Part 3: Special topics
B1 Proverbs 30
C1 The writer: Proverbs 30:1 NLT The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God.
D1 Statements comparing God’s wisdom and Agur’s.
E1 Agur confesses his ignorance: Proverbs 30:2-3 NLT I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.
E2 Agur has some questions that he cannot answer, so he asks God: Proverbs 30:2-3 NLT I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.
D2 Statements regarding what God says: Proverbs 30:5-6 NLT Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection. Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
D3 Statements of Agur’s prayer: Proverbs 30:7-9 NLT O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name.
D4 Statements that are foolish and evil: Proverbs 30:7-9 NLT O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name.
D5 Statements regarding those who have an evil attitude, heart, and actions:
E1 What they say: Proverbs 30:10-14 NLT Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it. Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother. They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed. They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances. They have teeth like swords and fangs like knives. They devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among humanity.
E2 What they crave: Proverbs 30:15-17 NLT The leech has two suckers that cry out, "More, more!" There are three things that are never satisfied--no, four that never say, "Enough!": the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire. The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother's instructions will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.
D6 Statements of things he does not understand: Proverbs 30:18-19 NLT There are three things that amaze me--no, four things that I don't understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.
D7 Statement of a seared conscious: Proverbs 30:20 NLT An adulterous woman consumes a man, then wipes her mouth and says, "What's wrong with that?"
D8 Statements of things hard to endure: Proverbs 30:21-23 NLT There are three things that make the earth tremble--no, four it cannot endure: a slave who becomes a king, an overbearing fool who prospers, a bitter woman who finally gets a husband, a servant girl who supplants her mistress.
D9 Statements regarding illustrations of wise actions: Proverbs 30:24-28 NLT There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise: Ants--they aren't strong, but they store up food all summer. Hyraxes--they aren't powerful, but they make their homes among the rocks. Locusts--they have no king, but they march in formation. Lizards--they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings' palaces.
D10 Statements regarding four things that are impressive to watch as they walk: Proverbs 30:24-28 NLT There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise: Ants--they aren't strong, but they store up food all summer. Hyraxes--they aren't powerful, but they make their homes among the rocks. Locusts--they have no king, but they march in formation. Lizards--they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings' palaces.
D11 Statement regarding a need for repentance: Proverbs 30:32-33 NLT If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil, cover your mouth in shame. As the beating of cream yields butter and striking the nose causes bleeding, so stirring up anger causes quarrels.
B2 Proverbs 31
C1 The writer: Proverbs 31:1 NLT The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.
C2 The Bridgeway Bible Commentary notes: King Lemuel was probably a non-Israelite from a neighbouring nation, but his mother appears to have been a God-fearing woman who vowed her son to God (31:1-2). The main desire of some kings was to get themselves as much pleasure as possible, chiefly through women and wine. Lemuel is warned that such interests distract a king from his proper duties and result in lawlessness and injustice (3-5). Strong drink deadens pain and dulls the mind. Therefore, among the people who seek after it are those whose distress is so great that life seems to have no more hope for them. The king should not seek after it, for he must have a clear mind at all times, so that he can judge with justice and defend the downtrodden (6-9).
C3 The king is warned to avoid spending his life on women and alcohol. These things ruin kings and in turn ruins nations.
C4 The rest of Proverbs 31 is about this wonderful woman. The point is: Why should the king have many women when he could have one wonderful wife.
C5 Some interpret this passage as patriarchal and amounts to nothing but the wife being a slave who meets all her hellish husband’s needs and wants. This interpretation is very simplistic and wrong.
D1 She is a delegator. She does not do all the work. She is a manager who has the maidservants to do the work. She delegates the works and makes sure it is done.
E1 Proverbs 31:15 NLT She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls.
E2 Another translation: Proverbs 31:15 GNB She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and to tell her servant women what to do.
E3 Another translation: Proverbs 31:15 NRSV She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls.
E4 I understand this verse to teach
F1 She plans the menu and her maidservants prepare the meals.
F2 She plans the day for the maidservants whether working the fields, sewing, making cloth, etc.
D2 She buys, sells, invests and many other tasks. Proverbs 31:16, 18 NLT She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. ... She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
D3 Even though the passage states, “She did this and that,” this means she gets the credit as the manager who delegates.
C6 Having worked with women for most of my career (I’m a nurse), I can testify to the hard work, managing time and family, organizing, etc. I’m simply amazed at all my wife does efficiently, too.
C7 I shouldn’t have to mention that the husband must help with raising the children, cleaning the house, washing dishes, changing diapers, too. I tire of men with 17 inch biceps who are scared to death to get their hands dirty. I shoveled manure in the barn, cleaned old folk, the sick, the children, and whatever else I could do to help. The children worked too. Proverbs 18:9 NLT A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.
Proverbs 31:30-31 NLT Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
Ephesians 5:28-29 NLT In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.