Proverbs 29

Proverbs 29

29   He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
    will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
  When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
    but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
  He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
    but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
  By justice a king builds up the land,
    but he who exacts gifts tears it down.
  A man who flatters his neighbor
    spreads a net for his feet.
  An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
    but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
  A righteous man knows the rights of the poor;
    a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
  Scoffers set a city aflame,
    but the wise turn away wrath.
  If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
    the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
  Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
    and seek the life of the upright.
  A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
    but a wise man quietly holds it back.
  If a ruler listens to falsehood,
    all his officials will be wicked.
  The poor man and the oppressor meet together;
    the LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
  If a king faithfully judges the poor,
    his throne will be established forever.
  The rod and reproof give wisdom,
    but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
  When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
    but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
  Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
    he will give delight to your heart.
  Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
    but blessed is he who keeps the law.
  By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
    for though he understands, he will not respond.
  Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
    There is more hope for a fool than for him.
  Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
    will in the end find him his heir.
  A man of wrath stirs up strife,
    and one given to anger causes much transgression.
  One’s pride will bring him low,
    but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
  The partner of a thief hates his own life;
    he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
  The fear of man lays a snare,
    but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.
  Many seek the face of a ruler,
    but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.
  An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
    but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.


Proverbs 29 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

“Bloodthirsty men hate an honest person, but the upright care about him.”

Proverbs 29:10 HCSB 

“When the wicked increase, rebellion increases, but the righteous will see their downfall.”

Proverbs 29:16 HCSB 

“An unjust man is detestable to the righteous, and one whose way is upright is detestable to the wicked.”

Proverbs 29:27 HCSB 

This chapter is full of verses contrasting good with evil.

In verse 10, we read of the increasing tension between those who seek to cause hate, destruction and bloodshed, and those who are upright, righteous followers of God’s ways. Take note that these “men of bloodshed” are not rebuked for refusing to be all-inclusive. The idea of tolerance is very popular these days. They are rebuked for hating God’s ways and hating God’s people.

Verse 16 highlights the fall that takes places when the wicked get their way. This is especially true for leaders. When a wicked person is put into a position of leadership, transgression increases. In my opinion, the most difficult aspect of watching a wicked person on a rampage is wrestling with the tension of God’s patience. Often, we want to see Him do more in the situation.

Like Jonah, we want to see God’s wrath poured out on Nineveh. We desire for conniving people to be supernaturally disarmed in this life. Verse 16 promises that the righteous will see the downfall of their own evil. This requires an insane amount of trust because we may not see that downfall in our lifetime.

Verse 27 further illustrates the point made in verse 10. Are we surprised when people who hate God also hate us? Jesus told us in this life we will have trouble. Just as Proverbs reminds us in chapter 25, we are to love our enemies and in doing so, will reap hot coals on their heads. Love them, pray for them, and do not be surprised when persecution comes. Trust that God will right every wrong. Believe that His love never fails.

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