As my teacher’s eye read through these proverbs, I saw a wealth of opportunity for essay writing! Each two-line proverb is worthy of a thorough examination. It is difficult to determine what to write about in the midst of such meaty material!
A basic theme about words/mouth/tongue/speech winds its way through these three chapters of proverbs: those who are wise are slow to speak, and when they do speak, they use their knowledge to speak concisely and thus escape the ruin plotted by their evil neighbors.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
14 Wise men store up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
19 When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
but fools die for lack of judgment.
9 With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor,
but through knowledge the righteous escape.
12 A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor,
but a man of understanding holds his tongue
6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the speech of the upright rescues them.
14 From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things
as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.
18 Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Notice the theme??
I need to talk much less frequently and do more thinking before I speak. The Lord gave us two ears, but only one mouth. Now that’s a word to the wise!