Prov 24.1-34 continues the “Words of the Wise” to Prov 24.22, with additional words to the end of the chapter.
v 1…Do not be envious of the evil men, nor desire to be with them,
v 2…For their minds (hearts, desires) devise violence (to others) and their lips talk of trouble.
v 3…By wisdom a house is built (not only the structure, but the spiritual and moral values of the family) and by understanding (binah) it is established (continues and secured).
v 4…And by knowledge (da’at) the rooms and filled with precious and pleasant riches (not only spiritually but physically).
v 5… A wise warrior is strong (in strength), and a man of knowledge (da’at) increases power (grows stronger and stronger).
v 6…For by wise guidance you will wage war (battle for yourself-this not only applies to kings, but it applies to our spiritual warfare), and in abundance of counselors there is victory (safety).
v 7…Wisdom is too high (out of reach) for a fool, he does not open his mouth in the gate (where the courts and business was done; he is not qualified to be an elder who meet there).
v 8…He who plans to do evil shall be called a schemer ( “baal mizmowt” in Hebrew or a “lord of plots).
v 9…The devising of folly (the plot of foolishness) is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination (hateful) to men.
v 10…If you are slack (fainthearted) in the day of distress (persecutions, afflictions, anxiety; also a term for the Birth-pains) your strength is limited (tribulation revealed their small power).
v 11…Deliver (help) those who are being taken away to death (by interceding, to testify in court on behalf of the innocent) and those who are staggering to slaughter, O hold them back (like Esther did, secure a release).
v 12…If you say, “See, we did not know this (the danger the person was in),” does he not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does he not know it who keeps their own soul? And will he not render (bring back) to man according to his work (if we try to salve our conscience with excuses that “we didn’t know?” This will not fool Yehovah who knows our innermost thoughts).
v 13…My son, eat honey, for it is good, yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste (healthy).
v 14…Know that wisdom is thus (likewise healthy) for your soul; if you find it, then there will be a future (latter end) and your hope will not be cut off (the Olam Haba will show us that the acquisition of wisdom was worth it).
v 15…Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous (to rob or plunder him); do not destroy his resting place (where he leads a quiet, godly life).
v 16…For a righteous man fails seven times (completely), and rises again (you cannot defeat him), but the wicked stumble in calamity (his fate is destruction).
v 17…Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles (David didn’t when Saul died, he did not delight in another’s pain);
v 18…Lest the Lord see and be displeased, and he turn away away his anger from him (to rebuke our proud attitude)).
v 19…Do not fret yourself because of evil men (get angry over their prosperity), or be envious of the wicked;
v 20…For there will be no future (latter end) for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked will be put out (death awaits in this life and in the second death).
v 21…My son, fear (revere) Yehovah and the king (his representative on the throne established by God in the Torah, not to those who are contrary to it- Acts 5.29); do not associate with those who are given to change (rebellious and revolutionary individuals against God and the Torah).
v 22…For their calamity will rise suddenly (unexpectedly), and who knows the ruin from both of them (of those who do not fear Yehovah or the king, like Korah and Absalom).
v 23…These also are the sayings of the wise (in addition to what we have gone over since 22.17). To show partiality in judgment is not good (whether it is in a court of law or personally).
v 24…He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous” (in favor of the guilty), peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him (because he excused the guilty and perverted justice).
v 25…But to those who rebuke the wicked will be a delight (because they do justice), and a good blessing will come back upon them (from God).
v 26…He kisses the lips (loves) who gives a right (honest) answer.
v 27…Prepare your work outside, and make it ready for yourself in the field (till the soil and work for a good harvest); afterward, then build your house (in other words, work for your needs first like paying the bills and feeding yourself, then you can work on your comfort).
v 28…Do not be a witness against your neighbor without a cause (reason), and do not receive with your lips (exaggerate or embellish the truth).
v 29…Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work (avoid retaliation-Matt 5.39-45; Rom 12.17).
v 30…I passed by the field of the sluggard (lazy) and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense (heart, understanding);
v 31…And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles, its surface was covered with nettles and its stone wall was broken down (all signs of neglect).
v 32…When I saw, I reflected (considered) upon it (what lesson does it teach); I looked and received instruction.
v 33…”A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest (the main actions of the lazy),”
v 34…Then your poverty will come as a robber (a prowler, very suddenly), and your want (need) like an armed man (literally, “like a man with a shield”-Prov 6.10-11).