Proverbs 22:17–29 (NKJV)

17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge;

18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips,

19 So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you.

20 Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge,

21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?

22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;

23 For the Lord will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.

24 Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go,

25 Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.

26 Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, One of those who is surety for debts;

27 If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take away your bed from under you?

28 Do not remove the ancient landmark Which your fathers have set.

29 Do you see a man who excels in his work?  He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.

Verses 17 – 21 contain an admonition to hear, embrace, and even internalize the wisdom of God.  The writer, presumably Solomon, praises the excellence and truth of that wisdom.  He emphasized the need for that wisdom strongly.  Four additional wise discussions follow.  The first discusses being kind to the poor.  The second says not to make friends with an angry man.  The third proverb warns against borrowing money or co-signing a loan.  The fourth addresses the need for hard work and excellence in business dealings.  This passage looks at relationships with the poor, the angry, and the needy.  It also addresses being a good, honest businessman.  Relationships are important to God, and should be handled with wisdom and compassion.  Live well!

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