Proverbs Challenge – Chapter 20

Wine Is a Mocker

20 Wine is a mocker,
Strong drink is a brawler,
And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

The [a]wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion;
Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life.

It is honorable for a man to stop striving,
Since any fool can start a quarrel.

The lazy man will not plow because of winter;
He will beg during harvest and have nothing.

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding will draw it out.

Most men will proclaim each his own [b]goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.

A king who sits on the throne of judgment
Scatters all evil with his eyes.

Who can say, “I have made my heart clean,
I am pure from my sin”?

10 Diverse weights and diverse measures,
They are both alike, an abomination to the Lord.

11 Even a child is known by his deeds,
Whether what he does is pure and right.

12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The Lord has made them both.

13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.

14 It is [c]good for nothing,” cries the buyer;
But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.

15 There is gold and a multitude of rubies,
But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

16 Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress.

17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

18 Plans are established by counsel;
By wise counsel wage war.

19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets;
Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.

20 Whoever curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will be put out in deep darkness.

21 An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning
Will not be blessed at the end.

22 Do not say, “I will [d]recompense evil”;
Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.

23 Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord,
And dishonest scales are not good.

24 A man’s steps are of the Lord;
How then can a man understand his own way?

25 It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy,
And afterward to reconsider his vows.

26 A wise king sifts out the wicked,
And brings the threshing wheel over them.

27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the [e]inner depths of his heart.

28 Mercy and truth preserve the king,
And by [f]lovingkindness he upholds his throne.

29 The glory of young men is their strength,
And the splendor of old men is their gray head.

30 Blows that hurt cleanse away evil,
As do stripes the [g]inner depths of the heart.


  1. Proverbs 20:2 Lit. fear or terror, produced by the king’s wrath
  2. Proverbs 20:6 Lit. mercy
  3. Proverbs 20:14 Lit. evil, evil
  4. Proverbs 20:22 repay
  5. Proverbs 20:27 Lit. rooms of the belly

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Odogun Oluwaseun Morrison

    Chapter 20 talks about series of behavior of men and it made me understand that those who get drunk will do rash and foolish things because of impaired judgment. Likely, harm will result, both to them and to others. Drunkenness is forbidden according to the Scripture (Ephesians 5:18), for we should rather be filled with the Spirit and totally under His control rather than under the control of alcohol.
    Also, it is unwise to provoke a person in authority to anger with you. It is a different matter altogether if the powers that be are angry over a humble but bold testimony for Christ. That is a predicament that is actually a blessing because of the honor of suffering for Christ. But to just do foolish things to get those in authority angry or irritated with you is dangerous and stupid.

  2. Akinbobola Esther

    We must be contented with all we have
    If u are poor and fervent in Christ keep growing,u will have lesser friends but never mind
    verse 15 warn every lazy hand so that they will not suffer
    Verse 23,We must fear God, because is obedient to the will of God

  3. Odedairo Oladele Omotayo

    In Proverbs 20 verse 1, speaks about the dangers of hard drink, “Wine is a scoffer, strong drink a roisterer; He who is muddled by them will not grow wise.
    Verse 10 speaks about honesty, “False weights and false measures, Both are an abomination to the LORD.” Prov. 11:1 has an identical message
    Verse 17 speaks about unjust gain, “Bread gained by fraud may be tasty to a man, But later his mouth will be filled with gravel.” This message seems to be similar to the message of 9:16-18 where Woman Folly tries to tempt an unknowing fool, “[She says,] ‘Let the simple enter here’; And to those devoid of sense she says, ‘Stolen waters are sweet, And bread eaten furtively is tasty.’ He does not know that the shades are there, That her guests are in the depths of Sheol.”
    Verse 24 speaks about God’s control of man, “A man’s steps are decided by the LORD;
    Verse 27 gives an interesting metaphor, “The lifebreath of man is the lamp of the LORD Revealing all his inmost parts.” It is reminiscent of Gen. 2:7, “the LORD God formed man from the dust of the earth. He blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” This type of thinking seems to have caused Elihu to say to Job, “But truly it is the spirit in men, The breath of Shaddai, that gives them understanding. It is not the aged who are wise, The elders, who understand how to judge”.


    Proverb 20
    The chapter opens with advice to avoid strong drink and alcohol by all means,and when one is deceived with one is a foolish person,vs 3 tell us that it is an honour for us to stop from fight,but all foolish person will keep on getting into a matter that does not concern one,
    Vs4 situation of the environment will not make a lazy person work ,
    Vs5 will need to work very well on our heart to brings out the best from our soul,
    Vs 7 talks about a man of integrity and his children gets blessing after his demise
    Vs11 Maturity is expose here
    Vs 13 here laziness should not be allowed here but when one walk hard he or she will never lack anything.
    Vs 14 talks about attitude of buyers in talking seller into selling things via gimmick.
    Vs 17 talks about not standing as a surety for somebody
    Vs18 talks about not flattering others.
    Vs 20 Good life and making it is in we honouring our parents even when they are bad
    Vs 21 remind us to avoid cutting corners again.
    Vs 27 our spirit is God’s candle searching our inner person.
    vs 29 tell us that strength show youth,while Gray hair also shows the old
    Vs 30 the importance of cane in correction as it Covey’s the message straight to the offender and cleans the inner part of the person.

  5. Imion immaculate osereme

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    Chapter 20

    Verse 1 Here is, 1. The mischief of drunkenness: Wine is a mocker; strong drink is raging. It is so to the sinner himself; it mocks him, makes a fool of him, promises him that satisfaction which it can never give him. It smiles upon him at first, but at the last it bites. In reflection upon it, it rages in his conscience. It is raging in the body, puts the humours into a ferment. When the wine is in the wit is out, and then the man, according as his natural temper is, either mocks like a fool or rages like a madman. Drunkenness, which pretends to be a sociable thing, renders men unfit for society, for it makes them abusive with their tongues and outrageous in their passions, ch. 23:29 . The folly of drunkards is easily inferred thence. He that is deceived thereby, that suffers himself to be drawn into this sin when he is so plainly warned of the consequences of it, is not wise; he shows that he has no right sense or consideration of things; and not only so, but he renders himself incapable of getting wisdom; for it is a sin that infatuates and besots men, and takes away their heart. A drunkard is a fool, and a fool he is likely to be.

    Verse 2 See here, 1. How formidable kings are, and what a terror they strike upon those they are angry with. Their fear, with which (especially when they are absolute and their will is a law) they keep their subjects in awe, is as the roaring of a lion, which is very dreadful to the creatures he preys upon, and makes them tremble so that they cannot escape from him. Those princes that rule by wisdom and love rule like God himself, and bear his image; but those that rule merely by terror, and with a high hand, do but rule like a lion in the forest, with a brutal power. Oderint, dum metuant —Let them hate, provided they fear. 2. How unwise therefore those are that quarrel with them, that are angry at them, and so provoke them to anger. They sin against their own lives. Much more do those do so that provoke the King of kings to anger. Nemo me impune lacesset —No one shall provoke me with impunity.

    Verse 3 This is designed to rectify men’s mistakes concerning strife. Men think it is their wisdom to engage in quarrels; whereas it is the greatest folly that can be. He thinks himself a wise man that is quick in resenting affronts, that stands upon every nicety of honour and right, and will not abate an ace of either, that prescribes, and imposes, and gives law, to every body; but he that thus meddles is a fool, and creates a great deal of needless vexation to himself. Men think, when they are engaged in quarrels, that it would be a shame to them to go back and let fall the weapon; whereas really it is an honour for a man to cease from strife, an honour to withdraw an action, to drop a controversy, to forgive an injury, and to be friends with those that we have fallen out with. It is the honour of a man, a wise man, a man of spirit, to show the command he has of himself by ceasing from strife, yielding, and stooping, and receding from his just demands, for peace-sake, as Abraham, the better man, Gen. 13:8 .

    Verse 4 See here the evil of slothfulness and the love of ease. It keeps men from the most necessary business, from ploughing and sowing when the season is: The sluggard has ground to occupy, and has ability for it; he can plough, but he will not; some excuse or other he has to shift it off, but the true reason is that it is cold weather. Though ploughing time is not in the depth of winter, it is in the borders of winter, when he thinks it too cold for him to be abroad. Those are scandalously sluggish who, in the way of their business, cannot find in their hearts to undergo so little toil as that of ploughing and so little hardship as that of a cold blast. Thus careless are many in the affairs of their souls; a trifling difficulty will frighten them from the most important duty; but good soldiers must endure hardness. Thereby it deprives them of the most necessary supports: Those that will not plough in seed-time cannot expect to reap in harvest; and therefore they must beg their bread with astonishment when the diligent are bringing home their sheaves with joy. He that will not submit to the labour of ploughing must submit to the shame of begging. They shall beg in harvest, and yet have nothing; no, not then when there is great plenty. Though it may be charity to relieve sluggards, yet a man may, in justice, not relieve them; they deserve to be left to starve. Those that would not provide oil in their vessels begged when the bridegroom came, and were denied.
    A man’s wisdom is here said to be of use to him for the pumping of other people, and diving into them, To get the knowledge of them. Though men’s counsels and designs are ever so carefully concealed by them, so that they are as deep water which one cannot fathom, yet there are those who by sly insinuations, and questions that seem foreign, will get out of them both what they have done and what they intend to do. Those therefore who would keep counsel must not only put on resolution, but stand upon their guard.To get knowledge by them. Some are very able and fit to give counsel, having an excellent faculty of cleaving a hair, hitting the joint of a difficulty, and advising pertinently, but they are modest, and reserved, and not communicative; they have a great deal in them, but it is loth to come out. In such a case a man of understanding will draw it out, as wine out of a vessel. We lose the benefit we might have by the conversation of wise men for want of the art of being inquisitive.
    It is easy to find those that will pretend to be kind and liberal. Many a man will call himself a man of mercy, will boast what good he has done and what good he designs to do, or, at least, what an affection he has to well-doing. Most men will talk a great deal of their charity, generosity, hospitality, and piety, will sound a trumpet to themselves, as the Pharisees, and what little goodness they have will proclaim it and make a mighty matter of it. But it is hard to find those that really are kind and liberal, that have done and will do more than either they speak of or care to hear spoken of, that will be true friends in a strait; such a one as one may trust to is like a black swan.

  6. Imion Angela Ofure

    V. 1 speaks about alcohol drinks and its dangers.
    V.10 speaks about being truthful, we must be completely truthful if we are to live long on earth. V. 15 speaks about how valuable wise speech is, it describes it as a precious object.
    V. 17 speaks about gaining unjustly, This message seems to be similar to the message of 9:16-18.
    V. 24 speaks about how God has control over man.

  7. Adefuwa Adedokunola E.

    Those who get drunk will do rash and foolish things because of impaired judgment. Likely, harm will result, both to them and to others. Drunkenness is forbidden according to the Scripture (Ephesians 5:18), for we should rather be filled with the Spirit and totally under His control rather than under the control of alcohol. God knows that stealing and lying come in various forms, and using misleading measures of payment is one of them. Not giving people what they paid for and stealing money from them with false weights and measures is a great wickedness before God.

  8. Akinsehinwa Queen

    Lets just imagine if we can fill ourself with the word of God, eat, drink and chew it the way some people CONSUME alcohol then bet it this life will be better. When been intoxicated you do some nasty things that are irritating to God and to man. Let’s be wise
    Do not prove people in authority to anger read Roman’s 13vs 1
    Everyman believe is that his ways are good but sometimes we know what we are doing is bad because no one heart is pure. Be just and sincere in everything we do in life because God doesn’t like people that cheats. We are in the world that we have to stress,work out ourself before we can make a living so it is better fo us to work now then sleep later that is when we are old.
    Dont do to people what others did to you in evil, just lets God vindicate you.
    Above all be rifht8and faithful

  9. Gbadebo Toluwalope

    Proverbs 20
    This chapter is filled with wisdom, it first tells us about not being deceived by the folly of strong drink. Rushed anger is actually the result of ignorance which brings trouble
    God has given us a choice, we always have an option to take the good or bad path so in whatever path we choose we should be ready for the outcome
    There is always a reward for everything we do, either good or bad then also to get knowledge means we already know and believe in God
    As a Christian when we overlook little injustice done to us by others, it is putting more stones in our crown that we will wear in heaven. When we forgive others, we earn God’s forgiveness.

  10. Gbadebo omotolani Esther

    It warn us about hard wine cause it will lead us astray it also tells us to be okay will whatever that we have and be obedient in Christ.

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