

"A man plotting evil is hated." 14:17b

"A worthless person concocts trouble and on his lips is a searing flame." 16:27

"One who winks his eyes is plotting something crooked one who bites his lips has finished his evil work." 16:30

"Anyone who plans to do wrong becomes known as a schemer." 24:8

"Pride comes and then comes shame." 11:2a

"It is senseless to despise your neighbor." 11:12a

''The Lord tears down the house of the proud." 15:25a

"Pride leads to disaster, and a proud spirit leads to a fall. Better to be humble with the lowly than share plunder with the proud." 16:18,19

"Before he's destroyed a man is proud; humility comes before honor." 18:12

“A proud and conceited person is called a scoffer; there is arrogance and conceit in what he does." 21:24

"A man's pride will bring him low." 29:23

DD. Vices-Prostitution

"A prostitute is a deep ditch, and an immoral woman a narrow well. She's like a robber, lying in ambush; she makes more and more men unfaithful." 23:23,28

"One who keeps company with prostitutes wastes his wealth." 29:3b

"What, O my son? What, O son of my womb? What (should I say) son of my vows? Don't give your strength to women or your power to those who ruin kings." 31:2-3

EE. Vices-Quarreling

"Don't quarrel with a man without a reason, when he's done you no harm." 3:30

"An empty head causes quarreling by his pride." 13:10a

"A hot-head stirs up quarrels, and one who is slow to get angry stops them." 15:18

"A bite of dry bread in peace is better than a house filled with feasting and quarreling." 17:1

"Starting a quarrel is like opening a flood gate; so quit before the quarrel starts." 17:14

"Settle a quarrel by casting lots; keep strong opponents apart." 18:18

"A man is honorable when he stays away from a quarrel.” 20:3a

"Without wood a fire goes out, and without slandering a quarrel dies down. Like fuel for hot coals and wood for a fire, a quarrelsome man rekindles a dispute." 26:20, 21

"An angry person starts a fight, and a hot‑head does a lot of wrong." 29:22

FF. Vices-Revenge

"The person who pays back evil for good will always have trouble at home." 17:13

"Don't think you can pay back evil for evil; trust the Lord and He will save you." 20:22

"Don't say, "I'll do to him as he did to me; I'll pay back a man according to what he did to me.”" 24:29

GG. Vices-Selfishness

"The unsociable man is out to get what he wants for himself; he opposes every wise undertaking." 18:1

HH. Vices-Self-Righteousness

"Who can say, "I have made my heart pure; I am cleansed from my sin?" 30:13

"There are those who think they are pure but aren’t washed from their filth.'' 30:12

II. Vices-Stealing

"Treasure gotten dishonestly don't help anyone, but righteousness saves a person from death." 10:2

"A few possessions gained honestly is better than any gotten by injustice." 16:8

"Anyone who's partner with a thief hates himself." 29:24

JJ. Vices-Stinginess

"Don't eat the food of anyone who is stingy, or crave his delicacies, because he is like one who makes provision for his own appetite, "Eat, and drink" he tells you, but his heart isn't with you. You will vomit up the morsel you've eaten and spoil your pleasant talk." 23:6-8

KK. Vices-Stubbornness

"You will be blessed if you always stand in awe, but if you get stubborn you will get into trouble." 28:14

"One who is corrected and gets stubborn, will be ruined suddenly and there will be no cure." 29:1

LL. Vices-Temper

"Lose your temper and you act foolishly." 14:17a

'If you have great understanding, you'll be slow to get angry, but a hot temper is the height of folly." 14:29

"A kind answer turns away anger, but harsh words stir it up." 15:1

"A person who gets really angry will pay a price for it; if you rescue him you will have to do it again." 19:19

"Don't be a friend of one who has a temper, and don't accompany a hot-head, or you will learn his ways and get yourself into a trap." 22:24-25

"Like a city broken into, like a city without a wall is a man without self-control." 25:28

"A food expresses all his emotion, but a wise man holds it back." 29:11

MM. Vice-Troublemaker, Being A

"A troublemaker hurts himself." 11:17b

"If you look for trouble you'll find it." 11:27b

“Trusting a treacherous person when you're in trouble is like having a crumbling tooth and a lame foot." 25:19

"A greedy person stirs up trouble, but one who trusts the Lord will prosper." 28:25

11. VIRTUES

Solomon lists sixteen virtues, so vices outnumber virtues in a ration of 5 to 2! Christian virtues are all a fruit of the Holy Spirit, a fruit of saving faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 5:22-23: "But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace... He makes us (Christians) patient, kindly, good, faithful, gentle, and gives us self-control." You'll be uplifted as you work your way through this list of Christian virtues.

A. Virtues-Contentment

"A dish of vegetables where there's love is better than fattened beef with hate." 15:17

"Give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of bread to eat." 30:S

B. Virtues-Enthusiasm

"Enthusiasm without knowledge isn't good." 19:2a

C. Virtues-Forgiving, Being

"By kindness and faithfulness sin is forgiven and by fearing the Lord we turn away from evil." 16:6

"It is beautiful to forgive a wrong." l9:11b

D. Virtues-Happiness

"A happy mind makes a bright face, but a sad heart breaks the spirit." 15:13

"Those who suffer are always miserable, but a cheerful mind is always feasting." 15:15

E. Virtues-Honesty

"The thoughts of the righteous are honest." 12:5a

"A few possessions gained honestly is better than many gotten by injustice." 16:8

"The balance and scale belong to the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of His making." 16:11

"If you live right and you're honest, your children after you will be blest." 20:7

"Giving an honest answer is like a kiss on the lips." 24:26

F. Virtues-Humility

"The Lord is gracious to the humble." 3:34b

"Wisdom is with the humble." 11:2b

"Humility comes before honor." 15:33b; 18:12b

"Better to be humble with the lowly than share plunder with the proud." 16:19

"Humility and fearing the Lord are rewarded with riches, honor, and life." 22:4

"A man's pride will bring him low, but a man with a lowly spirit will get honor." 29:23

G. Virtues-Kindness

"If you take others into your care you're wise." 11:30b

"A kind answer turns away anger, but harsh words stir it up." 15:1

"By kindness and faithfulness sin is forgiven." 16:6a

"With patience you can persuade a judge, and kind words can break bones." 25:15

H. Virtues-Love

"Hate stirs up quarrels, but love covers every wrong." 10:12

"Open criticism is better than hidden love." 27:5

I. Virtues-Obedience

"If you desire a word of warning you'll pay the penalty; respect an order and you'll be rewarded." 13:13

"An intelligent son does as he is instructed, but a friend of gluttons disgraces his father." 28:7

J. Virtues-Patience

"With patience you can persuade a judge, and kind words can break bones." 25:15

K. Virtues-Praising

"A man is praised according to his intelligence." 12:8a

"Another person should praise you and not your own mouth, a stranger and not your own lips." 27:2

L. Virtues-Respectful, Being

"You will be blessed if you always stand in awe, but if you get stubborn, you will get into trouble." 28:14

M. Virtues-Righteousness

"Riches will not help anyone on the day of God's fury, but righteousness will save a person from death." 11:4

"If you sow righteousness your pay is genuine." 11:8b

"The one who upholds righteousness will live." 11:19a

"Righteous behavior is a tree of life. If you take others into your care you're wise." 11:30

"On the road of righteousness there is life; it is the path that leads to immortality." 12:28

N. Virtues-Self-Confidence

"A good person is sure of his way." 21:29b

O. Virtues-Temper Control

"If you have great understanding, you'll be slow to get angry." 14:29

"A hot-head stirs up quarrels, but one who is slow to get angry stops them." 15:18

"Being slow to get angry is better than being a fighter, and control­ling your spirit is better than capturing a city." 16:32

''If you control your tongue, you're really wise; if you're cool tempered, you have good sense." 17:27

P. Virtues-Trustworthiness

"Many a man will profess to be kind, but where can you find someone you can trust?" 20:6

"Like the coolness of snow on a harvest day is a trustworthy mes­senger to those who send him; he refreshes his master." 25:13

"A trustworthy man has many blessings, but one who is in a hurry to get rich will not stay innocent." 28:20

+ Soli Deo Gloria +

Sources

Concordia Self Study Bible – New International Version Robert G. Hoerber Editor Concordia Publishing House St. Louis, MO. 1986 pp.942-945

Eerdmans’ Concise Bible Handbook - An illustrated book-by-book guide to the Bible Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co and Lion Publishing 1973 pp.181-185

Note: The resource used to organize this study has either been loaned or misplaced over time however a splendid way of outlining a practical source of wisdom which God has given to us by inspiration.