Meditation and Prayer Journey – Proverbs 14

Proverbs 14


NIV Version,  Message VersionEnglish Standard Version (see the list of related scriptures at the bottom of the ESV page), King James Version

Amplified Version

 1EVERY WISE woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

2He who walks in uprightness reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, but he who is contrary and devious in his ways despises Him.

3In the [a]fool’s own mouth is a rod [to shame] his pride, but the wise men’s lips preserve them.

4Where no oxen are, the grain crib is empty, but much increase [of crops] comes by the strength of the ox.

5A faithful witness will not lie, but a false witness breathes out falsehoods.

6A scoffer seeks Wisdom in vain [for his very attitude blinds and deafens him to it], but knowledge is easy to him who [being teachable] understands.

7Go from the presence of a foolish and self-confident man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.

8The Wisdom [godly Wisdom, which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of [self-confident] fools is to deceive.

9Fools make a mock of sin and sin mocks the fools [who are its victims; a sin offering made by them only mocks them, bringing them disappointment and disfavor], but among the upright there is the favor of God.(A)

10The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.

11The house of the wicked shall be overthrown, but the tent of the upright shall flourish.

12There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.

13Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of mirth is heaviness and grief.

14The backslider in heart [from God and from fearing God] shall be filled with [the fruit of] his own ways, and a good man shall be satisfied with [the fruit of] his ways [with the holy thoughts and actions which his heart prompts and in which he delights].

15The simpleton believes every word he hears, but the prudent man looks and considers well where he is going.

16A wise man suspects danger and cautiously avoids evil, but the fool bears himself insolently and is [presumptuously] confident.

17He who foams up quickly and flies into a passion deals foolishly, and a man of wicked plots and plans is hated.

18The simple acquire folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19The evil men bow before the good, and the wicked [stand suppliantly] at the gates of the [uncompromisingly] righteous.

20The poor is hated even by his own neighbor, but the rich has many friends.

21He who despises his neighbor sins [against God, his fellowman, and himself], but happy (blessed and fortunate) is he who is kind and merciful to the poor.

22Do they not err who devise evil and wander from the way of life? But loving-kindness and mercy, loyalty and faithfulness, shall be to those who devise good.

23In all labor there is profit, but idle talk leads only to poverty.

24The crown of the wise is their wealth of Wisdom, but the foolishness of [self-confident] fools is [nothing but] folly.

25A truthful witness saves lives, but a deceitful witness speaks lies [and endangers lives].

26In the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children shall always have a place of refuge.

27Reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.(B)

28In a multitude of people is the king’s glory, but in a lack of people is the prince’s ruin.

29He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is hasty of spirit exposes and exalts his folly.(C)

30A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.

31He who oppresses the poor reproaches, mocks, and insults his Maker, but he who is kind and merciful to the needy honors Him.(D)

32The wicked is overthrown through his wrongdoing and calamity, but the [consistently] righteous has hope and confidence even in death.

33Wisdom rests [silently] in the mind and heart of him who has understanding, but that which is in the inward part of [self-confident] fools is made known.(E)

34Uprightness and right standing with God (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) elevate a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

35The king’s favor is toward a wise and discreet servant, but his wrath is against him who does shamefully.(F)

* NOTE: Other views expressed by those whose materials has been referenced here, do not necessarily reflect this author’s personal views.

Further Study

Proverb-A-Day: Chapter 13

STUDIES ON PROVERBS Exposition: Proverbs

Proverbs Spiritual Checkup

Proverbs 14:15
Don’t Be Deceived!

Years ago, one of the largest gold dealers in the United States was caught in the act of claiming something that wasn’t true. A court-appointed attorney obtained an order to open the company’s vault to confirm a disputed claim that it contained $2 million worth of the precious metal. When the vault was opened, it appeared to hold a stack of gold bars. But a closer inspection revealed that it contained nothing more than 45 blocks of gold-painted wood. Many innocent investors lost a lot of money.

Our heavenly Father lovingly cautions us in His Word about people in this world who come up with deceptive ventures. The writer of Proverbs told us not to believe everything we hear when we buy or sell something (Prov. 20:14). He told us to seek knowledge, understanding, and good counsel in everything we do (v.18). And because we cannot begin to see as the Lord sees (v.24), we should pray for His wisdom in the decisions we must make. God sees through the lies of deception in a way that we never could. He can steer us clear of good-sounding bad values.

Sometimes we end up learning the hard way. But God cares enough to tell us the right way and to warn us to be careful. —Mart De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Many seek and strive for wisdom
But find folly in disguise;
All too few seek first God’s kingdom–
Only this can make them wise. –Anon.

When we know what’s true we can discern what’s false

Multi Media

The Book of Proverbs as narrated by Max McLean – Proverbs 14

Embrace the Ox Proverbs 14:4

There Is A Way Which Seemeth Right (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25) – as sung by Jack Marti


Matthew Henry

Jamieson, Fausset & Brown

My Reflections

Wise or Foolish

Pop out verses:

1EVERY WISE woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

6A scoffer seeks Wisdom in vain [for his very attitude blinds and deafens him to it], but knowledge is easy to him who [being teachable] understands.

15The simpleton believes every word he hears, but the prudent man looks and considers well where he is going.

33Wisdom rests [silently] in the mind and heart of him who has understanding, but that which is in the inward part of [self-confident] fools is made known.(E)

V1 – I’m a woman, so I thought I should check this verse out.  I can see where this can be true. It seems the traditional role of the wife/mother is to nurture and to “run the household.” Even as a working woman, it still seems to fall on her more. She makes decisions in the home much as a President of a company makes decisions in a business. It isn’t as though she does them without her husband, it just tends to fall in her area more so than the husband/father. Just as there are areas the husband/father takes more of a role in. One commentary says:

“Buildeth” does not have to do so much with the manual erection of physical buildings as with the moral, spiritual and practical teaching and training of members of the household. In a spiritual sense, “to build a house” always means to edify or to build up in the trust, (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 3:10, 12, 14; Jude 20). In a physical sense, “To build or make a house” means to give descendents, (Ex. 1:21; 1 Sam. 2:5; 2 Sam. 7:11, 13, 27, 29; 1 Kings 11:38). However, numerous progeny become a curse if they are not well taught and trained, and a woman’s life is either blessed in her children if they are good, or blighted if they are evil, (1 Tim. 2:15).

So I wondered, where did the children reference come from. But if we look at the word translated as “build” (bânâh) it’s meaning is:

A primitive root; to build (literally and figuratively): – (begin to) build (-er), obtain children, make, repair, set (up), X surely.

Interesting, I wouldn’t have thought that it had anything at all to do with children. I don’t think it is only referring to children, as the meaning has a larger range than that.

V6 – I am shocked at how the Bible speaks about the fool and the scorner seeking but not finding something. It can’t be because it isn’t there, it has to be because it is there, they just don’t see it or get it. After all, the same thing is available to the wise and easily. Maybe that explains why some people are like talking to a wall – they just don’t get it. Based on other scriptures, it may come down to the fact that they are trying to lean on their own understanding. So far we have seen that all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding is gotten through God, it has nothing to do with anything we do, anything we have, or anything we can get from someone else.

V15 – Made me think of something happening right now. It seems that the fool/simpleton always wants to rush into something. They just want to do what they want to do and the want to do it now. Sometimes they believe what they hear way to easily as well. Or, ever notice that some people ask a bunch of different people until they hear what they want to hear? A wise person looks and considers – that takes some time. The word translated as consider here is bı̂yn and it means:

A primitive root; to separate mentally (or distinguish), that is, (generally) understand: – attend, consider, be cunning, diligently, direct, discern, eloquent, feel, inform, instruct, have intelligence, know, look well to, mark, perceive, be prudent, regard, (can) skill (-ful), teach, think, (cause, make to, get, give, have) understand (-ing), view, (deal) wise (-ly, man).

All that require time and thought. If someone is trying to rush us into something or doesn’t want to give us time to look at and consider something carefully, maybe it something we REALLY should take some time to look at and consider. Taking this advice from the Bible very seriously. One commentary write:

“‘Charity,’ indeed ‘believeth all things’ (1 Cor. 13:7); but not things that are palpably untrue. It is the truth which it readily believes. It believes all that it can with a good conscience believe to the credit of another, but not anything more,” [Faussett]. To believe everything that one is told is not an act of faith: it is credulity. God’s Word alone is to be believed wholly and without questions, yet even this, we are commanded, is to be searched and rightly interpreted and discerned. If God, who is incapable of error, expects this of us, how much more must we be prudent in our acceptance of the words of sinful man.

V33 – There’s a God BUT in this one. I like those kind. There are actually a lot of them in the Proverbs. As I read it I thought about how frustrating it can be to deal with wicked/evil/bad people. Yet here we find a BUT GOD thing … but the righteous have hope and confidence EVEN in death. Wow! Isn’t that great.

One commentary writes, “The second half of the verse presents the fact that the fool also has a deep-seated folly which shall in due time be manifested by his outward actions. A sinful nature cannot long be hidden, for, like cancer, it will eventually break out into the open with other symptoms. The fruit is always the proof of the plant.”

So all falsehood comes to the light eventually but if not, the righteous have hope and confidence EVEN in death. John Gill writes in regard to the wicked, “and so denote the everlasting punishment into which he shall go, being driven.” So when we are frustrated by the wicked person, we just have to remember we are only here for a short while, and then eternity.


Lord, Your proverbs have spoken many things tonight. Help me to be a woman who builds her home by teaching and guiding in your ways. But making decisions based on Your knowledge. By speaking correction with Your understanding. And by walking in Your wisdom. I thank you that knowledge and understanding tend to come easy to me, thank you for that gift. Thank you for giving me the thirst to learn, understand, and grow. I know that comes completely from You. Help me to remember to look at and consider the things that I am told. Help me to not be a simpleton nor be led by or pushed by a simpleton. Father, remind me that it is okay for me to want to take time and consider, take apart, understand, and process things before deciding on them. Lord, let me keep my eye on God’s buts – nothing before the “BUT GOD” matters, none of it. Only what God says and what he can do matters. God is a mighty God and nothing stands against him.


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