Proverbs 24

1 Be not thou envious of evil men, neither desire to be with them;
2 for their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
3 Through wisdom is a house built, and by understanding it is established;
4 and by knowledge are the chambers filled with all precious and pleasant substance.
5 A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
6 For with good advice shalt thou make thy war; and in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he will not open his mouth in the gate.
8 He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a master of intrigues.
9 The purpose of folly is sin, and the scorner is an abomination to men.
10 [If] thou losest courage in the day of trouble, thy strength is small.
11 Deliver them that are taken forth unto death, and withdraw not from them that stagger to slaughter.
12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not, will not he that weigheth the hearts consider it? And he that preserveth thy soul, he knoweth it; and he rendereth to man according to his work.
13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; and a honeycomb is sweet to thy taste:
14 so consider wisdom for thy soul; if thou hast found it, there shall be a result, and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
15 Lay not wait, O wicked [man], against the dwelling of the righteous; lay not waste his resting-place.
16 For the righteous falleth seven times, and riseth up again; but the wicked stumble into disaster.
17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thy heart be glad when he stumbleth;
18 lest Jehovah see it, and it be evil in his sight, and he turn away his anger from him.
19 Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, [and] be not envious of the wicked:
20 for there shall be no future to the evil [man]; the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
21 My son, fear Jehovah and the king: meddle not with them that are given to change.
22 For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
23 These things also come from the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
24 He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous, peoples shall curse him, nations shall abhor him;
25 but to them that rebuke [him] shall be delight, and a good blessing cometh upon them.
26 He kisseth the lips who giveth a right answer.
27 Prepare thy work without, and put thy field in order, and afterwards build thy house.
28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and wouldest thou deceive with thy lips?
29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me, I will render to the man according to his work.
30 I went by the field of a sluggard, and by the vineyard of a man void of understanding;
31 and lo, it was all grown over with thistles, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and its stone wall was broken down.
32 Then I looked, I took it to heart; I saw, I received instruction:
33 -- A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest!
34 So shall thy poverty come [as] a roving plunderer, and thy penury as an armed man.

Proverbs 24 Commentary

Chapter 24

Verses 1-2 Envy not sinners. And let not a desire ever come into thy mind, Oh that I could shake off restraints! ( 3-6 ) . Piety and prudence in outward affairs, both go together to complete a wise man. By knowledge the soul is filled with the graces and comforts of the spirit, those precious and pleasant riches. The spirit is strengthened for the spiritual work and the spiritual warfare, by true wisdom. ( 7-9 ) . A weak man thinks wisdom is too high for him, therefore he will take no pains for it. It is bad to do evil, but worse to devise it. Even the first risings of sin in the heart are sin, and must be repented of. Those that strive to make others hateful, make themselves so. Verse 10 . Under troubles we are apt to despair of relief. But be of good ( proverbs 24:11-12 ) know that his neighbour is in danger by any unjust proceeding, he is bound to do all in his power to deliver him. And what is it to suffer immortal souls to perish, when our persuasions and ( proverbs 24:13-14 ) quickened to the study of wisdom by considering both the pleasure and the profit of it. All men relish things that are sweet to the palate; but many have no relish for the things that are sweet to the purified soul, and that make us wise unto ( proverbs 24:15-16 ) do, by stumbling at some stone in his path; but gets up, and goes on his way with more care and speed. This is rather to be understood of falls into affliction, than falls into actual sin. ( proverbs 24:17-18 ) ( proverbs 24:19-20 ) ( proverbs 24:21-22 ) The godly in the land, will be quiet in the land. There may be cause to change for the better, but have nothing to do with them that are given change. ( 23-26 ) . The wisdom God giveth, renders a man fit for his station. Every one who finds the benefit of the right answer, will be attached to him that gave it. Verse 27 . We must prefer necessaries before conveniences, and not go in debt. ( proverbs 24:28-29 ) ( 30-34 ) . See what a blessing the husbandman's calling is, and what a wilderness this earth would be without it. See what great difference there is in the management even of worldly affairs. Sloth and self-indulgence are the bane of all good. When we see fields overgrown with thorns and thistles, and the fences broken down, we see an emblem of the far more deplorable state of many souls. Every vile affection grows in men's hearts; yet they compose themselves to sleep. Let us show wisdom by doubling our diligence in every good thing.

Footnotes 11

  • [a]. Geber: see Job 3.3.
  • [b]. Or 'wise counsels,' as chs. 1.5; 11.14; 20.18.
  • [c]. Or 'victory,' as ch. 11.14.
  • [d]. Or 'Jewels (lit. 'high-priced things') for a fool are wisdom.'
  • [e]. There is a play on the words 'trouble' and 'small.'
  • [f]. As 1Sam. 2.3; 'meted,' Isa. 40.12.
  • [g]. Or 'know.'
  • [h]. Lit. 'evil,' as chs. 17.20; 28.14.
  • [i]. Or 'reward.'
  • [j]. Leummim: see Ps. 2.1.
  • [k]. Or 'a tramp,' as ch. 6.11.

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates Rehoboam's going to Shechem to be made king, and Jeroboam's return from Egypt, 1Ki 12:1,2, the people's request to Rehoboam to be eased of their taxes, as the condition of making him king, 1Ki 12:3,4, his answer to them, after three days, having had the advice both of the old and young men, which latter he followed, and gave in a rough answer, 1Ki 12:5-15, upon which ten tribes revolted from him, and two abode by him, 1Ki 12:16-20, wherefore he meditated a war against the ten tribes, but was forbid by the Lord to engage in it, 1Ki 12:21-24 and Jeroboam, in order to establish his kingdom, and preserve the people from a revolt to the house of David, because of the temple worship at Jerusalem, devised a scheme of idolatrous worship in his own territories, 1Ki 12:25-33.

Proverbs 24 Commentaries