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Proverbs 7:1-9:18

Roger Hahn

Editing and additions by Dennis Bratcher

The collection of twelve "instructions" found in Proverbs 1:8-9:18 comes to a close in this section of the book. Chapter 7 forms the tenth instruction, chapter 8 the eleventh, and chapter 9 the twelfth of those instructions. Chapter 7 follows the typical pattern of an instruction with an address to "my son" and a series of commands. Chapter 8, however, is developed as a speech by Lady Wisdom. Chapter 9 is difficult to classify. The first part of the chapter and the final part compare and contrast Lady Wisdom with the woman of folly. The central section of chapter 9 is a miscellaneous collection of commands that pull together the major themes of the first nine chapters of Proverbs.

The Tenth Instruction: Proverbs 7:1-27

Chapter 7 begins with the traditional address to "my son." Verses 1-5 return to the kind of teaching found in chapters 3 and 4 before the anti-adultery theme reappears in verse 6. The final section of chapter 6 had warned against the danger that could come from the angry husband whose wife became involved in an affair. Chapter 7 warns those who are not worried about discovery of the dangers of being enticed into an adulterous relationship.

Verse 1 begins with the command to the son/reader to guard the sayings of his father/teacher. The second line of the verse shows the intensity of the father’s feelings when he further commands the son to treasure his commandments (mitzvah). The word translated "store up" or "treasure" comes from a Hebrew word for hiding something either for protection or for evil purposes. It is the same word that was used in Exodus 2:2 to describe the hiding of baby Moses for the first three months of his life. The word was also used for storing up or treasuring things of great value.

The point Hebrew readers would have gotten was that these teachings were of great value and well worth the effort of hiding them in their hearts. Kidner (p. 75) makes the important point that "the best advice is useless against strong temptation unless it is thoroughly taken to heart and translated into habits."

Verse 2 reinforces the same theme. Keeping the commandments of the father is essential to survival and life. The torah of the father is to be "the apple of your eye." The Hebrew expression translated as apple of your eye literally speaks of "the little man in your eye." It refers to the reflection of one’s self that can be seen in the pupil of another’s eye as we look into their eyes. Proverbs 6:23 will help us understand the thought here. Light comes into the eye through the pupil and without that light there is only darkness. For that reason the pupil (the little man guarding your eyes) must give special attention to the teaching and commandments that enter into the person. Jesus gives a similar teaching in Matthew 6:22-23.

Verses 6-23 return to the theme of fidelity and sexual purity that has dominated Proverbs 5 and 6. However, in these verses the author does not use the kind of generalized instruction he had given before. Rather, these verses present themselves in the form of a drama. It is narrated by the wise father as an event that he had observed from the window of his house. It is in fact something Israel’s sages had seen all too many times, but here, for the sake of drama, it is told as a single incident in the life of a foolish young man. The structure of the drama can be interpreted in more than one way, though the point is the same. Kidner (pp. 75-76) sees verses 6-9 describing the victim; verses 10-12 describes the "huntress;" verses 13-21 dealing with the tactics; and finally, verses 22-23 describing the kill. Aitken (pp. 75-76) simply portrays verses 6-9 as scene 1, verses 10-20 as scene 2, and verses 21-23 as scene 3. The remaining verses in chapter 7 form an epilogue.

Kidner’s description of the young man as a "victim" is too kind. Verse 7 describes the young man as lacking heart. English versions often translate this to mean without sense, which catches most of the Hebrew meaning. Not only does the young man lack sense, he has no decisiveness; he has not set his will and mind in any particular direction. In this he is especially vulnerable even among the larger group of foolish or na´ve companions with whom he has associated.

There is a certain na´ve or simple quality to any normal young person. Parents dare not do too much to try to remove that dangerous quality in their children. However, among the youngsters who are na´ve and immature, the most dangerous are those with no direction in life, no motivations, and no commitments. They are the ones who are susceptible to almost anything that comes along. Parents can and must address that problem. Kids with strong goals in life are far less likely to get in trouble than those with none.

The aimlessness of this young man is further revealed in verse 8. The Hebrew expressions suggest an aimless sauntering that leads "along the street near her corner." Aitken (p. 75) states, "he is in unfamiliar territory and is more curious than purposeful. He is not a downright immoral fellow (he takes some persuading, v. 21), but he is a downright stupid one." Verse 9 further sets the scene in the twilight. The darkness that has already been revealed as a symbol of evil in Proverbs is falling, falling especially for a young man who doesn’t know where he is going. He may be aimless, but the adulteress is not.

The scene shifts in verse 10. The Hebrew begins with the word "Behold!" (the NRSV "then" weakens the Hebrew). The author wants to draw attention to her. She is a woman coming to call, dressed as a prostitute, communicating her availability. The Hebrew meaning of the final phrase of verse 10 is uncertain. Some translate "wily of heart" while others believe the Hebrew for "heavily veiled" was miscopied but originally intended. The Hebrew may mean "with secret plans in mind."

Verse 11 describes her as boisterous and bold. She has a house, but she is not at home there. The language suggests that she is coarse and hardened against the values that the wise hold dear. Verse 12 points out that she is not at home, but out and about looking for someone she can seduce. The verb suggests the idea of ambush or attacking by surprise. She is familiar with na´ve and aimless young men and experienced in drawing them into her net.

Having introduced the two characters, the author unveils the woman’s shocking attack. She seizes him and smothers him with kisses. The Hebrew indicates she suddenly made her face hard and spoke. Her opening line is hard for many of us to fathom. She states that she is on her way to worship and celebrate God’s goodness to her. The Hebrew specifically mentions the sacrifices of peace offerings. This was a particularly festive occasion and must not wait. The clear implication is that the young man must join her in celebration. Less clear, but adding to the pressure tactics is the thought that he is the very reason for the celebration.

Verse 15 follows through with that line of flattery. It is part of the ancient life of infidelity to be convinced that the illicit relationship is unique and special and thus above the restrictions of law and custom. Verses 16-18 provide the blatant pitch. Four of the six Hebrew words in verse 16 appear only here in all of the Hebrew Bible. So it is difficult to know certainly the overtones intended by some of the words. However, the general message is clear. Her bed is ready; expensive and lavish imported finery is laid out; and she is eager for him to join her for a night of wild lovemaking.

If there were any sane thought left of the danger involved in the young man’s head, the temptress tried to dissolve them. Verses 19-20 promise that there will be no consequences – her husband is gone and obviously he intends to be gone for a long time. That she mentioned that her husband had taken the moneybag with him serves two purposes. First, it should reassure the young man that there is no chance the husband would return and wreck the vengeance described in Proverbs 6:34-35 on him. Second, it may suggest that her husband will be dallying about also. Surely the young man is sympathetic to her plight of an unfaithful husband. And verse 21 concludes that she used a variety of other alluring and smooth words to win the young man over.

The translation "all at once" best captures the picture of verse 22. The young man has rested for a while, but "all at once" the pull of her enticing invitation is too strong and he is walking with her. Just as suddenly the author shifts gears. Only the enticement has been described up to this point and if the author would have continued in the same vein he would have spoken of the young man’s swelling ego, feeling very grown up to be so attractive to such an experienced lady. But the author suddenly shifts from the fantasy of temptation to the reality. The young man is not the man about town he imagines. He is the ox being led to the slaughter (verse 22) and it is not her house he enters but Sheol, the entrance to the chambers of death (verse 27).

The conclusion is drawn in verses 24-27. The author appeals to his readers to listen (obey) him in verse 24. Wisely he warns not to let your heart wander after such a temptation. Scott catches the sense very well in his Anchor Bible translation of verse 25a, "Do not toy with the thought of meeting her."

The battle for purity is not won or lost in the back seat of the car or in the secret meeting place when people’s hormones are screaming for satisfaction. The battle for purity is won or lost when a person responds to the temptation to toy with thoughts of forbidden pleasures. The battle is in the heart and in the mind. The battle is determined by what one’s will allows to stay in one’s mind. Pornographic magazines allowed young men to fill their minds with forbidden fantasies in the past. The flood of sexually explicit movies – most available in video or DVD permitting repeated playback of the most stimulating scenes – so easily open the mind to sexual addiction (and thus dysfunction). Ours is a culture at risk and the threat is clearly stated in verses 26-27. AIDS has reminded us that physical death is a very possible consequence for the kind of illicit sex described in Proverbs 7. Beyond that we must not forget the death of self-respect, of wholesome sexual relationships in marriage, and of the joy God intended for authentic love. Medical science may someday develop a cure for AIDS; it will never heal the loss of integrity.

The Eleventh Instruction: Proverbs 8:1-36

Proverbs 8 stands out in contrast to all the rest of the book. Here Wisdom speaks as a person – not as the father instructing her son as the rest of Proverbs 1:8-9:18, but as Lady Wisdom. Almost every verse refers to "I," or "my," or "me." There are two ways one may think of chapter 8. Wisdom has been elevated and recommended throughout the book so far. It is as if the praise of wisdom suddenly breaks forth into full song with this hymn in honor of wisdom. Or, one may consider that the dangers of sexual impurity just described are so great that Wisdom must leave the shelter of the school. Here we see Lady Wisdom moving into the streets to go face to face with evil and foolishness. Wisdom will compete for the hearts and minds of the young because too many will be lost if she relies on parental instruction alone.

Kidner (pp. 76-77) summarizes the opening verses of Proverbs 8 very well when he writes, "A chapter which is to soar beyond time and space, opens at street-level, to make it clear, first, that the wisdom of God is as relevant to the shopping-centre as to heaven itself." The description of Wisdom is lofty and profound, but it is in the market place of life that Biblical wisdom operates. By taking to the streets Wisdom is seeking to win over those enticed by foolish temptations. Up to this point Wisdom has been the lady that we must pursue and find and win. Now she takes the initiative in seeking us. In this regard Lady Wisdom is a symbol of the grace of God, indeed, of God himself. That is why New Testament writers described Christ as the Wisdom of God (for example, 1 Cor. 1:24). Although humans have always aspired toward God, in Bethlehem God came to us – and came to us at street-level – to win us to himself.

Verses 6-9 advertise Wisdom’s words. The smooth words of the strange woman and the perverse words of evil men have already been mentioned in Proverbs. In contrast are the words of Lady Wisdom. As Aitken (p. 78) points out, "She has some hard things to say and some uncomfortable truths to tell, and she talks about self-discipline and not self-indulgence." She will speak truth according to verse 7. The Hebrew word translated "truth" is again emet. She will speak that which is reliable; that which lasts, that upon which a person can build for a lifetime. Her words are straight to the mark and upright. She will not bend the truth a little to make her point and she will certainly not bend the truth to gain favor. Even preachers (or is it especially preachers?) need to learn that value from Lady Wisdom.

Verses 10-11 extol the value of wisdom. Instruction (musar) is more valuable then silver. Knowledge is better than the finest gold. Wisdom surpasses the value of jewels. The reference to jewels in verse 11 is usually taken to mean rubies though some have understood it in terms of pearls. The point is the same with either translation. Kidner (p. 77) points out that things can be misused and precious metals and jewels have especially become an end instead of a means. On the other hand instruction, knowledge, and the wisdom of how to use them open up ever increasing possibilities for successfully navigating the difficult places of life.

Aithken (p. 79) describes verses 12-16 as referring to wisdom’s "state craft." Verses 12-14 use familiar words such as prudence or shrewdness, discretion, and knowledge. Verse 13 speaks of the fear of the Lord, which we already know to be the beginning of instruction, but describes it here as hatred of evil.

Verse 14 brings in even more of the synonyms that have been used thus far in Proverbs for wisdom. However, the context of verses 15-16 places all these characteristics of wisdom in the service of governmental leadership (state-craft). This was a subject very dear to the hearts of leaders in the Ancient Near East. Solomon’s prayer for wisdom and discernment found in 1 Kings 3:5-14 would not have been unusual for an ancient ruler in that part of the world. Wisdom, discipline, discernment, knowledge, and insight were considered the basic tools of administrative leadership in government. The ability to compose proverbs and create riddles and to answer case studies with discernment was considered part of the prerequisites for ruling. Often ancient rulers would get together and hold "wisdom competitions" to see who was most capable in these areas. We catch a glimpse of this intellectual jousting in the encounter between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba in 1 Kings 10:1-5.

Part of the significance of this section is that the same savvy necessary to survive in the streets of everyday life is necessary for the highest rulers in the land. As difficult as some of us find it to make appropriate decisions in our own lives, we should surely pray for wisdom for our governmental leaders whose decisions impact larger numbers of people in a major way. Wisdom is not more appropriate for one class of society than for another. Wisdom does not work better in some contexts than others. Wisdom is universal; every person regardless of their station in life or their responsibilities needs it. No one is too wise for wisdom, nor do we ever outgrow our need of her instruction.

Verses 17-21 address the fruit or outcome of wisdom. In some ways these verses are similar to Proverbs 3:13-18. Verse 17 speaks of Wisdom’s faithfulness. Any who seek her find her; and any who love her will be loved by her. You can count on wisdom to come through appropriately. Again wisdom functions as a symbol for God himself in this regard. Verses 18-21 again compare wisdom’s value with the costly metals and jewels of human commerce. Some see these verses as teaching that the pursuit of Biblical wisdom will lead a person to material success. Verse 21 can be interpreted in that way. It is also possible to understand verses 18-20 as the determinative concepts. Thus righteousness and justice represent the truly valuable commodities and it is wealth in those personal characteristics that Wisdom provides.

Verses 22-31 return to the theme of Wisdom’s role in creation first mentioned in Proverbs 3:19-20. These verses provide impressive credentials for Wisdom. As the prophets would refer to their call to prophesy as their most important credential, so Wisdom goes back to her beginnings with God to establish credibility. In the ancient world antiquity was highly respected. That which had lasted the longest had the best claim to authority and credibility. However ancient some other way of life might be Wisdom goes back further and thus is more valuable than any alternative.

Alden makes the insightful comment, "…wisdom is eternal; God needed her to help him in the creation of the world, so he created her first. As in Genesis 1 the question is not how, why, where, or when (in terms of years) she came into being, but who made her. The answer is ‘the Lord’."

The points of connection between Proverbs 8:22-31 and Genesis 1 are instructive. Wisdom’s statement in verse 22 that the Lord created her at the "beginning" of his work uses the same word for "beginning" as that used in Genesis 1:1. The other word for beginning (rosh), used for the beginning of wisdom, appears in verse 23. According to verse 24 Wisdom came before the waters, which Genesis 1:2 describes the waters as part of the beginning chaos from which creation began. Verses 24 and 28 speak of the depths and the deep using the same word for deep found in Genesis 1:2. The phrase "face of the deep" in verse 27 is identical to that of Genesis 1:2. The language of verses 25-29 also seem to reflect the Creation Story of Genesis 1 in which God marks out the proper boundaries and limits for all the elements of the universe (see Genesis Bible Study Lesson 3).

The climax of Genesis 1, of course, comes with the creation of humankind. Likewise, Proverbs 8:22-31 comes to its climax in verse 31 with the mention of the human beings. While translations tend to express this in modern and sometimes bland terms (NRSV: the human race), the vivid Hebrew expression is literally "the sons of Adam," making a clear connection to the Genesis creation narrative. The point is that before anything else was there was Wisdom. The New Testament writers will make use of this "pre-existent" personified Wisdom and adapt the terminology to describe the pre-existent Christ.

In verses 32-36 Wisdom herself adopts the literary form of instruction. She addresses her listeners as her sons (children) and calls on them to listen to and obey her. The motivation statements come in the form of blessings. The word for blessed is ashre, which means fortunate or happy. How lucky the person who obeys Wisdom’s instructions! As has been the case before, the bottom line is that following Wisdom will lead to life, while rejecting Wisdom will lead to death.

Though the word "choose" does not appear in the text these final words of Lady Wisdom present a call for a choice. As surely as Joshua confronted Israel with the demand, "Choose you this day whom you will serve," (Joshua 24:15) Proverbs 8 demands a choice of either wisdom or folly.

The Twelfth Instruction: Proverbs 9:1-18

Proverbs 9 brings to a close the series of "instructions" that began in Proverbs 1:8. As such it provides a summation of the major issue – the choice between Wisdom and Foolishness. Murphy (1981, p. 62) portrays the contrast as one between Lady Wisdom’s banquet described in verses 1-6 and Lady Folly’s banquet described in verses 13-18.

The reference to the seven pillars in the building of Lady Wisdom’s house has generated many theories trying to explain that number. Various scholars have tried to connect it to different ancient buildings with seven pillars. It may be, however, that the number seven is simply designed to express completeness or fullness. Kidner (p. 81) also notes that the seven pillars reference would suggest a spacious and enduring building.

Verses 2-3 imply a royal setting. The only aspect that is not a royal quality is that simpletons are the ones invited to Wisdom’s banquet. In fact there is much about the invitation to Wisdom’s banquet in verses 1-6 that reminds us of Jesus’ parables about banquets found in Matthew 22:1-14 and Luke 14:16-24. Verse 2 describes the preparation for the banquet and verse 3 portrays the servant girls sent out to the public meeting places to issue the invitations.

Verses 4-6 contain the invitation. Verse 4 addresses the invitees as "simpletons" or "fools" in the first line and as "those without sense" (literally: "lacking heart") in the second line. As Alden (p. 78) notes such an invitation includes much of the population.

Verse 5 offers food and drink. Isaiah 55:1-2 also portrays God’s invitation to salvation in terms of an invitation to eat and to drink (also without cost). It is only when we come to the Lord’s Supper and hear again the invitation to eat and to drink that we discover the cost to God of providing so graciously for us.

Verse 6 does describe the cost that Wisdom will require for those who attend her banquet. They must abandon their foolish companions. Almost all the English versions speak of leaving foolishness or folly or ignorance (NRSV: immaturity). However, the Hebrew word clearly speaks of fools or simpletons as the object that must be left. This is insightful both for ancient Biblical culture and for ours. Foolishness or ignorance is not something we are entangled in because we choose to value the abstract concept of foolishness. Rather, it is under the influence of foolish people that we find ourselves ensnared in foolishness. Wisdom’s invitation understands that the journey to her banquet hall will require us to leave some of our companions behind.

Verses 7-12 have been described as "intrusive" and as "miscellaneous sayings." Each verse can function as an independent saying though the scoffer provides a unifying theme. In some ways these verses provide a transition from the long instruction format of Proverbs 1-9 to the short, two and three line independent proverbs that characterize the rest of the book.

These sayings also summarize the teaching of the instruction section. Verse 9, for example, notes that the wise and the righteous always profit by instruction. There is no end to the growth potential for those who are willing to be taught. Verse 11 reiterates the theme that wisdom leads to life. Verse 10 stands at the heart of these summary verses with the statement, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 1:7 had made an almost identical statement as an introduction to the instruction format chapters. Thus right relationship with God is the framework in which all of Proverbs 1-9 has been set. Another way of putting it is that ultimate evidence of wisdom is right relationship with the Lord. A person who claims common sense but live alienated from the Lord does not yet have the initial step of wisdom accomplished.

Verses 13-18 portray the invitation of Lady Folly to her banquet. This stands in stark contrast to the invitation of Lady Wisdom in verses 1-6. There are no direct statements to connect this foolish lady to the "strange" woman or adulteress of the previous chapters but it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the author meant for us to make that comparison. Here the cheapness, the low class character, and the true ugliness of the tempting woman are clear. Verses 17 and 18 conclude with the now familiar warning that death is the result for those ensnared by Lady Folly.

Study Questions for Reflection and Discussion

These readings and study questions are in preparation for next week's lesson.

As you study each day ask the Lord to speak to you through his word. Ask the Holy Spirit to make the word come alive to you for that day.

First Day: Read the notes on Proverbs 7:1-9:18. Look up the Scripture references given.

1. Identify one or two pieces of new information that seemed important to you. Describe why these ideas are important to you.

2. Select one or two insights that spoke to you spiritually. What important spiritual understanding do you draw from these insights?

3. Write a brief prayer asking the Lord to help you be aware of all the choices in life in which you must choose wisdom or folly. Ask the Lord to help you always to make the right choice.

Author’s Note: The remainder of Proverbs consists of short proverbial sayings. We will approach the study topically, reading a chapter each day, but focusing on verses from throughout Proverbs that deal with the topic of the day.  The Readings are listed after the discussion questions.

Second Day: Read Proverbs 10. Now focus in on Proverbs 14:15; 22:3; 27:12; 14:18; 17:16; 17:24; 17:10; 27:22; 15:14; 26:11; 18:2; 28:26; 12:15; and 14:33.

1. What two kinds of people are contrasted in Proverbs 14:15; 22:3; 27:12; and 14:18? What is wrong with the "simple" according to these verses? What advantages do the prudent have?

2. What characteristics of a fool do the focus verses reveal? Which verse spoke most powerfully to you? Why?

3. What characteristics of the wise do the focus verses reveal? Which characteristic do you most need to develop? What plan will you follow in seeking that wisdom?

Third Day: Read Proverbs 11. Now focus on Proverbs 13:16; 12:23; 17:28; 26:7; 26:9; 15:2; 15:7; 24:7; 29:11; 12:16; 20:3; 14:6; 13:9; 10:23; 15:21; 14:24; 14:8; 14:12; 16:25.

1. What do Proverbs 26:7 and 9 say about proverbial wisdom in the mouths of fools? How would you paraphrase that concept into your words? Can you think of an example you have known of this kind?

2. What instruction about a person’s speech can you draw from these focus verses? How does the message of these verses compare with the teaching of James 3:1-12?

3. What instruction about a person’s attitude and behavior do the focus verses provide? Which of these proverbs spoke most forcefully to you personally? Why?

Fourth Day: Read Proverbs 12. Focus on Proverbs 10:13-14; 14:3; 18:6-7; 26:3; 10:8; 16:22; 10:21; 19:3; 27:3; 17:12; 23:9; 26:4-6; 29:9-10; 14:7; 13:20; 26:1; and 26:8.

1. What consequences will a fool reap according to the focus verses? How can such consequences be avoided?

2. What do you learn about how to get along with a fool from the focus verses? In what arena of your life do these proverbs provide the most help? Why?

3. What advantages do these focus verses promise for friendship with wise people? Who among your friends do you consider wise? Think of a wise person you know but do not know well. How could you create a closer friendship with that person?

Fifth Day: Read Proverbs 13. Now focus in on Proverbs 17:27; 14:17; 14:29; 29:22; 15:18; 19:11; 19; 14:30; 25:28; 16:32; 22:24-25; 15:1; 30:32-33; 27:4.

1. Summarize the contrast between a hotheaded and cool-headed person as the focus verses present them.

2. What are the consequences that will come to a hotheaded person? Have you or do you know someone who has suffered these kinds of consequences for their temper? Give an example.

3. What principles of self-control do these focus verses teach? Write a brief prayer asking the Lord to help you master yourself and to have the control these verses teach.

Sixth Day: Read Proverbs 14. Now focus on Proverbs 21:24; 24:9; 14:6; 15:12; 26:12; 19:29; 19:25; 21:11; 29:8; 13:10; 22:10; 16:18; 11:2; 29:23; 18:12; 21:4; 16:5; 15:33; and 22:4.

1. What do these focus verses teach about scoffing and the scoffer? How does this teaching compare with the media’s (TV, movies, etc.) portrayal of sarcasm? What does the comparison tell you?

2. Summarize in your own words the teaching of the focus verses on pride. What consequences does pride have? What can you do to avoid problems with pride?

3. What does Proverbs 15:33 mean for you personally? Write a brief prayer asking the Lord to make that verse true in your own life.

Readings for Lesson 6

Day 2

14:15 The simple believes everything, but the prudent looks where he is going.

22:3 A prudent man sees danger and hides himself; but the simple go on, and suffer for it.

27:12 A prudent man sees danger and hides himself; but the simple go on, and suffer for it.

14:18 The simple acquire folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

17:16 Why should a fool have a price in his hand to buy wisdom, when he has no mind?

17:24 A man of understanding sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

17:10 A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.

27:22 Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.

15:14 The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.

26:11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool that repeats his folly.

18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

28:26 He who trusts in his own mind is a fool; but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

14:33 Wisdom abides in the mind of a man of understanding, but it is not known in the heart of fools.

Day 3

13:16 In everything a prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.

12:23 A prudent man conceals his knowledge, but fools proclaim their folly.

17:28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

26:7 Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

26:9 Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

15:2 The tongue of the wise dispenses knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

15:7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the minds of fools.

24:7 Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth.

29:11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

12:16 The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent man ignores an insult.

20:3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife; but every fool will be quarreling.

14:16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool throws off restraint and is careless.

13:19 A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul; but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.

10:23 It is like sport to a fool to do wrong, but wise conduct is pleasure to a man of understanding.

15:21 Folly is a joy to him who has no sense, but a man of understanding walks aright.

14:24 The crown of the wise is their wisdom, but folly is the garland of fools.

14:8 The wisdom of a prudent man is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.

14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

16:25 There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Day 4

10:13 On the lips of him who has understanding wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.

10:14 Wise men lay up knowledge, but the babbling of a fool brings ruin near.

14:3 The talk of a fool is a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.

18:6 A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth invites a flogging.

18:7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to himself.

26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the back of fools.

10:8 The wise of heart will heed commandments, but a prating fool will come to ruin.

16:22 Wisdom is a fountain of life to him who has it, but folly is the chastisement of fools.

10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.

19:3 When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.

27:3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.

17:12 Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.

23:9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.

26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

26:6 He who sends a message by the hand of a fool, cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.

29:9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

29:10 Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless, and the wicked seek his life.

14:7 Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.

13:20 He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

26:1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.

26:8 Like one who binds the stone in the sling is he who gives honor to a fool.

Day 5

17:27 He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

14:17 A man of quick temper acts foolishly, but a man of discretion is patient.

14:29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

29:22 A man of wrath stirs up strife, and a man given to anger causes much transgression.

15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

19:11 Good sense makes a man slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

19:19 A man of great wrath will pay the penalty; for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.

14:30 A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot.

25:28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

22:24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man,

22:25 lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.

15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

30:32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.

30:33 For pressing milk provides curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.

27:4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming; but who can stand before jealousy?

Day 6

21:24 "Scoffer" is the name of the proud, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.

24:9 The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to men.

14:6 A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.

15:12 A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.

26:12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

19:25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.

19:29 Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and flogging for the backs of fools.

21:11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

29:8 Scoffers set a city aflame, but wise men turn away wrath.

13:10 By insolence the heedless make strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.

22:10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease.

16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.

29:3 He who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but one who keeps company with harlots squanders his substance.

18:12 Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility goes before honor.

21:4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.

16:5 Every one who is arrogant is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.

15:33 The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honor.

22:4 The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.

-Roger Hahn, Copyright © 2011, Roger Hahn and the Christian Resource Institute
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