Proverbs Chapter 10
The second Solomonic collection begins here and goes through (to 22:16). It consists of 375 individual proverbs. Each of which expresses a complete idea. This is one of the few places in Scripture where context is little or no help. Each proverb represents in a practical way the choice one must make between the way of Wisdom and the way of folly. The parallel, two line (proverbs of chapters 10-15), are mostly contrast or opposites (antithetical), while those (of chapters 16-22), are mostly similarities or comparisons (synthetical).
Proverbs 10:1 “The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his mother.”
We see the joy or sorrow of parents. Most parents live the most part of their lives for their children. The children actually determine whether the parents are happy in their later years or not. There is not a more unhappy parent in the world than one who knows his or her child is caught up in sin and things of this world. There is no happier parent than one who knows that his or her offspring are all saved with their names written in the Lamb’s book of life. Children who are living for Jesus are a joy to any parent.
This grief is most deeply felt by the mother, who plays a more intimate role in raising a child.
Proverbs 10:2 “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.”
You see, all the wealth we can accumulate here on this earth will all be left behind when our heavenly Father says it is time for us to die. Be sure everyone will die. Treasures gotten through evil ways will seal your doom for all of eternity if you do not repent and turn from your wicked ways. You cannot buy your way into heaven. You certainly cannot use this ill gotten wealth to purchase eternal life.
The only thing that brings life eternal with Jesus our Lord is to be in right standing with Him. “Righteousness” is just that, being in right standing with our Lord. We put on the robe of His righteousness: white as snow, washed in His blood, when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
The greatest of all treasures and life, is gained by righteousness.
Proverbs 10:3 “The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.”
In Psalms we read:
Psalms 37-22-27 “For [such as be] blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and [they that be] cursed of him shall be cut off.” “The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth [him with] his hand.” “I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” “[He is] ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed [is] blessed.” “Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.”
How could I even add to all of this? God takes care of His own. You may have a few problems to strengthen you; but you will not go hungry, and you will inherit eternal life.
For a while, the wicked may seem to realize their desires, but in the end, God removes their accomplishments because they are evil.
Proverbs 10:4 “He becometh poor that dealeth [with] a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”
Poverty by itself is not evil, unless it is the product of laziness. This verse is in contrast to the sluggard.
Early to bed, and early to rise; maketh a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. How many times in our life have we all been told this by our parents, teachers, and friends? This “slack hand” above is speaking of a lazy person who will not work. You cannot have money unless you are willing to work to get it.
Get your priorities straight and work hard, and God will bless you abundantly even in this life. Laziness will get you nowhere but to the poorhouse.
Proverbs 10:5 “He that gathereth in summer [is] a wise son: [but] he that sleepeth in harvest [is] a son that causeth shame.”
The timing necessary in agriculture can be applied to the general laying hold of life’s opportunities.
Harvest time is a time when we work from sunup to sundown to get the crop in. A person may lie in bed a little longer when it is very cold and the ground is too hard to work, but come harvest we must reap. We see here a two fold message. This is speaking of literal crops, but it is also speaking of the harvest at the end of the world.
Everyone who knows anything about the Lord should be working from sunup to sundown to get the harvest (wheat), of believers into the kingdom of God. If you can minister in any capacity, now is not the time to sit on the sideline. Get into the field and harvest the wheat (believers).
Proverbs 10:6 “Blessings [are] upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”
We have just been reading how the blessings are on those who do justly.
In James, we read that all good comes from God.
James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
This “violence” that covers the mouth of the wicked, later falls back upon his foul mouth.
Mal. 2:16 “For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for [one] covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.”
Hab. 2:17: “For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, [which] made them afraid, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.”
Proverbs 10:7 “The memory of the just [is] blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.”
This verse refers to the way a righteous person is remembered by man and God after his death.
Every time you do something good for someone you feel good about yourself. The blessings of the Lord are for those who live uprightly.
You never see monuments to the wicked. A good example of an evil one, who no one celebrates his birthday, is Hitler. No one wants to remember this evil one.
Proverbs 10:8 “The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.”
This “wise in heart” would be a humble person easy to teach, not a proud, highminded person. This “prating fool” is someone who is always bragging. The little meaning of prating is lip. This is someone who talks too much and lets his conversation trap him.
To finish the parallelism, the wise listens and is teachable and, therefore, will be lifted up. The fool, always talking, falls because he rejects God’s commands.
Proverbs 10:9 “He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.”
Romans 6:4, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
The upright walk is the walk we Christians walk following Jesus. We will not stumble and fall, because we have the light of Jesus at our feet to light our way.
Those who walk in the dark are evil. Evil will be exposed. These are people who practice doing evil. Be sure your sins will find you out.
Those who have integrity or who live what they believe, exist without fear of some evil being discovered, while those who are perverse and have secret wickedness will not be able to hide it.
Proverbs 10:10 “He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.”
When we see winking eyes, the two involved are scheming to do you evil. This is ordinarily plotting to do evil.
We covered this in chapter 6:13-14. Fearing detection and to hide evil intentions, deceivers spoke lies to victims while giving signals with their eyes, hands and or feet to others in on the deception.
Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of a righteous [man is] a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”
Bitter and sweet water does not come from the same well. Jesus (at the well), told the woman, if she drank of the water He provided, she would never thirst again. Life everlasting comes with the mouth.
Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
The Lord is the source of this fountain which then springs up in the wise man as wise speech, wise laws, the fear of the Lord, and understanding. As we said in the sixth verse, violence which has gone forth from the wicked, later falls back upon his foul mouth.
The wicked is in direct contrast. Their way leads unto death.
Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”
In 1 Peter, we read that love covereth a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8″And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”
Hatred and murder are next of kin. Feuds throughout the ages have been caused by hatred. Sometimes a few generations after the original incident most of the haters do not even know why they hate. Forgiveness is a by-product of love. That is the way to stop all the hate, forgive them and love them.
True love seeks the highest good for another.
Proverbs 10:13 “In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod [is] for the back of him that is void of understanding.”
The wise man speaks good things. This is the same rod as the rod of correction we will read about later on in Proverbs. Children are sometimes difficult to train until the rod of correction is applied.
In this reference to corporal punishment applied to the backside, recommends it as the most effective way of dealing with children and fools.
They soon become wiser than they were before the rod was applied.
Proverbs 10:14 “Wise [men] lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish [is] near destruction.”
James 1:26 “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain.”
The foolish always seem to want to talk about something they know nothing about.
James 3:1-10 “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body.” “Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.” “Behold also the ships, which though [they be] so great, and [are] driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.” “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” “And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” “For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:” “But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
A wise man is quiet and listens and soaks up information.
Proverbs 10:15 “The rich man’s wealth [is] his strong city: the destruction of the poor [is] their poverty.”
Money can buy many things and acquire many creature comforts that the poor cannot possibly have. It seems the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. There really is nothing wrong with having money. It is how you feel about your wealth and what you do with it that might become sin. Whatever state you find yourself in, be content. If you are poor, work hard and try to work yourself up. In America, if you really try, you need not stay poor.
While the rich man thinks he has his walled city for protection, the poor man knows he has nothing. Both should trust in the Lord as their only protection.
Proverbs 10:16 “The labor of the righteous [tendeth] to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.”
Men, who do not labor in this life, generally have too much time on their hands. They have plenty of time to get into trouble. People who like to take shortcuts at making a living and do not labor to earn their living, wind up scheming against their neighbor to get what does not belong to them and wind up in sin. The earnings of the wicked provide more opportunities for sinning.
On the other hand, people who work hard and earn their living usually are honest. Law abiding citizens a great many times have deep spiritual convictions which bring eternal life.
Proverbs 10:17 “He [is in] the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.”
Instruction is something we should be eager to receive. It keeps us on the right path and keeps us from making mistakes. Only a fool refuses correction. You have completely stopped growing when you will not accept correction.
Proverbs Chapter 10 Questions
1. What kind of son maketh a glad father?
2. A foolish son is the heaviness of whom?
3. What generally determines whether a parent is happy in old age or not?
4. What kind of treasure profiteth nothing?
5. What is righteousness?
6. Verse 3 tells us God will not allow the righteous to ____________.
7. The steps of a good man are ___________ ____________ _____________.
8. What happens to the man who deals with a slack hand?
9. What does “slack hand” mean?
10. Where will laziness get you?
11. A son that sleepeth in harvest _______ ____________.
12. What does “harvest time” mean spiritually?
13. Blessings are on the ______________of the just.
14. Who was an evil person that people do not care to remember?
15. Who are the wise in heart?
16. Who is a prating fool?
17. In Romans 6:4, we find that Christians should walk in ______________ ______________ ____________.
18. Why will Christians not stumble and fall?
19. What are winking eyes usually a sign of?
20. The mouth of a righteous man is a _________________________.
21. In 1 Peter 4:8, we read that love covereth _______ ________________ _______.
22. What is a by-product of love?
23. Who is the rod for?
24. What is a rich man’s strong city?
25. If you find yourself with too much time, you might get into _____ ___________.
26. What will a person who is wise be eager to receive?
27. What is a person called who refuses instruction?