Proverbs 14: Wise Sayings

What foolishness would tear down the family that a woman should want to build?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:1 With wisdom, a woman builds a strong family. With foolishness, her own hands tear it apart.
King James
Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Why are some Christians reluctant to follow the Lord’s direction?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:2 Those who revere the Lord are careful to do what he wants, but those who oppose him will go their own way.
King James
Proverbs 14:2 He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.

What kinds of problems might our thoughtless words create?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:3 Proud people pay a price for their foolish talk, but the wise guard their words and do well.
Matthew 15:17–18 You should know that anything you eat simply passes through the stomach and out. But what comes out of a person’s mouth is from the heart, revealing the filth that exists inside.
James 3:5–10 Our tongue is like a match, so small yet able to shout so loudly. When struck, a whisper can light a forest fire. Out of control, the tongue spouts iniquity like fire from the mouth of a volcano, the fire, ash, and lava bringing destruction both to the speaker and the earth. All kinds of beasts and birds, snakes and even fish have been tamed, but no one has tamed someone else’s tongue, an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. We bless God our heavenly Father and curse people, who were made in his image. Both blessing and cursing come from the same person’s mouth. My friends, that should never happen.
King James
Proverbs 14:3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
Matthew 15:17–18 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
James 3:5–10 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

What does it mean to have a “strong ox”?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:4 Without the plowing ox, there is no food to eat. But a strong ox will produce an abundant harvest.
King James
Proverbs 14:4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Why can’t the testimony of a false witness reveal the truth?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:5 An honest witness cannot lie, but the testimony of a false witness cannot reveal the truth.
King James
Proverbs 14:5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

Why might a desire to learn be crucial in gaining knowledge and wisdom?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:6 Scorners of the truth cannot find wisdom, no matter how hard they look, but knowledge comes easily to those who want to learn.
King James
Proverbs 14:6 A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.

If nothing is learned, why would people hang out with fools?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:7 Don’t hang out with fools, because they can’t teach you anything.
King James
Proverbs 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

How can we have the best perspective of ourselves, our surroundings, and of others?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:8 Wise people pay attention and know what they are doing, but fools deceive themselves.
King James
Proverbs 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.

When facing a possible prison sentence, how could fools not care about doing something wrong? How is the righteous viewpoint different?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:9 Fools don’t care when they do something wrong, but the righteous always want to do good.
King James
Proverbs 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

Can we ever know what another person really feels? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:10 No one else can know how a person really feels.
Proverbs 14:13 People sometimes laugh to keep from crying, and today’s joy may be followed by sorrow.
King James
Proverbs 14:10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
Proverbs 14:13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.

Why doesn’t the evidence always support the claim that the wicked will be destroyed and the righteous will flourish?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:11 The household of the wicked will be destroyed, but the righteous will flourish wherever they are.
Proverbs 14:14 The faithful will be rewarded for their good deeds, and the faithless will pay a price for their wrongdoing.
King James
Proverbs 14:11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

What makes a way seem right when it really isn’t?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right but ends in death.
Proverbs 14:15–16 The naïve will follow whatever sounds good, but discerning people give careful thought to their next step.
Wise people are cautious, seeking to avoid evil, but without thinking, fools confidently walk into trouble.
King James
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Proverbs 14:15–16 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

What makes vengeful people unlikeable?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:17 Easily angered people do things they will regret, and nobody likes a vengeful person.
King James
Proverbs 14:17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

Why don’t people do a better job of concealing their foolishness? Why don’t more people flaunt their knowledge and wisdom?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:18 Because of who they are, the naïve naturally show their foolishness, but wisdom is like a crown, obvious in those who have it.
King James
Proverbs 14:18 The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

If good has so much power, why does evil seem to prevail at times?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:19 Evil must bow to the greater power of good. The wicked are humbled outside the gates of the righteous.
King James
Proverbs 14:19 The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

Why isn’t more care given to the poor? What would constitute “good” care?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:20–21 Even neighbors will shun the poor, but the rich are surrounded by friends.
21 Hatred is wrong, and blessing comes from loving needy people.
King James
Proverbs 14:20–21 The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends. He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

How do people benefit from evil schemes? What are the liabilities?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:22 Evil schemers are making a bad mistake, but those with a passion for doing good will experience mercy and truth.
King James
Proverbs 14:22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.

How important are good intentions?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:23 Hard work is always rewarded, but good intentions without the effort can only lead to poverty.
King James
Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

What is the difference between wise and foolish choices?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:24 People who make wise choices receive wealth, but fools are rewarded with foolishness.
King James
Proverbs 14:24 The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.

How could a false witness be trusted above the truthful?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:25 A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness misrepresents the truth.
King James
Proverbs 14:25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.)

What makes people feel secure? What makes people really secure?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:26–27 Those who revere the Lord are secure in him, and so are their children.
Respect for the Lord is a fountain of life that saves people from temptation and death.
King James
Proverbs 14:26–27 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

How are leaders and followers honored?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:28 A great leader is honored by having many loyal followers. Without a following, leadership is meaningless.
King James
Proverbs 14:28 In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.

Why might our reactions in anger reveal foolishness in us?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:29–30 Slowness to anger shows great understanding, but the short-tempered make their foolishness obvious.
Peace of heart and mind bring health to the body, but envy and discontent are a cancerous disease.
King James
Proverbs 14:29–30 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

How concerned should people be for others in need?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:31 People who mistreat the poor show contempt for their Creator, but anyone who helps the poor honors God.
King James
Proverbs 14:31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

What is the difference between tragedies for the wicked and tragedies for the righteous?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:32 Tragedies are devastating for the wicked, but even in death the righteous have hope in the Lord.
2 Corinthians 4:8–9 Troubles press us from every direction, but we aren’t crushed. We may not know what to do, yet we’re confident that everything will work out. Enemies may attack us, but God stands with us. We may be knocked to the ground, but God will raise us up.
King James
Proverbs 14:32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
2 Corinthians 4:8–9 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Why are some Christians more discerning than others?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:33 Wisdom is found in the hearts and minds of discerning people, a great difference from what is revealed among fools.
King James
Proverbs 14:33 Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

Of what consequence are the good and bad deeds that people do?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:34 People are honored for the good they do, but those who do evil are condemned.
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who calls me master will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but only those who do the will of my heavenly Father.
James 2:14 My friends, what good is a declaration of faith if you don’t have the actions that show you really believe? Can words alone save you?
King James
Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

What differences exist between wise and foolish choices?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Proverbs 14:35 The king favors the servants who make wise choices, serving him well, but his wrath falls upon those who act foolishly.
King James
Proverbs 14:35 The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.