Proverbs 10


In this chapter, we see many great contrasts between the wise and the unwise, the righteous and the wicked.

The Proverbs Of Solomon

‘The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother. Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death. The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son. Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. The name of the righteous is used in blessings, but the name of the wicked will rot.’ Proverbs 10:1-7

Fathers enjoy seeing their son’s willingness to be taught and learn wisdom. A son who will not learn causes his mother to endure much suffering. Wisdom is necessary for the ‘good life’ which parents desire for their children. These ‘ill-gotten gains,’ literally ‘treasures of wickedness,’ seem profitable and sound profitable but are not.

We should be able to match our treasures with our righteousness. There is no real security in wealth acquired wickedly, and it does matter how a man acquires his money and property. Generally speaking, the Lord will not allow those who try to do right to suffer, Matthew 6:33.

Poverty is the product of indifference. During harvest, the whole family was needed in the field or vineyard. A son shows his true quality in such times. The righteous man receives blessings and leaves a good reputation behind him.

Schooling For Success

‘The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin. Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.’ Proverbs 10:8-9

Contrasts With The Troublemaker In The Community With The One Who Contributes To Its Welfare.

‘Whoever winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin. The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense. The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.’ Proverbs 10:10-14

Notice the word ‘winks’, this could mean the troublemaker is overlooking evil or perhaps it’s a sign showing he is not telling the truth. The man whose speech cannot be taken at face value is a source of trouble. When love is behind our actions, it has a way of producing positive results, James 5:20 / Matthew 18:15 / Matthew 18:20.

The quality of speech is determined by its results, the speech of the fool gets them into trouble. Discipline is needed since reason and logic did not work, Proverbs 26:3. Wise people are wise because they are silent, listening and storing up for good. It is quite difficult to learn when you are always talking, James 1:19.

‘The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor. The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death. Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.’ Proverbs 10:15-17

The wise man does not underestimate the power of wealth, it provides protection. Yet he needs to be careful this wealth does not become his god, Luke 12:15. The poor man must be careful or else he will use his poverty as an excuse and thus ruin himself, Romans 6:23. This is the person who has been instructed and disciplined but has forsaken it.

‘Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool. Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.’ Proverbs 10:18-21

The word, ‘conceals’ means they talk like a friend but they are not. Even concealed hatred is wrong. Do you engage in gossip? Solomon says you are a fool! If we continue to talk so much, we are bound to say something that will offend or damage another. There is much power in speech and good speech is very valuable. We ‘nourish many’ through counsel and guidance, Hosea 4:6.

‘The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, without painful toil for it. A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom. What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted. When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever. As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so are sluggards to those who send them.’ Proverbs 10:22-26

The idea here seems to be that the way wealth is acquired is important. When we acquire wealth in the right way, the Lord sends no sorrow with it. To a fool, wickedness is like fun and playtime.

So also, is learning to one of understanding, Matthew 7:24-25. The lazy performance of one sent on a mission brings unpleasantness and irritation.

‘The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing. The way of the LORD is a refuge for the blameless, but it is the ruin of those who do evil. The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land. From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced. The lips of the righteous know what finds favour, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.’ Proverbs 10:27-32

How did the fear of the Lord prolong life? Proverbs 8:13 / Proverbs 14:27 / Proverbs 15:33.

1. It kept one from trouble, sin and evil.

2. It encouraged one to keep specifics of Old Law (including cleanliness laws).

3. It will bring special blessings from God.

The fear of the Lord provides a certain confidence and assurance. If the people are righteous, they will be allowed to stay in the land. If not, they will be removed. This also states the conditions of the land promise given to Abraham.

This is acceptable to whom? God first, then men.

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.’ Matthew 5:5

Go To Proverbs 11


"So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God."