1 Better is a needy one that walks in his integrity,
Than [the rich] that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool (= fat, and then dense, or stupid, which comes of it, showing itself in impiety).
2 Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; (Illustrations: Syrians [1 Kings 20:28]; Israel [Isa. 5:12,13]; Saul [1 Tim. 1:13. Acts 26:11]; People and Priests [Hos. 4:6]; Pharisees [Matt. 12:7]; the rulers [Acts 13:27. 1 Cor. 2:8]; Job [Job 33:8,9; 34:5,9; 35:16; 42:3,5,6]; Hezekiah [2 Chron. 32:31]; Peter [Luke 22:33,34]. )
And he that hastes with his feet sins. (Illustrations: Joshua [Josh. 9:15]; Saul [1 Sam. 13:9,10,13,14; 14:24-45]; David [2 Sam. 16:14]; the Prophet [1 Kings 13:18,19]; Peter [John 18:10].)
3 The foolishness (= lax or careless habit of mind and body) of man perverts (or subverts) his way:
And his heart is angry with the LORD. (Illustrations: Adam [Gen. 3:12]; Cain [Gen. 4;13,14]; Jehoram [2 Kings 3:10,13; 6:23]; Jonah [Jonah 4:1,4,9]; Israel [Num. 14:2,3; 20:2-5; 21:4-6. Deut. 9:23,24].)
4 Wealth makes many friends;
But a weak one is separated from his neighbor.
5 A false witness shall not be acquitted (or held innocent),
And he that breaks forth lies shall not escape.
6 Many will intreat the favor of the prince:
And every man is a friend to a generous man.
7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him:
How much more do his friends withdraw from him?
He pursues them with words (or, seeks words [or friendship], but there are none), yet they are wanting to him.
8 He that gets wisdom loves his own soul:
He that keeps understanding shall find good.
9 A false witness shall not be unpunished,
And he that speaks lies shall perish.
10 Luxury is not seemly for a fool;
Much less for a servant to have rule over princes.
11 The discretion of a man defers his anger; (Illustrations: Joseph [Gen. 40:15]; Moses [Num. 12]; David [1 Sam. 24; 26:5,&c.]; the Prophet [1 Kings 13:6,&c.].)
And it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
12 The king's wrath is as the roaring of a lion;
But his favor is as night mist upon the grass.
13 A foolish son is a great trouble (put for action of the foolish son which brings it on) to his father:
And the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
14 House and riches are the inheritance of fathers:
And a prudent wife is from the LORD.
15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep;
And an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
16 He that guards the commandment keeps his own soul;
But he that despises his ways shall die prematurely.
17 He that has pity upon the poor lends to the LORD;
And that which he has given will he pay him again.
18 Correct (or discipline) your son while there is hope,
And let not your soul spare for his crying. (This is not a cation against excess of severity, but against cruel kindness which ends in death, by withholding seasonable correctness.)
19 One in a rage incurs a penalty (a fine, or indemnity):
For if you rescue him [by paying the penalty], you must do it continually.
D A1 19;20-27. Call to hear. B1 19:28-21:1. Personal conduct. C1 21:2-22:16. Personal character. A2 22:17-21. Call to hear. B2 22:22-29. Personal conduct. C2 23:1-21. Personal character. A3 23:22-25. Call to hear. B3 23:25-35. Personal conduct. C3 24:1-20. Personal character. A4 24:21,22. Call to hear. B4 24:23-29. Personal conduct. C4 24:30-34. Personal character.
20 Hear counsel, and receive correction (or discipline),
That you may be wise in your latter end.
21 There are many devices in a man's heart;
Nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. (Illustrations: Joseph's brethren [Gen. 37:19,&c. Cp. Ps. 76:20]; Pharaoh [Ex. 1;10. Cp. Ex. 15]; the rulers [Matt. 27:63-66]; Saul [Acts 9:1,2. Cp. vv.3-9,&c.]; Herod [Acts 12:1-3. Cp. vv.5-19]; the 40 Kenites [Acts 23:12-15].)
22 The desire of a man (the commonest sort of man, or ordinary man) is [measured by] his kindness:
And a needy one is better than [a man of the better sort who is] a liar.
23 The reverence of the LORD tends to life: (Implying resurrection and eternal life.)
And he that has it shall abide satisfied;
He shall not be visited with evil.
24 A slothful man hides his hand in his bowl (or wide dish),
And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
25 Smite a scoffer, and the simple will be made wise: (Illustrations; Israel [Ex. 14:31]; the stubborn [Deut. 21:21]; Gibeonites [Josh [9:3]; Sergius Paulus [Acts 13;6-12].)
And reprove one that has understanding, and he will understand knowledge.
26 He that preys his father, and chases away his mother,
Is a son that causes shame, and brings reproach.
27 Cease, my son (showing these are proverbs for Solomon), to hear the instruction
That causes to err from the sayings of knowledge.
28 An ungodly witness (Heb. "A witness of Belial": i.e. a false witness) scorns judgment:
And the mouth of lawless ones devours iniquity.
29 Judgments are prepared for scorners,
And stripes for the back of fools.