Proverbs 28:11

The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.
– Proverbs 28:11

Being wise in one’s own eyes is a characteristic of a fool, regardless of the particular avenue the fool walks down (Proverbs 3:7; 12:15; 26:5, 12, 16). The foolish rich find false security in wealth (Proverbs 18:11) and here, they take credit for their situation in life. The saying contrasts the foolish rich man with the poor man who has wisdom, understanding. Wisdom looks past the facade of riches and success.

Proverbs 27:27

And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.
– Proverbs 27:27

This verse ends the saying and the consideration of the reward for diligence. The word for maintenance means alive and has the idea of lively, or active. It speaks of health. The general picture of the faithful farmer-shepherd is a vibrant estate, well supplied.

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:26

The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.
– Proverbs 27:26

This verse describes the reward for diligent care of the flocks and herds. The care for living things provides sustainability and stability. Applying the metaphor to a kingdom, it is the downfall of king and kingdom when the shepherd-king steals, kills, and devours the flock (2 Samuel 12:1-12; Jeremiah 23:1-4; Ezekiel 34:1-6).

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:25

The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.
– Proverbs 27:25

This part of the saying reflects the divine provision of growth from the earth. The whole saying captures the cyclical nature of life lived in the created world. The hay appears. The grass shows itself. The herbs are gathered. These provide food for the house, servants, and animals. The wise farmer-shepherd-king lives wisely within the created order.

 


 

 

Proverbs 24:32

Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
– Proverbs 24:32

The word for considered it well means to set the mind to. The word for instruction means discipline, correction, and instruction. The previous verse described the scene and this verse describes the sage. Growing in wisdom means growing in discernment to discern between good and evil in the real world (Hebrews 5:14). The instructions of wisdom are used to evaluate reality around us.

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Proverbs 24:27

Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field: and afterwards build thine house.
– Proverbs 24:27

Verse 27 is a standalone saying. A house is a common figure in Proverbs for a family (Proverbs 11:29; 14:1; 15:27). In general, wisdom teaches forethought, planning, and proper ordering of things in life. So a house is only filled with good things by wisdom (Proverbs 24:3-4).

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Proverbs 24:14

So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
– Proverbs 24:14

The figure of eating honey is now applied to the acquiring of wisdom. Just as honey is pleasant to the taste and wholesome to the body, getting wisdom is both pleasant and life-giving to the soul (Proverbs 2:1-5, 10; 3:13-18; 22:18). The last phrase highlights wisdom is its own reward and the benefit of wisdom extends beyond this life (Proverbs 8:35; 10:16; 11:7; 12:28; 14:32; 23:18). The word for reward means end or after part. It would be like us saying, “There’s a future in it.” Commentators vary on how much Proverbs speaks of the afterlife, but this verse at least alludes to it.

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Proverbs 24:13

My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:
– Proverbs 24:13

Verses 13-14 form a saying on the pleasant benefits of wisdom. Verse 13 uses honey as a figure, which is obvious from the point of the whole saying and the comparison to wisdom in verse 14. Honey as a figure stands for pleasure (Psalm 119:103; Proverbs 16:24; Song of Solomon 4:11; 5:1; Ezekiel 3:3). Honey as a substance itself is sweet and enjoyable, and it can be abused. Wisdom warns of the necessity of moderation (Proverbs 25:16, 27). However, honey as a substance is not the point of this Proverb. As a figure of good pleasure, the saying urges its consumption.

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Proverbs 24:7

Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
– Proverbs 24:7

Commentators differ on whether verse 7 is its own saying, or if it is part of the saying before it or after it. It seems best to take it on its own as a saying, though connections can be made with the saying before and after. The word for wisdom here is the general term comprehending all aspects of wisdom—knowledge, understanding, discernment, etc. Being too high means it is above, or beyond, a fool. Though a fool may seek wisdom, he cannot find it, or even recognize it when it is before him (Proverbs 14:6; 17:24). The previous saying emphasized the necessity of wise counsel in making war, but this saying shows the fool unable to even speak to high matters. The image of the gate refers to the place of judgment in the city. It is where important matters were discussed and decided, as well the place of deciding legal matters. Wisdom requires opening one’s mouth to come to the defense of the oppressed and plead for judgment for them (Proverbs 31:8-9). Though fools are known for prating foolishness (Proverbs 15:2, 28), they have nothing to say when wisdom is needed.

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