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Pro 24:1  Don’t be envious of evil men; neither desire to be with them-
See on :19. Solomon has much to say about the evil of envy (e.g. Prov. 14:30; 23:17; 24:1,19; 27:4). But true as his condemnations of envy are, he surely has in mind the way that Ephraim envied Judah, and envied his throne (s.w. Is. 11:13). This all came to full term after his death, when Ephraim departed from Judah under Jeroboam. Again, Solomon is harnessing Divine truth to his own agenda of self justification. And we who claim to hold His truths must take warning. But as he faced death, he came to realize that all such envy is as nothing before the reality of death, which he understood as the end of life, as he had assumed this life was the time for reward and expresses no personal hope in a resurrection of the body (Ecc. 4:4; 9:6). 

Pro 24:2 for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about mischief-
Ps. 7:14,16 twice refers to the "mischief" [s.w.] done to David by Cush [Ps. 7:1 states the Psalm is about the words and plans of Cush]. Solomon is again referring to how the enemies of his father, whose descendants and supporters were likely still threats to Solomon, were condemned by God.

Pro 24:3 Through wisdom a house is built; by understanding it is established-
The "house" here refers to David's house / family- but this was established through Solomon's line by God's gracious promise to David, not by Solomon's wisdom. Again, his wisdom and possession of academic truth led him to forget the power of grace. Solomon overlooked all the hard work that his father had done in preparing for the temple to be built- in that he claimed all glory for himself: “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established” (Prov. 24:3) he said- perfectly true, but with the self-justifying twist behind the words in his case, that he had built the temple thanks to his own wisdom. Wisdom is given, he said, to the man who is pleasing to God (Ecc. 2:26)- again referring to himself.

Pro 24:4 by knowledge the rooms are filled with all rare and beautiful treasure-
AV "chambers", an allusion to Solomon's store cities where he placed his wealth. But that wealth was a gift from God to him (1 Kings 3:13), it was not because of his wisdom in itself. Again he fails to perceive grace because of his possession of Divine truth.

Pro 24:5 A wise man has great power and a knowledgeable man increases strength-
David's house waxed stronger and stronger (2 Sam. 3:1)- but by grace, because God chose as a sovereign choice to work through Solomon and continue the Davidic line of rulership through him. LXX "A wise man is better than a strong man; and a man who has prudence than a large estate".

Pro 24:6 for by wise guidance you wage your war; and victory is in many advisors-
David had two men specifically noted as his advisors / counsellors (his uncle Jonathan and Ahithophel- 1 Chron. 27:32,33) and likely he had others, e.g. Nathan the prophet. Again Solomon is justifying his father's Government.

Pro 24:7 Wisdom is too high for a fool: he doesn’t open his mouth in the gate-
Solomon's simplistic division of people into wise and foolish meant that he despised the fools. He had no interest in evangelism, in trying to persuade them. If they refused wisdom initially, he put them in the 'hopeless' basket as fools who weren't worth bothering with. He had no patience with them, no attempt to patiently persuade or engage with them. God is so different. And this is exactly the condemnatory attitude in those who today have such simplistic worldviews.

Pro 24:8 One who plots to do evil will be called a schemer-
"Will be called" may suggest a name and shame policy by Solomon; for the wisdom given him was ostensibly to enable him to govern and judge Israel. Any who plotted against him (for that is surely the implication) would be pilloried. But Proverbs has much to say about judgment for unwisdom; there is no grace in Solomon. He had not reflected upon his father's salvation by grace alone. Or Solomon may intend this as a commentary upon how the history of his family should be read; for "schemer" is the word used by David for his enemies within the camps of Saul and Absalom (Ps. 10:2,4; 21:11; 31:13; 37:7).    

Pro 24:9 The schemes of folly are sin. The mocker is detested by men-
"Is an abomination". "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.

Pro 24:10 If you falter in the time of trouble, your strength is small-
There are many references to the "day of trouble" in David's Psalms. Solomon appears to be boasting of his father's deliverance from various 'days of trouble'. But the phrase is used of the Assyrian invasion (s.w. Is. 37:3). And some of the Proverbs were rewritten at the time by Hezekiah (Prov. 25:1).

Pro 24:11 Rescue those who are being led away to death! Indeed, hold back those who are staggering to the slaughter!-
AV "If thou forbear to deliver...". Sins of omission are perhaps our most besetting weakness; and to forbear to rescue others on the path to destruction is likely one of our commonest sins of omission.

David may be alluding to the situation in 2 Sam. 18:16, where the followers of Absalom were held back [s.w.] from slaughter by David's army. And as always, Solomon wishes to give a positive spin on every historical event in the life of his father David.

Pro 24:12 If you say, Behold, we didn’t know this; doesn’t He who weighs the hearts consider it?-
This is a great example of where the Bible is absolutely piercing in its analysis of our human psychology. For from earliest childhood, this is indeed our excuse: 'I didn't know. I didn't notice. I didn't do anything wrong'. And indeed we may not 'do' wrong, in committing sins of commission. But this is exactly our childish excuse for the great sin of omission we commit when we fail to rescue those heading for eternal death (:11).

He who keeps your soul, doesn’t He know it? -
God now weighs hearts, and only at the last day renders to every man according as his works shall be. The essence of judgment is therefore ongoing. It's not as if God is not paying attention, and will only review everything at the last day. If we believe that God keeps our soul, we should be thereby motivated to reach out and try to preserve others as He does to us.

Shall He not render to every man according to his work?-
Quoted about the last judgment in Rev. 22:12. The "work" in view would therefore be our attitude to others, whether we kidded ourselves we didn't notice their predicament or not.

Pro 24:13 My son, eat honey, for it is good; the droppings of the honeycomb, which are sweet to your taste-
An allusion to how Saul forbad his men to eat honey but Jonathan ate a honeycomb in defiance of this (1 Sam. 14:29). Another justification of his father David. But Solomon is unwittingly perhaps identifying himself with Samson, the only other Biblical character who found and ate a honeycomb- and he was well nigh destroyed by foreign women also.

Pro 24:14 so you shall feel wisdom to be to your soul; if you have found it, then there will be a reward, your hope will not be cut off-
David's "reward" or "expectation" in the context of Ps. 62:5 was the continuation of his own kingdom, despite all the threats against it from the likes of Saul, Absalom and others who would usurp his Davidic kingship and kingdom. Solomon likely uses the word for "expectation" with the same subtext; that all opposition to him was based upon a false expectation which would be dashed by God (s.w. Prov. 10:28; 11:7,23; 23:18; 24:14).

Pro 24:15 Don’t lay in wait, wicked man, against the habitation of the righteous. Don’t destroy his resting place-
An allusion to how Saul sent men to lay in wait around David's house (1 Sam. 19:11). "Lie in wait" is the word for ambush. Solomon often uses the word, as if it is for him a major characteristic of sinners (Prov. 1:11,18; 7:12; 12:6; 23:28; 24:15). But it's a rather specific word to use so often. It's as if Solomon is consciously alluding to his father's experiences at the hands of the house of Saul (s.w. Ps. 10:9; 59:3), whom Solomon considered a threat to his own kingship. And so he seems to rather like using the term about sinners, as if using his wisdom to have a dig at his immediate opposition.

Pro 24:16 for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity-
An allusion to David's moral failures- glorifying David in that he rose up after them. Seven times may suggest complete failure. The wicked are overthrown because they will not rise up from their sin in repentance. However, I have noted elsewhere in Proverbs that Solomon appears to totally whitewash David's sin with Solomon's mother Bathsheba. So he may be using "falls" not in the sense of falling into sin, but in the sense of being overwhelmed by calamity. This would give more force to the opening word of the verse: "for...". The connection with :15 is that it is futile for the wicked to try to overthrow the righteous, because the righteous will arise from whatever temporary calamity is brought upon them. This is also how the idea of 'falling' is used in :17.

Pro 24:17 Don’t rejoice when your enemy falls, don’t let your heart be glad when he is overthrown-
Alluding to how David did not rejoice when Saul fell in battle. This section of the chapter has many references to David. Solomon is using the truths revealed to him as "wisdom" to justify and glorify his father, and thereby himself. And Divine truth can be abused in the same kind of way today.

Pro 24:18 lest Yahweh see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him-
I suggested on :17 that Solomon had in view how David didn't rejoice when Saul fell. But David was genuinely sad when Saul fell, and subsequently showed grace to Saul's family. But Solomon knew nothing of grace, and is ever eager to criticize all his potential competitors for his throne. And so he makes the point that David's lack of rejoicing over Saul actually meant for sure that the wrath of God was upon Saul and his family.   

Pro 24:19 Don’t fret yourself because of evildoers; neither be envious of the wicked-
David had calmly urged not to be envious of the wicked (s.w. Ps. 37:1), but he himself almost failed in this (Ps. 73:3 s.w.). We can profess clearly how much we are not envious of others; and then find ourselves like David, caught in a pang of crisis when we wonder why our lives cannot be like those of the world around us. Solomon simplistically commanded not to be envious of the wicked, drawing a simple contrast between the wicked, and the righteous who are not envious of them (Prov. 3:31; 23:17; 24:1,19 s.w.). But this is not how it was in reality with his father David, who admits to almost having given in to envy of the wicked (Ps. 73:3) despite his earlier simplistic condemnation of such envy (Ps. 37:1), and was only saved from that by God's gracious action on his heart (Ps. 73:2). Solomon's proverbs seem to fail to address this complexity of situations because of his own self-righteousness; and yet all he says is inspired and true so far as it goes.

Pro 24:20 for there will be no reward to the evil man; and the lamp of the wicked shall be snuffed out-
God promised to give David a light / candle in Jerusalem through the kingship continuing through Solomon (same word in 1 Kings 11:36 "that David may have a light [candle, s.w.] always before Me in Jerusalem"]. Solomon is justifying his own taking of the throne.

Pro 24:21 My son, fear Yahweh and the king. Don’t join those who are rebellious-
Solomon [in the context of our note on :20] is suggesting that anyone who questions his right to the throne is not fearing God, and anyone involved in rebellion will be destroyed (:22). AV "With them that are given to change". Such ultra conservatism is common in Solomon's thought; he wanted to cement himself in power permanently, and so he clamped down on any change in any context.

Pro 24:22 for their calamity will rise suddenly; and who knows the destruction of them both?-
This is alluding to Dt. 32:35 about the sudden calamity of Israel as a nation if they turn to idolatry. But Solomon applies this language to any group of individuals within Israel who might be rebellious against his rule (:21). Again, he is using Divine truths to bolster his own personal position. But again Solomon is too simplistic in assuming that "calamity" is the judgment of the rebellious. For David his father experienced plenty of calamity (s.w. 2 Sam. 22:19). But this contradicts the simplistic worldview which Solomon wishes to present, whereby the wise have wonderful lives, and the foolish are sinners whose lives are full of calamity. It was this simplistic worldview, failing to perceive that bad things happen to good people, and good people also sin and are foolish at times, which led Solomon to the conceit which was his destruction.

Pro 24:23 These also are sayings of the wise-
The rest of this chapter is a separate and third section, incorporated into the anthology which is the book of Proverbs. But it is effectively an appendix to the second section.

To show partiality in judgment is not good-
Solomon was famous for his wise judgment of the two prostitutes. He showed no partiality in that judgment. And so again, whilst what he says is true, he is using Divine truths to justify himself. And he is also having a swipe at his competitor Absalom, who set himself up as the judge of Israel and yet showed partiality towards his potential supporters (2 Sam. 15:5,6).

Pro 24:24 He who says to the wicked, You are righteous; peoples shall curse him, and nations shall abhor him-
An indirect criticism of Absalom's unjust giving of judgment being the basis upon which he garnered support for his rebellion against David (2 Sam. 15:6). The allusion is to Dt. 15:1. Solomon repeats this idea in 1 Kings 8:32, where he says that God condemns the wicked but justifies the righteous. And in Prov. 24:24 and other Proverbs, he teaches that this is how men should judge, lest they be cursed. But by having this position, he shows his total lack of appreciation of God's grace to his father David. For David was worthy of condemnation, but by grace, he the wicked was justified, counted righteous, when he was not (Ps. 32:2 cp. Rom. 4:4-6). This lack of appreciation of grace arose from how it seems Solomon totally whitewashed the sin of his father David with his mother Bathsheba. And it resulted in his lack of grace, and failure throughout Proverbs to appreciate that human behaviour is nuanced, and is not simply divided between spotlessly righteous behaviour and terrible sinfulness.

Pro 24:25 but it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and a rich blessing will come on them-
As noted on :24, Solomon fails to appreciate that God does not convict the guilty in every case, but imputed righteousness to the likes of his father David. God's blessing is in fact the imputation of righteousness to the guilty "without works" (Rom. 4:6). But the "blessing" can be read as the blessing and approbation of men; hence LXX "But they that reprove him shall appear more excellent, and blessing shall come upon them". What seems to matter to Solomon is how justice appears to men, rather than reflecting God's grace.

Pro 24:26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips-
AV "Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer". This smacks of the self congratulatory attitude of Solomon throughout Proverbs. LXX likewise "Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer". The answer in view would be the legalistic, harsh judgment of :25. See on :25.

Pro 24:27 Prepare your work outside, and get your fields ready. Afterwards, build your house-
Justifying how David prepared for the building of the temple.

Pro 24:28 Don’t be a witness against your neighbour without cause. Don’t deceive with your lips-
David is called Saul's "neighbour" (1 Sam. 15:28; 28:17). And he persecuted David "without cause" (1 Sam. 19:5; Ps. 35:7,19 69:4; 109:3; 119:161 etc.). Solomon has much to say about true and false witnesses (Prov. 6:19; 12:17; 14:5,25; 19:5,9,28; 21:28; 24:28; 25:18). Whilst his warnings are true enough, he surely has an element of self justification in what he writes. Because he was aware that his parents, David and Bathsheba, had been accused of many things which had led to all the opposition against David at the end of his reign, and which opposition Solomon had to contend with in order to retain the throne for himself. David laments the false witness of the house of Saul and his own sons, Solomon's half brothers (Ps. 27:12; 35:11). The continual condemnation of false witnesses must be understood in this context. Whilst it is all true so far as it goes, Solomon is harnessing Divine truth to his own agenda of self justification. And we who claim to hold His truths must take warning.

Pro 24:29 Don’t say, I will do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work-
True enough, but a justification of his father David's refusal to kill Saul. See on :17.

Pro 24:30 I went by the field of the lazy, by the vineyard of the man void of understanding-
The Proverbs contain repeated condemnation of laziness. Lack of a zealous work ethic is a rejection of wisdom, according to Solomon. As Solomon explains in Ecc. 1, he was an active person, not lazy by nature. And yet he lacked spirituality. He claimed that his service of God was due to his spirituality, but it was in reality merely a semblance of serving God when it was really just reinforcing his own personality type. His mocking of the "sluggard" or "lazy one" is so frequent (Prov. 6:6,9; 10:26; 13:4; 15:19; 19:24; 20:4; 21:25; 22:13; 24:30; 26:13-16). But it is a reflection of his own works-based approach to righteousness; the 'wise' "do" good things, and the wicked don't do enough good things. Personal spiritual mindedness and relationship with God are simply not emphasized.

Pro 24:31 behold, it was all grown over with thorns. Its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down-
I will suggest on :32,33 that this is not a mature attitude; see on :30. The broken down wall of Israel (Is. 5:5; Ez. 13:14) was not a result of Israel's  lack of hard work or laziness. Walls are broken down and houses left desolate for many reasons, not least Divine judgment of men because they refused to believe in Him, rather than because they were lazy. For works cannot save.

Pro 24:32 Then I saw, and considered well. I saw, and received instruction-
On this point of the need for hard work, Solomon is at best immature; see on :33. It is therefore significant that he doesn't claim this to be part of the package of Divine wisdom given to him; rather he says he worked this out from his own observations of broken down houses and farmsteads, and in mock humility claims to have thereby "received instruction". See on Prov. 7:6; 16:19.

Pro 24:33 a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep-
This despising of sleep is in contrast to the spiritual maturity of David, who understood that true blessing comes from God alone and not from human works, and God gives His beloved sleep, in contrast to vainly rising early and working late to achieve blessing (Ps. 127:2). Time and again, we find Solomon glorifying "my father David", seeking to live out parental expectations; and yet quite out of step with David's spirituality.

Pro 24:34 so your poverty will come as a robber, and your want as an armed man
Solomon repeatedly sees poverty as being the fault of the poor, and their refusal of his teaching of wisdom (s.w. Prov. 6:11; 10:4,15; 13:7,8,18,23; 24:34; 28:19; 31:7). Many of these passages are effectively mocking the poor, which Solomon condemns in Prov. 17:5. He fails to take his own wisdom, as we also see in his behaviour with foreign women. Again we see Solomon's works based approach to righteousness, and lack of grace; refusing to accept that we are all poor men before God, as David himself exemplified when he cried to God as a poor man (Ps. 34:6). But his much beloved father David was unashamed to say he was a materially "poor man" (1 Sam. 18:23); and Uriah, whom he wronged, is described also as a "poor man" (2 Sam. 12:1). The poor were to be defended and given to (Ps. 82:3), and the Bible is clear that poverty isn't necessarily a result of sin or unwisdom. But Solomon fails to appreciate this, so obsessed is he with works, and the idea that obedience to his anthology of Proverbs will make the poor prosperous, as if God's truth is a kind of wealth creation scheme.