Proverbs Chapter 29
Proverbs 29:1 “He, that being often reproved hardeneth [his] neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”
This refers to a man in a state of increasing obstinance, along with an un-teachable spirit.
A man who has been corrected over and over. Each time he was corrected just made him more and more stubborn.
“Hardeneth his neck” Just meant stiff necked. His destruction will come suddenly. “Without remedy” indicates that he is doomed, because he never changed. Stubborn self-will has destroyed him.
Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
We see here, that the welfare of the people is better served under the righteous than the wicked. A righteous man will rule justly. There will be no prejudice or bribing.
The truth will be the rule when the righteous are in control. It will be fair to everyone. The poor, the widows, and the homeless will be cared for.
On the other hand, when the wicked rule, the order of the day would be to make the wicked ruler richer. Every decision he made would have a selfish motive. He would have no regard for others’ welfare, just his own.
This could describe the political turmoil of the northern kingdom of Israel in the time of Hezekiah, who collected these proverbs.
Proverbs 29:3 “Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth [his] substance.”
A man who keeps company with a harlot is an embarrassment to his entire family. His family cannot be proud of who their son is dating and certainly does not want a grandchild from this union.
A harlot is one for pay, so the man will spend all of his money on this and wind up poor, as well as being looked down upon.
Proverbs 29:4 “The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.”
We see the king (just king), brings proper judgment in the land. The whole country is healthy in the rule of a just king.
This second half of verse 4 has to do with bribery. The bribe given this evil king determines how he judges. A government based on such selfishness as this can be easily overthrown.
Proverbs 29:5 “A man that flattereth his neighbor spreadeth a net for his feet.”
We see in this flattery, a cover up of the real intentions of the one doing the flattering. Flattery is a trap. There is a hidden motive behind the flattery. A common way of saying this is “whitewashing” it.
Proverbs 29:6 “In the transgression of an evil man [there is] a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.”
Sin (transgression), brings sorrow. Repeated sin becomes a habit, and bad habits destroy a man. The snare is the habit of sin we get into and then cannot shake; snared by our own actions and thoughts.
The man free from sin is not caught in a snare. He is set free from the clutches of death and knows he has eternal life. This knowledge brings peace and joy unspeakable.
Proverbs 29:7 “The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: [but] the wicked regardeth not to know [it].”
The righteous man is not a respecter of persons, and he realizes the plight of the poor and helps them whenever he can.
The wicked cares for no one but himself. Everything the wicked does has a selfish purpose behind it.
Proverbs 29:8 “Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise [men] turn away wrath.”
Scornful men are never pleased with anyone or anything. These scornful create rebellion and riots and can cause a whole city to be blamed for it.
These angry, arrogant men fan the flames of strife that trap a city as if engulfed in flames.
Wise men are peacemakers.
Proverbs 29:9 “[If] a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, [there is] no rest.”
“Contendeth” means judge or defend, or plead in this instance.
A fool may respond to wisdom with anger or laughter, but in either case, no agreement can be reached.
This seems to be (whether in play or a legal problem), there is no way to ever get it settled completely. It is not possible to persuade this evil man to do what is right. He either gets mad, or laughs but does not accept the truth.
Proverbs 29:10 “The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.”
We see that the upright are hated by men who are murderers, thieves, and adulterers. The upright tries to help the bloodthirsty repent and be saved. The bloodthirsty feels terrible guilt when they compare themselves with the right, and they hate the upright.
The bloodthirsty love no one but themselves, and they will stop at no lengths to get what they want while the just are always seeking to save a soul, even of this bloodthirsty one.
Proverbs 29:11 “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise [man] keepeth it in till afterwards.”
A fool talks all the time. He never has time to listen to anyone else and learn, because he never stops talking. He likes to hear himself. The wise man listens and considers everything. He never speaks until he has fully considered everything.
Proverbs 29:12 “If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants [are] wicked.”
A corrupt leader will draw around him corrupt people. Allow lies and you will be surrounded by liars.
Whatever rules the ruler sets are rules for all the people. A wicked ruler who listens to lies can expect all of his people to lie, also.
Proverbs 29:13 “The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes.”
We see that if the poor and the deceitful come together and try to settle their differences, the Lord will open their eyes and let them see.
“Lighteneth both their eyes” is a phase that means to sustain life. God gives life to both the poor and the rich oppressor, and He holds each responsible for His truth.
Proverbs 29:14 “The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.”
We see here, a king who is not led astray by riches, but is fair to all of his subjects, rich and poor alike. We see a king with such a good reputation with all of his subjects that his throne will pass on to the descendants.
His people will be pleased with their government and will not want to overthrow it.
Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left [to himself] bringeth his mother to shame.”
Sometimes a whipping with the correction makes a more lasting lesson. If a child is left to have his own way, he will wind up spoiled; and no one enjoys being around a child who knows no discipline. It shames his mother.
(In Prov. 13:24), we saw that He who withholds his rod hates his son.
Proverbs 29:16 “When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.”
When the morals of most of the people are bad, sin increases rapidly. Leave them alone, and they will destroy each other.
The righteous receive the blessings of God and watch the failures of the transgressors.
Proverbs 29:17 “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”
When you train a son correctly, you have nothing to fear from his behavior. A good son brings pleasure and good memories to his parents.
(In Prov. 22:6), we learned that we should train up a child in the way he should go. Since it is axiomatic that early training secures lifelong habits, parents must teach God’s Word and enforcing it with loving disciple consistently throughout the child’s upbringing.
Proverbs 29:18 “Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.”
This proverb looks both to the lack of the Word and the lack of hearing the Word, which leads to lawless rebellion. The proverb then contrasts the joy and glory of a lawful society.
A vision from God can be the will of God being revealed to you in a supernatural way.
To lose sight of the will of God would certainly cause us to perish. The person who knows the will of God and is living in that will is very happy and contented, knowing they are pleasing God.
Proverbs 29:19 “A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.”
This is speaking of a servant who is disobedient. He can easily hear what you are saying, but words will not move him. He understands only rough treatment.
This views the mind set of an unprincipled and foolish slave who is unresponsive and irresponsible.
Proverbs 29:20 “Seest thou a man [that is] hasty in his words? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him.”
(In Prov. 10:19 we learned): “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.”
This is speaking of a man that speaks before he thinks. He is always in trouble, because he speaks before he thinks.
In James, we are told to be swift to hear and slow to speak. If you talk all the time, you cannot and will not take instruction, so you never improve. The fool perhaps will listen and finally understand.
Proverbs 29:21 “He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become [his] son at the length.”
If the servant comes to you as a child and lives with you, he becomes like a member of the family. You become fond of him, and it is hard to think of him as a servant. He becomes a member of the family.
Proverbs 29:22 “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.”
This is describing the angry, furious man we have discussed before. His fits of temper cause problems, not only for himself, but for all those around him. His anger causes him to sin because anger, hate, jealousy, and murder are all related and all are sin.
As we saw (in Prov. 15:18) “A hot tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute.”
Proverbs 29:23 “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
God loves the humble. In fact, everyone loves the humble person, and others build the humble up. A man with pride is so self-centered that others are not fond of him; and, actually, his arrogance is what brings him low in the sight of others.
Again, referring to a previous scripture (Prov. 16:18-19) tells us: “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.” “It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
Proverbs 29:24 “Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth [it] not.”
“Partner with a thief”: By refusing to testify with full disclosure to avoid incrimination, one commits perjury which leads to punishment.
To be partner with a thief makes you a thief also. Even if you did not steal, you would be guilty by association.
We see in the last part of this, it is speaking of knowing of a sin and not speaking out to reveal the sin. If you hide the sin, even if you did not commit the crime, you would be an accomplice and punished along with the criminal.
Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”
Fear is lack of faith. If we have faith in the Lord, we have nothing to fear. To fear man and what he can do to you is sin. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and He shall give you peace and rest.
Proverbs 29:26 “Many seek the ruler’s favor; but [every] man’s judgment [cometh] from the LORD.”
We see by this that the only true and lasting Judge is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Judge of the entire world and will Judge the ruler and the ruled alike.
Many seek to get special treatment on the earth from a ruler by doing special things for him, but the Judge who decides our fate for all of eternity is the Lord.
The moral is to seek the Lord’s favor, since He alone can and will exact justice.
Proverbs 29:27 “An unjust man [is] an abomination to the just: and [he that is] upright in the way [is] abomination to the wicked.”
Christians, who are living upright before the Lord, are disappointed with those who will not accept the ways of the Lord. The ways of the unjust are not desirable at all to those who walk uprightly before the Lord.
The unjust look at the upright and actually feel guilt for the way they live their own lives.
I believe they hate the ways of the upright, because their ways make them feel guilty of their sins.
Proverbs Chapter 29 Questions
- One who is often reproved does what?
- What will eventually happen to this person?
- What does “without remedy” indicate?
- When the righteous are in authority, the people________.
- When the wicked rule, the people _________.
- How will a righteous man rule?
- What happens to those who spend their time with harlots?
- The king of judgment establishes the __________.
- A man who flatters his neighbor is really doing what?
- Sin or transgression brings what?
- What is meant by a snare?
- Scornful men bring a city into a ________.
- What does “contendeth” mean in verse 9?
- If a wise and a foolish man contend with each other, what is the outcome?
- Who do the bloodthirsty hate?
- What does “uttereth all his mind” mean?
- What happens to the servants of a ruler who listens to lies?
- What type of king establishes his rule forever?
- What happens to the mother of a child who is never corrected?
- Correct thy son, and he shall give thee___________.
- Where there is no vision the people_________.
- What can a vision of God reveal to you?
- What type of servant is verse 19 talking about?
- There is more hope for a fool than a man of _________ words.
- A servant raised from a child in a home becomes a _________.
- An angry and a furious man abound in __________.
- Pride shall bring a man low. God loves the ________.
- Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own ___________.
- If you hide a crime, what does that make you?
- Fear is what?
- Trust in the Lord and He will bring you what?
- Who is the Judge of all the world?
- Why do the unjust hate the just?
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