Proverbs Chapter Summary Proverbs Chapter Summary Proverbs Chapter Summary Proverbs Chapter Summary

The following is taken from the Book of Old Testament Summaries. This specific summary was written keeping in mind a parent's desire for their children to grow in God's wisdom as they grow into maturity. It is highly recommended for print and gift to any child, young man or woman, along with the Bible and emphasis of the original text of Proverbs' reading first.

  1. The wisdom of the Lord is hidden from those whose feet are swift to their own selfish devices. A proverb is God's window through which only those who fear may peer to obtain His wisdom necessary for making one wise for righteous and peaceful living, quiet from the fear of present evil. It is to be sought with the whole heart! (See Job 28.)
  2. Those who seek wisdom with the whole heart shall be established in Him, but the wicked, blinded by their own imaginations, will be cut off. Therefore, seek wisdom, whose way is straight, that you might be made upright and established early in life.
  3. Wisdom established early will guide you through the valleys of the shadows of death into the peaceful pastures of a lengthened life. Her commands and ways are to be obeyed in all arenas of life to drink the dew of her priceless nectar. The fool, thinking himself wise in his own deceits, will not taste the drops of her vine, and in the end, only shame will be his bitter fruit!
  4. Although a father may teach wisdom's virtues to a son, her understanding, as it came to the father, can only come to the son whose heart is made tender in Godly fear. She will not force herself upon any man. But when she is embraced, if duly treated with deserved respect, holding firmly to her hand and forsaking her not, she will promote to an honorable life and lengthened end.
  5. Many will come to tempt you away, lying lips of an adulteress' look; listen not to their counsel, but to her alone be true! Do not sow the seeds of her kindness upon the harlot's bed to be lost in the passing pleasures of her sinful ways. Nourish only from her bountiful treasures. Be a faithful steward to the gift of God's wisdom, for He watches over His own. Beware, the son who forsakes her will go astray!
  6. The ways of the wicked have no place at her table. Be diligent in protecting and providing for her, keeping her pure in your heart, for God hates her sevenfold enemies. Strike no hand with one who would do her harm, nor give place for any substitution. Keep holy that union that it may go well with your soul, for God will seek revenge upon all who have mistreated her.
  7. Wisdom, unlike the harlot, will always be true. She is to be trusted. Keep her as the apple of your eye, looking not into the harlot's window as you pass it by. Kept as a constant companion, as a sister on your left and a kinswoman the right, wisdom will guide you past the harlot's enticing entrances, that may for a moment seem sweet to your smell, but through which many have gone before you, enlarging the pits of hell.
  8. Wisdom is not mute, but her voice goes unheeded in the silent vacuum of many men's ways. Though she shout from the pinnacle of the highest peaks, they pass her by never knowing she is ever so near! Only to the one with an understanding heart will she reveal the priceless riches of her truthful treasures. Fruitful are her ways and eternal companion to the Creator she has been. Ask from a pure heart and see if she will not evince the mysteries of their eternal communion. The secret of the stars lie within her bosom. Stand by her gates and see if the Lord Himself is not near, waiting to give life to all who appear. Only a fool would reject so great a love, choosing death over life -- how utterly absurd!
  9. Her call has been heard in every land. A great banquet awaits the crusader in quest of wisdom's riches. He will not waste her guiding morsels she spreads before his feet on one who does not go his way! Nor should he mistake the lure of the false feast flaunted by the harlot, for many, thinking themselves to be gallant, only finding themselves to be fools, have fallen in mortal defeat, passing through her one-way doors to that dark dreadful eternal dungeon.
  10. The son who is successful in capturing wisdom's affection is a delight to his parents, and his reputation is long remembered. His lips are like a needy gate to his neighbor, but the fool's are never shut. Through the lips of the wise other men get wisdom. (Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word!) But her riches bestowed upon his labor is nontransferable to the wicked, not in life, nor at death; but, like an old friend, will greet him when life's journey is complete. (Deeds done in His name will result in rewards in the life to come!)
  11. Moreover, in the final scales of God's justice will be seen the two types of all men: the just and the unjust. Wisdom is His weight, and she is pure and true. In the heart of the unjust is seen pride and shame -- marriage partners in the bed of his destruction. (Shame can only be avoided when pride is shunned. Where there is pride, shame is as sure to follow as night does day.) His ways will be filled with rottenness, and when weighed, minus wisdom, will come up lacking. In the heart of the just, humility finds its partner in wisdom, producing fruit to the good of his soul, evenly balanced to His weight when weighed. Wisdom, therefore, comes only to the humble, and in the humble can be found no pride, for she will not partner with shame!
  12. Wisdom, then, being found in the heart of the righteous, will shine on the just as a life vest of honor! And like rising water, wisdom will seek out the lowest in the Earth, gently lifting up the downtrodden, supporting them upon her shimmering surface, eventually exalting to higher ground on a more distant and safe shore. But for the wicked who does not possess her, in choking derision his shame will heavily clothe him. So, he who chooses her will ride above all, upon her ways away from that which would have before destroyed him. But the self-exalted wicked, without her aid, will be overthrown against her wake as she comes to lift the lowly.
  13. Riding upon the sea of life, righteousness obtained from wisdom will keep the just above the fray, while the wicked, whose appetite for evil is limitless, will succumb in his own devices. Wisdom instructs and guides the wise in the safe channels of his life, but the course of the wicked she will not plot. Though the ways of wisdom's partner may be toilsome, yet her reward for his labor is plenty.
  14. Wisdom will exalt the ways of her lover, if he will prefer hers to his. Life, liberty, and joy will be his rewards, and he will be a shining beacon to others. Indeed, kings who favor him, because of his righteousness, will find his nation highly exalted. But the fool, void of her company, will be an enemy to himself and all those around him. His ways without her guidance, though seeming right to him at the time, will only lead him down the broad path to destruction. And all those who follow his popular course for the season, zealous to impose it upon others, stooping to deceitful means, blind leading the blind, will in the end be clothed with his same degrading shame.
  15. Wisdom's voice is always singular, with a soft tongue untainted with inciteful speech. Her words are life for her lover and a vintage wine for his soul, able to secure it peace in any storm. At her table is a continual feast where all men have an invitation to attend, but few with the key for admittance. At her doors are her guards who test for humility and the fear of the Lord. Only the righteous shall pass, but the fool will be turned aside. No heart with pride and counterfeit will enter here! Hell, as the only alternative, is deep and her doors wide for those who refuse to listen to wisdom's call to life, or try to enter without her key!
  16. Like a goldsmith who weighs fine gold for counterfeit, able to detect the slightest impurity, God, who created the spirit, knowing even the number of hairs on that person's head, will weigh each soul upon return when its body is dead. And if wisdom is found lacking, within the spirit will be detected the impurities sufficient to be eternally rejected! Only the fruit of wisdom's works is capable of purifying a man's heart. Lying and deceit are the fruit of an uncleansed life. Such things are an abomination to God and will put the spirit He created at eternal enmity with Him. So get wisdom and get life, that the spirit once given may rightfully return and not be discarded.
  17. Deceit and dishonor are companions to the fool on the road to destruction, but wisdom will purify the heart who walks in the fear of God. From the heart of the wise, made pure by her process, flow words tempered by her touch. But the fool's many words, produced from an unclean heart, are a poison to himself and all who are around him. Happy is the man who has wisdom as his companion, for she is his guardian against all life's impurities -- and medicine when affected. And know this: Silence makes even the fool appear wise, only to be exposed at the resumption of his many words!
  18. Like a child who plays with matches, a fool is with his words; both have the potential of extreme destruction! (See Doeg as an example, I Sam.22:9,22; Ps.52; James 3:6.) The tongue of the fool has been the deadliest instrument in the history of man. Kings have fallen and brothers irreconcilably offended. But the man who knows wisdom weighs carefully his words, and through them to him will be attracted a friend of good favor who will be closer than a brother.
  19. Wisdom, if she be a man's only possession, is greater than all the Earth's treasures (Job 28:13-19). Unlike friends and family, she will remain loyal when all have forsaken you. Since wisdom is God's eternal companion, and by her He hung the stars and set the bounds of the seas, it should come as no surprise when she is found in the heart of the poor; God's careful eye is always there. (See #8, 8:23-31.) And if a person, through some intentional or incidental compassion, should care for just one, God clearly sees and will faithfully repay! (Heb.6:10) But for the fool who scornfully oppresses, God will equally repay with his judgment. A man without wisdom may devise many unwise ways to have his way, but be forewarned son, in the end, all ways lead to Him for His judgment. All will be laid bare, without excuse!
  20. Since wisdom teaches that all the days of man are evil, then we hear her whisper to the wise to use them wisely. For every evil that comes his way, there is shown by her, if he is observant, an opportunity to avoid, or an alternative for the good. And think not when you have overcome to some degree that you are anything other than what she has made you, incapable of accomplishing on your own. Her work is ongoing, bringing order out of chaos! A lifelong process she has undertaken! So, son, do not think, through the might of your youthful vigor and acquisitions, you have added to your own stature any measure other than what she has gracefully given. Acknowledge her as she directs you, instructed by her eternal companion, and it will continue to go well with you. The man without her is incapable of numbering the length of his days and is blind and unjust in all his ways. He will be buffeted on every side as he stumbles in his great darkness, bruised to the soul, till his life finally and tragically ends!
  21. A man may determine in his own heart what he will, but God will make of him what He chooses, to accomplish His purposes here on Earth. From the heart proceeds man's will and God judges him by what He sees within, accepting the moral over the ceremonial in any situation. Therefore, it is better to offer first to Him what He has required -- dealing truthfully and justly with all men -- then joy from an accepted sacrifice will come. Wisdom will never counsel against Him. She will always be His loyal friend. So if one should contradict, through seemingly reasonable or flattering words, quickly flee from him; for his counsel will be your end! (Gen.3:1) There is no place safe from Him and no safety except in Him!
  22. Since God made all men and none can make his own heart clean, nor add anything to his stature, then all men stand on common ground before Him. He is no respector of persons! His favor can not be obtained with riches. But bring to him humility and reverence, acknowledging His Lordship in your life, then He will exalt you. Wisdom will be His gift and through her eyes you will see your way clearly. Through her ears you will discern truth from foolishness, avoiding the snare many will place before you. She will identify herself in others, so avoid those in whom she is not found! Do not participate in their ways, bringing upon you both their shame. Always remember her choice of partners and why! (See #11, 11:2.)
  23. A son who has found favor with wisdom makes a father's heart glad! For he knows in her faithfulness to him, so shall she be to his son. His comfort is in knowing: She is priceless! She is loyal! She is ageless! She is never-changing! Her ways are immortal, and she is always accompanied by her watchful, caring, Eternal Companion! So, he can pass the way of his father, knowing that in his absence his own son will be safely guided in the same path to their eternal dwelling. She will counsel and keep his heart when he companies at the table of the highest ranks of royalty. Though she will lead him to labor, more riches will not be his goal. Honor, benevolence, and justice will be in his heart, having no room for the dainties of Earth's vanities. In fact, she will steer him away from those counterfeit pleasures that would entrap his soul. Excessive wine nor loose women will be found under his roof, for he has drunk the nectars of wisdom's vine and found her fruit to be the original.
  24. Wisdom will build a wise man's house, securing for him a peaceful refuge against life's ravages. He will be made strong by her, not needing the alliance of powerful evil men. Her nutrition is most desirable above all else that others may offer. And when things do not go well for them, do not take delight in your heart in their judgment, for wisdom will detect it, being contrary to her nature and will. Be diligent in her instructions, careful for every man's own way, and the fruit of your labor will come, as she gives restful sleep when needed, at the end of your long day.
  25. The ways of evil are seen as dross in fine silver. Once removed, the brightness of His righteousness breaks forth and a nation of justice is established! Wisdom becomes the governor of all its citizens' souls. Neighbor rightly treating neighbor, even an enemy so treated will stand amazed! Be careful however not to submit her to the hand of an evil man, and her walls will serve you well.
  26. Unlike the man who has embraced wisdom, the fool is unstable and unable to discern the error of his foolish ways, blindly repeating his nauseous deeds. Wisdom abhors his folly, keeping her crown of honor meant only for the wise, far from the fool's unbridled head. Strife, born from his despicable deeds, is sport in his court, causing contention among all his companions. Wisdom and her peace is as foreign to him as pearls to swine. His end will come from his own undoings, with all as a witness. So be careful of his unbridled instrument, while in his way, that its poisonous words may fall stillborn at your feet. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall see God!
  27. Praise is like a fine garment: it is better crafted and suited to one by another. So wisdom gives her gift only when her counsel is first wisely worn. She alone knows best the dimensions of her intended that it fit as it should, bringing honor to its wearer. You should be careful not to think that it is the suit which makes you, that you esteem it more than you are. Praise that produces that kind of pride becomes the enemy of your humility and a barrier to your wisdom. Praise of self often follows, and from one's own mouth it is like a song sung out of tune! However, the praise of men is also a dangerous thing. Left unchecked by wisdom, it will become an obstacle in your relations with her Eternal Companion. It will deceive you into expecting to continue in your good fortune into an unpromised tomorrow. Though wisdom teaches us to number our days, we are not to claim them so as not to presume upon God (Lu.12:20). So redeem the time while it is still present, trusting in God for tomorrow and not your expectant riches.
  28. Wisdom now arrives at the point in her advanced teachings, moving her lover from his more baser natural instincts to the pearl of her instruction -- moral integrity with both God and man. She teaches: better is a man who is poor and stands for something than a rich man who stands for nothing. Or, better to be poor in wealth, yet rich in character produced by wisdom than possess fame and fortune and lack in integrity. The contrast is seen in a man who possesses a moral compass to one who is lacking. Moral integrity is the guidon to which the righteous look in all their affairs in life. Schemers with deceitful hearts produce flawed plans that guarantee failure and shame. But the man taught by wisdom will be a pillar among men, fair in all his dealings, benevolent in all his ways, and standing for all that is good and true. Grown from a simple grain of seashore sand, moved easily by the changing ways of the waves, now into a rock of a man to whom others look for anchoring. (Jn.1:42; Acts 2:14)
  29. And when wisdom has been successful in establishing you, do not from her go a whoring! Many there will be who will want to join to a good thing, once born of wisdom and hard labor, but only to exploit it for their own unwise purposes. Do not admit them to the house that wisdom has built, for they, with their endless appetites and bottomless bellies, will surely be the end of it! Remain faithful to and confident in her ways, executing judgment as before instructed, and she will keep you from the snares of their emotional dangers. Anger is to judgment what rot is to fruit. It may be undetectable in its beginning, but know the horror of its useless end! Wisdom abandoned results in shortsightedness which produces quick tempers, resulting in a wrathful disposition, and when run its course will end with hate and murder. (Mt.5:21-22; I Jn.3:15) Wisdom does allow anger against wrongdoing, but without producing vindictiveness against the wrongdoer. So do not allow yourself to become blinded by the acts you see that you become judgmental in your responsive attitude and actions. Remember, God loves all sinners alike! It is his actions He abhors!
  30. Wisdom's final words will give in summary all she has taught you. They will come in many series. Listen carefully through her ears as she lists them for you and you will see through her eyes all she has spoken! Her message is encoded within the names of her first verse. Decipher them for their meaning and you will discover the house she has all the while been building. Remember this clue: God is holy above all others, consequently, He desires one who will be made holy as He!
  31. Wisdom, having summarized all her teachings, will now like any excellent instructor, leave you with example! She paints a lovely portrait of herself seen in a virtuous woman. She is the model of all that has preceded. A son will do himself well if he is fortunate to find both as life's partners! Love them, honor them, cherish them, and all your days will be filled with joy, and when you are old, they will be there beside you, giving comfort the way no other can.
- Author: Ken Livingston
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