Proverbs 22: Wise Sayings

Why is a good reputation better than great wealth?

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Proverbs 22:1 A good reputation is better than great wealth. Being held in high esteem is worth more than silver or gold.
King James
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

If we had to make a choice of either being rich or poor, which would be better? Why might the other choice be better?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 22:2 The rich and the poor have one thing in common. Both are God’s creation.
King James
Proverbs 22:2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.

What kinds of warning signs do people most commonly ignore?

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Proverbs 22:3 Sensible people anticipate danger and take precautions, but the naïve ignore the warning signs and suffer the consequences.
King James
Proverbs 22:3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

Is humility a sign of weakness or strength? Why?

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Proverbs 22:4 Humility shows a respect for the Lord, which leads to honor, prosperity, and a satisfying life.
King James
Proverbs 22:4 By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.

What makes the walk of the righteous different from the perverse?

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Proverbs 22:5 Perverse people walk a thorny, treacherous road, but those who care about their lives will avoid the potholes.
King James
Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

What guarantee do we have that children will always follow their parents’ guidance? Why?

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Proverbs 22:6 Teach your children right from wrong, and as adults they will make good choices.
King James
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

How much concern should be placed on indebtedness?

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Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower serves the lender.
Ecclesiastes 5:4 When you make a promise to God, be sure to keep it, because he doesn’t like foolish commitments. Always do what you say you will do.
Romans 13:8 Have no outstanding debts except to love one another, for this is the fulfillment of the law.
King James
Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

How well do expressions of anger fulfill their purpose? Why?

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Proverbs 22:8 Sowers of injustice will reap a harvest of trouble, and the anger they wield will not be effective.
King James
Proverbs 22:8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

What criteria should we use in helping the needy?

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Proverbs 22:9 Generous people will be blessed because they feed the poor.
Romans 15:1 We should try to strengthen those who are weak in their faith, but not so we can feel better about ourselves.
King James
Proverbs 22:9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
Romans 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Is it good for a host to tolerate a troublemaker? Why?

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Proverbs 22:10 Kick out the troublemakers, and the insults and strife will disappear.
King James
Proverbs 22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

What kind of leader does not love those who are honest, truthful, and kind?

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Proverbs 22:11 Leaders love those who are honest, truthful, and kind.
King James
Proverbs 22:11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

In the midst of our pain and suffering, how can God’s watchful eye comfort us?

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Proverbs 22:12 The Lord watches over those who make good use of their knowledge, but he frustrates the words of deceivers.
King James
Proverbs 22:12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.

What are the best excuses for laziness? What are the worst?

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Proverbs 22:13 Lazy people will say, “There’s a lion outside. I’ll be killed if I go out to work.”
King James
Proverbs 22:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

How does walking with the Lord keep people from being trapped by seductive words?

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Proverbs 22:14 The seductive words of an immoral woman are a dangerous trap for those who are not walking with the Lord, earning his anger.
Galatians 5:16 Let me make this perfectly clear: if you listen to God’s Spirit within, you will seek to please him and to benefit others, not to satisfy your selfish desires.
King James
Proverbs 22:14 The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

What should strong discipline teach people? Why do some people never seem to learn?

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Proverbs 22:15 Youngsters are naturally foolish, so strong discipline is an essential cure.
King James
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

If people get rich taking advantage of others, how can that effort result in poverty?

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Proverbs 22:16 Those who take advantage of the poor to get rich will end up in poverty themselves.
King James
Proverbs 22:16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.

If the truth hurts, why should we pay close attention?

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Proverbs 22:17–19 Pay close attention to my words of wisdom. Be eager to learn from what I have to say. Take pleasure in the truth, keeping these saying foremost in your mind, ready to be spoken at any time.
I am making these things known to you now so you will trust the Lord.
King James
Proverbs 22:17–19 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips. That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.

How can we be certain that what we believe is true?

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Proverbs 22:20–21 I have written thirty sayings so you will know and have good advice to follow. I want you to be so certain of the truth that you can share it with anyone who asks.
King James
Proverbs 22:20–21 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

If God takes care of the poor and afflicted, why are there so many of them?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 22:22–23 Don’t take advantage of the poor or use your position to crush the afflicted, for the Lord will defend them and bring their abusers to ruin.
King James
Proverbs 22:22–23 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

When living in a wicked world, how can we protect ourselves from its influence?

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Proverbs 22:24–25 Don’t hang out with vengeful people or walk with those who are easily angered, or you may learn their ways and become like them.
King James
Proverbs 22:24–25 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.

Why do people guarantee the debts of others? When is that not a risk?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 22:26–27 Don’t shake hands in agreement to guarantee someone else’s debts. If you don’t have the money when the debt comes due, why should someone else’s obligation cause you to lose what you have?
King James
Proverbs 22:26–27 Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

What kinds of stealing are most common?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 22:28 Don’t move the boundary markers set by your ancestors, stealing land from your neighbor.
King James
Proverbs 22:28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

Why might peasants not recognize people for their excellent work? Why might lords not recognize it either?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 22:29 Lords, not peasants, recognize people for their excellent work.
King James
Proverbs 22:29 Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.