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Proverbs 10-31
Character Sketches

Roger Hahn

The style of Proverbs changes dramatically at the end of chapter 9. Chapters 1-9 contained the "instruction" format in which the author instructed his son/reader about wisdom. There most of the verses were two or three line sayings where a discernable train of thought was developed in each instruction. Proverbs 10-31 contains the kind of material most often associated with Proverbs – short, two or three line sayings about life. Those who study Proverbs have not been able to find any theme that connects whole chapters in the material following chapter 9. There are places in which a common theme is pursued for four or five verses and the final 22 verses of Proverbs 31 are devoted to the description of the ideal wife. However, the style of Proverbs 10-31 is quite different from that of chapter 1-9.

Therefore, rather than attempting to pursue paragraph-by-paragraph study, we will deal with different topics addressed by the proverbs of chapter 10-31. This will entail the collection of various individual proverbs relating to each theme. Many of the proverbs of 10-31 deal with certain kinds of people; the simple, the fool, the hothead, the scoffer, etc. These proverbs provide ample instruction in the kind of person we should strive to be and the way in which we should conduct our relationships. (For a list of the Proverbs examined below, see the Readings section in Lesson 5.)

The Simple: Proverbs 14:15; 22:3; 27:12; 14:18

The Book of Proverbs distinguishes between the na´ve or inexperienced young person and the foolish person who refuses instruction. Harsh words are directed toward the fool, but there is great concern for the simple person who has not yet learned. That simple one is most susceptible to evil and to foolishness. The first characteristic of such a na´ve person is the tendency to believe anything. The Hebrew text indicates that this simpleton will trust every word. There has never been a time in history when it was safe to believe everything one hears. Unscrupulous people are ready to deceive the moment they suspect an innocent ear. It is possible to be too suspicious and not be able to trust anyone far enough to establish normal communication and friendships. However, it is also important not to be gullible. An instinct for what makes sense is important; the one who lacks it will be taken for many a ride.

That instinct must be built up by experience and by instruction in wisdom. It is hard work to learn to think for oneself, but Proverbs understands the danger of not being able to do so. The second line of Proverbs 14:15 shows the point of the warning about being gullible. The line reads, "The prudent give thoughts to their steps." The issue is not correctness versus incorrectness, but the best way to live.

Proverbs 22:3 and 27:12 are virtually identical. A slight conjugation difference in the verbs is all that distinguishes them in Hebrew. The positive term, often translated "prudent" (NRSV: clever), speaks of craftiness and the ability to figure things out. The Anchor Bible translates it "shrewd" in 22:3. People with such wisdom anticipate evil and avoid it. On the other hand the na´ve blunder full-speed ahead into evil and end up suffering severe consequences for their lack of foresight.

There is a play on words in the Hebrew text in this second line of 22:3. The basic meaning of the verb is to "go on" or "pass through." Evil is not mentioned in the second line but implied from the first line (NRSV: danger). The na´ve go on into evil without a thought. However, the verb "go on" can also be translated "transgress" in some contexts. (A transgression is going on past the boundary set by the law of God.) Thus one could translate, "The na´ve transgress and are punished as a result." The proverb makes no reference to the particular punishment or suffering that the na´ve will face. The painful consequences are different in almost every case of foolishness.

When both lines of Proverbs 22:3 and 27:12 are taken together they point out a very important fact. There are times in life when it is best to run and hide. Obviously there are also times when it is necessary to stand and fight. In typical pragmatic fashion, Proverbs bases the decision of when to do which on one’s chances for winning. There are certain temptations at certain times of our lives that are best dealt with by running. There are other times and temptations where we must take a stand. The measure of wisdom is the ability to understand oneself well enough to know when he or she can be victorious standing and fighting and when that will lead to disaster.

The end result is stated in Proverbs 14:18. The na´ve become fools and the prudent begin to possess knowledge. One does not stay na´ve forever. At some point it is no longer immaturity or lack of experience but plain old stupidity. The na´ve who will not learn from experience become fools doomed to repeating their wrong choices over and over. On the other hand, wisdom provides compounded interest.

Characteristics of a Fool: Proverbs 17:10; 16; 24; 27:22; 15:14; 26:11; 18:2; 28:26; 12:15; and 14:33

For Christians schooled in Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:22 concerning the dangers of calling someone a "fool," Proverbs sounds very harsh and judgmental. As Aitken (p. 96) notes, "Israel…did not suffer fools gladly. While they had every hope that the simple would heed their instruction and become wise, they expected nothing of the sort from the fool."

Proverbs 17:16 bluntly declares that a fool has no mind. The Hebrew word is "heart," which spoke of the seat of the will. NRSV captures the meaning when it translates that the fool has "no mind to learn." The verse is warning against investing money (or too much time) in a fool since that investment is sure to be lost.

Proverbs 17:24 points out that the wise are committed to learning wisdom, but the fool’s attention is easily distracted. The issue is not that some people are just easily distracted and there is no hope for them. The point is that wisdom comes from the discipline of staying focused. Naturally there are some people for whom staying focused is more difficult than it is for others. That is true in many areas of life, but does not change the necessity of extra discipline in difficult areas.

A significant part of wisdom is the ability to learn from experience. Proverbs 17:10 and 27:22 point out that fools resist instruction from the voice of experience. Verse 17:10 uses a comparative statement to make the point. A single word of rebuke is more effective to a wise person than a hundred blows to the fool. The issue is openness to instruction and changing of behavior. Even if life or society should deal crushing blows to the fool as 27:22 suggests, foolishness refuses to be eliminated. The problem is not that the fool is lacking mental capacity. Rather, his appetite is for foolishness. That is the point of Proverbs 15:14.

Proverbs 26:11 expresses the point with more disgust. "Like a dog returning to his vomit is the fool that repeats his folly." Not only does the fool have a perverse taste for foolishness he seeks the easy and fun way in life.

Proverbs 18:2 points out that the fool does not enjoy understanding. Wisdom requires the discipline of learning but the fool prefers the more immediate reward of hearing the sound of his own voice. Since wisdom is such hard work and his own words sound so good the fool sees no need to pay the price of instruction. The problem with such a view is that it erects its own defense against good sense. Thus Proverbs 28:26 and 12:15 point out that fools are convinced of their own rightness; only the wise are ready to be corrected. Such arrogance is never wise and never attractive.

More Characteristics of a Fool: Proverbs 13:16; 12:23; 17:28; 26:7; 9; 15:2; 7; 24:7; 29:11; 12:16; 20:3; 14:16; 13:19; 10:23; 15:21; 14:8; 12; 24; 16:25

Wisdom provides a quiet protection for those who seek her, but fools quickly expose their foolishness. Proverbs 13:16 and 12:23 point out that fools are rarely ashamed of their folly. Rather, they seek to display their stupidity on front and center stage. One of the areas in which their foolishness is most obvious is discovered simply by listening to them. The words that foolish people speak are devastating revelations of folly. Thus the smartest thing a foolish person can do is to keep his or her mouth shut.

In fact, Proverbs 17:28 points out that it is hard to tell the difference between a wise person and a fool who remains silent. One of the hallmarks of the fool is his inability to remain silent. A more contemporary expression of this proverb is, "Better to keep quiet and have people wonder if you are a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." Once the fool succumbs to the temptation to "shoot off his mouth" his very words turn against him. That is the point of Proverbs 26:7 and 9. Even a wise proverb in the mouth of a fool is as useless as lame legs or as painfully stupid as the drunk who grasps a thorn bush for support. Proverbs 15:2 and 7 paint a vivid contrast between the wise and the fool. The wise person uses knowledge well and calmly. Wise speech is considered and considerate. On the other hand the fool’s mouth gushes with foolishness.

However, it is not just in their words that fools expose their ignorance. Attitudes and behavior are also clear indications of a foolish person. Anger and irritation are part of life and every person must learn to deal with those emotions. Wisdom teaches a person to delay the expression of anger while a foolish person gives full expression to his anger as Proverbs 29:11 observes. It is wiser to ignore an insult than to pop off an immediate put-down. The result of a quick trigger mouth is constant quarreling. Wise people understand the danger of speaking before thinking and are cautious. The fool rushes in carelessly.

The word in Proverbs 14:16 translated "careless" by the Revised Standard Version comes from the root meaning confident and secure. The fool feels free to act without thinking because of an exaggerated sense that he will succeed and work everything out. It is easy to envy such confident security but the final results are not worthwhile. Proverbs 13:19 points out that the desire for the fulfillment of personal goals is so powerful for a fool that he or she would rather have the heart’s desire than to avoid evil. This attitude can become so powerful that fools will laugh off doing wrong. Proverbs 10:23 calls wrong-doing a sport for fools and Proverbs 15:21 describes folly as joy for the senseless. In contrast, the wise take pleasure in right conduct.

It is not difficult to find examples in present day life of these two opposing ways of living. In the final analysis, "the wise get wiser and the fools become more foolish" (Proverbs 14:8, 24). The bottom line is that there is a way that seems right, but leads to death. Proverbs is clear that wisdom leads to life and foolishness leads to death.

The Consequences of Foolishness: Proverbs 10:13, 14; 14:3; 18:6; 7; 26:3; 10:8; 16:22; 10:21; 19:3

Proverbs 10:13 and 14:3 note that punishment and suffering are the lot of the foolish. Wisdom provides its own reward and senselessness will bring its own pain. The "rod" was used for corporal punishment and is frequently mentioned in Proverbs for the discipline of children. It is likely that the word is used here in figuratively for painful consequences.

Alden (pp. 86-87) points out that the Old Testament emphasis on beating or spanking represented an advance over other cultures of Biblical times. Philistines and Babylonians gouged out the eyes of those they captured and would display the dead bodies of those they killed as trophies. Canaanites would cut off thumbs and toes. The Old Testament had a higher view of the human body and would not disfigure or dismember it. Proverbs 18:6 indicates that physical beating (flogging) could be the consequence of foolishness. A parent, employer, or even enemy could well administer such a painful rebuke for foolishness.

The word "rod" also appears in Proverbs 26:3 where it is described as appropriate for a fool in the same way a whip is appropriate for a horse and a bridle for a donkey. In this context the fool is compared to a dumb animal. The point is that you cannot reason with a fool; he must be physically forced into submission.

Proverbs also speaks of "ruin" as one of the consequences of folly. Proverbs 10:8; 14; 18:7; and 19:3 all describe "ruin" as the lot of the foolish. The Hebrew word translated "ruin" comes from a root meaning to be broken, abolished, afraid, or dismayed. It was used in Psalm 89:40 to describe the broken remnants of a destroyed city. We would speak of the "ruins" of the city.

Most often the word is used in an abstract sense to mean the breaking apart or destruction of a person’s life. It is this sense of the word that is used in these proverbs. The life of foolishness will mean the ruin and destruction of life. It may not happen immediately, but folly destroys. The fascinating fact is that when foolishness leads to ruin many people lash out against God as Proverbs 19:3 points out. Human beings have a tendency to claim the credit when it should be given to God and blame God when the fault lies at their own door. In fact, one of the characteristics of sin ever since Genesis 3 is the tendency to blame someone else. That tendency causes us to miss many opportunities for spiritual growth.

Dealing With a Fool: Proverbs 27:3; 17:12; 23:9; 26:1; 4-6; 8; 10; 29:9; 14:7; 13:20

Dealing with fools is difficult. In fact, Proverbs 27:3 says that it is easier to lug around a heavy stone and bag of sand than to put up with a fool. Not only is it difficult; it is dangerous. Proverbs 17:12 declares that it is safer to deal with a mother bear bereft of her cubs than to meet a fool engaged in folly. A she-bear who has been robbed of her cubs will respond with rage to any provocation. At least that much is predictable. What a fool will do is totally unpredictable but often as lethal as the enraged bear. Thus one’s behavior toward fools is a significant part of wisdom.

The first advice these proverbs give is to watch what you say around a fool. Proverbs 23:9 advises complete silence. The expression, "Do not speak in the hearing of a fool," does not mean to refuse to talk whenever an undesirable character might overhear. The Hebrew literally says not to speak in the "ears" of a fool. The point is to not address a fool directly. Don’t waste time trying to instruct a fool; it is wasted effort. Proverbs 26:4 provides similar instruction. Answering a fool when he has said something stupid brings you down to his level. It is not worth it. However, the following verse commands the reader to answer a fool according to his folly so his foolishness will not go uncontested.

The contradiction of Proverbs 26:4 and 26:5 has often been troublesome to those who did not understand the way proverbs work. Even some of the Rabbis at various times in Jewish history have questioned the right of Proverbs to be in the canon of Scripture on the basis of these two verses. Garrett, however (p. 212), notes that these two proverbs "illustrate the principle that aphorisms are by nature generalizations that do not give the exhaustive truth on a whole corpus of wisdom."

In fact the two proverbs need to be together to bring out the difficult of dealing with a fool. It is what Kidner (p. 162) calls "the dilemma of those who would reason with the unreasonable." The conclusion is that a wise person must make a careful choice every time he or she is addressed by a fool. That choice is between being dragged down to the fool’s level by responding or letting folly remain unanswered. One thing is clear. Proverbs 29:9 says, "Don’t argue with a fool." The Hebrew text suggests arguments that end up in court of law. Litigation with a fool is dangerous, but so are arguments in general. Do not expect an objective effort to learn the truth. Whether by mockery or by blustering fury the argument will be emotionally violent.

Neither should a wise person trust a fool to accomplish anything without some kind of trouble. Proverbs 26:6 says that sending a message via a fool is a sure recipe for trouble. To hire a fool off the street is to risk immense damage according to Proverbs 26:10. The Hebrew text of this proverb is garbled and there have been many interpretations of what the proverb originally intended. One of the more probable of such interpretations is that a person may as well begin randomly shooting arrows into a crowd as to hire a fool. The point of the verse, however it may have been originally worded, is that no important task should be put into fools’ hands.

Proverbs 14:7 and 13:20 suggest that the best way to deal with a fool is to avoid his company altogether. As Aitken says (p. 105) a fool generously shares his folly with his companions and fellowship with him will tend to cause one to share in that folly. Neither the words nor the experiences of a fool lead to wisdom. One might learn valuable lessons from the sad ends to which fools come, but companions of the fools share in the ruin rather than learning from it. The fool should be left to suffer the consequences of his foolishness himself. By no means should honor or public position be granted to a fool according to Proverbs 26:1 and 8. Snow in the summer is just out of place. Rain during the harvest season is harmful. A stone tied into the sling is downright dangerous. All three descriptions are applied to the idea of granting honor to a fool.

The Hothead: Proverbs 17:27; 14:17; 29; 29:22; 15:18; 19:11; 19; 14:30; 25:28; 16:32; 22:24; 25; 15:1; 27:4

The hotheaded person with a short temper caused enough trouble that the wise pondered the meaning of such behavior. Hebrew has some interesting literal expressions for the short-tempered person. Proverbs 15:18 literally speaks of the "heated" one and the word is usually translated as "hot-tempered." Proverbs 14:17 speaks of the "short-nosed" person and this phrase is translated as "quick-tempered." In contrast Proverbs 17:27 speaks of a person who is "cool in spirit" to mean even tempered and Proverbs 14:29 speaks of a "long-nosed" person as one slow to anger.

Proverbs make several points about the hothead. He acts foolishly. Proverbs 14:17 and 29 both note this fact. His temper destroys his judgment and his behavior is foolish even if he does not act like a fool when he is not angry. So often a lost temper produces results worse than whatever caused the person to loose their temper. On the other hand, a person who controls his or her temper is able to think more clearly and act more rationally. Often simply delaying one’s response to a difficult situation allows better understanding to emerge. The hothead also causes trouble. Proverbs 29:22 and 15:18 both describe the hothead stirring up strife. Angry people create the heat that provokes more anger. This leads to increasingly sharp disagreements. The escalation of dissension will ultimately lead to out and out fighting.

The Hebrew text of Proverbs 19:19 appears to have been damaged and most interpreters resort to some sort of interpretive reconstruction of the text. The most likely meaning is that hothead gets into the same trouble over and over. Kidner (p. 134) interprets the verse to mean that "an ungovernable temper will repeatedly land its owner in fresh trouble. Bailing such a person out of trouble will be a never-ending job. It is also counterproductive because it allows the hothead to continue with the delusion that his vice is harmless.

Proverbs 14:30 then concludes that this short- temperedness is unhealthy. It causes ones bones to rot. The NIV catches the meaning of the Hebrew well when it says that envy rots the bones. Hateful attitudes kill from the inside out.

Proverbs 25:28 and 16:32 point out that the hothead is defenseless. Without the protection of discipline and instruction the person lacking self-control is almost powerless against what Aitken (p. 109) calls the "destructive power of passion from within, or temptation from without."

The practical conclusion is to not make friends with a hothead as Proverbs 22:24-25 advises. A person ought to try soft words instead of harsh ones; that often makes the difference.

The Proud and the Scoffer: Proverbs 21:24; 24:9; 14:6; 15:12; 26:12; 19:25; 29; 21:11; 29:8; 13:10; 22:10; 16:18; 11:2; 29:3; 18:12; 21:4; 16:5; 15:33; 22:4

One of the worst fools is the scoffer. Proverbs 21:24 points out that this mocking individual is arrogant and proud. He or she has no regard for another person’s opinion. The scoffer clearly does not lack mental capacity. Rather he or she chooses to avoid instruction. Proverbs 14:6 and 15:12 make that clear. The scoffer sees no need for such instruction because he is "wise in his own eyes" as Proverbs 26:12 point out. It is impossible to teach those who already know everything there is to know. Kidner (p. 42) describes the scoffer as creating more trouble than the ordinary fool because he plays the role of "debunker and deliberate trouble-maker." The mocking debunking of some people regarded as leaders in society and the church has dangerous long-range consequences for the community in question. The sardonic know-it-all who is contemptuous of the wisdom of the ages leads the impressionable people astray and discourages those wishing to know the truth.

The scoffer’s arrogance and unteachability create conflict. Proverbs 29:8; 13:10; and 22:10 all refer to the strife that accompanies the scoffer. The trouble-making tendencies of the scoffer lead him or her to fan the flames of conflict. Verse 29:8 points out that it is the wise who play the role of peace-maker. The mocking of faith and of social well-being by the scoffer leaves a trail of destruction that a community will be long repairing. The conclusion is inevitable. The scoffer must go and Proverbs 22:10 commands that such a person be driven out.

The chief problem of the scoffer is pride and Proverbs has some strong criticism for those who are proud. Proverbs 16:18 sums up the foolishness of pride, "Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." The words translated "pride" and "haughty" come from different Hebrew roots that both mean to be high or raised up. The problem with pride is that the person has too high a view of himself or herself.

In Luke 18:9-14 Jesus told the parable of the tax- collector (publican) and the Pharisee. In that parable the Pharisee exalted himself above the tax- collector, above other human beings, and above his need for God. One of the tragedies of pride is that it creates a false sense of security that one is adequate in oneself for all life will present. In fact, the essence of sin is that arrogant confidence that God’s word and will do not matter compared to self-will and desire. Proverbs 21:4 makes this theological connection between pride and sin.

However, most of the proverbs are more practically focused on the life consequences of pride. Proverbs 16:18 and 18:12 describe destruction as the result of pride. Proverbs 16:18 mentions a fall and Proverbs 11:12 mentions disgrace as outcomes of pride. Proverbs 29:3 reminds us of the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32 as it points to the fact that pride often leads to wasted resources.

The remedy for pride is humility. Humility is a correct understanding of who we are in the sight of God. Humility is not an attitude of self-hatred, for God highly values us. However, God created us to be his obedient creatures rather than rival gods. That is why Proverbs 15:33 connects the fear of the Lord with instruction in wisdom and with humility.

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.

Note: This section 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.

First Day: Read the notes on Proverbs 10-31 – Character Sketches. Look up the Scripture references given.

1. Identify one or two pieces of new information that seemed important to you. Describe why these ideas were significant for your life.

2. Select one or two insights that have significant application in your life. What spiritual meaning applies to your life from these insights?

3. Write a brief prayer asking the Lord to help you understand who you are in Christ. Ask him to teach you your worth and other people’s worth so genuine humility can grow in your life.

Second Day: Read Proverbs 15. Now focus on Proverbs 26:13,14; 22:13; 19:24; 26:15; 10:26; 13:4; 16:26; 21:25; 20:4; 12:27; 26:16; 19:15; 12:24; 15:19; and 18:9.

1. Summarize the message of these focus proverbs in your own words. Which of the proverbs comes closest to summing up the whole matter?

2. Which of these proverbs speaks most powerfully to you personally? Why? What does the proverb tell you that you need to do?

3. Are the basic ideas of these proverbs new to you or familiar? If familiar, where did you learn this? Thank God for that teaching. What are you doing to pass it on to another generation? If these proverbs are new, write a prayer asking the Lord to help you learn to live by their wisdom.

Third Day: Read Proverbs 16. Focus in on Proverbs 20:13; 24:30-34; and 6:6-11.

1. What attitude toward sleep and rest do these focus proverbs warn against? How would you relate it to the message of Exodus 20:9-11?

2. Read Ephesians 4:28. How does its message fit in with that of these focus proverbs?

3. Write a brief statement of the Bible’s view of work. What is the purpose of work? Who benefits from work? What should happen to those who don’t work? What should happen to those who can’t work?

Fourth Day: Read Proverbs 17. Now focus on Proverbs 20:1; 23:19-21 and 29-35.

1. What view of drunkenness is presented in these focus verses? What figures of speech do these proverbs use to communicate the danger of drunkenness? What is the point of each figure of speech?

2. What are the consequences of drunkenness that these focus proverbs teach? Have you seen similar results in people who you know? In your opinion what is the worst consequence of drunkenness?

3. There appears to be a significant increase of drinking alcohol among younger and younger people. Increasing numbers of churched children socially drink and have become drunk. How do you think the church should respond? What ministries and message should come from the church to its young people?

Fifth Day: Read Proverbs 18. Now focus on Proverbs 27:20; 28:25; 23:6-8; 11:24 and 25.

1. What two characteristics of greedy persons are described in these focus proverbs? Do you struggle with either of these characteristics in your own life? If so, what do you want to do about it?

2. The apostle speaks of greed or greediness in 1 Corinthians 5:10, 11; 6:10; Ephesians 4:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:5; 1 Timothy 3:8; and Titus 1:7. How would you summarize his view of greediness?

3. Do you believe stinginess is compatible with Christlikeness? Why or why not? Write a prayer asking God to help you become more generous and telling him why you want that to happen.

Sixth Day: Read Proverbs 19. Now focus in on Proverbs 23:26-28; 22:14; and 30:20.

1. What do these focus proverbs teach about the "strange woman?" What is the point of calling this woman a "deep pit?"

2. How does the message of these proverbs compare with the teaching found in Proverbs 5-7? Which section of Proverbs provides the most detailed instruction in this area of life?

3. Write a prayer asking the Lord to help you protect your own sexual purity. Also ask him to direct you to what you can do to help make our society more respectful of sexual purity.

Readings for Lesson 7

Day 2

26:13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!"

26:14 As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.

22:13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!"

19:24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, and will not even bring it back to his mouth.

26:15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.

26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer discreetly.

10:26 Like vinegar to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.

13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves, and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

16:26 A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on.

21:25 The desire of the sluggard kills him for his hands refuse to labor.

20:4 The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.

12:27 A slothful man will not catch his prey, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.

19:15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.

12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.

15:19 The way of a sluggard is overgrown with thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.

18:9 He who is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.

Day 3

20:13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.

24:30 I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man without sense;

24:31 and lo, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles; and its stone wall was broken down.

24:32 Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction.

24:33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest;

24:34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.

6:6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

6:7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler,

6:8 she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest.

6:9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?

6:10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,

6:11 and poverty will come upon you like a vagabond, and want like an armed man.

Day 4

20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

23:19 Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your mind in the way.

23:20 Be not among winebibbers, or among gluttonous eaters of meat;

23:21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

23:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining?

Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?

23:30 Those who tarry long over wine, those who go to try mixed wine.

23:31 Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.

23:32 At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder.

23:33 Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind utter perverse things.

23:34 You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast.

23:35 "They struck me," you will say, "but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink."

Day 5

27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.

28:25 A greedy man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.

23:6 Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies;

23:7 for he is like one who is inwardly reckoning. "Eat and drink!" he says to you; but his heart is not with you.

23:8 You will vomit up the morsels which you have eaten, and waste your pleasant words.

11:24 One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.

11:25 A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Day 6

23:26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

23:27 For a harlot is a deep pit; an adventuress is a narrow well.

23:28 She lies in wait like a robber and increases the faithless among men.

22:14 The mouth of a loose woman is a deep pit; he with whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.

30:20 This is the way of an adulteress: she eats, and wipes her mouth, and says, "I have done no wrong."

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