Wisdom from the Sages, Conclusion

There is an interesting and provocative group of principles or precepts in Proverbs 22:22-24:22; Scripture simply calls them “The Thirty Sayings.” It is implied that to live them we must be mature and settled in faith and practice. These sayings are introduced in Proverbs 22:17-21. “Pay close attention to the words of the wise; take heed to what they teach you. Align your thoughts with their instructions. True pleasure will result by learning and loving what they teach you. In your daily communication give bold expression to what you learn. This sound knowledge confirms your trust in God, and makes you accountable to Him.”

What follows is a creative statement/summary of each of the thirty sayings:

  1. Do not passively overlook or actively oppress those in need. (22:22-23)
  2. Association with one of angry disposition is addictive. (22:24-25)
  3. Debt is dangerous, demeaning, and destructive. (22:26-27)
  4. Parameters usually have a purpose. (22:28)
  5. Skillful labor usually leads to advancement and admiration. (22:29)
  6. Exercise restraint or refusal of seductive schemes. (23:1-3)
  7. Pursue wisdom before wealth. (23:4-5)
  8. Feigned generosity is subtle greed. (23:6-8)
  9. Fools despise words of wisdom. (23:9)
  10. God protects and preserves the helpless. (23:10-11)
  11. Listen to instruction and love knowledge. (23:12)
  12. Discipline now delivers later. (23:13-14)
  13. Appropriate correction influences wise choices. (23:15-16)
  14. Fear of the Lord endures forever. (23:17-18)
  15. Choose ease and excess or discipline and depth. (23:19-21)
  16. Respect for authority results in authoritative response. (23:22-25)
  17. Remember the inescapability of immorality. (23:26-28)
  18. There is delirium and distortion in drunkenness. (23:29-35)
  19. Evil companions corrupt. (24:1-2)
  20. First the foundation, eventually the furnishings. (24:3-4)
  21. There is futility in waging war without wise counsel. (24:5-6)
  22. Fools lack intelligence about the real issues. (24:7)
  23. Devising foolishness is folly. (24:8-9)
  24. Trouble tests tenacity. (24:10)
  25. Do not reason your way out of rescuing the helpless. (24:11-12)
  26. Like honey, wisdom yields a sweet result – hope. (24:13-14)
  27. The righteous are resilient. (24:15-16)
  28. Empathize with fallen enemies. (24:17-18)
  29. Do not envy evildoers. (24:19-20)
  30. Acclimate to authority. (24:21-22)