Proverbs 20:7

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
– Proverbs 20:7

The word for just means righteous, or lawful, in conduct and character. Walking justly is another aspect of walking in wisdom, for the upright man fears the Lord (Proverbs 14:2) and his integrity is better than wealth (Proverbs 19:1). Just men are a blessing to others because of their wise and healthy speech (Proverbs 10:11, 21), wise leadership (Proverbs 29:2), and their flourishing (Proverbs 11:28, 30). The blessing here is more specifically to his children after him. The just man blesses the generations that come after him through living out his life in integrity (Proverbs 10:7; 13:22).

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Proverbs 16:20

He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
– Proverbs 16:20

The word for matter means a word, or something spoken. Here it refers to instruction, and we may infer it is the instruction of wisdom. The first phrase speaks of receiving instruction wisely, or prudently. The second phrase promises the blessing of the Lord. If a man receives the instruction of wisdom well, he will be blessed of the Lord (Proverbs 13:15; 19:8; 24:3-5).

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Proverbs 14:21

He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
– Proverbs 14:21

The word for despiseth means to treat with contempt or view as worthless. The word used is common in the Old Testament for sin. It means to miss the mark or the way. We infer from the parallel the neighbor is in some way needy, so to ignore or despise him is to miss the way of wisdom and righteous (Proverbs 11:12). It is a direct affront to our Creator (Proverbs 17:5) and a mark of the wicked (Proverbs 18:3). The contrast is to show mercy, which is to bend down in pity to one beneath you. To show mercy is the way of wisdom and righteousness to acknowledge that both alike are created by God (Proverbs 22:2). The merciful thereby honor God (Proverbs 14:31). The merciful will also receive mercy and be happy, or blessed (Proverbs 19:17; 28:27).

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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 10:7

The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.
– Proverbs 10:7

The memory of a person obviously speaks of that person after they are gone. Once a person has lived and died, their character and name are fixed. Their memory will either be a blessing or a stinking rot. The memory of them will be determined by their character and way of life while they lived, whether just or wicked. This is wisdom’s long view of life. Wisdom considers the end of a thing before stepping foot in the path. It is pressed upon each of us to consider what sort of memory we would want to leave. The next step then is to seek wisdom and endeavor to live now in such a way that we come to that desired end. It would not be Divine wisdom to merely teach us to leave a good legacy on earth subject to the judgment of men. Divine wisdom teaches us that it is the judgment of God that matters and that should drive our life on earth (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

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Proverbs 5:18

Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
– Proverbs 5:18

Solomon admonishes to be delighted in your wife. The verses in this section emphasize the physical relation of a husband and a wife, but the physical relation is never entirely physical. This is one of the reasons Paul warned the Corinthians against fornication (1 Corinthians 6:15-16). The physical in marriage is one of the aspects of the bonding of husband and wife together. All these work together over time to deepen the bond in marriage physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.

The second phrase is laden with meaning. To rejoice is to be glad, it speaks of more than a resigned contentment. It is a happiness that is shared and enjoyed. The wife of your youth refers to the design of marriage to be one man and one woman for life (Ecclesiastes 9:9). God has designed for husband and wife to live together from youth and share all the experiences of life together. To grow old together and to stand by one another through all that comes. Neither a wife nor a husband should ever be worried about the love and loyalty of their spouse (Malachi 2:14). This is the path of wisdom and the path of a blessed and satisfying life on earth.

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Proverbs 3:33

The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
– Proverbs 3:33

Those who turn aside from God’s word are an abomination to him and thus the curse is in their house. The Lord warned Israel of the curse if they departed from his law (Deuteronomy 11:28; Leviticus 26:14-16). Alternatively, those who receive his wisdom and keep it, shall be blessed (Deuteronomy 28:2-14).

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Proverbs 3:18

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
– Proverbs 3:18

This verse removes doubt, if there is any, about the spiritual nature of the gifts of wisdom. Here she is a tree of life, which tree is so called because it is life giving and a tree that never dies. The Tree of Life was in the Garden of Eden at the creation (Genesis 2:9; 3:22). The way to the tree was barred by the angels after Adam sinned and, I believe, taken from the earth before the flood. The next location that is given for the tree is in the new heaven and new earth, and specifically in the new Jerusalem (Revelation 22:2).

Here it is a figure that represents everlasting life, which is real life, and access to it means full communion with God (Revelation 2:7; 22:14). Laying hold and retaining mirrors the language of apprehending Christ in faith (Hebrews 6:18; John 8:31; 1 John 2:24). Every one that has wisdom after this manner is happy or makes good progress.

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Proverbs 3:13

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
– Proverbs 3:13

Verses 13-18 teach that wisdom brings every good gift that we could receive. The word for happy is often translated as blessed. It refers to a state or condition of blessedness. So is the state of the man who finds wisdom. To find means to reach out after or to gain something by going after it. To get is to draw out, like digging some precious metal out of the earth. Once again, the pursuit of wisdom is mentioned but the rewards are also given in this section. The pursuit for wisdom is not a vain pursuit so long as we start with the fear of the Lord.

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