For additional notes and resources check out Douglas’ website.
- This is the first chapter with the typical "Proverbs" flow: a series of many seemingly unconnected adages. Chapters 1-9 are different -- prefatory material laying the foundation for the pearls of wisdom that follow.
- The connections between proverbs may be catchwords, similar sounds, related topics, parallel thoughts, etc. These would have been useful mnemonically.
- 10:1-22:16 are explicitly attributed to Solomon. These 375 Proverbs add up to the name of Solomon (Shlomo) in Hebrew (sh = 300, l = 30, m = 40, w = 5) -- hardly a coincidence.
- Proverbs are general observations, usually capturing only one facet of a matter. "It is simply the nature of a proverb to come up short of total reality, and to be in conflict with other sayings" (Roland E. Murphy, Word Biblical Commentary 22: Proverbs).
- This chapter is strongly marked by antithetic parallelism.
Some salient points:
- How our kids are going affects us deeply, whether through joy or grief (v.1).
- Proverbs seldom provide the entire truth on any one topic. V.3 is a good example; sometimes the righteous do go hungry.
- Discipline and hard work go together. Slackness is a cause of poverty (vs. 4-5).
- Notice the paired opposites throughout the chapter: lazy... diligent, prudent... disgraceful... righteous... wicked, etc.
- Walking in integrity means we need not fear being caught out (v.9 -- see 28:1).
- There are plenty of verses in the O.T. teaching forgiveness, love, mercy, grace... as in v.12.
- When we don't seek, receive, or act on counsel, we affect others negatively (v.15)
- V.16 is strikingly similar to Rom 6:23 (though in reverse order).
Challenge: May I be a person of integrity today. Integrity lies at the heart of discipline.
Tomorrow: Proverbs 11