Chapter 10 is the beginning of over 375 individual proverbs contained in the next 12 chapters. In Hebrew literature, a Proverb comes from the root word ‘mashal’ meaning “to be like”; used of a parable or a dark saying. For instance (Prov. 12:27), “the slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting” requires discernment to see the point of comparison and the application; the slothful man is too lazy to hunt, and therefore has nothing to roast.” Compare this to 2 Thess. 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” In contrast to the Hebrew ‘hida’ means a conundrum or an enigma (a mystery; a riddle; a paradox).
Proverbs 10:1: The contrast of a wise son with a foolish son.
Wise son: Wise, OT 2450, used 46 times in Proverbs. Prov. 1:7 and also: 15:20; 23:15,24; 27:11 & 29:3
Foolish son: Foolish, OT 3684, used 49 times in Proverbs. See: 13:1 and 15:20
Proverbs 10:2-3: Contrast of ill-gotten treasure with heavenly treasures
Compare: 1:19; 13:11; 11:4; 16:8 & 21:6 and then Compare to Matthew 6:19
- How should the righteous expect to be satisfied?
- How should the wicked expect to be rewarded?
The Hebrew word translated ‘righteous’ refers to the whole person (the soul).
- The righteous know all they have is from God
Proverbs 10:4-5: Contrast diligence with laziness.
The peace of parents is often related to the condition of their children; both their actions and their attitudes. Though the righteous may be poor, even hungry, God will not allow their spiritual life to suffer. Those who are faithful are in fact, rich in good works. Therefore, there is blame in flittering away opportunities for blessings.
Proverbs 10:6-7: Blessings and Curses
The ‘violence’ could be 1) the fruit or punishment of their own crimes or 2) the retribution of others against them or 3) the righteous judgment of God.
The ‘blessings’ could be 1) the satisfaction of doing the right thing or 2) the praise of men for their good deeds or 3) the blessings of God upon their lives.
Proverbs 10:8-21: Eventually the just and the wicked will die. But the difference between them is vast.
Verse 8: The wise heart puts knowledge into practice; but the fool argues against wisdom
Proverbs 10: 22-32: The blessings of God are true wealth; that to be most desired.
Solomon contrasts the two effects of the Law of God. One according to obedience; the other according to neglect. Protection is awarded to the righteous while condemnation and ruin is promised sinners. In like terms, Jesus calls Himself “the way” John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus uses another proverb-like statement in John 9:35-41: “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him. And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”