Proverbs 20

1 Wine makes you mean, beer makes you quarrelsome - a staggering drunk is not much fun.
2 Quick-tempered leaders are like mad dogs - cross them and they bite your head off.
3 It's a mark of good character to avert quarrels, but fools love to pick fights.
4 A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring has nothing to harvest in the fall.
5 Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within.
6 Lots of people claim to be loyal and loving, but where on earth can you find one?
7 God-loyal people, living honest lives, make it much easier for their children.
8 Leaders who know their business and care keep a sharp eye out for the shoddy and cheap,
9 For who among us can be trusted to be always diligent and honest?
10 Switching price tags and padding the expense account are two things God hates.
11 Young people eventually reveal by their actions if their motives are on the up and up. Drinking from the Chalice of Knowledge
12 Ears that hear and eyes that see - we get our basic equipment from God!
13 Don't be too fond of sleep; you'll end up in the poorhouse. Wake up and get up; then there'll be food on the table.
14 The shopper says, "That's junk - I'll take it off your hands," then goes off boasting of the bargain.
15 Drinking from the beautiful chalice of knowledge is better than adorning oneself with gold and rare gems.
16 Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger; beware of accepting what a transient has pawned.
17 Stolen bread tastes sweet, but soon your mouth is full of gravel.
18 Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get.
19 Gossips can't keep secrets, so never confide in blabbermouths.
20 Anyone who curses father and mother extinguishes light and exists benighted. The Very Steps We Take
21 A bonanza at the beginning is no guarantee of blessing at the end.
22 Don't ever say, "I'll get you for that!" Wait for God; he'll settle the score.
23 God hates cheating in the marketplace; rigged scales are an outrage.
24 The very steps we take come from God; otherwise how would we know where we're going?
25 An impulsive vow is a trap; later you'll wish you could get out of it.
26 After careful scrutiny, a wise leader makes a clean sweep of rebels and dolts.
27 God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out.
28 Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.
29 Youth may be admired for vigor, but gray hair gives prestige to old age.
30 A good thrashing purges evil; punishment goes deep within us.

Proverbs 20 Commentary

Chapter 20

Verse 1 It seems hard to believe that men of the greatest abilities, as well as the ignorant, should render themselves fools and madmen, merely for the taste or excitement produced by strong liquors. Verse 2 . How formidable kings are to those who provoke them! how much more foolish then is it to provoke the King of kings! Verse 3 . To engage in quarrels is the greatest folly that can be. Yield, and even give up just demands, for peace' sake. Verse 4 . He who labours and endures hardship in his seed-time for eternity, will be properly diligent as to his earthly business. Verse 5 . Though many capable of giving wise counsel are silent, yet something may be drawn from them, which will reward those who obtain it. Verse 6 . It is hard to find those that have done, and will do more good than they speak, or care to hear spoken of. Verse 7 . A good man is not liable to uneasiness in contriving what he shall do, or in reflecting on what he has done, as those who walk in deceit. And his family fare better for his sake. Verse 8 . If great men are good men, they may do much good, and prevent very much evil. Verse 9 . Some can say, Through grace, we are cleaner than we have been; but it was the work of the Holy Spirit. Verse 10 . See the various deceits men use, of which the love of money is the root. The Lord will not bless what is thus gotten. Verse 11 . Parents should observe their children, that they may manage them accordingly. Verse 12 . All our powers and faculties are from God, and are to be employed for him. Verse 13 . Those that indulge themselves, may expect to want necessaries, which should have been gotten by honest labour. Verse 14 . Men use arts to get a good bargain, and to buy cheap; whereas a man ought to be ashamed of a fraud and a lie. Verse 15 . He that prefers true knowledge to riches, follows the ways of religion and happiness. If we really believed this truth, the word of God would be valued as it deserves, and the world would lose its tempting influence. Verse 16 . Those ruin themselves who entangle themselves in rash suretiship. Also those who are in league with abandoned women. Place no confidence in either. Verse 17 . Wealth gotten by fraud may be sweet, for the carnal mind takes pleasure in the success of wicked devices; but it will be bitter in the reflection. Verse 18 . Especially we need advice in spiritual warfare. The word and Spirit of God are the best counsellors in every point. Verse 19 . Those dearly buy their own praise, who put confidence in a man because he speaks fairly. Verse 20 . An undutiful child will become very miserable. Never let him expect any peace or comfort. Verse 21 . An estate suddenly raised, is often as suddenly ruined. Verse 22 . Wait on the Lord, attend his pleasure, and he will protect thee. Verse 23 . A bargain made by fraud will prove a losing bargain in the end. Verse 24 . How can we form plans, and conduct business, independently of the Lord? Verse 25 . The evasions men often use with their own consciences show how false and deceitful man is. Verse 26 . Justice should crush the wicked, and separate them from the virtuous. Verse 27 . The rational soul and conscience are as a lamp within us, which should be used in examining our dispositions and motives with the revealed will of God. Verse 28 . Mercy and truth are the glories of God's throne. Verse 29 . Both young and old have their advantages; and let neither despise or envy the other. Verse 30 . Severe rebukes sometimes do a great deal of good. But such is the corruption of nature, that men are loth to be rebuked for their sins. If God uses severe afflictions, to purify our hearts and fit us for his service, we have cause to be very thankful.

Proverbs 20 Commentaries

Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.