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Proverbs 11:15-31

Talks for Growing Christians

Fruits of Righteousness

Proverbs 11:15-31

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Lesson Number 15

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living.

Practical Application

  1. Make your applications in the light of the rest of Scripture!

Questions

  1. In addition to synonymous and antithetic parallelism, another type of parallelism used in Hebrew poetry is called emblematic parallelism. This type of parallelism uses a word picture in one of the two lines of the couplet, and the two lines are generally connected by the words, “as” and “so.” Which verse in this lesson contain emblematic parallelism, and what is the word picture used in this verse?
  2. What term might we use today to describe what verse 15 refers to as surety? Explain the basic advice given in this verse regarding surety.
  3. In the previous lesson (Chapter 11:1-14), Solomon described the unwise as “wicked” or “unfaithful.” What are some of the terms Solomon uses to describe the unwise in this lesson?

Answers

  1. Verse 22 contains emblematic parallelism, and the word picture used in the first line is the gold ring in the pig’s nose. Just as a gold ring in a pig’s nose is of no value to the pig, likewise a gold ring in the nose of a beautiful woman (meant to enhance her beauty in the time of Solomon), who is not wise in her morals, does not add value to her God-given loveliness.
  2. A term we might use today instead of “surety” is “loan,” a formal pledge or guarantee that one makes to secure against financial loss, for example, when you cosign for a loan. This proverb advises not to cosign for a loan with a stranger.
  3. Solomon described people without wisdom as ruthless (v 16), cruel (v 17), perverse (v 20), hoarders (v 24), those who seek evil (v 27), and those who put their trust in material riches (v 28).

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss some reasons why the advice given in verse 15 of this lesson to abstain from cosigning a loan with someone you don’t know, make sense in our world today. Consider other references in Scripture that would indicate similar advice concerning those who are friends or family.

Challenge

  1. Have Solomon’s descriptions of people who are without wisdom, and his descriptions of the resulting lives of people who are unwise, helped you identify those people around you who should not be accepted as close friends or counselors? Are you using Solomon’s descriptions of righteous people to assist you in wisely choosing friends and counselors? How would your friends describe you? Remember, the Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living!

Key Verses

  • “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30

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