Proverbs 24

1 Don’t be envious of evil men; neither desire to be with them:
2 for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about mischief.
3 Through wisdom a house is built; by understanding it is established;
4 by knowledge the rooms are filled with all rare and beautiful treasure.
5 A wise man has great power; and a knowledgeable man increases strength;
6 for by wise guidance you wage your war; and victory is in many advisers.
7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he doesn’t open his mouth in the gate.
8 One who plots to do evil will be called a schemer.
9 The schemes of folly are sin. The mocker is detested by men.
10 If you falter in the time of trouble, your strength is small.
11 Rescue those who are being led away to death! Indeed, hold back those who are staggering to the slaughter!
12 If you say, “Behold, we didn’t know this”; doesn’t he who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, doesn’t he know it? Shall he not render to every man according to his work?
13 My son, eat honey, for it is good; the droppings of the honeycomb, which are sweet to your taste:
14 so you shall know wisdom to be to your soul; if you have found it, then there will be a reward, your hope will not be cut off.
15 Don’t lay in wait, wicked man, against the habitation of the righteous. Don’t destroy his resting place:
16 for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.
17 Don’t rejoice when your enemy falls. Don’t let your heart be glad when he is overthrown;
18 lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
19 Don’t fret yourself because of evildoers; neither be envious of the wicked:
20 for there will be no reward to the evil man; and the lamp of the wicked shall be snuffed out.
21 My son, fear the LORD and the king. Don’t join those who are rebellious:
22 for their calamity will rise suddenly; the destruction from them both—who knows?
23 These also are sayings of the wise. To show partiality in judgement is not good.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous”; peoples shall curse him, and nations shall abhor him—
25 but it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and a rich blessing will come on them.
26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
27 Prepare your work outside, and get your fields ready. Afterwards, build your house.
28 Don’t be a witness against your neighbor without cause. Don’t deceive with your lips.
29 Don’t say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.”
30 I went by the field of the sluggard, by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
31 Behold, it was all grown over with thorns. Its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw, and considered well. I saw, and received instruction:
33 a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep;
34 so your poverty will come as a robber, and your want as an armed man.

(Previous Chapter)    •    (Next Chapter)

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

Verses 1, 2

Envy not sinners. And let not a desire ever come into thy mind, Oh that I could shake off restraints!

Verses 3–6

Piety and prudence in outward affairs, both go together to complete a wise man. By knowledge the soul is filled with the graces and comforts of the spirit, those precious and pleasant riches. The spirit is strengthened for the spiritual work and the spiritual warfare, by true wisdom.

Verses 7–9

A weak man thinks wisdom is too high for him, therefore he will take no pains for it. It is bad to do evil, but worse to devise it. Even the first risings of sin in the heart are sin, and must be repented of. Those that strive to make others hateful, make themselves so.

Verse 10

Under troubles we are apt to despair of relief. But be of good courage, and God shall strengthen thy heart.

Verses 11, 12

If a man know that his neighbour is in danger by any unjust proceeding, he is bound to do all in his power to deliver him. And what is it to suffer immortal souls to perish, when our persuasions and example may be the means of preventing it?

Verses 13, 14

We are quickened to the study of wisdom by considering both the pleasure and the profit of it. All men relish things that are sweet to the palate; but many have no relish for the things that are sweet to the purified soul, and that make us wise unto salvation.

Verses 15, 16

The sincere soul falls as a traveller may do, by stumbling at some stone in his path; but gets up, and goes on his way with more care and speed. This is rather to be understood of falls into affliction, than falls into actual sin.

Verses 17, 18

The pleasure we are apt to take in the troubles of an enemy is forbidden.

Verses 19, 20

Envy not the wicked their prosperity; be sure there is no true happiness in it.

Verses 21, 22

The godly in the land, will be quiet in the land. There may be cause to change for the better, but have nothing to do with them that are given change.

Verses 23–26

The wisdom God giveth, renders a man fit for his station. Every one who finds the benefit of the right answer, will be attached to him that gave it.

Verse 27

We must prefer necessaries before conveniences, and not go in debt.

Verses 28, 29

There are three defaults in a witness pointed out.

Verses 30–34

See what a blessing the husbandman’s calling is, and what a wilderness this earth would be without it. See what great difference there is in the management even of worldly affairs. Sloth and self-indulgence are the bane of all good. When we see fields overgrown with thorns and thistles, and the fences broken down, we see an emblem of the far more deplorable state of many souls. Every vile affection grows in men’s hearts; yet they compose themselves to sleep. Let us show wisdom by doubling our diligence in every good thing.

Back to Top