1 Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith,
Than an house full of slain beasts with strife.
2 A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causes shame,
And shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold:
But the LORD tries the hearts. (Illustrations: Abraham [Gen. 22:1]; Israel [Deut. 8;2]; Hezekiah [2 Chron. 32:31]; Martha and Mary [John 11:5,6]; young man [Matt. 19;16-22]; woman [Matt. 15;23-28].)
4 A mischief maker gives heed to false lips;
And a liar (a habitual liar, i.e. a liar is always ready to believe a lie) gives ear to a naughty tongue. (Illustrations; Ahab [1 Kings 22:6]; Israel [Isa. 30:9-11. Jer. 5:30,31. Mic. 2:11].)
5 Whoso mocks the poor reproaches his Maker: (Illustrations: princes of Judah [Isa. 3:14,15; 10;1,2. Jer. 34:10,11]; rich [Jas. 5:4].)
And he that is glad at calamities shall not be held guiltless. (Illustrations: Tyrians [Ezek. 26:2-6]; Edom [Obad. 10-15].)
6 Sons' sons are the crown of old men;
And the glory of sons are their fathers.
7 Excellent speech becomes not a fool (= a vulgar churl):
Much less do lying lips a prince.
8 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of its owner (the bribed, not the briber):
Wheresoever it turns, it sparkles. (And he loves to look at it and keep it.)
9 He that covers a transgression seeks love;
But he that repeats a matter separates true friends.
10 A reproof enters more into a wise man,
Than an hundred stripes into a fool.
11 An evil worker seeks only rebellion:
Therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
12 Let a he-bear robbed of his mate meet a man,
Rather than a fool in his folly.
13 Whoso rewards evil for good,
Evil shall not depart from his house.
14 The beginning of strife is as the letting loose of water: (As by making a break in a dam. Illustrations; Ephraimites [Judg. 12:1-6]; Abner [2 Sam. 2:14-17]; Rehoboam [2 Chron. 10;1-16]; Jeroboam [2 Chron. 13;17]; the Twelve [Matt. 20:24].)
Therefore leave off contention, before it gathers volume.
15 He that justifies a lawless one, and he that condemns a just one,
Even they both are abomination to the LORD. (Illustrations: the counselors [[Ezra 4:1-16]; Tertullus [Acts 24:1-9]; Ahab and Jezebel [1 Kings 21:5-24].)
16 Why is this ready money in the hand of a fool to get wisdom,
When he has no sense? (Illustrations: Israel [2 Chron. 30:10]; Kenites [John 5:40; 8:45]; Athenians [Acts 17:32,33]; Felix [Acts 24:25-27]; Agrippa [Acts 26:28].)
17 A friend loves at all times, (Illustrations: Abraham [Gen. 14:14. Cp. 13:11]; Joseph Gen. 45:5; 50:21]; Moses [Ex. 32:11-13. Deut. 9:18,25-29. Cp. Acts 7:40]; Jonathan [1 Sam. 20:33]; Barzillai [2 Sam. 19:31]; Ahikam [Jer. 26:24]; Ebed-melech [Jer. 38:7]; Paul [Philem. 12,20]; Barnabas [Acts 9;27]; Aristarchus [Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2. Philem. 24. Col. 4:10]; Luke [2 Tim. 4:11]; Epaphroditus [Phil. 2:26].)
And a brother is born for adversity.
18 A man void of understanding strikes hands,
And becomes surety in the presence of his friend.
19 He loves transgression that loves strife:
And he that exalts his gate seeks destruction. (I.e. a rich man, who thus proclaimed his wealth [Eastern doors being generally low-pitched and uninviting], courted destruction. This explains 2 Kings 25:9, where "every man's house he [Nebuchadnezzar] burnt with fire".)
20 He that has a froward heart finds no good:
And he that has a perverse tongue falls into mischief.
21 He that begets a fool (= a vulgar churl) does it to his sorrow:
And the father of a fool has no joy.
22 A merry heart does good like a medicine:
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
23 A wicked man takes a bribe out of the lap
To pervert the ways of judgment.
24 Wisdom is the goal of him that has understanding;
But the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
25 A foolish son is a grief to his father,
And bitterness to her that bare him.
26 Also to punish the just is not good,
Nor to strike princes for equity.
27 He that has knowledge spares his words: (Illustrations: Aaaron [Lev. 10:3]; Moses [Num. 16:4; 20:6]; Samuel [1 Sam. 8:6-8]; Christ [1 Pet. 2;23].)
And a man of discerning is of an quit spirit.
28 Even a fool (= lax or careless habit of mind and body), when he holds his peace, is counted wise:
And he that shuts his lips is esteemed a man of wisdom (i.e. a wise man).