Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 15

Prov 15.1-33 continues with the contrast between the righteous and the wicked.

v 1…A gentle (soft) answer turns away wrath (in response to wrath), but a harsh (painful) word stirs up anger )makes the situation worse).

v 2…The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable (exposes what he knows in a good manner), but the mouth of fools (kesilim) spouts (flows) folly (a fool is revealed by what they say).

v 3…The eyes of Yehovah are in every place (he is omniscient), watching the evil and the good.

v 4…A soothing (healing), wholesome) tongue is a tree of life (source of life), but a perversion (Hebrew “v’selef” is only used here and in Prov 11.3 and relates to false doctrine) in it crushes (breaks) the spirit (of others).

v 5…A fool rejects (despises) his father’s discipline (instruction), but he who regards reproof (correction) is prudent (astute, keen in judgment).

v 6…Much wealth is in the house of the righteous (not only physical, but spiritual wealth can be found because of godly wisdom and management), but trouble is in the income (revenue) of the wicked (they may have physical wealth but it will bring trouble because it will be used for sin).

v 7…The lips of the wise spread (dispense) knowledge (da’at or the knowledge of God in facts), but the hearts (innermost being) of fools does not do so (because wisdom is not there so he can’t dispense any).

v 8…The sacrifice (zevach) of the wicked (rashim) is an abomination (hateful thing) to Yehovah (because it is brought with the wrong heart and motives), but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

v 9…The way (derek) of the wicked is an abomination (hateful thing) to Yehovah, but he loves him who pursues righteousness (as defined by the Torah, he searches after the will of Yehovah).

v 10…Stern discipline is for him who forsakes the wrong way (does not follow the Torah and sharp correction will find him), he who hates reproof (from God’s word) shall die (seals his fate, he is on the way to death and will stay there).

v 11…Sheol (abode of the dead) and Abaddon (destruction) lie open before Yehovah (he has a plan for them), how much more the hearts of men (the heart is open to Yehovah, too).

v 12…A scoffer does not love one who reproves him (because they hate correction), he will not go to the wise (to get good advice and guidance in the truth).

v 13…A joyful heart makes a cheerful (good) face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is sad (heart, mind, soul, spirit, bowels, kidney are synonymous in Hebrew thought, denoting the innermost being).

v 14…The mind (Hebrew “lev” is the word for heart) of the intelligent seeks knowledge (da’at or the knowledge of God in facts), but the mouth of fools (kesilim) feeds on folly (“pastures” on foolishness like cattle feed on grass).

v 15…All the days of the afflicted are bad (evil of this life and their attitude makes every day a burden), but a cheerful (good) heart has a continual feast (their attitude sees life as enjoyable).

v 16…Better is a little with the fear (reverence) of Yehovah than great treasure with turmoil with it (not very enjoyable to have all the trouble great riches bring without Yehovah).

v 17…Better is a dish of vegetables where love is (love makes up for any deprivation), than a fattened ox and hatred with it (hate spoils everything).

v 18…A hot-tempered man (who can’t control himself) stirs up strife (contention, quarrels), but the slow to anger pacifies (appeaases) contention.

v 19…The way of the sluggard (lazy) is a hedge of thorns (trouble, hindrances), but the path (way) of the upright is a highway (easier, more efficient, no stops or obstacles).

v 20…A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother (shows contempt).

v 21…Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense (Hebrew “lev” or heasrt, also translated as “mind” in v 14), but a man of understanding walks straight (upright in the Torah, orderly-Acts 21.24).

v 22…Without consultation (counsel not considered) plans are frustrated (disappointed, go wrong), but with many counselors they succeed (are established, trouble has been factored in).

v 23…A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful (good it is) is a timely word (in due season, a word at the right time).

v 24…The path of life leads upward (gets better as you go) for the wise, that he may keep away from Sheol below (eternal destruction).

v 25…Yehovah will tear down (pulls it down) the house of the proud, but he will stablish the boundary (border) of the widow (she is symbolic of the humble and helpless as opposed to the proud. God will safeguard her property).

v 26…Evil plans are an abomination (hateful) to Yehovah (because wickedness begins there), but pleasant words are pure (unblemished, without deceit).

v 27…He who profits illicitly (is greedy and will do anything for money) troubles (brings bad consequences) on his own house (they justified it by saying, “Do it for the family”, etc, but it will ultimately destroy it), but he who hates bribes (gifts to influence) will live (have the blessing of God in their life).

v 28…The heart of the righteous (lev tzadik) ponders (studies) how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out (makes flow with no thought) evil things.

v 29…Yehovah is far from the wicked (they have separated themselves from him spiritually), but he hears the prayer of the righteous (in a spiritual sense, “near and far” does not relate to measurable distances, as in the physical. “Near” means “similar to” and “far” means “different or opposite”-Jer 7.24; Ezek 1.14).

v 30…Bright eyes (the light of the eyes, what the eyes see, like the mountains, rivers, animals and the creation) gladden the heart, and a good report puts fat on the bones (makes the body healthy).

v 31…He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof (shows the way to life) will dwell among the wise (becoming wise himself).

v 32…He who neglects discipline (refuses instruction, neglects it) despises himself (does not take into account his soul), but he who listens to reproof (correction, rebuke) acquires understanding (Hebrew “lev” or heart as the seat of wisdom).

v 33…The fear (reverence) of Yehovah is the instruction for wisdom (leads to wisdom), and before honor comes humility (when we properly have reverence for Yehovah and see him for who he really is, we will see ourselves as we really are, producing humility).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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