Proverbs 24

1 Don't envy bad people; don't even want to be around them.
2 All they think about is causing a disturbance; all they talk about is making trouble.
3 It takes wisdom to build a house, and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;
4 It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.
5 It's better to be wise than strong; intelligence outranks muscle any day.
6 Strategic planning is the key to warfare; to win, you need a lot of good counsel.
7 Wise conversation is way over the head of fools; in a serious discussion they haven't a clue.
8 The person who's always cooking up some evil soon gets a reputation as prince of rogues.
9 Fools incubate sin; cynics desecrate beauty. Rescue the Perishing
10 If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn't much to you in the first place.
11 Rescue the perishing; don't hesitate to step in and help.
12 If you say, "Hey, that's none of my business," will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know - Someone not impressed with weak excuses.
13 Eat honey, dear child - it's good for you - and delicacies that melt in your mouth.
14 Likewise knowledge, and wisdom for your soul - Get that and your future's secured, your hope is on solid rock.
15 Don't interfere with good people's lives; don't try to get the best of them.
16 No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don't stay down long; Soon they're up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces.
17 Don't laugh when your enemy falls; don't crow over his collapse.
18 God might see, and become very provoked, and then take pity on his plight.
19 Don't bother your head with braggarts or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
20 Those people have no future at all; they're headed down a dead-end street.
21 Fear God, dear child - respect your leaders; don't be defiant or mutinous.
22 Without warning your life can turn upside-down, and who knows how or when it might happen?
23 It's wrong, very wrong, to go along with injustice.
24 Whoever whitewashes the wicked gets a black mark in the history books,
25 But whoever exposes the wicked will be thanked and rewarded.
26 An honest answer is like a warm hug.
27 First plant your fields; then build your barn.
28 Don't talk about your neighbors behind their backs - no slander or gossip, please.
29 Don't say to anyone, "I'll get back at you for what you did to me. I'll make you pay for what you did!"
30 One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones, and then passed the vineyard of a lout;
31 They were overgrown with weeds, thick with thistles, all the fences broken down.
32 I took a long look and pondered what I saw; the fields preached me a sermon and I listened:
33 "A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy - do you know what comes next?
34 Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, with poverty as your permanent houseguest!"

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.

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

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.