More Character Sketches
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
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
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
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.
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Fifth Day: Read Proverbs 28.
Now focus in on
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
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.
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
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
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.
10:1 The proverbs of Solomon.
A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his
15:20 A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his
17:21 A stupid son is a grief to a father; and the father of a fool has
17:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who
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
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
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.
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
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
19:14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent
wife is from the LORD.
31:10 A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than
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
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
31:20 She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to
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
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.
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
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
18:3 When wickedness comes, contempt comes also; and with dishonor
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
27:21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and
a man is judged by his praise.