Author: Stephen Ricker

BDBD is Proverb 20:3

Avoiding a quarrel is honorable. After all, any stubborn fool can start a fight. (God’s Word Translation) Jesus confirms the principle of composure while facing hostility. He taught, “Do not resist an evil person.” (Matthew 5:39). “Anthistemi” in the original Greek means “resist” and “withstand”, not “surrender”. Jesus extends and defines honorable peacekeeping with, “Love […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:26

Children are expected to take care of their parents, especially when they are advanced in years just as parents are to take care of their children, especially when they are young. Robbing a father is not only taking his money and possessions. It can also include not visiting him and keeping his grandchildren from spending […]

BDBD is Proverbs 19:25 & 29

Judgment and punishment are very important to a healthy society and any human organization and group. The result is that the innocent, righteous, and weak are protected from mockers and fools. A mocker is a person who treats others with ridicule or contempt. They frustrate hopes and disrupt order and structure. They are engulfed with […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:24

The laziness and slothful nature of the sluggard are embodied in a comical word image in this proverb. BDBD has defined a sluggard and presents a way to overcome this mindset in 6:6-8, 13:4, and 15:19. Thus far in the previous proverbs that address the sluggard lifestyle choice BDBD considered how and why to avoid […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:23

Fear the Lord is perhaps the most common phrase in Proverbs appearing twelve times. It also is common in other books of the Old Testament, making it one of the most repeated phrases in the Bible. Yet, most people today do not ascribe to it. Those who believe in Christ cannot accept it or understand […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:22

This proverb requires more thought and research than some others. Is it that a man desires kindness and unfailing love, or does it say that what makes a man desirable is kindness and unfailing love? The Hebrew is, “Taawa adam hesed” meaning “desire man loving-kindness.” Since both are true, either could be the point in […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:21

I plan for the future based on the commands, direction, and advice in the Bible. Making plans is a good lifestyle. It is wisdom exercised and an ingredient to success. My plans could be for the day’s routines and needed chores. Today could be laundry day, shopping day, yardwork day, and baseball practice after school […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:20

God did not intend for his children to isolate themselves. Part of his creation design is to mimic the relationship between God the Father, Son, and Spirit. He established a loving and respectful relationship between husband and wife. He commanded them to create a family. Groups of families establish a community under God’s authority that […]

BDBD is Proverbs 19:18-19

While discipline is the subject of the first proverb, punishment is the subject of the second proverb. Discipline has a goal and purpose; that is to make one better through training. Discipline controls behavior by forming a new beneficial habit. Discipline is the tool of military commanders, sports coaches, mentors, and parents. Discipline can also […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:17

Solomon’s proverb and Jesus’ parable “The Sheep and the Goats” agree that the Lord God, the King of the Universe takes notice when people are kind to the poor. The proverb equates it with lending to the LORD. God rewards kindness to the poor. Jesus proclaimed that when he comes again in his glory with […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:16

Humans are born with character, feelings, instincts, a basic perception of right and wrong, as well as a strong nature to commit wrong and resist right. We are conceived with an inconclusive perception of God and a sustaining desire for God. (Matthew 9:36, 14:14, 15:32) We inherit that which is imperfect and willfully contribute to […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:15

Laziness, ambition, purpose, energy, and will merit the thought of today’s proverb. Slothfulness is the old English term that describes a person who lacks ambition, purpose, and will. The lazy have extremely low willpower. Having willpower is the mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action. I can deliberately […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:14

Death is a part of life as much as breathing. When parents die perhaps the children will receive an inheritance including their parent’s home and all that their parents acquired. Often this divides children, the subject of another proverb. The point of this proverb is parents leave gifts to their children and grandchildren for when […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:13

A foolish son in the Bible is one who does not fear nor love God. (28:7) Thus, his lifestyle choices are to his eventual ruin. His parents are grieved and bitter. Calamity follows their broken hearts. (10:1; 17:25) As in previous proverbs on this subject I think of my relationship to God my heavenly father. […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:12

Solomon again presents a proverb concerning a king (14:28, 35, 16:10, 14, 15) and will do so again in future chapters. This time he compares a king’s rage and his favor. The roar of a lion brings fear to the person in the wild. So does the rage of monarchy rule. Walking on dew-laden grass […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:11

Patience is one of those character qualities that is celebrated and yet hard to master. How to be patient when something is desired? How to be patient when justice is wanted? How to be patient when the end is delayed? This proverb says wisdom gives patience. How? Since patience is better than pride according to […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:10

The fool (“kesil” in Hebrew) in the Bible is a person who is unwise, lazy, and ungodly. Their behavior is folly due to their life-perspective and lifestyle choices. They are thoughtless and self-centered. They do not concern themself with nor fear God. They claim that either they do not believe in God or that God […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:7

Job, a righteous man was left all alone when disaster struck. His wife and friends deserted him after his riches and prosperity were taken. (Job 2:9-10) Like the man in this proverb, his family hated him and his friends kept their distance. No one helped him. Who listens to a poor man? Everyone thinks he […]

BDBD is Proverbs 19:6

One bored pre-teenage day I noticed a book with a long title in the small bookcase in our living room. I had never seen my mother read a newspaper let alone a book. However, I learned that this was hers. It was titled, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. She was […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:5

The proverb in this verse and the proverb in verse 9 are nearly identical. Repeating in the Bible is a way to stress the importance of adherence. A false witness who pours out lies is one of the six things the Lord hates (6:16-19). A false witness is obviously one who lies except if a […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:4

The proverb’s observation, “Wealth brings many friends” has been experienced by all human society mostly because we want and expect something from our rich friend. Since the things that money buys can bring momentary happiness to a person’s demeanor and conduct, then these too attract momentary friends. We want to share in the momentary experience […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:3

Decisions I make every moment affect my present and future. It does not matter if they are small or major for even a small decision can have a major impact on my future. Any foolish decision I make can ruin my life. A small devastating foolish decision is easily forgotten. Though the effect is blamed […]

BDBD is Proverb 19:2

Zeal and enthusiasm are emotions that have not been the subject of a proverb until now. Some English translations have the first half of the proverb as “the soul without knowledge is not good.” While other translations have, “it is not good to have zeal without knowledge.” The second is clearer considering the rest of […]

BDBD is Proverbs 19:1

Blameless in God’s eyes is to maintain spiritual and moral integrity even if it means sacrificing or not gaining what I desire or believe I need. A person of integrity adheres to the code of conduct taught by Jesus, the apostles, the prophets, and Moses. They are steadfast to the truth. Jesus was blameless when […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:24

Having many trusted friends and wise advisors is recommended in the Bible, especially in the book of Proverbs. Yet, having many does not guarantee that I won’t come to ruin as this proverb declares, especially if they are not trusted and wise. Such companions can destroy one another. Sometimes a friend becomes unfriendly and companions […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:22

The man who finds a wife has found good. When the Lord God created Adam. the man walked around the beautiful Garden of Eden. Surrounded by perfection he realized it was not all good with him. Something was missing. A good companion he did not find though he was surrounded by paradise. So God created […]

BDBD is Proverbs 18:15

The original Hebrew word for heart and mind in this proverb is “leb”. This is equivalent to the human soul. The original Hebrew word for discerning, intellect, and prudent is “bin”. This is the character of soul that grows in knowledge. The implication in the first half of the proverb is that a person who […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:14

The body becoming ill is common to all. Some have had an illness for many years. Others rarely have a bodily illness. Whether it be a virus, an injury, a defect, or the decay of an organ we can endure and most times overcome by the will of our spirit. A person’s spirit sustains them […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:13

The proverb today is a simple conversational tip, listen to the person I am talking to. Don’t answer before hearing all they have to say. This is especially true in conversations that are important life events – decisions to be made, troubles experienced, and heartaches and burdens carrying. It is also true when exchanging information […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:12

What are humility (lowly spirit) and its aspirant pride (haughty spirit) that so much advice and warnings are given concerning them? (3:34, 6:3, 17, 11:2, 13:10, 15:25, 33, 16:5, 18, 19, 17:6, 18:12, 13, 21:4, 24, 22:4, 29:23, 30:13) Their definitions are in the comments for Proverbs 11:2 at are they in me, so […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:11

I have never been rich by the standards of most of my neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family members. Though by some I have had more than they. Still, the point is my wealth is not my fortified city because I do not have wealth. No wealth-laden wall exists to scale in my chauffeurs. An enemy […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:10

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. A strong tower is a high rock building in fortresses and castles where soldiers reside and weapons are kept. When enemies attacked a city the soldiers would choose a weapon, be stationed at a window or opening, and ward off the enemies. A strong tower is […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:9

Being slack is lacking diligence, due care, or concern about what one needs to do or is doing. It is being negligent in work. This proverb relates being slack with destroying. The object being destroyed is me, my family, my congregation, my friends, and society. Work can be anything I am doing or need to […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:8

Gossip looks so delicious widening my eyes. It is fragrant and sweet impulsing a deep breath. The mouth moistens waiting impatiently. Gossip has a vibrant palatable texture, tickling the tongue and caressing the nose. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels created in the kitchens of master chefs and bakers. Many wait in […]

BDBD is Proverbs 18:20-21

Controlling words spoken is the subject of many proverbs indicating that it is not easy. Being careful what is spoken and when to speak or keep quiet can be as difficult and bone-jarring as breaking a young stallion. The reason killing tongues remain is that the mouth is attached to wild hearts. Those hearts are […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:19

Siblings are usually the people who know us the most, sometimes as much as or more than a spouse. A spouse we choose. A sibling we do not. A sibling is often very different than us to the point of being annoying and refreshing at the same time. My interactions with my siblings are often […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:18

The Lord is in charge. (16:4, 33) He determines a person’s steps. (16:9, 19:21) He determines everyone’s life course. (21:31) His will prevails over all. Many times everyone seeks to know God’s will in an important decision because we commonly fear a wrong decision will be disastrous. We declare, “I just don’t know what to […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:17

The proverb assumes that guilty people do not tell the truth when defending themselves in official settings. Most of the time when we are guilty of wrong we self-justify to ourselves and others. When the truth gets in the way of our self-justification we either dismiss it or twist it into the opposite -falsehood. We […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:16

A gift is given for many reasons and intents. Giving to a person who already has a lot usually does not have the same reason as giving to a person who has little. Giving to a friend has a different intent than giving to an enemy. Giving because I have a need from the receiver […]

BDBD is Proverbs 18:6-7

The words I say can bring a load of trouble. What if I am prone to start a quarrel and strife with my lips? What does it mean when I am repeatedly punished because of what comes out of my mouth? It means I am a fool and hot-tempered. (15:18, 17:19, 20:3) What drives me […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:5

Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and he distributes justice. He is not partial. He tells me to not be partial when I assess another’s action. (Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17, 16:19) Everyone harbors preconceived judgments and convictions about others based on looks and mannerisms. These tell me only a little about the person. They do […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:4

One summer vacation on an ocean beach my young son and I decided to swim to a buoy that appeared to be close to the shore. It was not. After a longer time than expected with persistence, my son and I arrived at our destination. It was then that I wondered what was in the […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:3

The proverb links wickedness with contempt and shame with disgrace. Other proverbs and verses also have these as a subject usually as a warning. Such as, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt” (1 Thessalonians 5:20), and “Do you show contempt for the riches of God’s kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:2

Everyone has their own opinions. I have my own opinion. Humans were designed to have opinions. Having an opinion is part of learning. This proverb is telling me to show restraint in airing my opinions. The original Hebrew words in the second half of this proverb are “leb gala rasha” which can also be translated […]

BDBD is Proverb 18:1

Having friends, children, and especially a spouse should include selfless love, respect, truth, trust, closeness, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23). We learn from Christ that love is laying down our life for another. (1 John 3:16) In giving away we mysteriously receive more. (Matthew 16:24-28; Mark 10:21) In line with these truths, […]

BDBD is Proverbs 27-28

Considering just how many proverbs are in this book, I have only remembered the one in verse 28 all my life, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps his mouth shut (silent).” Not saying that I have kept it, but it usually brings up a laugh from someone else. Talk about miss use […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:26

Punishment is not the same as discipline. The former is only for the guilty fool. The latter is for the righteous, but not the fool (17:10). It is not good to punish the innocent. Punishing those who follow God’s way with integrity is not wise nor right. Don’t punish those who follow righteousness. Since these […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:24

Since wisdom is directly in the view of the discerning wise person, then I chose to keep my eyes fixed on Christ, the author and perfecter of my faith, my life, and my all. (Hebrews 12:2) People will come and go in and out of my life, but Christ Jesus always remains with me. I […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:23

Human justice no matter the system has a weakness because humans are involved. Humans are susceptible to temptation, including those involved with court systems. Legal systems are tainted when the magistrate says to themselves, “What is in it for me.” Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion displayed this well. People in power were threatened by the […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:22

A cheerful (joyful) heart has been the subject of several proverbs (14:30, 15:13,30, 16:15, 18:14) as a crushed spirit has been too (3:8, 12:4, 14:30). More people state they are depressed in recent years. They have an inability to concentrate, insomnia, and feelings of extreme sadness, dejection, and hopelessness. They have a weakened will. Is […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:21

The two factual statements about the emotions a foolish son or daughter brings his father or mother are obvious. No one can deny them. The parent’s self-query is, “Can I prevent this or change the course attitude of my son or daughter?” Apostle Paul instructs fathers, “Do not embitter your children, or they will become […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:20

Proverbs has judgments and predictions based on the condition of the heart. The heart in the original Hebrew is “leb” which can be equated with the center of personality including feelings, will, intellect, and imagination. “The heart is as the heart does,” goes an old saying. Thus, a person with a perverse heart does not […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:19

When I love something I am inviting it into my life and being. When I love my spouse they are in my life and being. When I love my children they are in my life and being. When I love God he is in my life and being. If I love a quarrel I invite […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:18

“Putting up security for our neighbor” and “striking hands” are explained in the comments for 6:3 at That this warning is placed after the proverb in the previous verse is fitting. Though “a friend loves at all times and a brother is born in adversity” one must be very careful when putting up security […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:17

A friend and a brother are compared. Or is it that a friend becomes (is born) a brother when their love is displayed no matter the situation or circumstance? This is seen in a few relationships in the Bible, especially in Jesus who stated, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:16

My intention and will are the points of this proverb. What do I intend? What is my heart’s will? For what I will establishes my intention and my intention is what I seek to fulfill. If I am given money to seek an education to gain wisdom but have no desire to gain it, then […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:15

Acquitting means “to free or clear from a charge or accusation.” God does not acquit the guilty. (Exodus 23:7) So how can a Christian say that they are acquitted of all sins? Apostle Paul wrote, “We maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” (Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:16, 3:11, 24) […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:14

Quarrels and disputes are continued for inconsequential viewpoints. I knew a couple, though married more than forty years, would quarrel each time they drove home about which way was the shortest. The difference was less than a minute, whether her way or his depending on traffic. The retired couple were rather serious as if they […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:13

The person who believes this proverb will make it change their life just as any other proverb. (Romans 12:17-21) When I believe that if I do good to another and am repaid with evil and yet continue to do good then I am living this verse. How can I do this when at times every […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:12

Once upon the frontier time, a young hunter was tracking in the woods when he heard peculiar sounds – yelps and moans that almost sounded human. He followed them to an opening in the canopy where a large tree had fallen. The laying trunk extended what appeared to be several hundred feet into the forest. […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:11

A rebellion is not only an open, armed, and organized resistance to a constituted government. It is also an act or a show of defiance toward an authority or established convention. This proverb defines people who seek rebellion as evil people. Even when we were a toddler learning to walk our parents experienced the rebellious […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:10

A subtle truth in this proverb is that even the discerning need a rebuke now and then. Even if I have keen insight and good judgment I still need someone to firmly voice fault in my error in word or action. A rebuke expressed with love and fact will subdue me if I am the […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:9

Cover over an offense is forgiving someone who sins against me. Forgiving another is often not easy. This proverb gives a reason to forgive. Forgiving someone promotes and seeks love. Furthermore, if I do not forgive and the matter is repeated a mental and emotional rift is established. “Whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:8

This proverb appears to endorse giving a bribe as does 18:16 and 21:14. The original Hebrew word “shohad” (a transliteration) is translated into English as “gift, reward, present, and bribe”. It comes from the root word “shachad” meaning a donation. The point of a bribe is to pervert the course of justice (17:23) and this […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:7

The person this proverb addresses is anyone who has authority over others. A prince, a noble, a ruler, a supervisor, a manager, a judge, a professor, a teacher, and a parent are to ponder the meaning and application. Do I lie to those under my authority whether in actions or words? A fool is known […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:6

To live to see one’s grandchildren is a great blessing. (Genesis 48:11; Psalm 128:5-6) This is a state of fact whether it is recognized or not by everyone today. While it is true that for millenniums every human culture experienced this truth just as it did in Solomon’s day when this was written, it is […]

BDBD is Proveb 17:5

The way I react to others is a gauge of my relationship with God. If I mock the poor, then I show contempt for my Maker. Mock is “laag” in the original Hebrew meaning to make fun of, to laugh at, and to scorn. Contempt is “harap” in the original Hebrew meaning to reproach, defy, […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:4

Human nature is to gather around us people who think, talk, and act like us. “A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue.” A righteous man listens to virtuous lips; a truth-teller pays attention to an honest tongue. Apostle Paul warned Timothy, “For the time will come when […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:3

A crucible is a vessel made of a refractory substance such as graphite or porcelain, used for melting and calcining silver at high temperatures. A gold furnace is an enclosure of clay bricks where intense heat is generated by the combustion of coal or wood. Both have such a highly concentrated heat that the silver […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:2

This prophecy proverb would have been shocking in Solomon’s day. No one would even consider their servants anything but subjects let alone ruling over their sons and daughters. Furthermore, nobody would allow them to share the inheritance as one of the brothers. Yet that is just what happened with Joseph, Jacob’s second youngest son. He […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:1

A house that experiences much arguing knows this proverb to be true. A home of peace and quiet is better than a house with strife, even if that house doesn’t have an abundance of food and extravagant decor. The proverb does not directly say how to have peace probably because the reader is supposed to […]

BDBD is Proverb 16:33

Casting a lot in the lap was a way for the people in Solomon’s day to determine their god(s) will. They did not wear pants. They wore long robes called a mantle from the neck to the ankles. They would take small stones or pebbles and cast them in the mantle’s lap to determine their […]

BDBD is Proverb 16:32

Patience is compared to uncontrolled temper elsewhere in Proverbs and other books in the Bible (14:29, 15:18, 19:11; James 1:19-20; Ecclesiastes 9:18). The commentaries for 14:29 and 15:18 discusses the virtue of patience and the commentary for Ecclesiastes 9:18 discusses the benefit of controlling emotions. This proverb does not say that going to war […]