The generous ones (Prov 22:9-22:13)

“Those who are generous are blessed.

They share their bread with the poor.

Drive out a scoffer!

Then strife also goes out.

Quarreling and abuse will cease.

Whoever loves a pure heart,

Will have the king as a friend.

Whoever is gracious in speech,

Will have the king as his friend.

The eyes of Yahweh keep watch over knowledge.

But he overthrows the words of the faithless.

The lazy person says.

‘There is a lion outside!

I shall be killed in the streets!’”

The generous people are blessed because they share their bread with the poor. Get rid of the scoffers, the mockers, and strife will go away. Arguments and abuse will cease if the mockers are gone. If you have a pure heart and gracious speech you will have the king as a friend. Yahweh watches over knowledge, but he overthrows the words of the faithless. The lazy person is afraid to go outside because he says that he is scared of being killed by a lion.

Strife (Prov 20:3-20:6)

“It is honorable to refrain from strife.

But every fool is quick to quarrel.

The lazy person does not plow in the autumn season.

Harvest comes.

There is nothing to be found.

The purposes in the human mind are like deep water.

But the intelligent will draw them out.

Many proclaim themselves loyal.

But who can find one worthy of trust?”

The honorable people stay away from arguments and strife, but the fools are quick to start an argument. The lazy person does not plow in the correct season so that when harvest comes, they have nothing to harvest. The human mind is deep, but the intelligent people can draw out the purposes of humans. Many people maintain that they are loyal, but it is hard to find a trustworthy person.

Words of a fool (Prov 18:4-18: 8)

“The words of the mouth are deep waters.

The fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream.

It is not right

To be partial to the guilty.

It is not right

To subvert the innocent in judgment.

A fool’s lips

Bring strife.

A fool’s mouth

Invites a flogging.

A fool’s mouth

Is their ruin.

A fool’s lips

Are snares to themselves.

The words of a whisperer

Are like delicious morsels.

They go down into the inner parts of the body.”

The words that come out of one’s mouth are like deep waters. Wisdom is like a gushing fountain. You should not favor the guilty or subvert the innocent with bad judgments. The lips of fools bring strife. Their mouths invite a whipping. Precisely the mouth of the fool is the cause of his ruin. Their lips snare themselves. They get caught in their own foolish words. However, the words of the deceptive ones who whisper in your ear are like delicious treats that go down into the inner parts of your body and ruin your body.

The senseless (Prov 17:18-17:20)

“It is senseless

To give a pledge.

It is senseless

To becomes surety for a neighbor.

Whoever loves transgression

Loves strife.

Whoever builds a high threshold

Invites broken bones.

The crooked of mind do not prosper.

The perverse of tongue fall into calamity.”

Do not give a pledge for your neighbor. If you love transgressions, then get ready to love strife. If you build a high threshold, you are inviting danger because some tall strong people might come into your house to hurt you. This might also be a sign that you are showing pride. The crooked and the perverse do not prosper, but fall into calamity or danger.

Evil men (Prov 17:11-17:15)

“Evil people seek only rebellion.

A cruel messenger will be sent against them.

Better to meet a she-bear robbed of its cubs,

Than to confront a fool immersed in folly.

Evil will not depart from the house

Of one who returns evil for good.

The beginning of strife is

Like letting out water.

So stop before the quarrel breaks out.

Whoever justifies the wicked,

Whoever condemns the righteous,

Are both alike.

They are an abomination to Yahweh.”

The evil people are rebellious. Therefore the good are in favor of the status quo. A cruel messenger will be sent to evil rebels, perhaps the angel of death. You are better off meeting a mama bear with her cubs than trying to confront a fool in his foolishness. Evil will stay in the house of those who return evil for good. A quarrel or strife is like running water. It is better to stop the quarrel before it breaks out. Whether you justify the wicked or condemn the righteous, you are both alike, an abomination before Yahweh.

Shared wealth (Prov 17:1-17:5)

“Better is a dry morsel with quiet

Than a house full of feasting with strife.

A slave who deals wisely

Will rule over a child who acts shamefully.

The slave will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.

The crucible is for silver.

The furnace is for gold.

Yahweh tests the heart.

An evildoer listens to wicked lips.

A liar gives heed to a mischievous tongue.

Those who mock the poor

Insult their maker.

Those who are glad at calamity

Will not go unpunished.”

You are better off with a dry morsel of bread in quiet peaceful solitude than having a house full of feasting and strife at the same time. A slave who is wise will rule over a child who acts shamefully. In fact, this slave will gain the inheritance as if he was one of the brothers. Both silver and gold have to go through a crucible furnace. So too, Yahweh tests the human heart. An evildoer listens to wicked lips, while a liar follows mischievous tongues. Anyone who mocks poor people actually insults their maker, the creator. Those who are happy about bad news will not go unpunished.

Perverse scoundrels (Prov 16:27-16:30)

“Scoundrels concoct evil.

Their speech is like a scorching fire.

A perverse person spreads strife.

A whisperer separates close friends.

The violent entice their neighbors.

They lead them in a way that is not good.

Whoever winks their eyes

Plans perverse things.

Whoever compresses their lips

Brings evil to pass.”

Scoundrels plan evil. Their speech is like a raging fire. These perverse people spread strife. The whispering ones separate close friends. The violent ones entice their neighbors in leading them in the wrong way. Whoever winks their eyes is planning perverse things. If they press their lips, they are working on evil things.

Hot temper (Prov 15:18-15:19)

“Those who are hot-tempered

Stir up strife.

But those who are slow to anger

Calm contention.

The way of the lazy

Is overgrown with thorns.

But the path of the upright

Is a level highway.”

The hot tempered angry people stir up strife. If you are slow to anger, you can calm contentious situations. The way of the lazy people is overgrown with thorns, but the upright have a nice level highway. Watch your temper! Do not be lazy!

The wicked want to get David (Ps 59:3-59:4)

“Even now

They lie in wait for my life.

The mighty stir up strife against me.

There is no transgression!

There is no sin of mine!

Yahweh!

There is no fault of mine!

Yet they run.

They make ready.”

The evildoers or wicked ones were laying in wait to kill David. They wanted to stir up strife against him. However, David had no transgressions. He had not sinned. There was no fault in him. Nevertheless, they were running and getting ready for him.

The enemies (Ps 56:5-56:7)

“All day long they seek to injure my cause.

All their thoughts are against me for evil.

They stir up strife.

They lurk.

They watch my steps.

They hoped to have my life.

So repay them for their crime!

In wrath

Cast down the peoples,

O God!”

The enemies of David, in particular the men of King Saul, were after David.  They sought to injure him.  They stirred up evil strife.  They lurked watching his steps in hopes that they could take his life.  David wanted God to repay his enemies for their crimes.  He wanted God to get mad and cast out these people.