Proverbs 4 King James Version (KJV)
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
These verses have a dual meaning, the writer is Solomon, but the words are also the words of Christ. When you read it with that in mind, it gives the words a whole new depth of meaning. I have often read of Jesus going to a secluded place to pray, early in the morning, during his time on earth. I have often wondered what He prayed. Many of the Psalms and Proverbs contain the prayers of the Son of God, and we are privileged to read the sweet and holy discourse between the Father and the Son.
In verses 1-3, Solomon clearly is writing of himself, as beloved of his mother, Bathsheba, and taught by his father, David. But they are also the words of The Father to His Son. Jesus was the beloved Son of his mother Mary, and He kept all the commandments of His Father, and never sinned, not even once.
Jesus fulfilled these verses
He exalted wisdom, in teaching the people. And, as verses 8-10 states, He was exalted, and crowned. His name is above every other name, He is King of Kings, and because He lived a perfect life, He is our worthy Savior. He lives forever, and He is seated at the right hand of our Father, ever interceding for us.
Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/445293481884257875/
Related: Live to please God as Jesus did
He is coming again
The first time, He was the Lamb. The next time, He will come as the Lion. That is the “perfect day” of verse 18. In verses 19-27, the Father speaks to the church, to keep our hearts with all diligence, and so be ready when He comes again.
Image source: http://www.preceptaustin.org/second_coming_of_Christ
Related: How do I pray?
Proverbs 3 King James Version (KJV)
3 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
11 My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:
12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
19 The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
26 For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
32 For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous.
33 The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
Wisdom from God. Few people ask for wisdom, as Solomon did. When he did ask, God was so pleased, that He gave him riches as well. Too often people chase riches, and see little value in gaining wisdom.
People often claim that want God’s will for their lives, if that will includes happiness, prosperity, money, a nicer/bigger house, and car. But what about when His will includes suffering and adversity? It can be confusing, just ask Job.
I sometimes get the oddest songs in my head to go with my posts! To really get it, listen to this as you read:
Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
It is only people who possess wisdom who have anything worthwhile to say. If you really listen to what fools say–those without any wisdom, they never have anything good to say and they never teach anything. Fools are usually selfish and stupid. My personal definitions of ignorance, lack of knowledge, and stupidity are as follows:
Lack of knowledge simply means you don’t know something, and that in itself doesn’t make a person a fool. Ignorance is when you don’t realize your lack of knowledge–again, that in itself doesn’t make you a fool, but if you pretend to be an expert about something you know nothing about, that makes you a fool. And finally, if you know that you pretend to be an expert, while you know that you don’t really know, and you never make an effort to find out anything for yourself, then you are really a fool. In Proverbs, wisdom and foolishness are compared, allegorically portrayed as two women.
Proverbs 8 King James Version (KJV)
8 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.
36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
Proverbs 9 King James Version (KJV)
9 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.
3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,
4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.
6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
And then the foolish woman speaks:
13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.
14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,
15 To call passengers who go right on their ways:
16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
Which one do you think is offering something of value?
Who is the wise woman, and who is the foolish?
In my previous post, I began the study of Proverbs 1:7-19, and a study of how poor choices and lack of wisdom and character destroyed Rehoboam’s kingdom.
(For any Game of Thrones fans, these stories of the Israelite kings are as intriguing as any Game of Thrones plot, probably even more so. I’m probably going to explore that in later posts.)
If there was a soundtrack playing behind these events, it might be this song:
Historical proof of King Rehoboam can be found in the records of Shisak of Egypt:
In the 5th year of Rehoboam’s reign Shishaq, king of Egypt, brought a huge army and took many cities. According to Joshua, son of Nadav, the mention in 2 Chron. 11, 6 sqq., that Rehoboam built fifteen fortified cities, indicates that the attack was not unexpected. The account in Chronicles states that Shishaq marched with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen and troops who came with him from Egypt: Libyans, Sukkites, and Kushites. Shishaq’s armies captured all of the fortified towns leading to Jerusalem between Gezer and Gibeon. When they laid siege to Jerusalem, Rehoboam gave Shishaq all of the treasures out of the temple as a tribute. The Egyptian campaign cut off trade with south Arabia via Elath and the Negev that had been established during Solomon’s reign. Judah became a vassal state of Egypt.
An account of this invasion from the Egyptian perspective can be found in the Shishaq Relief at the Bubastis Portal near the Temple of Amun at Karnak. (Wikipedia–“Rehoboam”)
Song to set the mood:
So I am writing a series of studies about the book of Proverbs, and applying them to everyday life. Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the bible, I think I have read it more than any other book. I decided it would be good to combine my own studies with a series of posts, which will include my own thoughts, making these posts a bit more journal-like than my others. It may not be as polished, because I’m just going to write from the heart. In addition to my own words, I’m going to include some information that I curate from other sources.
Proverbs is one of my favorite books because it has wisdom that can be applied to every area of life: your personal spiritual life, business, family, and friends. I hope I can do it justice.
In my previous post, I delved into Proverbs 1:1-7, you can read it here:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
It seems to me that here King Solomon, who wrote the book of Proverbs, is talking to a young man, instructing him not to give into peer pressure. Even more than that, it seems to be instruction to this young man to choose his friends wisely. You could call this a written “dad” lecture. King Solomon was a father himself, he had several sons, but the only one that I am aware of, mentioned in scripture, is Rehoboam, who became King when Solomon died. Rehoboam did not take his father’s advice, and he did not grow up to become a good man, or a good king. His conduct and poor choice of friends, whose bad advice he followed, caused a split, and he lost nearly all of his kingdom. Let’s take a closer look at who Rehoboam was, starting with his story in the bible, then what history says about him.
2 Chronicles 9:31 records the death of King Solomon, and Rehoboam ascending to the throne of Israel: “And Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.”
Next, the rest of Rehoboam’s story is told in the next chapter:
And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for to Shechem were all Israel come to make him king.
2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heard it, that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.
3 And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying,
4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee.
5 And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed.
6 And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye me to return answer to this people?
7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants for ever.
8 But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him.
9 And he said unto them, What advice give ye that we may return answer to this people, which have spoken to me, saying, Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us?
10 And the young men that were brought up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou answer the people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it somewhat lighter for us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.
11 For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come again to me on the third day.
13 And the king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men,
14 And answered them after the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
15 So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the LORD might perform his word, which he spake by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16 And when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? and we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel: and now, David, see to thine own house. So all Israel went to their tents.
17 But as for the children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
18 Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram that was over the tribute; and the children of Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. But king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.
19 And Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.
Rehoboam tooks just three days to think about this, but he made the wrong choice. This mistake was quickly made, but he paid for it till the end of his life. The nation remained divided, and the northern kingdom ceased to serve Jehovah, and turned to idols instead.