Proverbs 10:24

The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.
– Proverbs 10:24

Wisdom takes a long view and considers the end of a thing. The wicked are in one way and the righteous in another. They both shall come out somewhere—the righteous to everlasting life and the wicked to everlasting condemnation (Daniel 12:2). It is a terror to the wicked to stand before God (Psalm 14:1), but that is where they shall come at last. The righteous delight in God and his ways and long to be in his presence, which they shall also come to at last (Psalm 16:11).

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Proverbs 10:23

It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
– Proverbs 10:23

The word for sport means laughter and points to enjoyment or pleasure. The word for mischief literally means a plan and the context dictates whether it is positive or negative. A fool finds delight in bringing off some evil plan. He is thoroughly pleased when his plans meet with success (Proverbs 2:14; 15:21). By contrast, the man who has understanding does not delight in making and prosecuting evil plans. He finds no joy in the follies and downfalls of others, but delights in wisdom. He recognizes the supreme value of wisdom so that he will seek and sacrifice to attain it (Proverbs 2:3-4; 23:23).

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Proverbs 10:22

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
– Proverbs 10:22

Labor without or apart from Divine blessing might lead to multiplied possessions, but it will not be without sorrow admixed (Proverbs 13:11; 15:6). There is a certain futility in all such labor, no matter the short-term gains (Psalm 127:1-3). When the Lord blesses wise, diligent labor, the increase is a blessing with joy (Ecclesiastes 5:19).

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Proverbs 10:21

The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.
– Proverbs 10:21

The righteous receive instruction and grow in wisdom. Because they have a store of wisdom, they also speak and give out wisdom (Proverbs 12:18; 15:4). The emphasis is usually placed on the life-giving nature of their instruction. Here it speaks of the abundance they have to give to others. The word for feed indicates to tend a flock or put them to pasture. The word used for fool here speaks of one who despises wisdom, mocks, and is quarrelsome. He stubbornly refuses wise instruction (Proverbs 1:7; 12:15). Because they have no store of wisdom, they cannot feed others as the righteous do and they starve themselves.

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Proverbs 10:20

The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
– Proverbs 10:20

Solomon contrasts the tongue of the just with the heart of the wicked—righteous speech with the mind of the ungodly. A man’s speech is produced from the heart as if the heart were a treasure trove (Luke 6:45). Good treasure means good words and evil treasure means evil words. Little worth indicates smallness. It is scarcity in the bad sense because the fool produces a multitude of words but scarcely any are good (Proverbs 15:28). Choice silver is scarce in the good sense that makes it rare, valuable, and precious. It is also aesthetically pleasing, or pleasantly beautiful (Proverbs 25:11-12).

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Proverbs 10:19

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
– Proverbs 10:19

Verses 19-21 deal with words, or our speech. This is one of the foremost themes throughout Proverbs. Wisdom affects what we say, the way we say it, when we say it, and how much we say. Kidner observed that three of the seven abominations in 6:16-19 have to do with sins with words. Here Solomon addresses the quantity of our words. Multitude means abundance. Elsewhere, Solomon marks a fool by sheer quantity of words (Ecclesiastes 5:3; 10:14). Words aplenty means sins aplenty. The wise refraineth, or withholds and restrains, their words. Seldom does our error lie in saying too little (James 1:19-20; Proverbs 17:27-28). Real wisdom discerns “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

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Proverbs 10:18

He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
– Proverbs 10:18

Hatred can be hidden by flattery, inappropriate silence, or outright lies (Proverbs 26:24-25). Uttering a slander gives vent to the hatred rather than hiding it. Both are damaging and indicative of a fool (Proverbs 16:28).

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Proverbs 10:17

He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
– Proverbs 10:17

Life in the Proverbs is a quality of life and not a quantity of life. Life also includes thoughts of the spiritual and the afterlife. The way of life is to them who keepeth instruction. Proverbs emphasizes the importance of hearing instruction but also the importance of retaining it (Proverbs 3:1-2, 18; 4:4, 13). The contrast is made between keeping and refusing, or forsaking, as the word indicates. To err is to go astray and we know it is ultimately to come to ruin (Proverbs 15:10; 29:1).

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Proverbs 10:16

The labor of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.
– Proverbs 10:16

Following verse 15 is a wise saying proving wealth and poverty are not the greatest factors and that life is more than physical. The wisdom worldview here is considering outcomes, or results. Regardless of what a person possesses and whether that would class him as poor or rich, he will use what he does have according to the character he also has. Labor takes in both the work and the wage. Fruit is the product or gain received. The righteous and the wicked both have gains in this proverb. The spiritual dynamic is contrasted by those gains being either to life or sin. Whatever profit the wicked receives becomes unprofitable because they only use it to fuel ongoing offense, as the word indicates.

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