Proverbs 19:15

Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
– Proverbs 19:15

The word for deep sleep refers to a trance-like state of unconsciousness. It describes the state of Adam when God took his rib (Genesis 2:21), and Abram when God sealed his covenant with him (Genesis 15:12). Sleep is the continually indulged pleasure of the sluggard (Proverbs 6:9-10; 20:13). The sluggard sleeps and misses opportunities and is unaware of the ruin coming on him. He eventually awakes to loss and hunger (Proverbs 24:30-34).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:14

House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
– Proverbs 19:14

Proverbs commends the wisdom that manages an estate well and passes an inheritance to children (Proverbs 13:22). Wisdom never guarantees wealth or inheritance in this life. This proverb contrasts two different kinds of blessings, going from lesser to greater. Though with inheritance God’s grace must be acknowledged, it is even more so in getting a prudent, or wise, wife (Proverbs 18:22). This proverb also provides a contrast from the previous one that relates two conditions of an unhappy life.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:13

A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
– Proverbs 19:13

Proverbs begins with Solomon’s fatherly admonitions to his son to forsake the way of folly and embrace the way of wisdom. The first nine chapters teach us a father should make every effort to bring up his son in the way of wisdom, but, ultimately, the son must choose to refuse folly and pursue wisdom. When a son chooses folly, it is a grief, heaviness, and sorrow to his father (Proverbs 17:21, 25). Here it is a calamity, which is a ruin. The man who has foolish children is robbed of joy.

The word for contentions means brawling, or strife. A woman who is querulous and quarrelsome is like an incessant dripping that must drive a man mad (Proverbs 27:15). No one can live with constant complaining, criticizing, and nagging and also have joy or peace of mind in life. The Proverbs mention other conditions that are better to live with (Proverbs 21:9, 19). Having either condition, or both, makes life a misery.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:12

The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favor is as dew upon the grass.
– Proverbs 19:12

Power and danger lay behind the roaring of a lion (Proverbs 20:2). The king’s favor, or pleasure, is equally capable of real beneficence. Wisdom advises caution in answering a king (Proverbs 16:14-15). The king should also take note and exercise control of himself, realizing he has the position to do great damage (Proverbs 28:15).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:11

The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
– Proverbs 19:11

The word for discretion means prudence, or good sense. The phrase, deferreth his anger, literally means long of nose. It is an idiom that means long, or slow, to get angry. The proverb is not describing a forgiving man, but rather a man that overlooks, or shrugs off, a personal offense. He is not easy to make angry, nor is he quick to respond to insults. The word for glory means ornament and speaks of beauty in the sense of being finely adorned. Wisdom is marked by control of oneself, not being quick tempered, and here being thick skinned (Proverbs 14:29; 16:32). This proverb also highlights the moral beauty of self-control (Proverbs 20:3) and contrasts with the ugliness where it is wanting (Proverbs 25:28).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:10

Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.
– Proverbs 19:10

The word for delight means luxury. The first phrase refers to a fool who has obtained wealth. Such a situation is not seemly, or beautiful, fitting. The second phrase gives a worse condition—a servant who has gained power to rule over princes. It is not good for someone to come to wealth or power unless they have done so by gaining wisdom (Proverbs 17:2). This proverb is like others that point out unfitting or absurd conditions (Proverbs 17:7; 26:1; 30:22).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:9

A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.
– Proverbs 19:9

A false witness is an abomination to God and forbidden strictly by the law (Proverbs 6:16-19; Deuteronomy 19:16-21). This proverb is the same as Proverbs 19:5, except for the consequence, perish. The word mean be destroyed and all liars shall meet just judgment, in this life or in the one to come (Revelation 21:8).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:8

He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.
– Proverbs 19:8

The word for wisdom here means heart and is sometimes translated mind, or understanding. It can be thought of as good sense. The word for understanding refers to ability to discern and distinguish between (1 Kings 3:9). Though wisdom brings many benefits, acquiring wisdom is its own reward (Proverbs 8:35-36). The proverb means you do yourself well by seeking, acquiring, and retaining wisdom (Proverbs 3:18).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:7

All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.
– Proverbs 19:7

The kin of the poor are said to hate him. His friends have even less reason or attachment and so abandon him as well. The word for pursueth means to run after, and he has nothing to offer them but his words, or pleadings (Proverbs 18:23). The poor man has no leverage or natural attraction for people, so he is hated by all (Proverbs 14:20). This proverb furthers the observations of Proverbs 19:4, 6.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Next Page »