(Prov 20:1 NASB)  Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.

Prov 20:1:      Scripture does not condemn, nor discourage, the use of alcohol.  The Hebrew term for “intoxicated” here is the Hebrew word shagah and is only translated as “intoxicated here in this passage.  Shagah means to “lead astray” or to “err.”
Anyone who is led astray by alcohol to where they are a mocker or a brawler is not wise.


(Prov 20:2 NASB)  The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.

Prov 20:2:      The way to handle a king is one of many common themes in Proverbs.  The king is a powerful entity and he should not be provoked to anger.


(Prov 20:3 NASB)  Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will quarrel.

Prov 20:3:      Avoiding a quarrel is always the best option if it is possible.


(Prov 20:4 NASB)  The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.

Prov 20:4:      In Israel the farmer waited for the October-November rains to start his plowing and planting of winter crops because the ground is easy to till.  The sluggard procrastinates because of the weather and consequently does not bring in a harvest.


(Prov 20:5 NASB)  A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out.

Prov 20:5:      With understanding comes wisdom.  The plans in the heart of a man may be hidden, but can be discerned through wisdom.


(Prov 20:6 NASB)  Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man?

Prov 20:6:      It is difficult to find a trustworthy man (Micah 7:2-4).


(Prov 20:7 NASB)  A righteous man who walks in his integrity– How blessed are his sons after him.

Prov 20:7:      This is likely a proverb based upon Abraham (Gen. 17:7-8).  It is also applies to all those who love His Torah (Psalm 112:1-2).


(Prov 20:8 NASB)  A king who sits on the throne of justice Disperses all evil with his eyes.

Prov 20:8:      If the king is truly righteous and seeking justice, he can disperse all evil in the kingdom.


(Prov 20:9 NASB)  Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”?

Prov 20:9:      It is not possible for man to cleanse himself.  He can only be cleansed by the Father and His Spirit (1 Kings 8:46, Job 14:4, Ecc. 7:20, Psalm 130:3).


(Prov 20:10 NASB)  Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the LORD.

Prov 20:10:      Elohim insists on proper business conduct (Lev. 19:35-37, Deut. 25:13-16).


(Prov 20:11 NASB)  It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself If his conduct is pure and right.

Prov 20:11:      The deeds of a child in his early years point to the direction his life is taking.


(Prov 20:12 NASB)  The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The LORD has made both of them.

Prov 20:12:      It is Elohim who gives His people ears to hear His Word and eyes to see His righteousness (Psalm 119:18, Matt. 13:13-16).


(Prov 20:13 NASB)  Do not love sleep, lest you become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.

Prov 20:13:      We should not be like the sluggard who lives for the love of sleep.


(Prov 20:14 NASB)  “Bad, bad,” says the buyer; But when he goes his way, then he boasts.

Prov 20:14:      This is speaking of the buyer who describes something as bad or inadequate in order to drive the price down and boast of his bargain.


(Prov 20:15 NASB)  There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.

Prov 20:15:      Knowing and living according to His Torah is much more precious than gold and jewels (Psalm 19:7-11, 119:72, 127).


(Prov 20:16 NASB)  Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger; And for foreigners, hold him in pledge.

Prov 20:16:      Take collateral from a stranger if you are going to provide surety for him.


(Prov 20:17 NASB)  Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

Prov 20:17:      Items obtained by dishonest means will not provide sustenance for long.


(Prov 20:18 NASB)  Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance.

Prov 20:18:      Plans should be prepared by consultation with wise guidance


(Prov 20:19 NASB)  He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.
(Prov 20:20 NASB)  He who curses his father or his mother, His lamp will go out in time of darkness.

Prov 20:20:      Those who curse their father or mother is to be put to death (Lev. 20:9).


(Prov 20:21 NASB)  An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning, Will not be blessed in the end.

Prov 20:21:      This may be referring to an offspring who wantsw his inheritance prematurely.


(Prov 20:22 NASB)  Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.

Prov 20:22:      Vengeance is not ours, it belongs to the Father (Deut. 32:35, Lev. 19:18).


(Prov 20:23 NASB)  Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD, And a false scale is not good.
(Prov 20:24 NASB)  Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way?

Prov 20:24:      Elohim is in complete control of a man’s steps (Psalm 37:32, Jer. 10:23-24).


(Prov 20:25 NASB)  It is a snare for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!” And after the vows to make inquiry.

Prov 20:25:      Making a vow to Elohim should not be a hasty decision.


(Prov 20:26 NASB)  A wise king winnows the wicked, And drives the threshing wheel over them.
(Prov 20:27 NASB)  The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the innermost parts of his being.

Prov 20:27:      The spirit (breath) of man is a lamp to the Father.  He know the innermost part of his being.


(Prov 20:28 NASB)  Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness.
(Prov 20:29 NASB)  The glory of young men is their strength, And the honor of old men is their gray hair.

Prov 20:29:      The strength and vitality of young men is replaced by wisdom and experience.


(Prov 20:30 NASB)  Stripes that wound scour away evil, And strokes reach the innermost parts.

Prov 20:30:      Physical discipline is sometimes warranted and may cure a man of evil and cleanse his innermost parts.

Patrick McGuire

Copyright 2014
Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.
Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
Fort Smith, Arkansas

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