Summary: This is a verse by verse look at Proverbs chapter 29.
Pearls From Proverbs – Chapter Twenty Nine
Proverbs 29:1 (NASB) A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.
The Good News Bible says it this way, "If you get more stubborn every time you are corrected, one day you will be crushed and never recover."
Warnings rarely come with countdowns. We can't tell when we've had our last chance to change. When we, like the person in this proverb, refuse to consider valid criticism, we leave ourselves open to sudden disaster. The moment we realize that a change is necessary is the best moment to take action. What significant adjustments have been on hold in your life for too long?
Proverbs 29:2 (NASB) When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan.
Leaders have a great influence on those they rule over. We should always pray for our leaders. We should pray that we have godly - wise leader. When wicked or ungodly leaders are in charge - the people groan. Let us pray that righteousness will increase and that we will have righteous leaders.
Proverbs 29:3 (NASB) A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.
Ellicott has said, "—This verse is illustrated by the parable of the prodigal son (see Luke 15)." We hope that our children will listen to good instruction and follow it - but that is not always the case. Let us therefore be like the prodigal son's father - always having hope that our children will return to the right path.
Proverbs 29:4 (NASB) The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.
Matthew Henry has said, "The care and business of a prince should be to establish the land, to maintain its fundamental laws, to settle the minds of his subjects and make them easy, to secure their liberties and properties from hostilities and for posterity, and to set in order the things that are wanting; this he must do by judgment, by wise counsels, and by the steady administration of justice, without respect of persons, which will have these good effects."
But a prince that takes bribes or rules with injustice will ruin the land.
Proverbs 29:5 (NASB) A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps.
The Message Bible says it this way, "A flattering neighbor is up to no good; he's probably planning to take advantage of you."
Clarke has said, "Beware of a flatterer; he does not flatter merely to please you, but to deceive you and profit himself."
Proverbs 29:6 (NASB) By transgression an evil man is ensnared, But the righteous sings and rejoices.
Here we find that you reap what you sow. A person who lives in continual sinfullness - will be ensnared by it. On the other hand - the righteous will sing and rejoice for there is no snare waiting around the corner for them.
Proverbs 29:7 (NASB) The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The wicked does not understand such concern.
The righteous don't just look out for their own needs - but also the needs of the poor. The wicked don't understand why one would be concerned about others since all they are concerned about is themselves.
Proverbs 29:8 (NASB) Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger.
Benson has said of this verse, "Scornful men" — That mock at religion, the obligations of conscience, the fears of another world, and every thing that is sacred and serious; who when employed in the business of the state do things with precipitation, because they scorn to deliberate and take time for consultation; who do things illegal and unjustifiable, because they scorn to be bound and shackled by laws and constitutions; who provoke the people, because they scorn to please them; "bring a city into a snare" — Expose it to God’s wrath, and to destruction, by their self-conceit and wilfulness, by their wicked counsels and practices, whereby they seduce and infect the generality of the people; by their contempt of God, of his just laws and righteous judgments, and of the opinion and advice of wise men; "but wise men" — Who do not scorn, but hearken to, the counsels of God, and of prudent men; "turn away wrath" — The wrath of God or of men, who were enraged against it.
Proverbs 29:9 (NASB) When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.
Matthew Henry has said, "A wise man is here advised not to set his wit to a fool's, not to dispute with him, or by contending with him to think either of fastening reason upon him or gaining right from him: If a wise man contend with a wise man, he may hope to be understood, and, as far as he has reason and equity on his side, to carry his point, at least to bring the controversy to a head and make it issue amicably; but, if he contend with a foolish man, there is no rest; he will see no end of it, nor will he have any satisfaction in it, but must expect to be always uneasy."