Proverbs 20:1 “…whoever is led astray by it is not wise”
Interesting that the Scripture doesn’t say to not drink wine, but expresses the wisdom of not doing so to excess or to the point of being controlled by it. We should use the same wisdom to know when to drink it or if at all.
3 “It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel.”
King James and New American Standard versions translate the second section differently from New King James. Seems the phrase is fool burst out. They refer to a fool meddling. Point would be to contrast with the striving in the first section. To meddle or burst out or stir things up. Easily be quarrelling or fighting. Have used this as guidance when I can see that any argument would be pointless. Sometimes a point needs to be made on principle, but withdrawal may be the better part of wisdom, even after stating the point, if no progress can be achieved.
4 “The lazy man will not plow because of winter…”
In the spring when it may still be cold from winter, but the preparation for planting must begin. Any excuse to get out of working.
5 “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out.”
Counsel or information. Don’t see any morality of behavior here, just perseverance of action. Could be for general information or in the case of helping the person like a counselor to get at the root of a problem.
6 “…who can find a faithful man”
The proof behind the pudding.
9 “Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin”?”
Reason for salvation. No one can say this. Salvation is only through Jesus Christ.
10 “Diverse weights and diverse measures, They are both alike, an abomination to the LORD.”
Stated before. Dishonesty is an abomination.
14 ““It is good for nothing,” cries the buyer; But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.”
Strikes me as funny. Observation of behavior. Art of the deal. I prefer straight up assessment of value, but it is difficult to be objective with subjective attributes.
16 “Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger, And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress.”
Threw me a bit, trying to find the relationship between the sections. Commentaries suggest mounting severity. Drastic action, taking the garment, when one is foolish enough to become surety for someone he doesn’t know. More drastic step, holding the person in pledge, when he is foolish enough to become surety for a harlot, someone of very questionable credit and character.
17 “…afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel”
Results of evil are never what is advertised.
18 “…By wise counsel wage war”
Shows the importance of counsel. Same wisdom in seeking counsel for lesser issues is good for greater ones.
20 “Whoever curses his father or his mother…”
Bet curses also covers ill treatment. Bad action or lack of good.
22 “Do not say, “I will recompense evil”; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.”
Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. Many variables. Timing, knowledge, compassion. Biggest thing may be who’s in charge. Who do we acknowledge as being in charge. Ourselves or God.
23 “Diverse weights…”
Stated again. Driving truth home by repetition.
24 “A man’s steps are of the LORD; How then can a man understand his own way?”
The Lord directs his steps. Only God can see all points, all variables. Better to trust in the one with all knowledge and answers. Not easy to wait, be patient, or understand sometimes, but the wiser choice.
25 “…afterward to reconsider his vows”
Think before you speak. And be serious with your intentions.
29 “…the splendor of old men is their gray head”
Long life was seen as a blessing of God. Badge of honor to live long enough to be silver. Commentary suggests it also speaks of wisdom and experience.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.