V. Proverbs of Solomon Copied by Hezekiah’s Men (Proverbs 25:1–29:27)

25:1-3 These chapters contain more proverbs of Solomon that were collected by King Hezekiah of Judah (25:1). God has concealed his wisdom in the world, and it is the glory of kings to investigate and discover that wisdom (25:2). That is what Solomon and Hezekiah did. By contrast, the hearts of kings cannot be investigated (25:3); this means rulers keep close counsel.

28:2-5 See 14:28-35; 16:10-15; 19:12.

28:6 See 19:1; 22:1-5.

28:7 See 10:1.

28:8 See 13:23; 17:5.

28:9 See 15:8-9; 21:2-3.

28:10 Whoever leads others into evil won’t escape judgment. He’ll fall into the pit he himself dug.

28:11 Proverbs reminds us that things on earth are not always as they seem. Sometimes people see things the way they want to see them. Solomon speaks to the self-deception to which we are all prone. The person who is wise in his own eyes, which is an easy trap to fall into—especially when the person fooling himself has all the outward markings of success—can be completely without wisdom. The discernment spoken of here is a valuable tool because the Holy Spirit helps us see things clearly.

28:12 See 14:28-35; 16:10-15.

28:13-14 “Confess your sins,” James says, so that “you may be healed” (Jas 5:16). Solomon agrees (28:13). But the one who hardens his heart against God—like Pharaoh (see Exod 8:15, 32; 9:34)—falls into trouble (28:14).

28:15-16 See 14:28-35; 16:10-15; 19:12.

28:17-18 The murderer has no one to help him (28:17), but the man of integrity will be helped (28:18). Your treatment of others will either bless you or curse you.

28:19 See 6:6-11; 10:2-5; 12:24; 18:9; 26:13-16.

28:20 The typical route to wealth is to earn it little by little, through honest labor. Participating in a get-rich-quick scheme is the fastest route to ruin.

28:21 Some people can be bought cheaply, but bribes are wicked. See 15:27.

28:22 See 28:20.

28:23 Although rebukes sting while flattery praises, the former offers truth while the latter offers deceit. A loving rebuke is always better than empty flattery.

28:24 See 19:26.

28:25 See 27:20.

28:26 The one who trusts in himself is a fool, but one who walks in wisdom will be safe. The question we need to ask ourselves is this: “In whom do I really trust?” If we trust God, we’re kept safe from the pitfalls the world and the devil put in our paths. And while this is no guarantee that misfortune won’t befall us Christians, it is a promise that God will watch over us no matter our circumstances.

28:27 See 13:23; 17:5.

28:28 See 14:28-35; 16:10-15.

29:1 The fool is not open to learning from God, from others, or even from his own mistakes. He plunges straight ahead, trusts in himself, and heads for ruin. One who becomes stiff-necked, after many reprimands will be shattered instantly—beyond recovery, so we need to develop a humble spirit that enables us to receive warning, correction, and discipline. Falling into ruin because of your own foolishness is pitiful. But how much worse is it to fall into ruin after you’ve received many warnings to change your course? See 1:22-33; 3:11-12; 9:7-9; 10:17; 25:11-12.

29:2 See 14:28-35; 16:10-15.

29:3 See 10:1; also 5:1-23; 6:20–7:27.

29:4 See 14:28-35; 16:10-15.

29:5 See 28:23.

29:6 Sin promises freedom and then enslaves the one caught by it.

29:7 See 13:23; 17:5.

29:8 See 29:11.

29:9 Avoid a dispute with a fool. He’ll rant and rave, but you’ll go nowhere except in circles.

29:10 Do you love those who honor God? When we see people operating with honesty and integrity, our attitude toward them reveals the condition of our own hearts.

29:11 Controlling your anger is one of the most valuable expressions of self-discipline. A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise person holds it in check. It takes discipline to hold our anger in, and training a person to do this has to start in childhood. How many times do we utter words in a rage only to wish later that we could reel them in? A wise man guards his mouth, knowing that he can bring endless grief upon himself if he doesn’t.

29:12-14 See 14:28-35; 16:10-15.

29:15-17 As discussed earlier, applying loving, biblical discipline to children imparts life to them. Solomon speaks to this and to the disaster looming ahead if children are left to figure out life on their own: A rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a youth left to himself is a disgrace to his mother. . . . Discipline your child, and it will bring you peace of mind and give you delight (29:15, 17). It’s easy to wimp out, be passive, and withhold discipline. But doing so will eventually bring you sorrow and disgrace. So if you don’t want to see your children join the ranks of the rebellious, discipline them for their own good, for eventually the wicked will experience downfall (29:16). See 13:24; 22:15.

29:18 Why do we need wisdom and discipline? Because without revelation people run wild, but one who follows divine instruction will be happy. Without the wisdom God’s Word gives, people are prone to throw off all restraint. This, in fact, is a description of our culture today: people are running into walls and down blind alleys for lack of truth. The remedy to the problem is found in receiving biblical instruction. The one who does this is happy, and true happiness is a result of God’s blessing.

29:19-22 Just as one must properly govern his servants (29:19, 21), so also one must learn to properly govern himself (29:20, 22). Speaking too hastily or giving vent to a hot temper can be irresistible urges, but indulging them brings nothing but grief.

29:23 . See 6:16-17; 13:10; 27:1.

29:24 Beware whom you take as a partner. See 1:17-19.

29:25 Repeatedly in Proverbs, Solomon urges us to fear the Lord. Doing so is the gateway to wisdom. The fear of mankind, however, is a trap. If you live your life as a people-pleaser, you’re not pleasing the Lord.

29:26 This verse is a reminder that although rulers are responsible for administering justice in the world, ultimately justice comes from a sovereign God.

29:27 An old saying points out that birds of a feather flock together. The righteous and the wicked are like oil and water; they don’t mix. Each hates the actions of the other.

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