Proverbs 20

1 Wine causes you to make fun of others, and beer causes you to start fights. Anyone who is led down the wrong path by them is not wise.
2 A king's anger is like a lion's roar. Anyone who makes him angry may lose his life.
3 Avoiding a fight brings honor to a man. But every foolish person is quick to argue.
4 Anyone who refuses to work doesn't plow in the right season. When he looks for a crop at harvest time, he doesn't find it.
5 The purposes of a man's heart are like deep water. But a man who has understanding brings them out.
6 Many claim to have love that never fails. But who can find a faithful man?
7 Anyone who does what is right lives without blame. Blessed are his children after him.
8 A king sits on his throne to judge. He gets rid of all evil when he sees it.
9 No one can say, "I have kept my heart pure. I'm clean. I haven't sinned."
10 The LORD hates two things. He hates weights that weigh things heavier or lighter than they really are. He also hates measures that measure things larger or smaller than they really are.
11 A child is known by his actions. He is known by whether his conduct is pure and right.
12 The LORD has made two things. He has made ears that hear. He has also made eyes that see.
13 Don't love sleep, or you will become poor. Stay awake, and you will have more food than you need.
14 "It's no good. It's no good!" says a buyer. Then off he goes and brags about what he bought.
15 There is gold. There are plenty of rubies. But lips that speak knowledge are a priceless jewel.
16 Take the coat of one who puts up money for what a stranger owes. Hold it until you get paid back if he does it for a woman who commits adultery.
17 Food gained by cheating tastes sweet to a man. But he will end up with a mouth full of sand.
18 Make plans by asking for guidance. If you go to war, get good advice.
19 A person who talks about others tells secrets. So avoid anyone who talks too much.
20 If anyone calls down curses on his father or mother, his lamp will be blown out in total darkness.
21 Property you gain quickly at the beginning will not be blessed in the end.
22 Don't say, "I'll get even with you for the wrong you did to me!" Wait for the Lord, and he will save you.
23 The LORD hates weights that weigh things heavier or lighter than they really are. Scales that are not honest don't please him.
24 The LORD directs a man's steps. So how can anyone understand his own way?
25 A man is trapped if he makes a hasty promise to God and only later thinks about what he said.
26 A wise king gets rid of evil people. He runs the threshing wheel over them.
27 The lamp of the LORD searches a man's heart. It searches deep down inside him.
28 Love and truth keep a king safe. Faithful love makes his throne secure.
29 Young men are proud of their strength. Gray hair brings honor to old men.
30 Blows and wounds wash evil away. And beatings make you pure deep down inside.

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

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