Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024
the Fourth Week after Easter
We are taking food to Ukrainians still living near the front lines. You can help by getting your church involved.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 13

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-4

The Physical Body of Man: Diligence This section places emphasis upon man’s physical body. The heart of man has been emphasized in Proverbs 12:1-12 and the mind has been emphasized in Proverbs 12:13 to Proverbs 13:5. We have passed a similar group of proverbs that placed emphasis upon man’s physical body in Proverbs 10:27 to Proverbs 11:22. However, these verses focused upon a long life. The proverbs found in Proverbs 12:24 to Proverbs 13:4 will focus upon diligence.

Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.

Proverbs 12:24 “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule” Illustration - Presidents and leaders of countries are generally found to be hard-working men. The diligent man meets success in life.

Proverbs 12:24 “but the slothful shall be under tribute” Comments - The slothful man never has or keeps success in his life, but rather, he is a servant and in debt to those around him.

Proverbs 12:26 The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.

Proverbs 12:26 “but the way of the wicked seduceth them” Comments - The NKJV reads, “For the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Note 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

Proverbs 12:27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

Proverbs 12:27 “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting” Illustration - While hunting in the woods as a child with my brothers and father, we have come across game animals that have been shot and left to rot on the ground. There is a saying among hunters not to ever kill what you can or will not eat, or do not kill animals for waste. The sluggard is too lazy to dress and roast the game which he has enjoyed hunting. He is also a poor steward of the things God gives him.

Proverbs 12:27 “but the substance of a diligent man is precious” Comments - He is a good steward of the things that God gives him. He takes care of material things and is gracious to God for them. He sees that the things that God has given to him are precious. In addition, the peers of a diligent man perceive that his goods are precious. For example, I was in the office of a travel agent today in order to purchase tickets for a trip (May 31, 2004). I was referred to use a particular person in a particular travel agency in town. When my wife and I arrived at their office, we immediately recognized one very busy and organized and well dressed individual. We immediately knew that this was the person that was recommended to us as a good travel agent to work with. All other employees in the office looked to him for advice. Even the boss walked in and proudly walked by him. This is because everyone in the office perceived that this man’s time, counsel and work was the most important in the office. Not only did this diligent man value his time and use it wisely, but all of his co-workers and his boss perceived the same value in his work.

Proverbs 12:27 Practical Application Proverbs 12:27 speaks of stewardship. God does not always give to us everything that we want immediately. We must labor and be found faithful before God will entrust us with His blessings and riches (note how Paul talks about this faithfulness in 1 Timothy 1:12). Otherwise, something easily gained is often despised. For example, I spent many years working and repairing homes and apartments. My tools became very precious to me. I had worked hard to purchase each one of them. I have seen teenagers who were given new cars and possessions by their wealthy parents just to have them wrecked and damages by undisciplined and slothful behaviour.

1 Timothy 1:12, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”

God is a good steward of His blessings and He gives them to us as we work to be faithful with what He has already given to us.

Spiritual Application - After having watched Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ (released 2004) today for the first time, I was overwhelmed, as were all who have seen this drama of Jesus’ suffering and death, of the pain He suffered at the hands of cruel men. How much does He now have compassion upon us when we are tempted into sin. He understands every ounce of emotions and temptation that we endure. He is willing to have compassion upon us when we fall and stumble for the price He paid through His suffering was incredible. The amount of effort and sacrifice He endured to purchase us as His possession will take eternity to be fully told to us. Remember in Proverbs 12:27 how we are told that to a diligent man his substance is precious. He was diligent to purchase us through His shed blood, so how much more precious we are to Him as His purchased possession.

Verses 1-25

Justification: The Journey to a Place of Rest (Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 29:27 ) In Proverbs 10-29 we find a new emphasis regarding our spiritual journey in life. We have heard the call of wisdom in the first nine chapters. Now we have to make the choice to follow the path of wisdom, or the path of the fool. It is our decision to pursue wisdom that will justify us before God. Thus, the underlying theme of Proverbs 10-29 is our justification before God the Father, while the final chapter brings us to a place of rest, which is the destination for man’s spiritual journey in life.

Throughout Proverbs 10-29 we encounter hundreds of individual proverbs that appear to have no organized arrangement in which they are presented us. This is because in the journey of life, our encounters with the wise man and the fool appear to come in the same random order. However, God has placed all things in His divine order. When we read individual proverbs, they appear to be randomly assembled, but if we will step back and look at them as a whole or in groups, we can see an order. These proverbs are clearly grouped together by themes, such as a pure heart, the tongue, a long life, and wealth. In the same way, the circumstances that we face in our daily lives appear to have no particular order. We see very little of God’s hand in our lives in a single day, but when we step back and look as our lives over the months or years, we very clearly see God’s sovereign hand at working in our lives. We recognize that He is divinely orchestrating His purpose and plan for our lives. This is the way that the verses in the book of Proverbs are arranged.

We have seen that Proverbs 1-9, about one third of the book, is man’s call to follow the path of wisdom. Thus, about one third of the book of Proverbs is an introduction, or a preparation, for the rest of this book. Why is that so? We know that Solomon was chosen to be the successor to the throne at his birth. Therefore, he received many years of training under King David for this great task. Even today, we spent the first twenty years of our lives going to school and training for a profession, which is about one third of our lives. We spend the next two thirds of our lives building upon these twenty years of preparation. In our lives, we spend the first twenty years in preparation, the next twenty years sowing, and the last twenty years reaping what we have sown. This is why these years seem to be turning points in many people's lives. This was the pattern in King Solomon's life of preparation and growing in wisdom, and this is the pattern found in the book of Proverbs. It is important to note that a season of preparation is something that God has designed and instituted in the human life. He created every human being with the capacity to be shaped and molded through a training process. We often use the term “brainwashing” in a negative sense to refer to a person who has been programmed to think in a negative way; but proper training also reprograms the mind and prepares an individual for the tasks of life. Our human make-up of the spirit, soul, and body were designed to receive training before practical application and abundant living can be achieved.

Although we will study these proverbs, we will find ourselves falling short of fulfilling them in our everyday lives. None of us has walked flawlessly in obedience to any single proverb. Therefore, each individual proverb reveals God’s standard of righteousness, pointing us to Jesus, who alone fulfilled this divine standard in our behalf. In this sense, this collection of proverbs is a collection of redemptive proverbs, revealing our need for a Redeemer, who alone fulfilled every proverb.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Justification: Solomon’s First Collection Proverbs 10:1 to Proverbs 22:16

2. Divine Service: Sayings of the Wise Proverbs 22:17 to Proverbs 24:34

3. Perseverance: Solomon's Second Collection by Hezekiah Proverbs 25:1 to Proverbs 29:27

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 13". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/proverbs-13.html. 2013.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile