Proverbs 22

1 A good name is to be chosen over great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold.[a]
2 The rich and the poor have this in common:[b] the Lord made them both.[c] [d]
3 A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished.[e]
4 The result of humility is fear of the Lord, along with wealth, honor, and life.[f]
5 There are thorns and snares on the path of the crooked;[g] the one who guards himself stays far from them.
6 Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.[h]
8 The one who sows injustice will reap disaster,[i] and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.
9 A generous person[j] will be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.
10 Drive out a mocker, and conflict goes too; then lawsuits and dishonor will cease.
11 The one who loves a pure heart and gracious lips-the king is his friend.
12 The Lord's eyes keep watch over knowledge, but He overthrows the words of the treacherous.
13 The slacker says, "There's a lion outside! I'll be killed in the streets!"[k]
14 The mouth of the forbidden woman is a deep pit; a man cursed by the Lord will fall into it.[l]
15 Foolishness is tangled up in the heart of a youth; the rod of discipline will drive it away from him.[m]
16 Oppressing the poor to enrich oneself, and giving to the rich-both lead only to poverty.[n]

Words of the Wise

17 Listen closely,[o] pay attention to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge.
18 For it is pleasing if you keep them within you[p] and if[q] they are constantly on your lips.
19 I have instructed you today-even you- so that your confidence may be in the Lord.
20 Haven't I written for you thirty sayings[r] about counsel and knowledge,
21 in order to teach you true and reliable words, so that you may give a dependable report[s] to those who sent you?[t]
22 Don't rob a poor man because he is poor, and don't crush the oppressed at the gate,[u]
23 for the Lord will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.[v]
24 Don't make friends with an angry man,[w] and don't be a companion of a hot-tempered man,
25 or you will learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.[x]
26 Don't be one of those who enter agreements,[y] who put up security for loans.[z]
27 If you have no money to pay, even your bed will be taken from under you.
28 Don't move an ancient property line that your fathers set up.[aa]
29 Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand in the presence of kings. He will not stand in the presence of unknown men.[ab]

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Proverbs 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Verse 1 We should be more careful to do that by which we may get and keep a good name, than to raise or add unto a great estate. Verse 2 . Divine Providence has so ordered it, that some are rich, and others poor, but all are guilty before God; and at the throne of God's grace the poor are as welcome as the rich. Verse 3 . Faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners, and looks to Jesus Christ as the sure refuge from the storm. Verse 4 . Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. Verse 5 . The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. Verse 6 . Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour. Verse 7 . This shows how important it is for every man to keep out of debt. As to the things of this life, there is a difference between the rich and the poor; but let the poor remember, it is the Lord that made the difference. Verse 8 . The power which many abuse, will soon fail them. Verse 9 . He that seeks to relieve the wants and miseries of others shall be blessed. Verse 10 . Profane scoffers and revilers disturb the peace. Verse 11 . God will be the Friend of a man in whose spirit there is no guile; this honour have all the saints. Verse 12 . God turns the counsels and designs of treacherous men to their own confusion. Verse 13 . The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him. Verse 14 . The vile sin of licentiousness commonly besots the mind beyond recovery. Verse 15 . Sin is foolishness, it is in the heart, there is an inward inclination to sin: children bring it into the world with them; and it cleaves close to the soul. We all need to be corrected by our heavenly Father. Verse 16 . We are but stewards, and must distribute what God intrusts to our care, according to his will. ( 17-21 ) . To these words, to this knowledge, the ear must be bowed down, and the heart applied by faith and love. To live a life of delight in God and dependence on him, is the foundation of all practical religion. The way to know the certainty of the ( proverbs 22:22-23 ) that robs and oppresses the poor, does so at his peril. And if ( proverbs 22:24-25 ) hearts have so much tinder in them, that it is dangerous to have to do with those that throw about the sparks of their passion. ( proverbs 22:26-27 ) those are not so, who, by folly or other carelessness, waste what they have. Verse 28 . We are taught not to trespass on another man's right. And it is hard to find a truly industrious man. Such a man will rise. Seest thou a man diligent in the business of religion? He is likely to excel. Let us then be diligent in God's work.

Footnotes 28

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains an account of the queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon to her great satisfaction, 1Ki 10:1-13, of Solomon's merchandise and riches, and the magnificence of his court, 1Ki 10:14-23, of the rich presents sent to him, and of the purchase of chariots and horses, and other things, he made, 1Ki 10:24-29.

Proverbs 22 Commentaries

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