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.

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Proverbs 20:3

It is an honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.
– Proverbs 20:3

The word for cease means to rest, or sit still. The word for strife means a dispute, or contention. The word for honor means glory and dignity. The first phrase says a noble man will avoid quarreling. Avoiding strife involves control of the tongue as well as anger (Proverbs 14:29; 18:13; 19:11; 25:8-10). The second phrase contrasts the honorable man with the fool, who is looking for strife. The word for meddling means to be obstinate, or to break out in the sense of stirring up strife. The fool delights and specializes in strife, in part due to the lack of restraint he has over his anger (Proverbs 14:17; 18:6).

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Proverbs 17:19

He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
– Proverbs 17:19

To love strife is to exhibit folly and to invite trouble to oneself (Proverbs 17:14; 20:3; 26:17; 29:9, 22). The phrase exalteth his gate has been understood variously, but the parallel here best supports the idea of arrogant boasting. Exalting oneself is pursuing a fall (Proverbs 16:18; 18:12). This proverb aligns with others that warn of the consequences of such a rejection of wisdom (Proverbs 1:29-32; 8:36; 22:8).

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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).

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Proverbs 17:1

Chapter 17 continues the “Proverbs of Solomon.” The proverbs in this chapter are general with no grouping. They touch on a variety of topics, such as fools, speech, friendships, etc.

Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife.
– Proverbs 17:1

The overall statement of this proverb is being poor but having peace is better than being prosperous but having contentions. A dry morsel is a crust of bread without anything on it or to dip it in. It is a poor meal (Proverbs 15:17). The word for quietness means peace and security. A house full refers to abundance and sacrifices, by the parallelism, refers to a feast. The word for strife means controversy or dispute. Opportunities abound in life for strife, but wisdom avoids and appeases it, while folly starts it or enflames it (Proverbs 15:17; 17:14; 18:6; 20:3; 26:17, 21).

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Proverbs 16:28

A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
– Proverbs 16:28

The word for froward means perverse, or fraudulent. The use of soweth means to broadcast or spread, as a sower does with his seed. The perverse man spreads around strife, or contention (Proverbs 6:14, 19; 15:18). A whisperer is a gossip, talebearer, or slanderer. The sowing of strife and spreading of slander causes a rift between even chief friends. Those who are close with a good relationship can be separated by strife and contention. The proverb focuses on the damage done by sowing strife and whispering (Proverbs 17:9; 18:8).

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Proverbs 15:18

A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
– Proverbs 15:18

Hatred, pride, and anger in a man is the root of stirring up strife (Proverbs 10:12; 28:25; 29:22). The word for wrathful means heat, and we would say hot-headed, a quick temper, or a short fuse. He escalates strife and contentions like adding fuel onto a low burning fire (Proverbs 26:21). The contrast is with one who is slow to anger. He has the patience and wisdom to defuse situations and persuade for good (Proverbs 15:1; 25:15).

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Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
– Proverbs 10:12

The word for stirreth up means literally to awaken as out of sleep. Strifes are contentions, quarrels, or discords of all kinds. The stirring and spreading of contentions comes from hatred. Other proverbs expose the stirring of strife as coming from wrath, ungodliness, pride, and anger (Proverbs 15:18; 16:27; 28:25; 29:22). A hateful heart captures all those ideas.

The contrast comes in the form of action motivated by love. The word for covereth means to conceal or hide. It can be used to speak of covering the body with clothing. Covering obviously doesn’t mean sweeping sin under the rug and acting as though it doesn’t exist (Proverbs 28:13). We understand what is meant by observing the parallelism in the proverb. It is opposite of stirring up contentions and strife. It is the wisdom that defers anger and passes over transgressions (Proverbs 19:11). Often, there isn’t a problem between people until we make one and that is what hatred does. Love covers shame, appeases strife, and ceases from it (Proverbs 12:16; 15:18; 20:3).

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Proverbs 6:19

A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
– Proverbs 6:19

False witness refers to deception but it is distinct from just lying. A false witness lies in order to condemn someone. It is a false accusation or report that gives evidence of guilt against someone. False witness was prohibited by the law (Exodus 20:16; 23:1) and punishable (Deuteronomy 19:16-20). Of course, this is in the range of the evil man with a forward mouth (Proverbs 6:12).

The list concludes with declaring the sowing of discord to be an abomination and this was also a mark of the evil man (Proverbs 6:14). Discord is strife or contention. Sowing discord refers to causing such strife where none existed, or where there’s no reason for contention. This sort is quick to enflame a contention (Proverbs 26:20-21), or keep one going.

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