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Deeper Commentary

Pro 16:1 The plans of the heart within man, and the answer of the tongue, is from Yahweh-
This is the introduction to the section from :1-9 about the heart. Although we are responsible for our hearts, there is this 'other' factor, over and above our mental efforts. This is the work of the Spirit, that element "from Yahweh" over and above our freewill thought control. Note how the tongue and the heart are paralleled- for as the Lord stated specifically, our words reflect our thoughts. And yet the "answer of the tongue is from Yahweh" in that at times we find ourselves saying things which are beyond us or not fully of ourselves. It could be that the last verse in the section, :9, concludes by saying the same- "A man's heart plans his course, but Yahweh directs his steps".

Pro 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but Yahweh weighs the motives-
The Hebrew refers to balancing weights. He doesn't make an automatic judgment, but consciously considers the positives and negatives within our spirits [ruach- "motives", NEV]. He does it this way, although He could do it without any process and instantly, in order to encourage us to do likewise, realizing that our self-examination is mirroring His.

Pro 16:3 Commit your deeds to Yahweh, and your plans shall succeed-
"Commit" is the word used by David in Ps. 37:5 "Commit your way to Yahweh. Trust also in Him, and He will do this".  What He will "do" is to grant the desire of our heart (Ps. 37:4), which is defined in this Psalm as eternally inheriting the land. And this will be achieved by imputing righteousness to us (Ps. 37:6). We are to commit our life's way to Yahweh, knowing that it is His desire to grant us our heart's desire- a place in His Kingdom. So David speaks of committing our life's way to Yahweh and then trusting that He will bring us to His Kingdom; but here Solomon tweaks this into "Commit [s.w.] your works unto Yahweh" (Prov. 16:3). We see here Solomon's works-based approach.

Works and His thoughts are paralleled here (as in Ps. 40:5; 92:5). Thoughts are therefore our "way" of life in practice (Is. 55:7). This is because thought and action are understood as essentially the same; hence the sermon on the mount condemns thoughts of sin as if they are the sin itself.

Pro 16:4 Yahweh has made everything for its own end-- yes, even the wicked for the day of evil-
Nothing is wasted in the Divine ecology. God uses wicked people, and when He brings evil / disaster, He uses them. Sin does not, therefore, achieve its intention- of rebellion against God and the attainment of radical freedom from His purpose.

Pro 16:5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to Yahweh: they shall certainly not be unpunished-
AV "though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished". The idea that God somehow will forget or omit to punish sin is rooted in pride. The punishment will surely come. And even if we are hand in hand with others who are doing the same, this will not take away Divine judgment.

"Abomination" is the common word for idols (e.g. Dt. 7:25,26). Idolatry is here interpreted as things like pride and telling lies (:17). These seven things are the essence of idolatry. There is a recurring nature to them, just as idols got a grip on the mind of the worshipper. Solomon often uses the word for quiet, secret sins, words and the matters of the heart, internal attitudes and judgments (Prov. 11:1,20; 12:22; 13:19; 15:26; 16:5; 17:15; 20:10,23; 24:9; 26:25; 28:9; 29:27). And this of course is the essence of idolatry in our age; this is the practical force to us of all Biblical teaching about idolatry.

An example of indirect reference to Solomon's pride is found in the way the record points a similarity between Paul and Solomon. Each was given wisdom, and each was given a Satan to humble them because of the way wisdom bloats a man's ego. The fact that we have 'the truth' in basic doctrinal terms - plus a fair bit of other Divine wisdom - really will tempt us to be proud. This is the sort of thing we individually and collectively need to exhort ourselves strongly about.  Like us, Solomon knew theoretically the paramount danger of pride;  he lists it as the most fundamental of the seven things God hates (Prov. 6:17 cp. 16:5,18). Indeed, Solomon correctly implies in Prov. 28:25 that pride is an outcome of lack of faith, and this was exactly true in Solomon's case. His lack of faith in the future kingdom led him to be proud.    


Pro 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is atoned for; by the fear of Yahweh men depart from evil-
A radical idea at the time of the Mosaic law, which taught that atonement was through the blood of sacrifice. "Mercy and truth" is a term often associated with the promises to David; Solomon, as David's son, was surely aware of this. The salvation envisaged in those promises was not dependent upon obedience to the Law. And yet quite simply the message may be that we must show true mercy in order to obtain mercy / atonement.

Pro 16:7 When a man’s ways please Yahweh, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him-
A reference to Esau's surprising peace with Jacob (Proverbs is packed with such historical commentary). Yet as they made peace, Jacob was saying that Esau was his Lord, and he was Esau's servant (32:18; 33:14), in designed denial of the Divine prophecy that Esau was to serve Jacob (25:23). Yet at this very time, Jacob's ways pleased Yahweh. See on :9.

Pro 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues with injustice-
This is true, but it is in tension with Solomon's idea that increased wealth comes as a blessing for wisdom. Perhaps LXX is therefore more accurate, speaking of the size of an inheritance: "Better is a small portion...". This may refer to Solomon's tribe of Judah not having the largest portion or inheritance, a source of tension between Judah and Ephraim.

Pro 16:9 A man’s heart plans his course, but Yahweh directs his steps-
It is within the power of choice within each human mind to decide which overall path we take in life; but we are led along that path, step by step, by God. He confirms us in our choice. The same Hebrew word derek, translated "course", is found translated "ways" in :7. If our choice of way or path is pleasing to God, then He will confirm us in it.

David considered his ways and turned his steps / ways towards obedience (Ps. 119:59); Solomon takes this further, using the same phrase, but saying that God directs the ways / steps of the man who considers his ways (s.w. Prov. 16:9). We have here an example of how the Spirit confirms a Godly person in the way they consciously wish to go.

David had earlier understood that for the humble and righteous, God can "prepare their heart" (Ps. 10:17). This is evidence enough that God works directly upon the human heart and psychology, which He does today through the work of His Spirit upon the human spirit. For it is men who must prepare their heart in prayer and relationship toward God (s.w. 2 Chron.  12:14; Job 11:13; Ps. 7:9). But God can also do this for the humble. Hence David later asks God to create in him a 'prepared' heart (s.w. Ps. 51:10). And God heard; for the same phrase is used of how God 'prepared' or (AV) "fixed" / NEV 'made steadfast' his heart (Ps. 57:7; 108:1; 112:7). In allusion to this, Solomon was to later reflect that God can direct or 'prepare' (s.w.) the heart of man, even if he is thinking to direct his steps elsewhere (Prov.  16:9).

Pro 16:10 Inspired judgments are on the lips of the king. He shall not betray his mouth-
Solomon writes inspired truth in Proverbs of course, but it is inevitable that much of what he writes about the need to respect the man who has wisdom, and his superiority over all others, was written with an eye to his own self-justification. He even writes as if the king must be accepted as automatically infallible: “A divine sentence is in the lips of the king; his mouth transgresseth not in judgment… the fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul” (Prov. 16:10; 20:2 AV).   It was really Solomon's self-justification. See on :15.

Pro 16:11 Honest balances and scales are Yahweh’s; all the weights in the bag are His work-
The idea may be that no matter how men make false weights, Yahweh works through that ultimately and controls all the scales. Or the stress may be on the fact that Yahweh is the ultimate judge, weighing all things in perfectly accurate balances and with ultimately true weighting. This then leads on to the comment in :12 that a true king, and Solomon refers to himself, cannot judge wrongly because he is king on God's behalf. His judgment must therefore be accepted as correct, because he is king on behalf of Yahweh, the ultimately true and fair judge. Hence LXX "or the throne of rule is established by righteousness". But this is reasoning which is biased towards Solomon's self justification, and desire to cement himself as the unquestioned moral judge and teacher of Israel- although personally he was so far from it.

Pro 16:12 It is an abomination for kings to do wrong, for the throne is established by righteousness-
This cannot be without reference to the fact that Solomon’s throne was “established”- and he assumed it was thanks to his righteousness, and his father’s good standing with God. Faith and an acceptance of God’s grace in doing this just didn’t come into it. His father’s high parental expectation of him led him to self-assurance, arrogance, an assumption he was right and could never be wrong. And one sees this in many a Christian family.

Pro 16:13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings; they value one who speaks the truth-
As noted on :11, this may be true, but it is Solomon's self justification. He claims to have righteous lips, and therefore to be only interested in truth. But his passion for intellectual truth was related to his mistaken idea that mere possession of Divine truth or "wisdom", as he terms it, of itself justifies a man. And Solomon utterly failed to personalize all his knowledge of truth, and his own way of life was far from what God required- because of his obsession with "truth" for its own sake. And this path to failure has been seen in so many small time Protestant groups likewise obsessed with possession of "truth" for its own sake.

Pro 16:14 The king’s wrath is as a messenger of death, but a wise man will pacify it-
"The wrath of a king is as messengers (Angels) of death" (Prov. 16:14 AV)- as if to say that as the Angels- of evil and death in this case- are zealous to obey the king of Heaven's command, so are the messengers who obey a human king's over-hasty command to kill someone. As God sends out angels of death, as on Passover night, it's a reflection of His decision as King in the court of Heaven. But Solomon decided that his court was as God's court, and therefore his thoughts, emotions and decisions would therefore be somehow Divinely fulfilled, with Angels sent out to fulfil them. He took 'God manifestation' to such a degree that he denied his own humanity, and this destroyed his own person. We see it happening all around us- church pastors, visual artists who think somehow God is speaking through them to the point they see themselves as "Gods in their own right" [as Dali and Picasso have been described as seeing themselves], Kings and political leaders and corporate directors and office managers and working class husbands and obsessive, domineering single mums... who all somehow come to see themselves as little gods with a 'Divine right' to infallible decision making for others. See on :15.

Pro 16:15 In the light of the king’s face is life. His favour is like a cloud of the spring rain-
He says that a wise son makes a glad father (Prov. 10:1), so intent was he on living out his father’s expectations even after David’s death. Because of this he teaches that the King must always be right and be respected, whatever happens (Prov. 16:10-15). He saw himself as the Messianic King and therefore infallible. He again and again failed to realize the conditionality of all God has promised.

Solomon was so sure that he was acceptable with God by reason of being David’s son, that he ended up playing God. He did this by assuming that his feelings were actually those of God. When he says, with reference to himself, that “the wrath of a king is as messengers [angels] of death” (Prov. 16:14), he meant that his feelings of anger would, he thought, be implemented by the Angels. He assumed, with reference to himself, that “a divine sentence is in the lips of the King” (Prov. 16:10). He was infallible, because of who he was, because he ‘knew the truth’, and had been raised in it, and was ‘to the manner born’. So he thought. And thus he ended up appropriating to himself language relevant to God alone: “In the light of the King’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain” (Prov. 16:15).

Pro 16:16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! Yes, to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver-
This commendation of choosing wisdom over wealth could be read as Solomon's self-justification and self-commendation for his own choice of wisdom. The whole section from :10-32 can be read as Solomon's justification of his own judgments.

Often Solomon’s Proverbs bring out the tension between wealth and wisdom, and the need to choose wisdom (Prov. 8:11; 16:16). But whilst he was inspired to write this, and true as it all was, it is inevitable that Solomon said all this with his mind on the way that he had rejected wealth for wisdom when asked by God for his wish. He thought that his right choice in early life [cp. Christian baptism] justified him in later loving wealth rather than wisdom. He taught that wisdom filled the treasuries of the wise (Prov. 8:21 RV)- just as his treasuries were filled with wealth.

 Solomon's father David concluded that the law of God was better than gold and solver (s.w. Ps. 119:72). But as so often in the book of Proverbs, Solomon speaks of the wisdom he was teaching in the same terms as the Bible elsewhere speaks of God's entire revelation. And he saw fit to flout God's law. It was as if his obsession with the wisdom material he was teaching had led him to effectively replace God's laws with his own. He saw the particular Divine truths he had been given as eclipsing the rest of God's revelation; a mistake we see commonly made.

Pro 16:17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil. He who keeps His way preserves his soul-
Removing / turning or departing from evil is a major theme of Proverbs (Prov. 13:19; 14:16; 16:6,17). Solomon uses the same phrase in Ecc. 11:10, but he gives the reason as being because youth is vanity; old age will prove that there is no point in not departing from evil, and going the way of evil, like going the way of righteousness, is all the same vanity. This nihilistic approach is because Solomon failed to discern that the end point of the path of righteousness, departing or removing our foot from the way of evil, is the redemption of the body in God's future Kingdom. But because he failed to understand that, he ends up concluding as he gets older that the choice between evil and good is all the same vain and meaningless. It is the hope of the resurrection of the body, the reality of judgment to come and the future Kingdom of God, which make morality of so much meaning today. We may also note again Solomon's overly simplistic idea that if a man removes himself from evil, all will go wonderfully for him in life. The same phrase is used of how Job removed himself from, or "eschewed", evil; but his life was traumatic and without all the blessings for wisdom which Solomon liked to imagine.   

Pro 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall-
It must be more than ironic that it was Solomon who wrote that before a fall there is pride (Prov. 16:18). Clearly Solomon never considered he could fall, so he never considered the possibility that he was proud.  The words of Dt. 17:16-20 are evidently a prophecy of Solomon. He did multiply silver, gold, horses and wives; his heart was turned away (Dt. 17:16,17= 2 Chron. 9:20).  Yet this passage says that if he studied the Law all his life, this would not  happen, and also his heart would not be "lifted up above his brethren" (Dt. 17: 20).  Solomon's whipping of the people and sense of spiritual and material superiority (Ecc. 1:16; 2:7,9) shows how his heart was  lifted up. Yet Solomon knew the Law, despite his explicit disobedience to the commands concerning wives, horses etc.  But his knowledge of the word didn't bring forth the true humility which it was intended to. This, surely, is what we need exhortation about:  the need to achieve a true humility in this evil, arrogant world. Solomon assumed he wasn't proud;  he assumed the word was having its intended effect upon him. Such spiritual assumption is a major temptation for every child of God.  The fact that Solomon's pride is only inferred is a reflection of the fact that his pride was not publicly apparent, either to himself or to Israel; we learn of it indirectly through Dt. 17:16-20.    

Pro 16:19 It is better to be of a humble spirit with the poor, than to divide the plunder with the proud-
This may appear to contradict Solomon's ideas expressed elsewhere that wealth is a blessing from God, and the poor are poor because of their unwisdom. Perhaps the LXX is therefore correct: "Better is a meek-spirited man with lowliness, than one who divides spoils with the proud". But it can be that quite simply, Solomon's statements in the book of Proverbs do contradict themselves. Some are his direct repetition of Divinely inspired wisdom, whereas others are based upon his own observations and nuanced by his own biases and obsessions; see on Prov. 7:6; 24:32.

Pro 16:20 He who heeds the word finds prosperity; whoever has faith in Yahweh is blessed-
"Has faith" is s.w. "trusted" in Prov. 3:5. Trust in God is indeed predicated upon some form of "understanding" or 'heeding the word', for faith comes by hearing the word of God; although not necessarily of the abstract, academic type which Solomon had in view. Trusting and heeding the word are parallel; to trust in Yahweh requires "understanding" and "heeding" of Him. For faith must have some basis, there are things which need to be believed before "faith" can be faith. Thus David predicates "trust" (s.w.) upon knowing Yahweh's Name, His character (Ps. 9:10). But David's "trust" in God was connected with his trust or belief in God's mercy to him regarding his sins (Ps. 13:5; 21:7; 32:10 s.w.). But Solomon doesn't seem to have had any conscience of personal sin, and so trust in the Yahweh whose lead characteristic is grace and forgiveness was not elicited within him.    

Pro 16:21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent. Pleasantness of the lips promotes instruction-
GNB "A wise, mature person is known for his understanding". The idea seems to be that wisdom is a good thing in this life, because it gets you a good reputation. Constantly, Solomon has the attitude that the blessings of righteousness are just for this life. He has no willingness to accept the perspective offered by the future Kingdom of God. See on :23,24.

Pro 16:22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, but the punishment of fools is their folly-
Solomon uses  the figure of a well of living water to describe spiritual words  and  thinking (Prov. 10:11; 13:14; 14:27; 16:22). Yet this is the  very  figure which he uses concerning his worldly bride (Song of Solomon  4:15).  It could be argued that this typifies the massive  imputation of righteousness  which  the  Lord  Jesus grants to us, His worldly Gentile bride. But I would rather see it as an example of how he chose to justify his love for worldly women by as it were clothing those women in his own mind with the imagery of spirituality. See on Prov. 7:22.

Solomon has little patience with those whom he considers 'foolish'; hence GNB "Wisdom is a fountain of life to the wise, but trying to educate stupid people is a waste of time". This contrasts with the desire of God, and David his father, to bring the simple and unwise to God's saving grace. A simple division of the world into stellar examples of wisdom on one hand, and sinful fools on the other, militates against any efforts at evangelism in order to save those in the 'other' category. And there is no lack of exemplification of this in believing communities.

Pro 16:23 The heart of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning to his lips-
The argument is that if wisdom is possessed, then words will automatically be learned. But whilst this is true in a sense, it also overlooks the fact that intellectual assent to and possession of Divine truths doesn't therefore make all words spoken sweet and blessed (:24). And there is also the sense that the advantage of wisdom is that ones words appear impressive, hence LXX "and on his lips he will wear knowledge". External appearance is still the ultimate outcome for Solomon, even if he says that this appearance comes from wisdom in the heart.

Pro 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones-
This is true, but as explained on :21,23, Solomon's concern seems to be that the wise words of the wise will be attractive and tasty to the hearers; the advantage of wisdom is that others will think well of us. And this is not the correct perspective. By contrast, David emphasized that God's word, and not the words of men, was sweet as the honeycomb to him.

Pro 16:25 There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death-
We all know from our own experience with temptation that we can justify anything. Every way of man can seem right in his own eyes because of this feature of our nature (Prov. 14:12; 16:25; 21:2). The truth of this statement demonstrates the error of the humanistic approach of 'follow your heart', 'do what feels good and right to you'. There must be the influence of God's word to put us on the path to life.

Pro 16:26 The appetite of the labouring man labours for him; for his mouth urges him on-
This presents people as automatons, their mouth or need to eat makes them labour, and they are merely slaves to their own basic desires. But this is all part of the human condition described in Genesis; in the sweat of our face man must eat bread. And yet Solomon seems to find some fault in this, as if his wisdom can somehow lift man above it. He then goes on in the next verses to condemn the tongue, the words which come out of the mouth. So perhaps Solomon is arguing that the tongue must be controlled, and we are not to merely drift through life in slavery to our natural thoughts and feelings, in the way that seems right to us (:25) in that it is what we naturally feel the need to do and be.  

Pro 16:27 A worthless man devises mischief; his speech is like a scorching fire-
True as the Proverbs are which condemn "a worthless / wicked person" (Prov. 6:12; 16:27; 19:28), again we have a subtext of Solomon seeking to justify himself and his father David, and to criticize the various competitors to Solomon's throne. "A worthless person" is the term used for Nabal (1 Sam. 25:17), those in David's camp who were not fully supportive of David (1 Sam. 30:22), Sheba who plotted to overthrow the Davidic line as king (2 Sam. 20:1), and particularly of those who wanted to overthrow Solomon as king (2 Chron. 13:7).

Most people were illiterate, and so the book of Proverbs was designed to be memorized.  There are many patterns in the book which depend upon the alliteration and rhyming of words and ideas to enable memorization. This was typical of wisdom literature of the time. There are similar initial syllables of words and verses, or beginning with the same letter. There's much word play, similar sounds repeat between verses if read out loud. Thus the root 'sdq' [righteousness] occurs in various words which connect various proverbs which appear unrelated to each other in English translation. These sound patterns form a chain which enables memorization. Thus Prov. 16:27-29 all begin with the word ish, 'a man'. Catchwords link adjacent verses.

Pro 16:28 A perverse man stirs up strife, a gossiper separates close friends-
Solomon rightly condemns gossip and the stirring up of divisions. But he is writing up his Divinely given wisdom at the start of his reign, where there were various groups of opposition to him. These groupings had all arisen from the divisions which arose after his parents' sin with each other; they were a consequence for David's sin, which Nathan had prophesied. Inevitably, David's behaviour had invited all manner of gossip and strife. But Solomon seems to blame this on the gossipers, and carefully considers they alone are guilty; for he is ever glorifying and whitewashing his father David.

Pro 16:29 A man of violence entices his neighbour, and leads him in a way that is not good-
He may specifically have Saul in view (David uses the term "violent man" about him in Ps. 18:48; 140:1). Solomon's idea of avoiding sin was in resisting the enticement of very sinful people. He pays no attention to the heart, whereas the Biblical message is always that sin is to be avoided in the heart. Spiritual mindedness, rather than mere disassociation from sinners, is of the essence. Dt. 11:16 warns that our heart should not be enticed (s.w.); but Solomon sees enticement as merely from very sinful individuals.

The implication is that God will lead us in the way which is good. One cannot help notice the great stress placed by Solomon on teaching his children, as David had taught him. It could be that there was too much emphasis on theory, thinking that by merely teaching the Law, the children would turn out well. But Dt. 6:1-7 taught that Israel must “do” the commandments of the Lord “so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes… these words… you shall teach them diligently to your sons”. It was by the parents both doing and teaching the Law that their children would “do” it too. Behaviour patterns are learnt by observation and experience of parents, not by mere theoretical inculcation. So could it not be that there is a lesson here for us- that the diligent teaching of the Law, as David did to Solomon and as Solomon so proudly did to his children, actually has no lasting effect unless that Law is lived out in a daily life. It seems to me that the Western Christian attitude and program for child-rearing is based very much on the assumption that both parents are believers, marry in their 20s, mother raises the kids and father brings in the money, with the result that the children will in due time also be baptized and repeat the cycle. This is all well and good. But the reality is that only a small percentage of the population fits the traditional nuclear family profile. Our style of Sunday School material and teaching needs to be appropriate to this reality, if we seek to win this world for Christ rather than just reproduce within the existing Western community. The brethren and sisters of our community and ecclesias must be the de facto spiritual parents of many of our children. Mere doctrinal teaching alone is not enough- it must be seen regularly and meaningfully and relevantly to be lived out in transformed lives. Solomon’s Proverbs, although inspired by God, have so many similarities with the Psalms of his father David. It seems to me that although he was of course inspired in writing Proverbs, he chose to articulate the wisdom given him in terms which his father had used in his songs, prayers and Psalms. Thus when Solomon teaches that God must be allowed to establish or direct our way (Prov. 4:26; 16:29), he is using the same Hebrew words as in Ps. 37:23 and Ps. 119:5, when David says the same. It’s as if he was given God’s truth and yet he never quite made it his very own- he still articulated it in terms of the faith of his fathers. And thus he lost it in the end. 

Pro 16:30 One who winks his eyes to plot perversities, one who compresses his lips, is bent on evil-
Solomon likely has in view his half brother Absalom, and the other contenders for Solomon's thrown.

Pro 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is attained by a life of righteousness-
The idea may be if it is attained by a good life; for as the book of Job teaches, gray hair is far from always a sign of wisdom. We appear to have a series of allusions here in :27-33 to incidents in the life of David. The reference here would be to David's command to Solomon to bring down the gray hair of Shimei to the grave with blood (1 Kings 2:9).

Pro 16:32 One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; one who rules his spirit, than he who takes a city-
This may allude to the hot headed anger of Joab and the "sons of Zeruiah", who had opposed Solomon and sought the throne for themselves towards the end of David's life. It was Joab who had taken the citadel of Zion and also the city of Rabbah (2 Sam. 12:26), but this is dismissed by Solomon as cancelled out, as it were, by his hot headed lack of mental self control. The allusion is also to Samson.

Pro 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from Yahweh
The previous verses have all alluded to incidents in the life of David, with Solomon using these statements of wisdom to thereby justify David and the line of succession through Solomon. The majority of Biblical references to "the lot" are to the usage of this system in deciding inheritance portions within the land of Israel. The "lot" of Solomon's tribe, Judah, was a cause of contention with Ephraim (Is. 11:13), especially regarding the vexed issue of into whose lot Jerusalem fell. Solomon may be urging for all contention to cease over this, and to just accept the position of Judah and Jerusalem, because he says that Yahweh had worked through the disposing of the lots (Prov. 16:33; 18:18).