In verse 1 we see that some refuse to learn. They will not listen as they feel that they know enough. Eventually they will be brought to ruin by their ignorance. Verse 3 again visits the many observations found in Proverbs about the dangers of licentiousness. Verse 4 reminds us that the land is stable in the leadership of a just king. In the second line a nation will be cursed by the works of a wicked man.
Verse 5 tells us that one who speaks with words of flattery is setting a trap for the one he flatters. Verse 6 says that evil will bring itself down. Evil is a snare that destroys the life of the evil doer. But the righteous have no such threat to their wellbeing. Verse 7 states that the poor have rights also. The righteous understand this but the wicked have no concern or care for the poor. The scoffer will stir up strife in the city by their cynical attitudes. But the wise will put the flames out as we read in verse 8.
In verse 10 shows that the righteous is seen as a threat to the wicked and they will seek to destroy the righteous. Verse 11 tells us that the foolish will not control their tempers. The wise will exercise self-control over their tempers. Verse 12 tells us that if the king is wicked he will influence his ministers to be the same as he. The righteous will draw others into righteousness.
Verse 14 celebrates the just king who does not discriminate against the poor. Social justice is a concern for the righteous and is freely expressed in Proverbs. Verse 16 says that the wicked may rise to the top for a while and this will make life hard for the righteous. But the wicked will not prevail and in time they will fall. Verse 17 reminds us that the proper discipline for our children will be a comfort to us in later time. We will take delight in our children.
Verse 18 is a popular Proverb. “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” The Proverb is seen as a lesson on vision but it is about the crucial role of the Prophet. When prophecy is not present there is no self-control among the people. It is a celebration of the power of the Prophetic Word. Verse 19 speaks of physical punishment for the salve based on the belief that he will not respond to instruction. Verse 21 tells us that we should not pamper a slave lest he claims the position of a son. Verse 20 gives the good advice that we should think our thoughts through before speaking with our mouth.
Verse 23 speaks of pride and humility. Pride will be the downfall of the prideful but humility will gain honor. Verse 24 speaks of the untrustworthiness of a partner in crime. In court he may take an oath but will not speak the truth. Verse 25 tells us that we should not worry so much of what others think, as our fear and reverence should be given to the Lord.
Mean may seek the king’s favor in verse 26 but they ought to place their trust in the Lord. Verse 17 is the observation that the righteous and the wicked see life from opposing views. As a result each is offensive to the other.