22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth,
good favor more than silver or gold.
22:2 The rich and the poor meet together;
the LORD is the creator of them both.
22:3 A shrewd person sees danger and hides himself,
but the naive keep right on going and suffer for it.
22:4 The reward for humility and fearing the LORD
is riches and honor and life.
22:5 Thorns and snares are in the path of the perverse,
but the one who guards himself keeps far from them.
22:6 Train a child in the way that he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
See Eph 6:4.
Train – Commentators remark that the underlying word is an unusual one, and suggests the kind of ‘dedication’ or ‘consecration’ that might apply to a house (Deut 20:5), or temple (1 Kgs 8:63).
‘The point is that proper training early on will have lasting results’ (Huwiler & Murphy).
‘Many indeed have departed from the good way in which they were trained up; Solomon himself did so. But early training may be a means of their recovering themselves, as it is supposed Solomon did. At least the parents will have the comfort of having done their duty and used the means.’ (MHC)
22:7 The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is servant to the lender.
22:8 The one who sows iniquity will reap trouble,
and the rod of his fury will end.
22:9 A generous person will be blessed,
for he gives some of his food to the poor.
22:10 Drive out the scorner and contention will leave;
strife and insults will cease.
22:11 The one who loves a pure heart
and whose speech is gracious—the king will be his friend.
But what about those people (most people today) who live in societies where there is no king? Fee and Stuart offer the following guidance for ‘cultural translation’: ‘a true modern equivalent for “have the king for his friend” would be something like “make a positive impression on people in leadership positions.” The proverb always meant that anyway. The “king” stands as a synecdoche (one of a class) for all leaders. The specific parabolic language of the proverb is intended to point beyond itself to the truth that leaders and responsible persons are generally impressed both by honesty and by careful discourse.’ (How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth)
22:12 The eyes of the LORD guard knowledge,
but he overthrows the words of the faithless person.
22:13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
I will be killed in the middle of the streets!”
22:14 The mouth of an adulteress is like a deep pit;
the one against whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.
22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.
22:16 The one who oppresses the poor to increase his own gain
and the one who gives to the rich—both end up only in poverty.
The Sayings of the Wise
22:17 Incline your ear and listen to the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my instruction.
22:18 For it is pleasing if you keep these sayings within you,
and they are ready on your lips.
22:19 So that your confidence may be in the LORD,
I am making them known to you today—even you.
22:20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
sayings of counsel and knowledge,
22:21 to show you true and reliable words,
so that you may give accurate answers to those who sent you?
22:22 Do not exploit a poor person because he is poor
and do not crush the needy in court,
22:23 for the LORD will plead their case
and will rob those who are robbing them.
22:24 Do not make friends with an angry person,
and do not associate with a wrathful person,
22:25 lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
22:26 Do not be one who strikes hands in pledge
or who puts up security for debts.
22:27 If you do not have enough to pay,
your bed will be taken right out from under you!
26-27 As Fee and Stuart point out, proverbs are not to be understood as ‘legal guarantees’. ‘If you were to take the extreme step of considering [this proverb] as an all-encompassing command from God, you might not buy a house so as never to incur a mortgage (a secured debt). Or you might assume that God promises that if you default on something like a credit card debt, you will eventually lose all your possessions—including your bed(s). Such literalistic, extreme interpretations would miss the point of the proverb, which states poetically and figuratively that debts should be taken on cautiously because foreclosure can be very painful. The proverb frames this truth in specific, narrow terms (shaking hands, losing a bed, etc.) that are intended to point toward the broader principle rather than to express something technically. In Bible times, righteous people incurred debts without any violation of this proverb because they understood its real point.’ (How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth)