Study Guide

Proverbs Chapter 15

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Chapter 15

Speak Softly (and Your Tongue will Turn into a Tree, or Something)

  • Speaking softly helps calm the wrath of other people, and if your tongue is gentle, it's "a tree of life."
  • God watches over everything, says the author, measuring it all up.
  • Fools don't listen to their parents, and end up having money problems. Their sacrifices don't please God—but the prayers of the righteous do.
  • Yet again—rebukes are good for you. Deal with it, says the author.
  • God can see into all human hearts, in addition to the underworld.
  • Gladness of heart is good, sadness is bad (this is maybe another proverb for the "obvious" file).
  • Cheerfulness is like a continual feast—you create your own enjoyment.
  • It's better not to have too much and still fear God than to be overloaded with treasure and trouble. Similarly it's better to have love and eat a simple meal of vegetables than to eat a meaty feast while in a mood of hatred.

The Usual Culprits 

  • Again, the writer attacks familiar targets: a quick temper, laziness, evil plans, foolish children, greed, a lack of wise advisors. Conversely, he-she praises their opposites.
  • In line with the general policy of repeating stuff, the book again notes how righteousness and wisdom lead upward away from Sheol (the underworld).
  • Righteous people think before they speak, while the wicked just blabber out evil things.
  • The "light of the eyes" (probably witnessing good things—or else something like Cyclops from X-Men) refreshes the heart, and good news brings life back to the body.
  • The author repeats that one should listen to instruction and that fearing God is the beginning of wisdom.

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