Proverbs 9:1-6-Wisdom presents a coherently articulated approach to life. The phrase “seven pillars” suggests that it is supported by a comprehensive structure…the word “seven” meaning complete, or perfected (:1). Wisdom is personified as a woman who has prepared herself for teaching (:2). She has sent out an invitation to everyone who wants to come and learn. She would turn those who are practicing “folly” to start practicing wisdom. Wisdom is available to all who will receive it (:3-6).
Proverbs 9:7-12-Solomon contrasts the response of people to the teachings of wisdom…
- It is useless to try to correct a “scoffer” or a “wicked man”. Instead of being appreciative they will receive “dishonor”, “insults” and “hate” (:7-8a).
- However, when you “reprove a wise man” he will “love you” and he will “be still wiser”. And, “teach a righteous man, and he will increase in his learning” (:9).
The first lesson that wisdom teaches is to “fear the LORD” and to have “knowledge of the Holy One” (:10). If you do this…then your life will be lengthened (:11). In the end, it is up to you to decide whether you will receive wisdom, or reject wisdom (:12)
Proverbs 9:13-18-Now in contrast to wisdom, folly is presented as a woman who has prepared herself for teaching.
fool, stupid fellow, dullard, simpleton, arrogant one
Whereas wisdom had carefully prepared her content and methodology…folly just “sits at the doorway of her house” and calls out (:14). Instead of depending on her carefully developed presentation to attract students…she is “boisterous” (cf. 7:11a), hoping to entice students physically, instead of intellectually (:13). Her message is exactly the opposite of that of wisdom. She is trying to seduce those who are trying to live right to turn from their way and practice folly (:14-15). Folly is also available to all who will receive it…”Whoever is naïve” (:16). Again, she emphasizes the sensual approach…the words “Stolen water is sweet” and “bread eaten in secret is pleasant” are figures of illicit intercourse (cf. 5:15-20; 30:20). The destination of folly is death (:18).
10:1-22:16 The discourses concerning wisdom and folly (chaps. 1-9) constitute a preface to a central portion of the book, which contains 375 of Solomon's proverbs. These proverbs are general principles and guidelines which may have exceptions. Any exception is not a problem of inerrancy, but a matter of the nature of proverbs. They are true as general rules.
The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on 10:1-22:16, p. 950
Hitherto we have been in the porch or preface to the proverbs, here they begin. They are short but weighty sentences; most of them are distichs, two sentences in one verse, illustrating each other; but it is seldom that there is any coherence between the verses, much less any thread of discourse, and therefore in these chapters we need not attempt to reduce the contents to their proper heads, the several sentences will appear best in their own places. The scope of them all is to set before us good and evil, the blessing and the curse. Many of the proverbs in this chapter relate to the good government of the tongue, without which men's religion is vain.
Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Proverbs 10,
Pro 10:1-32. Here begins the second part of the book, Pro 10:1 - 22:16, which, with the third, Pro 22:16 - 25:28, contains series of proverbs whose sense is complete in one or two verses, and which, having no logical connection, admit of no analysis. The parallelisms of Pro 10:1 - 15:33 are mostly antithetic; and those of Pro 16:1 - 22:16, synthetic. The evidences of art in the structure are very clear, and indicate, probably, a purpose of facilitating the labor of memorizing.
A.R. Fausset :: The Book of Proverbs,
Proverbs 10:1-The behavior of children makes their parents either happy, or sad.
Proverbs 10:2-The word “Ill-gotten” comes from a word that means “wrong, wicked”.
Proverbs 10:3-The Lord blesses those that are obedient and judges those that are disobedient.
Proverbs 10:4-Our work ethic will determine our financial opportunities.
Proverbs 10:5-Our work ethic will be recognized by those who know us.
Proverbs 10:6-Good people don’t try to hide what they do…but wicked people are deceptive.
Proverbs 10:7-Good people will leave a positive legacy, but the wicked will not.
Proverbs 10:8-A person who is willing to accept teaching is wise.
Proverbs 10:9-The word “integrity” means “innocence, simplicity”…there is nothing hidden, or concealed. “Perverts” means “crooked, distorted, twisted”…in other words, you are never certain about this person because they are always changing. People will trust a person of “integrity”, but not a person who “perverts” matters.
Proverbs 10:10-The phrase “winks the eye” speaks of someone who is planning deception. The phrase “babbling fool” speaks of someone who twists words in such a way that he says one thing, but means another.
Proverbs 10:11-The words of a “righteous” man are like cool, clean water to a thirsty man. But the words of a “wicked” man are like water that has poison in it.
Proverbs 10:12-Hatred causes tension over an existing problem to increase even more. Love doesn’t allow outside issues to contribute to an existing problem.
Proverbs 10:13-Those who are wise are easier to teach than those who “lack understanding”.
Proverbs 10:14-It is smart to remember the lessons you have learned…and not have to constantly repeat them.
Proverbs 10:15-Use your money wisely, or you will have none to use, at all.
Proverbs 10:16-How you live will determine what you receive.
Proverbs 10:17-If you are obedient to what you learn you are well on your way to a good life.
Proverbs 10:18-Don’t speak badly about other people.
Proverbs 10:19-Don’t talk too much. If you do, you’re likely to say something that will lead to problems.
Proverbs 10:20-Words of wisdom are extremely valuable.
Proverbs 10:21-Words of wisdom are beneficial to many people.
Proverbs 10:22-God has nothing but good in store.
Proverbs 10:23-Both the wicked and the wise find pleasure in what they do.
Proverbs 10:24-You determine the outcome of your life by what you do.
Proverbs 10:25-The wicked will one day pass away from God’s presence, but the righteous will live forever with God.
Proverbs 10:26-“Vinegar” and “smoke” cause irritation. When you trust a lazy man with a job it will wind up being an irritation.
Proverbs 10:27-If you trust God your life will be lengthened.
Proverbs 10:28-The righteous will be glad because they will receive the very things they had hoped for. The wicked will not receive the things that they had desired.
Proverbs 10:29-There is strength for living for those that follow God. But those who practice iniquity wind up in ruin.
Proverbs 10:30-The life of the righteous man will be secure. But the wicked will not last long.
Proverbs 10:31-Those who live a righteous life have much to teach that is helpful. But the teaching of the wicked will be cut short.
Proverbs 10:32-The teaching of righteous people is acceptable. But the teaching of the wicked is perverted.
Prayer: Father, Solomon touches on so many topics…because life is so diverse. But throughout all of it there is a constant theme…righteousness. Living life in alignment with You. Please help me to be righteous. Help me to live in a manner that is consistent with Your nature. Help me to live in a manner that brings You glory.