Study Guide

Proverbs Chapter 13

Chapter 13

Get Fulfilled

  • This chapter goes through some more of the same advice: wise children don't mind discipline; stupid scoffers do.
  • The writer attacks aimless blabbering, uncurbed appetites, and falsehood.
  • Some people pretend to be rich, but are in reality poor, while people who pretend to be poor or seem to be are often truly rich (you can take that literally, metaphorically—as in spiritually or emotionally poor—or both).
  • Wealth, however, can cause you difficulties ("Mo money, mo problems," as Biggie Smalls said), while being poor or having less can leave you content with simplicity.
  • Then again, if you want to pursue wealth, do it gradually and it will be more likely to play out.
  • If you're stuck hoping for something, your heart will be sick, but if you go ahead and fulfill your desire (whatever it is), you'll be content—it'll be a tree of life.

Go Ahead—Beat Your Kids (Says Proverbs, Not Us) 

  • The author says you should follow the commandments, listen to the wise, be clever, have good sense, and be a faithful messenger (if you happen to be a messenger).
  • Failing to follow these instructions will lead to poverty and disgrace, but fools hate to turn away from their evil deeds.
  • Sticking with the wise means you too are wise—hanging out with fools makes you a fool (this sounds like some sort of DARE program thing from ancient times).
  • The earnings of the righteous will go to their children, but sinners' wealth will end up being inherited by the righteous.
  • Injustice takes food from the fields of the poor, even if they're plentiful.
  • Controversy alert: Proverbs 13:24 is one of the most notorious passages in the book. If you "spare the rod" (don't hit your kids), you're doing them a disservice. So, beat away—"discipline" them.
  • Also, the righteous end up having enough food, while the wicked will eventually go hungry.

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