Self discipline (Prov 30:32-30:33)

“If you have been foolish,

Exalting yourself,

Put your hand on your mouth.

If you have been devising evil,

Put your hand on your mouth.

Pressing milk produces curds.

Pressing the nose produces blood.

Pressing anger produces strife.”

This numerical interlude ends with a warning about being foolish without self discipline. If you tried to exalt yourself, put a hand to your mouth to stop talking. If you have been devising evil, put a hand to your mouth so that evil does not come out of your mouth. Pressing or suppressing things may have evil consequences. If you press milk you end up with curds. If you press your nose, it will bleed. If you press your anger, it will produce strife.

The wise person (Prov 21:22-21:23)

“A wise person went up against a city of warriors.

He brought down the stronghold in which they trusted.

Whoever watches over their mouth and their tongue

Keeps out of trouble.”

A wise person can go against a city of warriors because he can figure out how to bring down the trusted stronghold of these warriors. If you watch your mouth and tongue, you will keep out of trouble.

The lazy ones (Prov 13:1-13:4)

“The wise child loves discipline.

But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

From the fruit of their words,

Good persons eat good things.

But the desire of the treacherous is for violence.

Whoever guards their mouths preserves their lives.

Whoever opens wide their lips comes to ruin.

The appetite of the lazy craves,

But gets nothing.

The appetite of the diligent is richly supplied.”

The wise child loves discipline because it leads to knowledge. However, the lazy mocking scoffer does not listen to criticism. Good people eat good things because of the good fruit of their words. The treacherous only want violence. If you guard your mouth, you will preserve your life. However, if you open your mouth wide, it will only bring you ruin. The lazy people crave for food but they get nothing, while the appetite of the diligent gets richly supplied and satisfied.

Manual labor (Prov 12:12-12:14)

“The wicked covet the proceeds of wickedness.

But the root of the righteous bears fruit.

The evil are ensnared by the transgressions of their lips.

But the righteous escape from trouble.

From the fruit of the mouth

One is filled with good things.

Manual labor has its reward.”

Whatever the wicked covet, they will receive this wickedness. However, the righteous bear fruit because of their good roots. The evil ones get caught in their own verbal transgressions. The righteous escape from trouble, while the wicked seem to be caught up in it. You will be judged by the fruit of your mouth, what comes out.   Good things come out of the righteous mouth as opposed to the wicked mouth. Manual labor has its own reward.