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).

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Proverbs 20:2

The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.
– Proverbs 20:2

This proverb highlights another folly with deadly consequences. The roaring of a lion is a fitting image for the wrath of a king because the lion’s roar is backed up with the ability to kill (Proverbs 16:14-15; 19:12). A king has great power and it is foolish to provoke him. Sinning against your own soul is a figure of speech that refers to death, as in the warning of wisdom (Proverbs 8:36). To carelessly provoke the anger of a king is to put your life at risk.

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Proverbs 16:14

The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.
– Proverbs 16:14

A king is in a position of power, which means he has great power to do good or evil (Proverbs 19:12). It is unwise then to provoke a king or powerful leader (Proverbs 20:2). This power can give way to a tyrant using it for his own whims and purposes. The word for pacify is a word used for atonement, or covering. The wise man seeks to cover, or alleviate the wrath of a king. Wisdom seeks peace rather than inciting strife (Proverbs 25:15).

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Proverbs 15:1

Introduction
Chapters 10 to 22 are the second major section of the Proverbs, known as “The proverbs of Solomon.” This section divides into two parts. Chapters 10 to 15 are the first division with 185 proverbs that are primarily two-line, antithetical parallel phrases. Chapter 15 is the last chapter of the first division and has proverbs on various subjects, such as speech, correction, laziness, bribes, God’s omniscience, and teachability.

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
– Proverbs 15:1

The word for soft means tender, and when used of words, refers to gentleness. An answer is a reply and the word for turneth away means to turn back, or in this case, to prevent wrath. A wise man is a calm, clear thinking man who controls his speech (Proverbs 17:27) and chooses his words carefully (Proverbs 15:23, 28). The soft answer here is wise speech that calms anger and restores reasonableness. The contrast is grievous, or painful words. These are words that provoke. The word for stir up means to go up and refers to increasing anger. The stirring up of anger comes from pride (Proverbs 28:25), hatred (Proverbs 10:12), and an angry temperament (Proverbs 29:22). It is the mark of a fool (Proverbs 14:17).

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Proverbs 14:35

The king’s favor is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.
– Proverbs 14:35

This proverb is a truism, or a general rule that competence and diligence are rewarded (Proverbs 22:29). People often think that promotion comes to a person because of luck, connections, or back room dealings. Those things do happen, but we generally receive what we have earned, or reap what we sow (Proverbs 17:2). The two phrases show both sides—favor and wrath. A servant causes shame by being unreliable, lazy, incompetent, etc. (Proverbs 10:5). Everyone makes mistakes and has to learn from them. The servant who does this will be rewarded with favor, and the obstinate servant with wrath (Proverbs 13:18).

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Proverbs 11:23

The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
– Proverbs 11:23

The words for desire and expectation are similar. They both describe a longing and in this verse they describe what the righteous and the wicked are seeking. The contrast is in the outcomes, or wisdom’s estimate of the objects of their respective pursuits. Good is in the largest sense of good and wrath is an overflowing fury and rage.

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