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 21:24

Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
– Proverbs 21:24

The wording of this proverb is awkward. The word for name indicates the reputation or character of a person by figure. The scorner, or scoffer, is at the far end of the spectrum of fools in Proverbs. They are not simple or ignorant, but proud and haughty, which means they obstinately refuse wisdom (Proverbs 9:7-8; 13:3; 15:12). The word for wrath means outburst of passion. The scorner is marked by arrogantly pouring out his anger. He is ripe for judgment (Proverbs 16:18; 18:12; 19:29).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 21:11

When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
– Proverbs 21:11

Teachability is a mark of maturing and growing in wisdom (Proverbs 1:5; 9:9). The proverb contrasts the wise and the simple. The wise receives instruction and the simple has to see the scorner punished to wise up. Proverbs teaches us wisdom is imparted by instruction, correction, warning, and punishment. The wiser we are, the less time we will spend toward the punishment end of that scale.

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:29

Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.
– Proverbs 19:29

The word for judgments means a sentence, or penalty. The word for stripes means blows, or strokes as with a rod. When instructions, corrections, reproofs, rebukes, and warnings fail to turn a scorner or fool, stripes will be called for (Proverbs 10:13; 18:6). It is the only means of restraining such men (Proverbs 26:3). The warning of inevitable judgment goes out to fools and scorners. They will not go unpunished (Proverbs 19:5, 9). Though punishment of a fool seldom does him good (Proverbs 27:22), it can be corrective for others who see it (Proverbs 19:25).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:28

An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.
– Proverbs 19:28

The word for witness means testimony, or evidence. Proverbs has several warnings or condemnations of a false witness (Proverbs 6:19; 12:17; 14:5; 19:5, 9; 21:28; 25:18). Here it is an ungodly witness, or witness of Belial. He is a thoroughly wicked and deceitful witness. Deliberately twisted testimony scorneth, or mocks, judgment, or justice in the sense of a verdict. The word for devoureth means to swallow, or we would say gulp down. The second phrase pictures the ungodly witness as enjoying and greedily devouring iniquity, or wickedness. It reminds us of how the fool laps up foolishness (Proverbs 15:14).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 19:25

Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.
– Proverbs 19:25

The scorner, the simple, and the man of understanding feature in this proverb. The distinction revolves around how correction is received. The word for scorner means to mock and scoff. Scorning is where the simple will end up if they do not receive correction and instruction (Proverbs 14:18). The word for simple means foolish, or naïve. Proverbs paints the simple as thoughtless and easily led (Proverbs 14:15; 15:21). Reproof alone will seldom correct the simple. They need stronger demonstration (Proverbs 21:11). The word for understanding means to separate mentally, or discern. Wise men have understanding and so instructions and reproofs are more effective and profitable for them (Proverbs 9:9-10; 15:5; 17:10).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 18:1

Chapter 18 continues the “Proverbs of Solomon.” These proverbs continue as primarily two-line parallels and touch on various topics, such as speech, pride, and friends.

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.

– Proverbs 18:1

This proverb’s wording is a little odd and various renderings have been put forward. The key is in the word for intermeddleth, which means to be obstinate, or against. It can be used to describe a defiant outburst. The desire mentioned is the man’s own desire. In other words, he is self-seeking and self-serving. So the man intent on his own way separates from others because he does not want their advice (Proverbs 12:15).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 15:12

A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.
– Proverbs 15:12

The scorner is at the hard end of folly. His obstinacy keeps him from wisdom (Proverbs 14:6). He hates reproof, and therefore will not go to or with the wise (Proverbs 9:7-8; 13:1). He refuses two primary means of receiving wisdom—reproof (Proverbs 3:11-12) and having wise companions (Proverbs 2:20; 13:20).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 14:6

A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
– Proverbs 14:6

The scorner is a special type of fool in Proverbs. The word means to mock and includes the idea of arrogance. His disdain of correction is a chief obstacle in finding wisdom (Proverbs 9:7-8), and it is why he will not go to the wise (Proverbs 15:12). He fails to find wisdom, not because it cannot be found, but rather because he despises instruction and does not fear the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). Ultimately, the scorner comes to judgment (Proverbs 3:34; 19:29). The word for easy in the contrasting phrase means lightness and trifling. To have understanding is to have discernment. Here it is to find, or acquire, knowledge (Proverbs 8:9; 17:24).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Next Page »