1 Do not get exited against evil men,
Neither desire to be with them.
2 For their heart studies destruction,
And their lips talk of mischief.
3 Through true wisdom is an house built;
And by understanding it is established:
4 And by knowledge shall the inner chambers be filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.
5 A strong man [if wise] is strong indeed;
Yea, a man of knowledge increases strength.
6 For by wise counsel you shalt make your war:
And in multitude of counselors (but they must be true "counselors") there is safety.
7 True wisdom seems to be as coral for a fool: (I.e. as an ornament costly, and, to him, unattainable)
He opens not his mouth in the gate. (I.e. where the judges sit. A fool is not appointed as a judge.)
8 He that devises to do evil
Shall be called a genius at plots.
9 The thought of the foolish (= fat, and then dense, or stupid, which comes of it, showing itself in impiety) is sin: (Cp. 4:23. Job 1:5. Jer. 4;14. Matt. 9:3,4; 15:19,20.)
And the scorner is an abomination to men.
10 If you faint in the day of adversity,
Your strength is small. (Adversity is sent to try our strength; and, if we fail, it is proved to be weakness. Illustrations: Jacob [Gen. 42;36]; David [1 Sam. 27:1]; Elijah [1 Kings 10:3,4]; Jonah [Jonah 4:8].)
11 If you forbear to rescue them that are drawn to death, (This is council for a ruler or judge, and is for Solomon. Illustrations: Doeg [1 Sam 22:18]; Pilate [Luke 23;22-24].)
And those that are ready to be slain; (I.e. being taken to execution.)
12 If you say, "Behold, we knew not of it;'
Does not he that ponder the heart consider it?
And he that keep your soul, does not he know it?
And shall not he render to every man according to his works?
13 My son, eat you honey, because it is good;
And the honeycomb, which is sweet to your taste:
14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul:
When you have found it, then there shall be a reward,
And thy expectation shall not be cut off. (Cp. v.20 and 23:18.)
15 Lay not wait, O lawless man, against the dwelling of a just one;
Spoil not his resting place:
16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again:
But lawless ones shall fall into calamity.
17 Rejoice not when your enemy falls, (Illustrations: Tyre [Ezek. 26:2-6]; Ammon [Ezek 25:6]; David [2 Sam. 1:11,12. Cp. Ps. 35:13,14]; Jeremiah [Jer. 9;1]; Edom [Obad. 11-14].)
And let not your heart be glad when he stumbles:
18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away is wrath from him [to you].
19 Chafe not yourself because of evil-doers, (Cp. Ps. 37:1,7,8)
Neither be you exited at lawless ones:
20 For there shall be no posterity (or future) to the evil man;
The lamp of lawless ones shall be put out. (The idiom is used for having no posterity.)
21 My son, revere you the LORD and the king:
And mingle not (i.e. have nothing to do with) with them that make a difference [between a wicked king and a wicked common man]:
22 For their (i.e. the king and a common man) overthrow shall rise suddenly;
And who knows the catastrophe of them both? (I.e. the two who are subjects of this counsel.)
23 These things also are [the words of] the wise.
It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
24 He that says to a lawless [king] (as well as a common lawless man), "You are righteous;"
Him shall the peoples curse, nations shall abhor him:
25 But to them that rebuke him (i.e. rebuke a lawless king, or ruler) shall be delight,
And a good blessing shall come upon them.
26 Every man shall give homage with his lips (put for what is said by them) to him
That gives a straightforward answer.
27 Prepare your work outside,
And make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterwards build your house.
28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause;
And deceive not with your lips.
29 Say not, "I will do so to him according as he has done to me:
I will render to the man according to his work."
30 I went by the field of the slothful,
And by the vineyard of the man void of understanding (discernment);
31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns,
And nettles had covered the face thereof,
And the stone wall thereof was broken down.
32 Then I gazed, and set my heart upon it (heart put for mind):
I looked upon it, and received instruction.
33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep:
34 So shall your poverty come as one that travels;
And your want as a man with a shield.