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Proverbs 27-29

Warnings and Instructions

27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring.

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.

Stone is heavy and the sand weighty,
But a fool’s [unreasonable] wrath is heavier and more burdensome than both of them.

Wrath is cruel and anger is an overwhelming flood,
But who is able to endure and stand before [the sin of] jealousy?

Better is an open reprimand [of loving correction]
Than love that is hidden.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend [who corrects out of love and concern],
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [because they serve his hidden agenda].

He who is satisfied loathes honey,
But to the hungry soul any bitter thing is sweet.

Like a bird that wanders from her nest [with its comfort and safety],
So is a man who wanders from his home.

Oil and perfume make the heart glad;
So does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart.
10 
Do not abandon your own friend and your father’s friend,
And do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your disaster.
Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
11 
My son, be wise, and make my heart glad,
That I may reply to him who reproaches (reprimands, criticizes) me.
12 
A prudent man sees evil and hides himself and avoids it,
But the naive [who are easily misled] continue on and are punished [by suffering the consequences of sin].
13 
[The judge tells the creditor,] “Take the garment of one who is surety (guarantees a loan) for a stranger;
And hold him in pledge when he is surety for an immoral woman [for it is unlikely the debt will be repaid].”
14 
He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning,
It will be counted as a curse to him [for it will either be annoying or his purpose will be suspect].
15 
A constant dripping on a day of steady rain
And a contentious (quarrelsome) woman are alike;
16 
Whoever attempts to restrain her [criticism] might as well try to stop the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.
17 
As iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion].
18 
He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit,
And he who faithfully protects and cares for his master will be honored.
19 
As in water face reflects face,
So the heart of man reflects man.
20 
Sheol (the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the underworld) are never satisfied;
Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.
21 
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold [to separate the impurities of the metal],
And each is tested by the praise given to him [and his response to it, whether humble or proud].
22 
Even though you pound a [hardened, arrogant] fool [who rejects wisdom] in a mortar with a pestle like grain,
Yet his foolishness will not leave him.

23 
Be diligent to know the condition of your flocks,
And pay attention to your herds;
24 
For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
25 
When the grass is gone, the new growth is seen,
And herbs of the mountain are gathered in,
26 
The lambs will supply wool for your clothing,
And the goats will bring the price of a field.
27 
And there will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
For the food of your household,
And for the maintenance of your maids.

Warnings and Instructions

28 The wicked flee when no one pursues them,
But the righteous are as bold as a lion.

When a land does wrong, it has many princes,
But when the ruler is a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability endures.

A poor man who oppresses and exploits the lowly
Is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food.

Those who [a]set aside the law [of God and man] praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law [of God and man] struggle with them.

Evil men do not understand justice,
But they who long for and seek the Lord understand it fully.

Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked and two-faced though he is rich.

He who keeps the law [of God and man] is a wise and discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father [and himself].

He who increases his wealth by interest and usury (excessive interest)
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.

He who turns his ear away from listening to the law [of God and man],
Even his prayer is repulsive [to God].
10 
He who leads the upright astray on an evil path
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good.
11 
The rich man [who is conceited and relies on his wealth instead of God] is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor man who has understanding [because he relies on God] is able to see through him.
12 
When the righteous triumph, there is great glory and celebration;
But when the wicked rise [to prominence], men hide themselves.
13 
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and [b]turns away from his sins will find compassion and mercy.
14 
Blessed and favored by God is the man who fears [sin and its consequence] at all times,
But he who hardens his heart [and is determined to sin] will fall into disaster.
15 
Like a roaring lion and a charging bear
Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 
A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding and common sense [and his wickedness shortens his days],
But he who hates unjust gain will [be blessed and] prolong his days.
17 
A man who is burdened with the guilt of human blood (murder)
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him or give him refuge.
18 
He who walks blamelessly and uprightly will be kept safe,
But he who is crooked (perverse) will suddenly fall.
19 
He who cultivates his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who follows worthless people and frivolous pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 
A faithful (right-minded) man will abound with blessings,
But he who hurries to be rich will not go unpunished.
21 
To have regard for one person over another and to show favoritism is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.
22 
He who has an evil and envious eye hurries to be rich
And does not know that poverty will come upon him.
23 
He who [appropriately] reprimands a [wise] man will afterward find more favor
Than he who flatters with the tongue.
24 
He who robs his father or his mother
And says, “This is no sin,”
Is [not only a thief but also] the companion of a man who destroys.
25 
An arrogant and greedy man stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be blessed and prosper.
26 
He who trusts confidently in his own heart is a [dull, thickheaded] fool,
But he who walks in [skillful and godly] wisdom will be rescued.
27 
He who gives to the poor will never want,
But he who shuts his eyes [from their need] will have many curses.
28 
When the wicked rise [to power], men hide themselves;
But when the wicked perish, the [consistently] righteous increase and become great.

Warnings and Instructions

29 He who hardens his neck and refuses instruction after being often reproved (corrected, criticized),
Will suddenly be broken beyond repair.

When the righteous are in authority and become great, the people rejoice;
But when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh.

A man who loves [skillful and godly] wisdom makes his father joyful,
But he who associates with prostitutes wastes his wealth.

The king establishes (stabilizes) the land by justice,
But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

A man who flatters his neighbor [with smooth words intending to do harm]
Is spreading a net for his own feet.

By his wicked plan an evil man is trapped,
But the righteous man sings and rejoices [for his plan brings good things to him].

The righteous man cares for the rights of the poor,
But the wicked man has no interest in such knowledge.

Scoffers set a city afire [by stirring up trouble],
But wise men turn away anger [and restore order with their good judgment].

If a wise man has a controversy with a foolish and arrogant man,
The foolish man [ignores logic and fairness and] only rages or laughs, and there is no peace (rest, agreement).
10 
The bloodthirsty hate the blameless [because of his integrity],
But the upright are concerned for his life.
11 
A [shortsighted] fool always loses his temper and displays his anger,
But a wise man [uses self-control and] holds it back.
12 
If a ruler pays attention to lies [and encourages corruption],
All his officials will become wicked.
13 
The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives light to the eyes of both.
14 
If a king faithfully and truthfully judges the poor,
His throne shall be established forever.
15 
The rod and reproof (godly instruction) give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
16 
When the wicked are in authority, transgression increases,
But the righteous will see the downfall of the wicked.
17 
Correct your son, and he will give you comfort;
Yes, he will delight your soul.
18 
Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained;
But happy and blessed is he who keeps the law [of God].
19 
A servant will not be corrected by words alone;
For though he understands, he will not respond [nor pay attention].
20 
Do you see a [conceited] man who speaks quickly [offering his opinions or answering without thinking]?
There is more hope for a [thickheaded] [c]fool than for him.
21 
He who pampers his slave from childhood
Will find him to be a son in the end.
22 
An angry man stirs up strife,
And a hot-tempered and undisciplined man commits many transgressions.
23 
A man’s pride and sense of self-importance will bring him down,
But he who has a humble spirit will obtain honor.
24 
Whoever is partner with a thief hates his own life;
He hears the curse [when swearing an oath to testify], but discloses nothing [and commits perjury by omission].
25 
The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in and puts his confidence in the Lord will be exalted and safe.
26 
Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the Lord.
27 
An unjust man is repulsive to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way [of the Lord] is repulsive to the wicked.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 28:4 Lit forsake.
  2. Proverbs 28:13 Lit forsakes.
  3. Proverbs 29:20 See note 1:7.
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2 Corinthians 10

Paul Describes Himself

10 Now I, Paul, urge you by the gentleness and graciousness of Christ—I who am meek [so they say] when with you face to face, but bold [outspoken and fearless] toward you when absent! I ask that when I do come I will not be driven to the boldness that I intend to show toward those few who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh [like men without the Spirit]. For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man. The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ, being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience [as a church] is complete.

You are looking [only] at the outward appearance of things. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, he should reflect and consider this, that just as he is Christ’s, so too are we. For even though I boast rather freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed [of the truth], nor do I want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters; 10 for they say, “His letters are weighty and forceful and impressive, but his [a]personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible [of no account].” 11 Let such people realize that what we say by word in letters when we are absent, is the same as what we are in action when present.

12 We do not have the audacity to put ourselves in the same class or compare ourselves with some who [supply testimonials to] commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they lack wisdom and behave like fools. 13 We, on the other hand, will not boast beyond our proper limit, but [will keep] within the [b]limits of our commission (territory, authority) which God has granted to us as a measure, which reaches and includes even you. 14 We are not overstepping the limits of our province, as if we did not [legitimately] reach to you, for we were the [very] first to come even as far as you with the good news of Christ. 15 We do not go beyond our proper limit, boasting in the work of other men, but we have the hope that as your faith [in Christ and His divine power] continues to grow, our field among you may be greatly expanded [but still within the limits of our commission], 16 so that we may preach the gospel even in the lands beyond you, but not to boast in work already accomplished in another one’s field of activity. 17 However, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not he who commends and praises himself who is approved [by God], but it is the one whom the Lord commends and praises.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 10:10 Among the Greeks, a speaker’s presence and delivery were as important as his message, as the orator Demosthenes made clear when he said that the three most important elements of a speech are delivery, delivery, and delivery. However, Paul did not follow these rules because the message of salvation does not need to be presented with fanfare in order to reach the hearts of the audience.
  2. 2 Corinthians 10:13 I.e. ministry to the Gentiles.
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