Proverbs

Proverbs 20

Who can tell the agonies, the broken hearts, the blasted lives, the lost souls, that have been the result of failure to heed the warning of the opening verse of Proverbs 20? No other vice has so cursed the world and caused such awful misery and suffering as intemperance. Those who laugh at jokes about drunkenness should go out after nightfall through the dark streets of our large cities to see the disastrous results of this vice. The wretched victims of alcohol have been numbered in hundreds...

Proverbs 21

The prophet Daniel tried to influence the conscience of the impious Belshazzar on the last night of his reign at Babylon. He endeavored to impress the Chaldean king with his duty to acknowledge “the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways” (Daniel 5:23); but he would not be humbled. 21:1 This proverb presents the same truth of the sovereignty of God in a slightly different way. (See 20:24.) There is no monarch so great that he can act in independence of God. Whe...

Author Biography

Henry Allan Ironside, one of the twentieth century’s greatest preachers, was born in Toronto, Canada, on October 14, 1876. He lived his life by faith; his needs at crucial moments were met in the most remarkable ways. Though his classes stopped with grammar school, his fondness for reading and an incredibly retentive memory put learning to use. His scholarship was well recognized in academic circles with Wheaton College awarding an honorary Litt. D. in 1930 and Bob Jones University an h...

Proverbs 31

The final chapter of the book of Proverbs is designated as “The words of King Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.” 31:1 It is generally believed that Lemuel was the name Solomon’s mother used for him. There was no King Lemuel among those who sat on the thrones of either Judah or Israel; nor do we have any record of a king by that name among the surrounding nations. This title occurs only in this chapter and is probably intended for the son of David and Bathsheba. The...

Proverbs 30

We now take up the study of the words of Agur, a wise man who keenly felt his ignorance, as is generally the case with the truly enlightened. In the first verse we learn of his parentage. 30:1 The first two proper names in this passage (Agur and Jakeh) have been translated by some as common nouns; in which case we would understand the verse to say, “The words of a gatherer, the son of [the] pious.” This might imply that the contents of Proverbs 30 have been gathered by an editor fr...

Proverbs 29

Irrevocable and crushing judgment will be the reward of one who despises wise counsel and plunges on in his sin until the patience of the Lord is exhausted. 29:1 Hardening the neck is a figure taken from the manner in which a stubborn bullock turns away from and avoids the yoke. This illustration aptly pictures obstinate men who persistently refuse to heed reproof. They set their wills stubbornly against what would be for their own best interests, thus ensuring their destruction. Go...

Proverbs 27

Procrastination is a snare that often results in ruin. The first verse of this chapter solemnly warns every reader against this error. 27:1 The present is given man in order that he may plan wisely for the future. To defer until tomorrow what should be attended to today is a sad mistake that has destroyed untold thousands. The old Spanish proverb says, “The road of by and by leads to the house of never,” while another trite saying reads, “The road to hell is paved with good inten...

Proverbs 25

We now begin a portion that did not form any part of this book until the days of Hezekiah, nearly three centuries after the death of Solomon himself. Certain unnamed scribes, called in the Septuagint “the friends of Hezekiah,” rescued from oblivion the maxims that form the next five chapters. We know from 1 Kings 4:32 that the wise king “spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.” We know little of the songs. We have the Song of Songs, the dirge of Ecclesi...

Proverbs 24

<p class="bodytext">This chapter completes the second section of the book of Proverbs. It includes proverbs arranged directly by the wise king and evidently put into circulation before his death.</p> <h2>24:1-2</h2> <p class="bodytext">The first proverb in this chapter is a warning against falling into the snare that distracted the godly Asaph until he went into the sanctuary of the Lord (Psalm 73). See notes on Proverbs 23:17-18. When Asaph saw the end of the wicked, all...

Proverbs 23

Nothing that concerns His creatures is too small for the Creator to notice. Therefore, in the opening verses of this chapter we have a section devoted to the proper behavior of a man who dines with one of higher station than himself. 23:1-3 These verses remind the one invited to dine at a ruler’s table of the importance of self-restraint. It is unwise to presume on the lasting favor of one in authority and to accept privileges accorded by him, as though they are deserved. A faithful ...
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