Proverbs 29

1 A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.

God is patient, and when He reproves, He starts out gently. However, if we continue to ignore His reproofs, then He will take drastic action. You can see this in how He handled Pharaoh through Moses.

We should therefore learn to be sensitive to God’s reproof, and repent at the earliest.

2 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan.

When you do what is right, it is good for those who serve under you, because it greatly benefits them as well as you. However, when you do what is wrong, the people under you are exploited so that you may gain, and the people see this, and groan.

By carefully observing whether the people are rejoicing or groaning you can discern whether the person in charge is righteous or wicked, or whether the people are righteous or wicked. I say the latter, because the wicked hate to serve under the righteous, but they love to serve under the wicked because, under a wicked ruler, the wicked can be wicked and thrive.

3 A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.

An important part of being wise is being able to control your sexual impulses. You dad will be glad when he sees you do that.

4 The king gives stability to the land by justice, but a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

Justice is important because it forces people to keep the law or face punishment. When violators are punished, people keep the law, and then everyone can expect fairness, and are motivated to work hard and earn much, because they know that they can keep what they earn, rather than have it stolen by an evil person who steals because he knows that he can get away with it.

On the flip side, if someone can do wrong and get away with it by bribing the person in power, then people are demotivated to work hard. This causes instability in the land, and an unstable land cannot thrive and produce much.

For these reasons, having a righteous person in charge is very important.

5 A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps.

When a person tells you how wonderful you are, all too often, and exaggerates, that’s flattery. They want something from you, and are attempting to put you in a state where you will willingly give it to them.

How do your respond to flattery? Are you naïve enough that you swallow every word of flattery directed at you, or are you shrewd enough to know that the flatterer is flattering you because he wants something from you?

If you don’t praise your children for the good in them, they become very susceptible to flattery.

6 By transgression an evil man is ensnared, but the righteous sings and rejoices.

There are many traps in life, and the way that people fall into them is by doing something wrong in the first place.

For example, if you go to a party where drugs are used, you yourself may become a drug addict, even though you never intended to become one when you went to the first such party.

For another example, if you come home late at night after visiting a bar, don’t be surprised if you get hit by a drunk driver on the way back. Why stay out late at night in the first place?

7 The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, the wicked does not understand such concern.

Are you someone who is happy as long as you are getting your food and sleep and sex? Is the scope of your thinking only limited to your well-being?

The righteous are not like that – when they see someone else being taken advantage of, the step up to do what they can to help.

In our context, a poor person is one who is unable to defend his rights.

8 Scorners set a city aflame, but wise men turn away anger.

There are people who have a good understanding of what makes others angry. We all should acquire such understanding. What we do with that knowledge determines whether we are wise or foolish.

If you use that knowledge to make others angry so that you can manipulate them then you are evil. However, if you use that knowledge to turn away the anger of people then you are wise.

9 When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.

Sometimes it appears that everyone has an opinion on everything. However, not everyone’s opinion is well-thought out and well-informed. If you come across a person who has nothing sensible to say, you’ll find that instead of being quiet, he’ll either get angry with you, or he’ll just laugh at what you say and try to make it appear that you are speaking nonsense, without giving any sound reason. You can’t discuss anything of value with such people, and you just need to walk away from the situation.

10 Men of bloodshed hate the blameless, but the upright are concerned for his life.

A blameless person is someone who makes it a habit of fixing his failures. If he says something wrong, he apologizes. If he stole something from a person, an organization, or the government, he returns it, with interest.

People who don’t like to fix their mess don’t like the blameless because it reminds them of how guilty they are. But people who do like to fix their mess will admire and protect the blameless.

11 A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.

What do you do when things don’t turn out quite the way you expected it to? Do you ‘let loose’?

If your first step is to lose your temper and open your mouth and say something senseless, you are a fool. It doesn’t matter how high your IQ is, and what all your accomplishments are.

Why is there wisdom in holding back your temper? One, when you grumble about things that don’t go your way you are accusing God if incompetence! Do you really want to do that? Two, why should things go your way? Are you the king of his universe?

In humility, when we realize that we are nobody great, then we understand that it is improper for things to go our way. It is not our will that has to be done, but God’s.

12 If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, all his ministers become wicked.

People tend to follow their leader in wickedness. That is why it is important to get out of a situation where the leader is wicked as fast as you can.

13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: the LORD gives light to the eyes of both.

Don’t trouble anyone, because everyone is a creation of God, and when you trouble someone you are messing with something that belongs to God, and God will hold you accountable for that.

14 If a king judges the poor with truth, his throne will be established forever.

The way a person deals with the poor can tell us a lot about that person. It is easier to take advantage of a poor person, and evil people do it because they can because they don’t have any principles. However, good people don’t do it because they have principles.

To deal with the poor with truth is to relate to them, not based on the fact that you can take advantage of them due to their poverty allowing you to get away with it, but based solely on whether they are right or wrong.

15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. 16 the wicked increase, transgression increases; but the righteous will see their fall. 17 Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; he will also delight your soul.

As mere human beings, it is very necessary and important for us to learn and understand that most of the time we will not get our own way. If that lesson is not learned as a child, it becomes a lot more difficult to learn it later. That is why, it is important to teach this lesson to our kids when they are very young. We use the rod (i.e. physical discipline) and reproof (i.e. words) to achieve that.

If you avoid teaching your children that lesson, then they will end up wicked, and they will do a lot of wrong. They will end up a failure.

18 Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.

If you are in charge of people, you need to give them a vision i.e. something to shoot for. You need to tell them what is okay to do, and what isn’t – sort of lay down the law, so to speak. Otherwise, they will do whatever they see fit, and it will be hard to restrain them.

19 A slave will not be instructed by words alone; for though he understands, there will be no response.

While you may use reproof and the rod as your tools to get people to do what is right, just realize that with some people reproof only doesn’t work, and the rod is necessary too.

20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

If you want to be wise, one of the most important things to master is your tongue.

If you are in the habit of saying whatever comes to your mind, without first allowing it to pass through a filter in your mind that decides whether to say it or not, and if you must say it, how best to say it, then you are hasty in your words. According to this verse, such a person is in a worse state than the biggest fool!

When in doubt about whether you are saying something worth saying, it is best to not say anything.

If you must say something, ask whether it will help the other person.

If you are just saying something to relieve some internal pressure within you, perhaps you shouldn’t say it.

If you are speaking because you feel that life was unfair to you, you may want to remain silent.

If you are speaking out of a sense of superiority or inferiority, you may want to remain silent.

There are many such filters…

21 He who pampers his slave from childhood will in the end find him to be a son.

If you treat people well, they will be loyal to you – as loyal as someone of your own family. So then, make it a habit to want the best for others, and treat them well.

22 An angry man stirs up strife, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.

When you are upset, or angry, or not content, the words that come from you will most likely not be words of wisdom. These emotions are like warning flags to you, telling you that this is the time to keep your mouth shut.

23 A man's pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.

God opposes the proud, and if you are proud, you will hurt yourself in umpteen different ways.

If you want to consistently do something of eternal value, learn to walk in humility.

24 He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life; he hears the oath but tells nothing.

If you protect someone who has done evil, you do yourself harm. Don’t protect an evil doer, especially when his actions hurt someone else.

25 The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

If you live your life to make other people happy you will end up doing things that harm you eternally. You should live in a way that pleases God, and based on God’s word rather than based on what human beings say.

26 Many seek the ruler's favor, but justice for man comes from the LORD.

When someone wrongs you, and won’t acknowledge it when you confront them, don’t think that you can solve the problem by going to an earthly authority. You must understand that even if the earthly authority helped you, it was God who orchestrated your justice. Therefore, acknowledge God and be thankful to Him when you are helped.

27 An unjust man is abominable to the righteous, and he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.

There is no middle ground between bad and good people. Bad people are disgusted by good people and good people are disgusted by bad people. When you marry, marry one of your own kind. If you do any joint venture, do it with one of your own kind. It is a mistake for a good person to think that he or she will be able to change the bad person after marriage. I have never seen it happen.

Copyright (c) 2007-2026, Rosario (Ross) D'Souza. All Rights Reserved
Contact us