(Prov 21:1 NASB) The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.
Prov 21:1: We have seen numerous examples of this in Scripture. Pharoah refused to let Israel leave because Elohim hardened his heart (Ex. 4:21). Elohim controlled the hearts of other kings such as Tigleth Pilesar of Assyria (Isa. 10:5-7), Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Dan. 4:31-32), Cyrus of Persia (Isa. 41:2-4), Artaxerxes of Persia (Ezra 7:21) and many (all) others.
(Prov 21:2 NASB) Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.
Prov 21:2: Man is righteous in his own eyes. Man can excuse his own sins in his own mind, even though we would look down upon others for the same thing.
(Prov 21:3 NASB) To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the LORD rather than sacrifice.
Prov 21:3: Elohim does not desire that we do wrong and then offer sacrifices. He wants righteousness in our lives (1 Sam. 15:22, Hosea 6:6).
(Prov 21:4 NASB) Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin.
Prov 21:4: The path of the wicked is illuminated with pride and is sinful.
(Prov 21:5 NASB) The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.
Prov 21:5: Diligent planning leads to advantages. Hasty moves lead to poverty.
(Prov 21:6 NASB) The getting of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.
Prov 21:6: Riches gained by lying will cease to produce once others find out that person is a liar.
(Prov 21:7 NASB) The violence of the wicked will drag them away, Because they refuse to act with justice.
(Prov 21:8 NASB) The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.
Prov 21:8: The wicked and guilty will not survive. Solomon contrasts the ways of the guilty and the ways of the pure of heart.
(Prov 21:9 NASB) It is better to live in a corner of a roof, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
Prov 21:9: A man’s wife may cease to be a submissive helper and become a piercing adversary. When that happens, the man would rather live on a roof exposed to the elements than in a luxurious house.
(Prov 21:10 NASB) The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
(Prov 21:11 NASB) When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
Prov 21:11: When a scoffer (one who mocks the Father) is punished, the naive see that example and will likely avoid that path. The wise learn through instruction without the need for punishment.
(Prov 21:12 NASB) The righteous one considers the house of the wicked, Turning the wicked to ruin.
Prov 21:12: The “righteous one,” spoken of here, is likely the Father.
(Prov 21:13 NASB) He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered.
Prov 21:13: Torah specifically states that we are to care for the poor among us (Deut. 15:7-11).
(Prov 21:14 NASB) A gift in secret subdues anger, And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.
Prov 21:14: This is not a recommendation of conduct, but simply another statement of fact. A gift given in secret implies that it is wrong, similar to a bribe.
(Prov 21:15 NASB) The execution of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity.
Prov 21:15: The execution of justice brings joy to the righteous. But it is terrifying to the wicked.
(Prov 21:16 NASB) A man who wanders from the way of understanding Will rest in the assembly of the dead.
Prov 21:16: Those who wander from Torah are risking their lives and eternity (2 Peter 2:20-22, Luke 12:47-48).
(Prov 21:17 NASB) He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
Prov 21:17: Our lives should not be led by the pursuit of pleasure. The reference to loving wine and oil (being poured upon) is pointing toward feasting. Pleasures in life are a gift from Elohim, but our treasure is in following His ways (Matt. 6:19-21).
(Prov 21:18 NASB) The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.
Prov 21:18: The wicked rather than the righteous will suffer judgment (Isa. 43:3-4).
(Prov 21:19 NASB) It is better to live in a desert land, Than with a contentious and vexing woman.
Prov 21:19: First the husband would rather live on a rooftop than in a mansion with a contentious woman. Since that was not far enough, he now would rather roam the desert instead of being around her…
(Prov 21:20 NASB) There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up.
Prov 21:20: The wise will plan and save for the future while the foolish person squanders what he has.
(Prov 21:21 NASB) He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor.
(Prov 21:22 NASB) A wise man scales the city of the mighty, And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
Prov 21:22: Wisdom is superior to physical strength. (Of course it was a wise old weak man who wrote this.)
(Prov 21:23 NASB) He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
Prov 21:23: Guarding against gossip and controlling our tongue will help us avoid many problems.
(Prov 21:24 NASB) “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride.
(Prov 21:25 NASB) The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work;
(Prov 21:26 NASB) All day long he is craving, While the righteous gives and does not hold back.
Prov 21:26: The sluggard craves his rest, but the righteous give to their work without holding back.
(Prov 21:27 NASB) The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much more when he brings it with evil intent!
Prov 21:27: The offering of those who are wicked is an abomination. The evil intent is probably in trying to deceive others into believing he is righteous.
(Prov 21:28 NASB) A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.
Prov 21:28: I am at a loss on this one. The phrase “to the truth” is not in the original text.
(Prov 21:29 NASB) A wicked man shows a bold face, But as for the upright, he makes his way sure.
(Prov 21:30 NASB) There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.
Prov 21:30: The wicked man has only a bold face to show in order to fool others that he knows what he is doing.
There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against Elohim and His ways.
(Prov 21:31 NASB) The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD.
Prov 21:31: Guns and armies do not assure victory. Victory belongs to Yahweh.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 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