Proverbs 22:10

Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
– Proverbs 22:10

The word for scorner means to make mouths at, or to talk arrogantly. The scorner is a hardened type of fool in Proverbs who is mentally obstinate and belligerent (Proverbs 9:7-8; 13:1; 15:12). His problem is neither a lack of intelligence or information. His mental arrogance means he cannot acquire wisdom and his dislike of correction ensures he will not acquire wisdom (Proverbs 14:6; 13:1). The scorner is a troublemaker (Proverbs 29:8). Wisdom teaches to recognize a scorner and remove him to end unnecessary strife.

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 18:18

The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.
– Proverbs 18:18

Casting lots was a way of making decision deemed too difficult, or contested, in the Old Testament. Proverbs has one other mention of lots in Proverbs 16:33, which emphasizes God’s sovereignty such that the faithful understand the disposing is of the Lord. The proverb here refers to the lot for the purpose of ending contentions, or strife.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 18:6

A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.
– Proverbs 18:6

The word for contention means strife, or controversy. A fool’s mouth gets him into trouble, eventually. He knows no restraint and often presses things until the dam bursts (Proverbs 29:11; 17:14). Where there is no controversy, the fool is itching to start one (Proverbs 16:27-28). The word for strokes means blows and refers to beating, whether it is civil or domestic. The fool takes a dog by the ears and shouldn’t complain of being bit (Proverbs 26:17).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 17:14

The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
– Proverbs 17:14

This proverb warns of the consequences of starting and stirring strife. The image is like the opening of a flood gate. Perhaps it is more like one who continually picks at a hole in a dam until it finally busts loose. The foolish wicked are those continually stirring strife (Proverbs 17:19; 26:21; 29:22). Rather than causing contention, wisdom will leave off, appease, and prevent (Proverbs 13:10; 14:29; 15:1; 16:32; 19:11; 20:3; 25:8).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 13:10

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
– Proverbs 13:10

The word for contention means a quarrel or strife. The first phrase reveals how it comes by pride, or stubborn arrogance. The proud bringer of strife is identified as a scorner (Proverbs 21:24). They will not receive counsel because they know best (Proverbs 12:15; 1:7). This is shown to be foolish by the contrast with wisdom in the last phrase. Wisdom is frequently described as instruction or correction (Proverbs 1:2-3, 23; 3:11). Acquiring wisdom necessarily means listening to and receiving good counsel, instruction, and correction (Proverbs 19:20; 20:18; 25:8).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series