Proverbs 22

1 A good name is more desirable than great riches, and enjoying favor is better than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor have this in common: The LORD is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man sees danger, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and suffer for it.
4 The result of humility and the fear of the LORD is wealth, honor, and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the path of the wicked: whoever guards his soul stays from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rule over the poor. The borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.
9 He who has a generous eye will be blessed; for he shares his food with the poor.
10 Drive out the mocker, and strife will go out; yes, quarrels and insults will stop.
11 He who loves purity of heart and speaks gracefully is the king’s friend.
12 The LORD’s eyes watch over knowledge; but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I will be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit: he who is under the LORD’s wrath will fall into it.
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child: the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
16 Whoever oppresses the poor for his own increase and whoever gives to the rich, both come to poverty.
17 Turn your ear, and listen to the words of the wise. Apply your heart to my teaching.
18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the LORD, I teach you today, even you.
20 Haven’t I written to you thirty excellent things of counsel and knowledge,
21 To teach you truth, reliable words, to give sound answers to the ones who sent you?
22 Don’t exploit the poor, because he is poor; and don’t crush the needy in court;
23 for the LORD will plead their case, and plunder the life of those who plunder them.
24 Don’t befriend a hot-tempered man, and don’t associate with one who harbors anger:
25 lest you learn his ways, and ensnare your soul.
26 Don’t you be one of those who strike hands, of those who are collateral for debts.
27 If you don’t have means to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?
28 Don’t move the ancient boundary stone, which your fathers have set up.
29 Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve kings. He won’t serve obscure men.

(Previous Chapter)    •    (Next Chapter)

Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verse 1

We should be more careful to do that by which we may get and keep a good name, than to raise or add unto a great estate.

Verse 2

Divine Providence has so ordered it, that some are rich, and others poor, but all are guilty before God; and at the throne of God’s grace the poor are as welcome as the rich.

Verse 3

Faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners, and looks to Jesus Christ as the sure refuge from the storm.

Verse 4

Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last.

Verse 5

The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy.

Verse 6

Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour.

Verse 7

This shows how important it is for every man to keep out of debt. As to the things of this life, there is a difference between the rich and the poor; but let the poor remember, it is the Lord that made the difference.

Verse 8

The power which many abuse, will soon fail them.

Verse 9

He that seeks to relieve the wants and miseries of others shall be blessed.

Verse 10

Profane scoffers and revilers disturb the peace.

Verse 11

God will be the Friend of a man in whose spirit there is no guile; this honour have all the saints.

Verse 12

God turns the counsels and designs of treacherous men to their own confusion.

Verse 13

The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him.

Verse 14

The vile sin of licentiousness commonly besots the mind beyond recovery.

Verse 15

Sin is foolishness, it is in the heart, there is an inward inclination to sin: children bring it into the world with them; and it cleaves close to the soul. We all need to be corrected by our heavenly Father.

Verse 16

We are but stewards, and must distribute what God intrusts to our care, according to his will.

Verses 17–21

To these words, to this knowledge, the ear must be bowed down, and the heart applied by faith and love. To live a life of delight in God and dependence on him, is the foundation of all practical religion. The way to know the certainty of the word of truth, is to make conscience of our duty.

Verses 22, 23

He that robs and oppresses the poor, does so at his peril. And if men will not appear for them, God will.

Verses 24, 25

Our corrupt hearts have so much tinder in them, that it is dangerous to have to do with those that throw about the sparks of their passion.

Verses 26, 27

Every man ought to be just to himself, and his family; those are not so, who, by folly or other carelessness, waste what they have.

Verse 28

We are taught not to trespass on another man’s right. And it is hard to find a truly industrious man. Such a man will rise. Seest thou a man diligent in the business of religion? He is likely to excel. Let us then be diligent in God’s work.

Back to Top