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Proverbs 10-31
More Character Sketches

Roger Hahn

Editing and additions by Dennis Bratcher

Lesson 7 dealt with Proverbs’ characterization of the sluggard, drunkard, and greedy persons. In addition to the negative criticisms of the sluggard and the greedy person, the proverbs presented positive affirmations of diligent and generous people. This lesson will deal with the mischief-maker, the liar, the flatterer, the talebearer, the righteous, and the wicked.

The Mischief-Maker: Proverbs 24:8; 12:5, 20; 16:30; 18:1; 28:5; 21:8; 13:2, 5; 21:29; 21:10; 16:29; 11:9; 29:7, 10,27; 11:30; 12:10; 15:28; 16:27; 12:6; 10:6, 11, 20, 32

The book of Proverbs describes a character who spends his time conniving and scheming to avoid the demands of God and society on his life and to get the most for the least. Proverbs 24:8 provides a name for this character which the RSV and NRSV translate as "mischief-maker." The NIV and the NASB translate the term as "schemer" while the KJV calls him simply a "mischievous person." The Hebrew text calls him a "master of schemes" or a "master of plans." (The Hebrew word for master in Proverbs 24:8 is baal, though there is no connection to Baal worship. It is a good example of the secular use of the word.) The word for schemes or plans is the same word used in Proverbs 1:4 and translated there as discretion or prudence. The meaning of the word is to plan ahead prudently. The context determines whether that planning is motivated by good or by evil intentions. Proverbs 24:8 clearly speaks of planning for evil purposes in the first line of the verse. The first nine chapters of Proverbs had warned the reader several times of people who planned evil (1:8-19; 2:12-25; 4:14-19; and 6:12-15). The proverbial sayings of Proverbs 10-31 echo the warnings against association with such people.

Proverbs uses several words of the intentionally evil person that are also part of the admonitions to the wise. However, the proverbs do not have to advise the mischief-maker to plan his evil shrewdly; he seems to come by that trait naturally. Proverbs 12:20 describes this person as one who "devises evil." The Hebrew word for devising is also used for engraving or plowing. Here it is used with evil as the object being devised. This strange combination of meanings seems to reflect an understanding of intentional evil. Like the plowman who plans a pattern of plowing to cover the field and the engraver who repeated etches the marks in the metal, so the mischief-maker purposefully repeats evil so that it is entrenched.

However, that pattern of evil living brings deceit. Though the mischief-maker deceives others, the tragic deception is the way he deceives himself. All his scheming abilities that could be used for good are producing frustration and failure. The contrasting second line of 12:20 is instructive. Those who counsel peace will have joy. Advising or counseling for peace is the opposite of intending evil. The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, speaks of a total well-being and fulfillment. The one who devises evil misses out on that sense of well-being because he is constantly trying to manipulate life. He also exchanges joy for self-deception – a tragic transaction.

Proverbs 12:5 points out another contrast between the one who plans evil and the one who seeks good. Treachery marks the life of the mischief-maker. The word for treachery was especially used in the Old Testament for deceptive words that mislead another person. In contrast the thoughts of the righteous person are just which means they promote right relationships with people rather than strained relationships.

The Hebrew text of Proverbs 18:1 is difficult to make sense of and different translators have tried various strategies to understand the proverb. The common elements are a person who is alone and who despises sound judgment from others. It appears that the proverb is trying to point out that certain wicked people alienate themselves from the community. They despise the "common sense" that the community accepts and as a result they are then feared and despised by the community.

This is the fate of the mischief-maker. He has no use for what most people consider right and as a result he has become an outcast. There are times when everyone else is wrong and the righteous person must take a stand against the whole community. But these times are rare. Even when they occur the truly righteous person is not just concerned with who is right and who is wrong. The upright person is also concerned that the community be saved from moral harm. Such a goal makes the feelings and understanding of the whole community more important than the individual attention that arises from "being right." Ministry to and for the body is sometimes a painful and patient process of knowing how far to push before withdrawing to let the results settle in.

Proverbs 16:30 points out that the mischief-maker is often identified by body language. Though different cultures have different physical gestures that create confidence or concern body language will often give a person’s true intent away. In both ancient Israel and modern America a certain kind of wink suggests that something unsavory is going on. Ancient Israel also used pursed lips (lips together and pushed forward) to communicate scorn for another.

However, the point of the proverb is not to teach about the gestures of ancient Israel. The point is to warn us not to be taken in by the appeal to our ego with gestures that communicate intimacy and being part of an in-group when the real agenda is anything less than God’s will. Once we have concluded that it is rarely wise to oppose the community’s common sense, we become susceptible to the temptation to belong to the wrong group. Whether it is a lewd wink inviting us into cliquish off-color humor or backslapping that invites us to cliquish clubs that put outsiders down, wisdom answers with a quiet but resounding, "No."

One of the chief concerns of a righteous person in ancient Israel was justice for all God’s people. Proverbs 28:5 points out that evil people do not understand justice but that those who seek the Lord understand it completely. The word "justice" in the Hebrew text describes the context, content, and process of providing a well-ordered and fairly provided-for life for every Israelite. Such justice was to be accomplished by obedience to the Torah (Law) of God. One of the purposes of the Torah was to bring order and fairness in all the dealings of God’s people with one another. Righteous people understand that purpose and interpret the individual laws in light of Torah’s grand intent. Evil people care only for themselves and so they twist the Law to their own benefit and ignore the justice due others that the Law intended. That is why Proverbs 29:7 can say that a righteous person knows the rights of the poor but a wicked person has not such knowledge. The issue at stake is not factual knowledge of what the law says but a heart commitment to what the Law intends.

The mischief-maker’s disregard for what God intended through the Torah has several implications. Truth becomes a commodity to use or not use according to personal convenience for the mischief-maker. However, for the person committed to justice and righteousness, truth is God’s plan to sustain the order and rights of each person especially in that person’s relationships with more powerful people. Thus Proverbs 13:5 notes that the righteous person will hate falsehood, but the wicked person has no sense of shame or disgrace. The wicked one makes each decision on the basis of "what it means for me" rather than whether or not it is right for all.

Proverbs 21:29 notes that the wicked must put up a good front (NRSV: a bold face). In contrast the person of integrity has no need to worry about his or her image. Integrity is ultimately its own regard while constant attention to image is necessary for those who change colors with every shift in context. This proverb is a powerful rebuke to contemporary society’s frantic drive for image management rather than for the security of integrity. Proverbs 21:8 makes a similar point. The way (life) of the wicked is crooked while the behavior of the pure is upright. R .B. Y. Scott in the Anchor Bible translates Proverbs 21:8 this way, "The way of the liar is subversive, but the just man’s action is innocent."

Mercy is another casualty in the mischief-maker’s war against the will of God expressed in the Torah. Proverbs 21:10 states the self-centeredness of the mischief-maker in a graphic way. This person is so intent on evil that even his neighbors will find no mercy from him. You might expect this wicked person to show no mercy to his enemies or those with whom he does not have to live on a regular basis. But even a wicked person ought to be compassionate to his neighbor – after all you never know when you may need your neighbor’s help. But the person intent on evil ignores even this common sense compassion. Not even his neighbor will find the bare bones of mercy.

Proverbs 12:10 pushes the matter further. A righteous person takes care of his animals but the wicked show no mercy and his animals suffer the brutality of his cruelty. Deuteronomy 25:4 shows that the Torah required "justice" for animals also. These passages are not talking about pets, but animals used in the agricultural economy such as oxen, donkeys, and perhaps horses or camels. Abuse of such animals undermines one’s own investments and future, but the wicked person is more committed to the feelings of power that violence brings than to his own good.

Another characteristic of the mischief-maker is the damage done by his words. Proverbs 15:28 compares the mouth of the wicked person to a contaminated spring that gushes forth harm. The righteous and wise person will think about the effects of the words they speak before speaking. They will refuse to speak words that bring harm, but the mischief-maker has no such consideration. His opinion will be known regardless of the cost to others and to himself.

Proverbs 16:27 then points out that the mischief-maker’s speech is like scorching fire. Though ancient Palestinians occasionally burned off weeds and thistles fire was most often an instrument of war. Crops and homes were frequently burned to intimidate the enemy. Hateful and hurtful words are as devastating to one’s psyche as fire to one’s home and crops.

The harmful effect of the words of the wicked is also seen in Proverbs 12:6. "The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood." This powerful figure of speech describes the wicked as waiting to verbally ambush the innocent passer-by. Any insider group is tempted to this behavior toward outsiders who don’t know the lingo or the history of the group. Church cliques too often provide obnoxious examples of this kind of verbal violence. Both Proverbs 10:6 and 11 note that "the mouth of the wicked conceals violence." The Hebrew text can be taken in two different ways. The NASB, RSV, and NRSV translate "the mouth of the wicked conceals violence." The NIV translates, "violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked." The KJV followed a sense similar to that of the NIV. The plain order of the Hebrew suggests the translation of the NASB, RSV, and NRSV. The point is that the mischief-maker uses words to camouflage the devastating results of their evil intentions.

The second line of Proverbs 12:6 states the purpose of words in the community of faith. The speech of righteous and wise people should be designed to "deliver" others. The Hebrew word for "deliver" was often used for rescue from physical danger. However, it also functioned as a synonym for the word for salvation. Wisdom learns to speak redemptive and saving words. This is true both in the sense of words that lead another to saving relationship with God through Christ and words that reconcile hurt and restore peaceful relationships with others.

Proverbs 10:20 sums up the matter with a devastating adjustment of Hebrew parallelism. "The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the mind of the wicked is of little worth." Choice silver and little worth are obvious opposites, components of antithetical parallelism. Righteous and wicked are opposites, also part of the antithetical parallelism pattern. But are tongue and mind opposites? Not really. Then, are they parallel? Again, not exactly. The patterns of Hebrew parallelism should have produced either a parallel or an opposite, but the proverb stretches the pattern to make a point. The words of the wicked are not just words. They are the products of the wicked mind. They are the products of evil intentions. Words are the products of the heart as Jesus well understood (see Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45). The management of one’s mouth is one of the great challenges of the Christian life as James 3:2-12 makes clear.

The Liar, Flatterer, and Whisperer: Proverbs 12:19, 22; 26:23, 28; 29:5; 18:8; 26:20, 22; 16:28; 11:12, 13; 20:19; 10:18; 25:23; and 17:4

The liar, flatterer, and whisperer are special types of mischief-makers. They make mischief with their words, but Proverbs gives special attention to the harm they produce.

Though all three draw the stern rebuke of Israel’s sages the liar receives the harshest condemnation. Aitken (p. 135) points out that Proverbs make three basic statements about lying. First, God Abhors lying. Proverbs 12:22 states the matter quite bluntly, "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord." A lying tongue is also mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-17 as one of the six things the Lord hates, one of the seven things that are an abomination to him. This is strong language. Our culture has watered down the sense of sin and of God’s judgment to the point that these words seem like an over-reaction.

Proverbs does not directly state why God is so violently opposed to lying but reasons are not hard to find. The second line of Proverbs 12:22 states that God delights in those who act faithfully. The Hebrew word here translated as "faithfully" means firmness, faithfulness, or fidelity. It was most frequently used in the Old Testament to describe God himself in his total dependability. God abhors lying because it violates his very nature. And the people he has created in his image are designed to be people of fidelity. To fall short of God’s absolute dependability is one thing; to intentionally lie and destroy credibility is a far more serious matter. God abhors lying because it is a deliberate expression of hostility against his very nature. This is not simply a matter of Old Testament rigidity. When Jesus stated in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life," he was also defining the essential character of God as revealed through himself (Christ). For a Christian to lie is to deny the genuineness of the Incarnation.

The second matter is that lying has no future. Proverbs 12:19 puts the matter this way. "Truthful lips endure for ever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment." This emphasis again arises out of God’s nature. Scripture everywhere reveals God to be a God of the future. His promises are meaningless apart from his ability to bring the promised tomorrow into reality. Only what is dependable can guarantee God’s future. The Old Testament definition of truth is that which is dependable or reliable. Lying has no future. It simply begins to spin a growing web of falsehood trying to avoid being found out. Thus lying is at odds with God’s orientation toward our future good. It is swimming against God’s current in puny defiance of his faithfulness for our future.

The third problem that Proverbs identifies is that lying creates hatred and destroys the trust of community. Proverbs 26:28 states that a lying tongue hates its victims. Kidner (p. 164) puts the matter this way, "… deceit, whether it hurts or soothes, is practical hatred, since truth is vital, and pride fatal, to right decisions." A liar expresses contemptuous disregard for the person about whom he or she lies since the lie intentionally attempts to destroy reality for the victim. Without truthfulness (reliability) we have no way of constructing a world in which human beings can live. Jesus addressed this issue in the Sermon on the Mount when he rejected oaths to verify one’s words. "Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’." (Matthew 5:37) Unless one can trust the words of another there is no possibility of community or meaningful relationship. In the long run the response to deceit will be the burning anger of hatred.

One of the specialized liars is the flatterer. The flatterer is literally one who makes smooth words. This is the same root that was used to describe the "smooth words" of the seductress in Proverbs 5:3. Aitken (p. 136) compares the flatterer and the seductress by stating, "The flatterer’s words are in the same debased currency of deceit and duplicity as hers."

Proverbs 26:23 describes flattery as being "like glaze covering a piece of pottery." Pottery is nothing but dirt, clay formed by a special combination of dirt and water. The glaze on pottery was painted in Biblical times in beautiful colors and patterns that hid the earthen-ness of the pot. However, gravity and the bumps of life had a nasty way of reminding people that the most beautiful pottery was still no more substantial than dirt.

The Old Testament never forgot that human beings were created from dirt. From dust we came; to dust we go. Whatever pretensions we might wish to entertain about our true nature, the bumps of life always provided a reality check. Like the glaze on pottery flattery tempts people to think more highly of themselves than they ought to think (see Romans 12:3). Proverbs is not opposed to compliments or to edifying words. Flattery is condemned because it is an attempt to manipulate reality. Part of the problem is that flattery manipulates reality in a way that is very hard to resist. It is the nature of sin to want desperately to believe something better than the truth about ourselves. Once we have begun to believe the exaggeration of flattery pride is on the doorstep. As Aitken (p. 137) points out from Proverbs 26:28, "Flattery creates and inflates pride. That is its ‘snare’ and its ‘ruin’." The problem is that flattery is the best tasting poison we ever drink.

The whisperer is also known as the slanderer, gossip, and talebearer. The business of slander is the ugly side of the whisperer. Proverbs 16:28 uses Hebrew parallelism to equate a whisperer and a perverse person. The more common side of the whisperer is gossip. However, whether the sin is slander or gossip the results are similar. Proverbs 16:28 mentions strife and destruction of friendships as the result of the whisperer’s work.

Proverbs 11:13 lists betrayal of friends and neighbors among the results of the whisperer. Proverbs 11:9 suggests that character assassination results from the whisperer. However, Proverbs 18:8 and 26:22 reveal an even more dangerous result. The words of a whisperer are received like delicious candy. The listener almost inhales the juicy piece of gossip oblivious to the damage such morsels cause to the relationship with the one gossiped about.

It is a sad fact of human nature that we so eagerly latch upon gossip. It is as if bad news about another makes us feel better about ourselves. But such feeling better is deceptive. We are not better; we are worse off for having entertained damaging thoughts about another regardless of whether they were true or not. And the relationship with the person gossiped about is forever damaged. The rabbis of Jesus’ time wisely urged, "Let the honor of your neighbor be as dear to you as your own [honor]."

The Righteous and the Wicked

The most common terms used to describe people in Proverbs are the often-paired terms, the righteous and the wicked. Many of the passages already cited in the character sketches of Proverbs have used these terms. Numerous others can be cited. Most of them come from a variety of directions at the same basic point – the righteous prosper and the wicked suffer. Many people see this as the primary teaching of the entire book of Proverbs.

The righteous person moves through life securely according to Proverbs 10:9 because he or she is guided by integrity (Proverbs 11:3) and righteousness guards the way (Proverbs 13:6). God himself is the protection of the righteous (Proverbs 10:29), which provides a strong foundation (Proverbs 10:25) to enjoy the Lord’s delight (Proverbs 11:20); to experience prosperity (Proverbs 13:21); never to lack enough to eat (Proverbs 10:3 and 13:25); and to experience the desires of his or her heart (Proverbs 10:24). Life, fullness of life, is the joyful experience of the righteous (Proverbs 10:16; 11:19; 12:21 and 28). As Aitken (p. 142) remarks, "Little wonder, then, that he finds much to sing and rejoice over (29:6; 13:9)."

In contrast, the wicked experiences little to sing about. Though he may gain wealth it is invested in sin according to Proverbs 10:16. Even the appearance of wealth is deceptive for a wicked man earns deceptive wages (Proverbs 11:18). Though he thinks that wealth is his it will end up in the hands of the righteous according to Proverbs 13:22 and trouble will befall his income (Proverbs 15:6). Bad luck dogs the footsteps of the wicked (Proverbs 13:21); trouble finds him (Proverbs 11:8 and 12:21); his foot is caught in the snares of his own devising (Proverbs 11:6; 12:13; and 29:6); his hopes and dreams come up short (Proverbs 10:3; 10:28; and 11:23); and God has turned against him (Proverbs 11:21; 12:2; and 15:9 and 26).

Here we need to recall that these are not ironclad promises from God. Israel knew all too well the realities of life that sometimes left wicked people seeming to prosper (Jer 12:1, Job 21:7, Psa 73:3). Yet, while they did sometimes ponder why the wicked seem to prosper, the sages of Israel had a clear answer. Any success experienced by the wicked was only temporary.

The consequence of this confidence was the firm conviction that the righteous should not worry about the temporary success of the wicked. Proverbs 24:19-20 clearly states the case. Do not fret about evildoers; do not envy the wicked, for the evil have no future. Their lamp will be extinguished. The sages clearly took the long view and believed that patient faithfulness would be rewarded. Even when righteousness seemed to meet up with misfortune Proverbs 24:16 declared that the righteous person could fall times and still get up and succeed.

It is possible to question the validity of this optimistic view of righteousness and wickedness. While faith declares that the righteous ought to succeed and the wicked ought to suffer, experience does not always bear it out – even when patience is given plenty of time. The problem arises when we forget the nature of proverbs. Proverbs are general observations about how life usually works. They are designed to motivate people toward the right behavior. They are not legal guarantees about how every person can manipulate life to achieve whatever he or she may want. When proverbs are correctly understood the observations of the sages are true. As a general rule the lives of righteous people are more successful, happier, and better than those of the wicked. Sociological studies are gradually providing a scientific verification of this truth.

However, there are exceptions. Some wicked people never seem to be confronted with the consequences of their evil. Some righteous folk never seem to enjoy any material benefits. The problem arises when you or I want to be able to control whether our lives verify the general rule or are one of the exceptions to it. The book of Job teaches us that such control over life does not belong to us.

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 – More 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 are important for your life.

2. Select one or two insights that would have a significant spiritual application in your life. What is that spiritual application and how do you need to respond to it?

3. Write a brief prayer asking the Lord to help you pursue the life of righteousness and avoid the path of wickedness.

Second Day: Read Proverbs 25. Now focus on Proverbs 22:6; 29:15; 20:30; 22:15; 19:18; 29:17; 13:24; 23:13 and 14.

1. Summarize the teaching of the focus verses in your own words. Are you aware of other Scriptures that support these verses?

2. Study the focus verses carefully. How would you respond to the claim that these verses promote child abuse? What key ideas from these verses should be emphasized to keep parents from abusing their children?

3. Did your experience of childhood match the description of these focus verses? What was lacking? How did that lack affect you? What matched these verses? How did those experiences affect you?

Third Day: Read Proverbs 26. Now focus on Proverbs 10:1; 15:20; 17:21, 25; 23:15, 16, 22, 23, 24; 27:11; 13:1; 15:5; 30:11, 17; 20:20; 19:26; 28:24; 10:5; 29:3; and 28:7.

1. What affect does a child have on a parent according to these focus verses? What affect have you had on your parents? What could you do differently to increase their joy about you and your life?

2. What specific proverbs in the focus verses teach the importance of honoring parents? How do these proverbs suggest that that honor be given to parents?

3. Proverbs 30:11 implies that we should bless our parents. Write some blessings about or for your parents. If there is only hurt in your relationship with your parents write a brief prayer describing that hurt to God and asking him to begin to bring healing to you.

Fourth Day: Read Proverbs 27. Focus in on Proverbs 19:13; 27:15, 16; 21:9, 19; 25:24; 18:22; 12:4; 14:1; and 19:14.

1. How do the focus verses describe a nagging wife? What can parents do to raise a girl to not be a nagging wife? What can a husband do to help his wife overcome a pattern of nagging?

2. What do the focus verses say about the importance of marrying a good wife? Why is that important? What resources can the church provide to help women become "good wives?"

3. If Proverbs had discussed a negative trait of husbands like that of nagging for wives what do you think it would have been? What would have been the advise of Proverbs? How can husbands be helped to overcome that trait?

Fifth Day: Read Proverbs 28. Now focus in on Proverbs 31:10-31.

1. Which of the characteristics of a good wife listed in these focus verses are most important to you? Why?

2. Which of the characteristics of a good wife listed in these focus verses seem unrealistic to you? Why? In your marriage (or a marriage you know about if you are not married) what could be done to make these characteristics more likely?

3. What kind of husband is assumed by these focus verses? What changes in our culture’s view of being a husband would be necessary to enable more wives to live up to Proverbs 31:10-31?

Sixth Day: Read Proverbs 29. Now focus in on Proverbs 22:1; 10:7; 13:15; 12:8; 11:27; 21:21; 18:3; 11:16, 22; and 27:21.

1. How important is a good name according to these verses? What is the way to obtain a good name?

2. What are the evidences that our culture uses to determine a person’s reputation? How do they compare with the evidences recommended in these proverbs? What changes do we need to make in the way we evaluate people?

3. Write a brief prayer asking the Lord to help you live in such a way as to gain and keep a good name before others and before him.

Readings for Lesson 9

Day 2

22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

20:30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts.

22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

19:18 Discipline your son while there is hope; do not set your heart on his destruction.

29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.

13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.

23:14 If you beat him with the rod you will save his life from Sheol.

Day 3

10:1 The proverbs of Solomon.

A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

15:20 A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.

17:21 A stupid son is a grief to a father; and the father of a fool has no joy.

17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.

23:24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who begets a wise son will be glad in him.

23:25 Let your father and mother be glad, let her who bore you rejoice.

23:15 My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.

23:16 My soul will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.

27:11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.

13:1 A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

15:5 A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who heeds admonition is prudent.

23:22 Hearken to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

30:17 The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.

30:11 There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers.

20:20 If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.

19:26 He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.

28:24 He who robs his father or his mother and says, "That is no transgression," is the companion of a man who destroys.

10:5 A son who gathers in summer is prudent, but a son who sleeps in harvest brings shame.

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

28:7 He who keeps the law is a wise son, but a companion of gluttons shames his father.

Day 4

19:13 A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.

27:15 A continual dripping on a rainy day and a contentious woman are alike;

27:16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in his right hand.

21:9 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

25:24 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

21:19 It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and fretful woman.

18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.

12:4 A good wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.

14:1 Wisdom builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.

19:14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.

Day 5

31:10 A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.

31:12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

31:13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.

31:14 She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar.

31:15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens.

31:16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

31:17 She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong.

31:18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.

31:19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.

31:20 She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.

31:21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

31:22 She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple.

31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers girdles to the merchant.

31:25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.

31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.

31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

31:29 "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."

31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Day 6

22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

10:7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.

13:15 Good sense wins favor, but the way of the faithless is their ruin.

12:8 A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of perverse mind is despised.

11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.

21:21 He who pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor.

18:3 When wickedness comes, contempt comes also; and with dishonor comes disgrace.

11:16 A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches.

11:22 Like a gold ring in a swine’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.

27:21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is judged by his praise.

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