Summary of Proverbs

Summary of Proverbs

Chapter by Chapter:

Proverbs 1-2: The Fear of the Lord is Knowledge/The Lord Gives Wisdom
Proverbs 3-4: Trust in the Lord… Not your own Wisdom/Wisdom
Proverbs 5-6: Don’t Divorce/Seven things the Lord Hates
Proverbs 7-8: “La Diabla”: Her house is the way to hell/The Truth: The Great Missionary
Proverbs 9-10: Walk in Intelligence/Slanders are Fools
Proverbs 11-12: We Need to Save Souls/The Way of the Fool is Right… in his OWN EYES.
Proverbs 13-14: Evil Pursues the Sinner/Truth and Lies
Proverbs 15-16: Be Wise/Wisdom is Better than Gold
Proverbs 17-18: Friends Forever/Find a Wife
Proverbs 19-20: A Wise Wife from the Lord/Don’t Drink
Proverbs 21-22: Safety is the Lord/A Good Name
Proverbs 23-24: Labor Not to be Rich/Listen to Counsel
Proverbs 25-26: Don’t Boast/Honor not the Fools
Proverbs 27-28: Hell is Never Full/A Faithful Man Receives Blessings
Proverbs 29-31: A Fool Utters His Mind/Every “word” of God is Pure/Don’t Drink and A Virtuous Woman

 

Proverbs as the name describes, are a bunch of PROVERBS! Who would have thought? There are also some Parables and Poetry. This book was written mainly by Solomon, the wisest king ever to rule, however some of the later sections are written by Lemuel and Agur. It was written during Solomon’s reign 970-930 B.C. He asked God for wisdom to rule God’s nation and He granted the request.

The main purpose of this book is to teach wisdom to God’s people. Proverbs are short clever explanations, which are easy to remember. They contain truisms. These are things which are typically true however, not always. For example, “He who telleth his land shall be satisfied with bread…”(Proverbs 12:11), it is typically true that one who works his land will have bread but it is not a guarantee to always be true. They deal with life, principles, good judgment, and perception. They often draw distinctions between a wise man and a foolish man with parable type examples.

•    In chapters 1-9, Solomon writes about wisdom for younger people. He speaks of details of Godly living and heeding a parent’s advice, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” (Proverbs 1:7). Salvation is through faith and trust in Jesus Christ and Proverbs directly teaches us to, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and do not lean unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

•    In chapters 10-24, there is wisdom that applies to average people covering various topics. Many of these parables contrast a righteous man and a wicked man, and urges us to commit our way to God, “There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

•    Chapters 25-31, give wisdom to leaders. It was these very proverbs that were transcribed by King Hezekiah’s people, and for good reason (Proverbs 25:1). They contain many warnings and instructions to assist in walking and seeking a Godly life. As would be understood by a leader of an army, Solomon writes in 27:17, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

Proverbs 29-31

Proverbs 29-31

Chapter 29: A Fool Utters His Mind

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2)

                Anytime someone who is granted power (i.e. through an election) and then misuses his or her power, the people they represent will always suffer. This is why it is important to get involved in what your government (local, state and federal) so that bad people don’t get into power.

                “A fool uttereth his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” (Proverbs 29:11)

                Don’t be so quick to respond or retaliate… the world would be a much better place if that was the case.

                “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29:18)

                You need to have a vision or a plan or you will not succeed.

                “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

                Don’t fear man and trust in God alone.

Chapter 30: Every “word” of God is Pure

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)

                We don’t need poverty or riches. We only need the basics. Respect what you have and don’t think of yourself as better because you have money.

“The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.” (Proverbs 30:25)

                1 ant alone is not strong; a group of ants however can do amazing things. Strength in numbers, join a worthy cause, make friends and build strong relationships and you too will be strong.

Chapter 31: Don’t Drink

These are the words of King Lemuel, and these are things his mother taught him:

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” (Proverbs 31:4-7)

                The Bible makes it clear that we should not participate in drinking. We need to avoid alcohol so our minds can stay sober and clear always.

Proverbs 31 finally ends with what a TRUE woman should do, and her duties as mother, and wife:

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her… She will do him good… She seeketh wool… and worketh willingly with her hands…She riseth also whileit is yet night, and giveth meat to her household… She layeth out her hands to the spindle… She stretched out her hand to the poor… She maketh fine linen, and selleth it…. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her…” (Proverbs 31:10-31)

                Some would say that this is sexist, and portrays a woman in her “traditional role”, maybe they would argue that it is the 21st Century and that she needs to not be doing those things. There is some truth to that… but I love what it says here! Is that because I am a man? NO.

What is said here is more than just putting the woman in her “place”, this is about family, and the relationship of marriage. The heart of her husband must trust her… and her husband praises her. What is so bad about that? As a mother, she does have the genetic makeup to be the “care taker”, isn’t the woman the one that can have children? YEP! So it makes sense that she would be there to take care of her children, and it only makes sense that the FATHER is putting his share in… these verses are more about equality than anything else… these tasks are to be equally shared.

 

Proverbs 27-28

Proverbs 27-28

Chapter 27: Hell is Never Full

“Open rebuke is better than secret love.” (Proverbs 27:5)

It is better to show/express your feelings of love rather than hide them.

“A prudent man foeseeth the evil…” (Proverbs 27:12) If we put our trust in the Lord, the spirit will guide us to know what to do. In many cases we will be warned of a bad situation (evil) and be able to avoid it.

Essentially we need to be careful because… EVIL is always around us and Hell is never full.

Chapter 28: A Faithful Man Receives Blessings

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper…” (Proverbs 28:13)

                We shouldn’t try to hide our sins, we should always try to confess them and avoid them all together.

“He that is of a proud heart sirreth up strife (conflict or trouble): but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat.” (Proverbs 28:25) Pride is not good, humble yourself before the Lord!

Proverbs 25-26

Proverbs 25-26

Chapter 25: Don’t Boast

                It is important to note that this Proverb was written by Solomon, “…which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.” (Proverbs 25:1)

                Solomon gives some really good advice…

                “Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.” (Proverbs 25:14)

                What is this verse telling us? It basically says that a person who promises a gift, but doesn’t give it is like clouds that  fool you into thinking it will rain, when it never does. Don’t try to fool people!

                “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:” (Proverbs 25:21)

                This is a very simple principle, “Love thy neighbor” and “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. We should always do the right thing, even if the right thing is not popular or if it is not in our favor.

                “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” (Proverbs 25:25)

                This one I loved as a missionary… it is always good to hear from people, especially when you are far away. Make sure you keep in contact with friends and family.

                “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28)

                We need to have self-control, if not we are vulnerable for anyone or anything to come into our lives and reek havoc!

Chapter 26: Honor not the Fools

                “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.” (Proverbs 26:11)

                If we return to our sin, we will be as the dogs and the fools.

                “When he [a fool] speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart” (Proverbs 26:25) (For the seven abominations see: Proverbs 6:17-19)

                When someone seems to be saying something that is a lie, it probably is! That person is probably not looking out for your own interests, but that of HIS interests. I hate to say it, but used car salesman comes to mind.

                “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone it will return upon him.” (Proverbs 26:27)

                If we get ourselves into trouble, by lying or by doing something we shouldn’t… eventually we will dig ourselves into a hole or we won’t have enough strength to hold the stone and it will come tumbling down on us.

 

Proverbs 23-24

Proverbs 23-24

Chapter 23: Labor not to be Rich

“Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.” (Proverbs 23:4)

                We should never focus on work as only a means for us to become wealthy. If we become wealthy by our work, then so be it, but it should not be our main focus.

                “…as he thinketh with his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7)

                If a man lusts after sex, drugs or alcohol then that is what the man is. This is similar to the idea of “you are what you eat”, we are what we do in private and public.

                “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” (Proverbs 23:9)

                Fools will not listen.

                “Withhold not correction from the child; for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” (Proverbs 23:13-14)

                Does this mean we should be children? NO! But we shouldn’t be too easy going either… we need to put some tough love into parenting.

                “…despise not thy mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22)

                When our parents get old, we should still respect them. We should always look out for them, as they have looked after us.

Chapter 24: Listen to Counsel

In a multitude of counselors there is safety. We need to learn to take advice from others! A wise man is strong, and a man of understanding increases that strength daily.

“Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.” (Proverbs 24:29)

Here we see that we are judged on our works and are not just saved by the grace of God alone. We need to remember that if someone has wronged us we cannot always get revenge by doing the same thing to them. Let’s say someone cut off your arm, would it make sense to cut off the arm of the offender? No. This is what the scripture is talking about.

 

Proverbs 21-22

Proverbs 21-22

Chapter 21: Safety is the Lord

“He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.” (Proverbs 21:17)

                When we only partake in activities that give us pleasure or we only focus on being rich… we will never be rich in spirit and we will separate ourselves from what is really important.

                “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman” (Proverbs 21:19)

                It is better for anyone to be away from an angry woman or man. We need to choose our partners and friends very carefully.

Chapter 22: A Good Name

“A Good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)

                Essentially respect and honor are better than wealth. We should always honor the name of our father and make sure our names are known for good and not bad.

                “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

                Parenting is not easy, however if parents teach their children from birth and raise them right they will be proud of their children. This can also be applied to self-training. If we give up early in the training we will not be disciplined to stay on the right path.

                “Make no friendships with an angry man…” (Proverbs 22:22)

                Again, choose our friends and partners with care or else they will “rub off” on us and we will be just like them.

 

Proverbs 19-20

Proverbs 19-20

Chapter 19: A Wise Wife from the Lord

“A false witness shall not be unpunished…” (Proverbs 19:5)

                If you are a liar you will be punished.

                “…every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.” (Proverbs 19:6)

                You can have fake friends if you have money and are willing to give them something… but the minute you stop giving those fake friends “things” or money, you will lose your friends.

                “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent [wise] wife is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 19:14)

                Money or knowledge is a gift that can be handed down from one man to another. Whoever a WISE WIFE is hard to find and can only be given to man by the Lord. Respect your wives! Respect their wisdom and listen to what they have to say… work as equals!

                “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” (Proverbs 19:20)

                If you hear wisdom and counsel you will be much better off!

                “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 19:27)

                If you are given wisdom or counsel that is not leading you down a good path… CEASE from receiving any more instruction and find someone else to get advice from.

Chapter 20: Don’t Drink

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)

                The Bible is very clear on alcohol, IT SHOULD NOT BE CONSUMED! Those who consume alcohol and get drunk are fools. The LDS church has been very clear for more than 100 years… alcohol is to be used for cleaning… not for consumption.

                “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.” (Proverbs 20:13)

                We need to get what we NEED in sleep. The amount we need would be about 8 hour’s average. If we only get 6 hours throughout the week and we can sleep in one day a week that is probably ok. But if we waste our lives sleeping and taking more than we need, we will not go very far.

Proverbs 17-18

Proverbs 17-18

Chapter 17: Friends Forever

“Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.” (Proverbs 17:5)

                I really love this verse, but when I read verses I often look at other translations of the same verse to see what kind of differences or possibly new interpretations of the verse exist. This particular verse had a different translation that I think really captured the message. The translation is from the Douy-Rheims Bible and is basically the same except; “…he that rejoices at another man’s ruin, shall not be unpunished.” Essentially we learn that we should never make fun of someone because of their social status and if we rejoice in seeing someone else suffer or be ruined (example: tricking them into paying you more money, taking advantage of someone) then those people will be punished for that.

                “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” (Proverbs 17:9)

                This is another verse where I hate to say it, but I like the entire translation better than the King James Version, and I REALLY like the King James Version… “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it seperates close friends.” (New Living Translation of Proverbs 17:9) When we are forgiven by others or forgiven of sin, LOVE can prosper. If we dwell on things and never let them go it will ruin relationships.

                “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

                Friends and Family are important. True friends and “brothers” (which can be both friends and family) are there for each other… ALWAYS!

                “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” (Proverbs 17:28)

                Sometimes it is just better for us to keep our mouth shut and move on. We will probably look a lot more intelligent if we do so.

Chapter 18: Find a Wife

“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” (Proverbs 18:8)

                In other words… we can say that the words of the gossiper or liar will come back to hurt the one telling the stories.

                “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22)

                Marriage is important in the eyes of the Lord. We must get married, instead of “living” with someone.

                “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

                If you want friends, you too must be friendly and keep the friendship going. Friendships that are not taken care of will eventually die off.

 

Proverbs 15-16

Proverbs 15-16

Chapter 15: Be Wise

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

                                When someone is upset, or angry the only way to calm them down would be to speak softly to them. If someone is mad and you respond by raising your voice and do exactly what the person who is angry is doing… you are just inviting more anger to come in. Speak softly and resolve problems with calmness.

                “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)

                No matter what we do, the Lord always knows what we are doing and we will be judged according to what we do, even in secret.

                “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge; but the mouth of the fools feedeth on foolishness” (Proverbs 15:14)

                Fools will only burn hotter with lies and stupidity when they are fueled (fooled?) by other fools.

                “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.” (Proverbs 15:20)

                Make your parents proud.

                “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” (Proverbs 15:33)

                If we follow the commandments with humility, and fear the Lord we will be better off.

Chapter 16: Wisdom is Better than Gold

“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:1)

                For Example: If we do our part and put our full heart and mind into studying/preparing for a test or a big interview the Lord will help us with the right answers/words.

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)

                If we do the will of the Lord, then we do not have to fear our enemies.

                “It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:12)

                Public figures (i.e. presidents, governors, senators, etc.) will be punished more than someone who has not been given that great responsibility.

                “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16)

                Knowledge is always more valuable than material things.

                “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and healeth the bones.” (Proverbs 16:23-24)

                Those who are wise train their mouth with appropriate words. Those who are foolish and unwise will say vain things (swearing).

 

Proverbs 13-14

Proverbs 13-14

Chapter 13: Evil Pursues the Sinner

This, like many of the Proverbs has many words of wisdom, here are the ones I think are most important, followed by my thoughts.

“There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.” (Proverbs 13:7)

                Sweet and simple… MONEY is not everything. You can be happy with money or without and sad with money or without money.

                “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 10:10)

                When people “have to be right” and cannot swallow their pride, you will have arguments.

                “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” (Proverbs 13:11)

                Money gained through unethical or immoral means will really have no value. However, money that is earned through ethical and moral means will mean something. Essentially, having money is not a bad thing; it is what you chose to do with it that makes you a good or bad person. If you worked hard for your money, it is yours to keep!

“Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.” (Proverbs 13:21)

                Anytime you sin, evil is drawn in and will surround you.

“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children…” (Proverbs 13:22)

                A good man will leave behind something of himself to his children and grandchildren. I don’t believe that this has to just be money… it could be a life lesson or some sort of family heirloom or tradition.

“He that spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” (Proverbs 13:24)

                Those parents who refrain from disciplining their children are bad parents. If a child does not hate or despise their parents at one point in their life, then they have failed. Sometimes parents have to be tough… even if that include a smack on the head or a spanking. There is a difference between tough love and abuse. Good parents know that sometimes you have to do these things.

Chapter 14: Truth and Lies

“A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies… knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceives not in him the lips of knowledge.” (Proverbs 14:5-7)

                Those who are going to lie, are going to lie. If someone is doing that and is acting foolishly… don’t converse with that person… go from them!

                “Fools make a mock at sin…” (Proverbs 14:9)

                We see a lot of this in the modern world, those who say that the Bible is silly or that religion is silly… or even that God doesn’t exist. One person who does not find this mocking to be amusing is God, so we shouldn’t give into those fools.

                “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” (Proverbs 14:15)

                This is something very interesting and I find to be a great principle in the LDS church… One of our fundamentals states: We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (Articles of Faith, 11)

                Right there it states that men are free to choose. We shouldn’t believe every word, we should question and question some more. Then we can know for ourselves and not follow what someone else tells us.

                “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.” (Proverbs 14:25)

                Many churches out there are sadly built for gain. This does not discredit good churches with good church-goers. But those who are “true” witnesses will not speak lies and will only have a desire to save souls.

                “Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.” (Proverbs 14:33)

                If you are among fools, you too will become one or be known as one.