On Life & Conduct: Wisdom in Relationships and Business Dealings

Proverbs 19-20

Chapter 19-23 contain proverbs on life and conduct of a wise person. In particular they discuss various relationships of various kinds and business dealings. In these chapters, everyone, no matter their lot or position in life, can find wisdom to apply to life.

There and Then


An outline for Proverbs is available on the Downloads page in the Outlines / Old Testament folder.

Themes in these chapters include the following.

Theme Verses
Alcohol 1
Blessings of Righteousness 13
Emotions 3
Family 6
Friendship 3
Futility of Folly 7
Generosity 2
God and Man 11
Hard Work v. Laziness 7
Leadership 7
Proper Speech 5
Wealth and Poverty 6
Wisdom’s Benefits 8


Lord, Brothers, False Witness, Father(s), Friend(s), Fool, Foreigners, Generous Man, Gossip, King(s), Lad, Liar, Man of Great Anger, Mother, Old Men Poor Man, Princes, Rascally Witness, Righteous Man, Scoffer(s), Slanderer, Slave, Sluggard, Son(s), Stranger, Wife, Young Men


There is no specific location mentioned in these chapters. There are a few verses that discuss the steps a person takes or the path choose. These decisions will lead to places—either good or evil.


Instructions and wise sayings attributed to Solomon, the son of David, the greatest King of Israel

Key Words:

Lord, Poor, King, Son, Differing, Discipline, Evil, Good, Keeps, Knowledge, One, Wise, Witness

Key Verse(s):

19:8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good.

19:13-14 A foolish son is destruction to his father, And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping. 14 House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the LORD.

19:20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.

19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.

20:11 It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself If his conduct is pure and right.

20:12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The LORD has made both of them.

20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the innermost parts of his being.

Cross References1:

19:23—Fear of the Lord

Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

Proverbs 14:26-27 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

Nehemiah 5:9 Again I said, “The thing which you are doing is not good; should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?

Psalms 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.

Psalms 33:18-19 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness, 19 To deliver their soul from death And to keep them alive in famine.

Psalms 145:18-20 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. 20 The LORD keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

Isaiah 50:10 Who is among you that fears the LORD, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.

Malachi 2:5 “My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he revered Me and stood in awe of My name.

Malachi 3:16-18 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” 18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

Malachi 4:2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.


Acts 9:31 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.

Acts 13:16 Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:

Acts 13:26 “Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent.

Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Revelation 15:3-4 And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! 4 “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED.”


There are no particularly difficult passages in these chapters in regard to understanding.  It is the doing that is the difficult part.


Notes & Commentaries:

No notes, just the Word.

Here and Now

Answer the questions below as you reflect on your own life and this study2: my LOG vs others SPECK

S — Are there sins to avoid or confess?

  • Are my speech and actions always reflecting my love for God and the proper fear He deserves?

P — Are there promises from God to claim?

  • There are many benefits to be found in following the way of wisdom: the most important is found in 19:23.

E — Are there examples to follow?


  • Those who follow the wisdom in God’s Word and the wise counsel of the righteousness


  • Those who conduct their lives in an unrighteous manner: perverting justice, cheating people financially, and taking advantage others.

C — Are there commands to obey?

K — How can this passage increase my knowledge about God / Jesus Christ / Holy Spirit?

  • God is to be feared in awe but not cowered from in dread
  • God will direct a person’s life if they listen to the wisdom of God word

Other Application Questions

Are there principles to guide?

Are there warnings to heed?

Are there attitudes to adopt?

Are there actions to take?


Smith, Jerome H. Nelson’s Cross-Reference Guide to the Bible: Illuminating God’s Word Verse-by-Verse. Thomas Nelson, 2007. Print.

The Navigators. The Navigator Bible Studies Handbook. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 1986. Print.

1     (Smith 672–675)
2     (The Navigators) [with additions] & Matthew 7:1-5.

Proverbs - Chapters - 19-20
Proverbs - Chapters - 19-20
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