English – French
“And more than that, the preacher was wise; he still taught the people knowledge. Yes, he listened, and looked, and set in order many proverbs. The preacher sought to find out pleasing words; and words of truth written by the upright. The words of the wise are like goads; yes, their collected words are like nails driven home; they are given from one Shepherd” (Ecclesiastes 12:9-11 MKJV).
In the middle of the night of April 15-16 of 2007, it was given me to write proverbs. Like a tap of water turned on, they came, one after the other, 78 in all. Then, as fast as they began, they ended, like a tap turned off. There was no premeditation, no expectation and when the end came, there was nothing I could do to continue. They were just there.
Since then the Lord has given me more, when I am quiet, in His way, and when He wills.
The principles of life have many manifestations, each of which can be expressed as a proverb. A proverb can appear simple on the surface, stating the obvious, as even to give the impression that a simpleton speaks. As one contemplates the words and seeks a deeper meaning, however, he or she can be rewarded with counsel and understanding that serve well in many applications of life, should God give to that one.
1. Give a man bread to eat and he will be hungry again.
2. The sun rises and the sun sets, yet things are not finished.
3. A man will please himself, he may please his neighbor, but will he please God?
4. The ability to see is good if it be used well.
5. So you say you see. Do you know what you see and what to do with what you see?
6. Wisdom is to do well with what you have.
7. Faith is to know it can and will be done.
8. Love can never fail; though it bears no fruit at first, it will.
9. The one that rejects good counsel is no better than a dog on a stranger’s lawn.
10. A good son is a blessing, but a wayward son does not bring peace.
11. To do well rejoices the heart, and a temperate meal gives hope.
12. A bird sings with hope and joy.
13. A bird singing, a baby crying, and a man laboring – these all proclaim hope.
14. Does a hammer drive a nail with gentleness? Does an axe cut down a tree with love?
15. Labor in hope only with the right hand; otherwise hope is deferred.
16. Do you know? Will you remember what you know?
17. A good neighbor does not meddle, and shows himself when he is needed.
18. As a dog defecates and urinates where it will, so sinners do as they please.
19. All seasons come and go, and come again.
20. A fool will not listen to good counsel or he would not be a fool.
21. A horse is strong and so is an ant.
22. Hurry if you will, but why go in the wrong direction?
23. Necessities met are good, if they lead to good.
24. Who can tell what is good and evil but the One Who makes both?
25. There are things purposed and things that are by chance; both are in God’s hands, the one in His right, the other in His left.
26. Godly power is perfected when it empowers those on whom it is exercised.
27. Justice and right doing prolong the life, but evil dissipates the soul.
28. To have a child and not teach it is to sail a ship and not steer it.
29. Treasures are to be had in abundance, but where are they to be found?
30. The learned man finds treasure because his heart craves it.
31. A window lets in the light to see, and it lets one be seen.
32. A child falls and hurts himself, but a good parent picks him up and tends to his hurts.
33. Blessings and curses – both return on the head of the one that speaks them.
34. Confusion comes from these three, and four: prematurity, ill will, self-serving, and lack of knowledge.
35. Wisdom works and it teaches; foolishness does not work but it teaches the wise.
36. A broom for dust, a cloth for spills, and good counsel for lack of understanding.
37. Sweetness is good if there isn’t too much.
38. Pretended virtue and sincere vice are one.
39. Flattery is desirable to one seeking, but unworthy of, praise.
40. As God makes the clouds and rain come and go, provides materials for birds to build their nests and places for animals to make their dens, so He rules chance.
41. Chance is accidental if God is not God.
42. Who will look to pleasure for good when having good is pleasure in itself?
43. Sleep is tempting and seeks to rob one of opportunity.
44. Sleep comes again; opportunity not as frequently.
45. As many as they may be, words will cease, but reality remains forever.
46. Much talk has an agenda that is not good.
47. A man purposes to take smoke into his lungs because he does not have life to breathe out.
48. Food for the body is taken in, whereas food for the soul is also given out.
49. A wise man will speak, but not for himself.
50. As light dispels darkness, so good words bring knowledge and understanding.
51. What is love but to serve the ultimate good?
52. Time comes to an end, but good works continue.
53. A good and faithful wife is from the Lord; let the husband rejoice in her.
54. He that serves his Maker will have many friends; he that serves himself is an enemy to many.
55. As branches on a tree, twigs on a branch, and leaves on a twig, so is a good word spoken multiplied.
56. When evil comes, a righteous one will not fret: the Equalizer is diligent to do a perfect work.
57. Signs are everywhere to point the way, but a blind man does not see them.
58. Thirst that is quenched by water that enters the mouth will return, but he that is a fountain of living water will never thirst.
59. As leaves are gathered with a rake or scattered by the wind, so are the wicked before the Lord.
60. A thief acts as though no one sees, yet feels that all see.
61. Though the outer man perishes, his perishing renews the inner man.
62. Those that strive for glory are remembered, but not for good, and those who strive for good are glorified.
63. Waters may rage or be still; they may bring peace or they may kill; so it is with knowledge.
64. Words can be like a stagnant pool or a lively brook.
65. Test the waters before you drink from them.
66. The air tells them that are in it.
67. Perspective may rule as a tyrant or soothe as a loving parent; the subject must choose.
68. Frequency and abundance tend to less pleasure, but rarity and want of good things to appreciation.
69. Walking and creeping beasts leave traces, but the paths of birds leave no mark.
70. Creatures of earth have obstacles, but those of the air fly freely.
71. There is no want of things to know and to do, only what and how.
72. A baby cries because it is helpless, but is heard for its crying.
73. A good carpenter measures twice and three times before he cuts.
74. Peace is to him who brings war for good, but woe to the one who speaks peace to hide war.
75. A robin makes its home with man; so God comforts all His creatures.
76. There are no two things naturally alike, so why should you try to be otherwise?
77. How is it that those who need wisdom most despise it?
78. Screams come of fear and pain; so it is with those that protest and argue loudly.
79. Who speaks words loosely? Destroyer is his name.
80. All things are written in the countenance of a man.
81. Words in haste and anger are as one upsetting a table of breakables.
82. As the unskilled cannot tell precious gems from cheap costume jewelry, so fools cannot discern truth from falsehood.
83. Foolish words spoken are as passing gas.
84. As the mule stops and refuses to budge for all the beating, so the fool says, “I would rather destroy myself and be my own than profitably serve another and live.”
85. Do what is right no matter what the cost and it will pay.
86. He walks in constant embarrassment who conceals evil, but one with a clear conscience exudes a quiet confidence.
87. Emotion rules as a tyrant, but one who rules his own spirit is benevolent.
88. The wicked conceal themselves in darkness, but the righteous glory in the light.
89. If one will have no ceiling to prevent him, he must live in the open air.
90. Beware of those who want what you have; beware of yourself when you want what others have.
91. One who trusts a double-minded person trusts a dog with a steak.
92. A glancing eye and a searching look for opportunity are an abomination to the upright.
93. One who sits at table as a guest and does not rule his appetite will not be a guest for long.
94. To respect the gift more than the giver is folly and treachery.
95. As a river finds its way, so a just desire will find its way.
96. Symmetry declares understanding.
97. Understanding finds a right conclusion, but foolishness leads to a dead end.
98. A full man has no regard for the poor, but the empty is tolerant of the full.
99. Emptiness has room for filling but the full must be poured out to make room.
100. Marriage is not for happiness, but godly sorrow leads to fulfillment.
101. There is no end to gathering, yet men gather to their end as though it never comes.
102. Birds of the air recognize the difference between those that walk upright and those that walk on all fours.
103. How quickly the countenance of a merchant changes when he acquires what he desires.
104. Only God knows what will be, and He tells it to those that are His.
105. Joy is as a fountain bursting high into the air; so with the one that believes.
106. There is no end of words; to live the Life is the substance of all.
107. What was, was; what is, is; and what will be, will be. Man is as mercury in a thermometer.
108. Winter is cold but it brings rest.
109. Spring may be silent, but it teems with new life.
110. Labor while you are able; the time comes when you are prevented.
111. Who says, “We have a lot of time”? But time has all of you.
112. If you work for that which perishes, you perish with it; labor for that which is everlasting.
113. A little poison does much harm; so with an unkind word.
114. The power of forgiveness overcomes all evil.
115. As a foot brushes away words written in sand, so forgiveness erases old offense.
116. God makes all things new and none can prevent it, not even those who bemoan the loss of the old.
117. A serpent sheds its skin but only after it has formed another to replace it.
118. As an addict craves his drugs, so an evil man seeks his way.
119. There is only one that overcomes; death has no power over him.
120. Many are those who demand justice, equity and peace, but for whom?
121. What is man that he should be so highly regarded? He has made himself so low, yet God has made him to be so high.
122. A pure heart already sees God.
123. There is nothing that cannot be seen by the one who has the eye to see. To him, all things are naked, though clothed and concealed.
124. Who dares tell God what to do? Yet man does it all the time.
125. Precious ointment is a delight to the heart, and he that loves the Lord a precious substance for all.
126. Bring the wine and song. This is a day of rejoicing, which the Lord has made. Let those who have labored for Him receive their reward.
127. Much good overcomes much evil; so does a little good.
128. There is great power in the small detail; great things are achieved and great destruction is caused thereby.
129. Spill the water to the ground. God will open the windows of Heaven and pour out more than you can hold.
130. There comes an end to the desert because there is the One Who made it.
131. Do you have pain? It works its way so that you can be free.
132. Be honest in all your dealings; you deal with yourself, and your Maker rewards you accordingly.
133. The young take the place of the old, and each begets after its kind.
134. The world demands all attention, and the servant of God can give it none.
135. I cry, and the tears wash away the reason for my crying.
136. He feeds on wind who serves himself, but he that serves the Lord inherits the earth.
137. Let evil come against the righteous man. It will hurt only the one who brings it.
138. Heaven and earth are at the service of the one who knows the One Who made both.
139. The one that chooses unrighteousness is hard pressed to admit it.
140. A double minded woman eats her own flesh, despising the bread her Maker would provide.
141. As the weasel chews its leg to escape the trap, so the wicked with the yoke of the Lord.
142. A fortress in an alien land is needful, and armaments for peace. Blessed is the honest one.
143. Peace comes to those who receive it and desire it for others.
144. You are the prince of princes, and I have chosen you for, and given you, all things.
145. Nothing can deter an iron will, his spirit carved in ageless stone to defeat all evil.
146. A virtuous woman is faithful in her weakness, and she shall be called strong and the beloved of the Lord.
147. An evil woman possessing great skill will find it turned on her.
148. A discerning man has wisdom and foresight. Before it happens, he knows it.
149. She who is faithful in great things is also faithful in the little.
150. With joy and skill does the little one serve, and she shall be great among the small.
151. A warrior in faith must first have the arrows, spear and sword turned on him.
152. A righteous heart quietly seeks to do that which is acceptable to the Lord.
153. The Lord highly honors a faithful servant because he is a man after His own heart.
154. A man prospers in the treasuries of the Lord because he has asked for it.
155. A beautiful woman seeks to do good to her neighbor.
156. Out of the ocean, an island arises by fire, washes off, and produces abundant new life.
157. A fool rages with much knowledge, but the wise tell the substance.
158. Religion is a refuge to those who flee the truth.
159. Unity is strong, and unity in perfection indomitable.
160. Barking dogs may not bite but they express a willingness to do so.
161. As an unbelieving man sells his birthright for a bowl of soup, so an adulterer trades long life for brief pleasure.
162. As continually scratching a scab delays healing, so the telling again and again of an offense.
163. Before a man conceives his plans, the Lord has purposed it.
164. As pure gold and silver only by fire, so the faith of the chosen.
165. The simple learn little, but by them the Lord teaches much.
166. A faithful brother is a precious gift of God, but one in unbelief trouble and sorrow.
167. As dung is passed, so one ought to dispose of memories that bring bitterness.
168. All things pass, whether good or evil, and others come to replace them, according to the will of the One Who creates all.
169. Love is the ripe fruit of the tree of wisdom. Without the fruit, the tree grows in vain.
170. Good words are life-giving food to both speaker and hearer.
171. There is danger in a place of safety, and safety in a place of danger.
172. A meal is delicious and a bed pleasant to the one that earns them.
173. A bird can be told by its nest.
174. Birds of the air lay eggs but so do serpents.
175. The careless one is not satisfied, but there is joy in a job well done.
176. As a harvest at its appointed time, so the Lord rewards both good and evil.
177. The understanding of heart discerns the silent speech.
178. Dessert is enjoyed if it is occasional.
179. The wicked resent consideration, seeing they are in need of it.
180. How do you know that one unfaithful to another will be faithful to you? Can a leopard change its spots?
181. As the sun by seeing, and the cold by feeling, so one is able to taste the substance of truth, and not by the way it is arranged on the plate.
182. I tell you your sins, whereby if you were to believe instead of being offended, you would be made free.
183. Wisdom cries out by every creature of God, but a fool denies the nose of his face.
184. Fools gather knowledge, not to understand but to destroy.
185. Silence is golden, and so the proclamation of truth, but the unbeliever cannot comprehend either.
186. “I believe in life,” says the fool, and puts a knife to his throat.
187. A fool looks in a mirror held to his face, and scorns what he sees as another.
188. As a coyote loves a rabbit and a rabbit loves clover, so men of darkness love one another.
189. As a prisoner in darkness for a time closes his eyes and shields them with his hands when light appears, so unbelievers respond to truth spoken.
190. Though offered freedom, some prisoners, having served a lengthy time, prefer to remain where they are; so too, many who hear the news of redemption.
191. For two or more to love one another and dwell in harmony is a miracle and a gift of God.
192. A traitor gouges out his own eyes and cuts out his own tongue, but a faithful friend enjoys continual health.
193. Who can be fearful when he knows his Maker?
194. As one who cuts off his limbs and slays his own children, so it is with those who sacrifice themselves for their god.
195. Faith in men is destruction; faith in God, instruction.
196. Gathering enough maintains life and gathering too much takes it away.
197. A wolf may come in sheep’s clothing, and, to the wicked, a true shepherd comes as a wolf. “I want freedom,” the wicked cries, “to suffer want and to perish.”
198. Youth seeks its own pleasures, not considering the price is exorbitant.
199. As one winnows the grain to keep the chaff, so man labors to gather in this world, and the wind takes it away.
200. He that serves himself is a cruel taskmaster and a hard bargainer. Run from him as soon and as fast as you can.
201. He who claims his own virtue is void of it; the more he proclaims, the less of it he has.
202. Strength of the flesh to strength of the spirit is as a spade to an excavator.
203. A wild dog is free to roam, caring for itself, but a pet has a caring keeper.
204. Excess adds to death, but to suffer want can restore the life.
205. Man may not have wings but he can find a way to fly; so the impossible can become possible to one that believes. (One cannot fly but he can make wings and bring many with him.)
206. Harlots stand with religious attire on every street corner, enticing fools to spend their substance.
207. As creatures of the forest fleeing a raging fire close behind them, so men busy themselves in the affairs of this life.
208. The wicked kill themselves to avoid the truth, so much do they perceive it to be their enemy; they feed on poison as their necessary food.
209. Faith is the knowledge of God and His ways.
210. Pride is the staircase leading one upwards to destruction.
211. Man, in all his knowledge, is unable to duplicate anything of God’s works, neither can he make anything new; he can only destroy that which God has made, including himself.
212. All the ways of man, filled with sophistication, knowledge and great works, are corrupt; he builds brick towers to reach the stars.
213. As dogs on a leash and as castrated calves, so husbands love and serve their wives; if they should fail, woe to them.
214. Much inconvenience for a just cause is a worthy price.
215. Faith is the willing consent to dwell in an invisible world.
216. The greater the diligence, the greater the reward, yet God gives grace to the humble of heart, and exalts whom He wills, even the base.
217. There are works of God and works of men, and all are determined from above.
218. Those who suffer injustice are not innocent, and those who wield the sword are not without cause.
219. All sentences of the courts on earth are perfect, determined by the highest court of all.
220. There are those who gather much and have nothing, and those who gather little and have all.
221. Many proclaim knowledge and wisdom, but where are these to be found?
222. As a key breaks in a lock and prevents another key from entering, so a half-hearted seeker listens to the preacher and walks away.
223. A thief recognizes the treasure of a rich man, and risks his life to take it, but fools contemn true riches, avoiding them at all costs.
224. As swine pay no mind to jewels, so the dead despise the Law of God.
225. The wicked seeks knowledge for himself, but the righteous for another.
226. There is much appearance of virtue, but God knows the hearts.
227. A man can receive nothing, great or small, except it be granted him from above.
228. God hides Himself; only the eye of faith can perceive Him in chance and circumstance.
229. Wholesome food is scorned by the masses, and junk food prized; so truth is despised, and lies embraced.
230. As light dispels darkness, so truth dispels error, and who can prevent the sun and the day?
231. The knife of a loving physician first brings pain, then healing.
232. Friends are not told by friendliness; so enemies are not told by enmity.
233. The fool is known by his foolishness, and he can do nothing right; but the wise manifests his wisdom though he does nothing.
234. When faith, patience and persistence lock their arms together, little can prevent them.
235. Appreciation is a gift and great blessing to those who have it, but worthless to those who are void of it.
236. A man of faith hopes and bears all things, but a worthless man fears and despairs of very life.
237. The unworthy one appears before God and receives a reward, while the worthy one goes away disillusioned.
238. Profitable are the words of the wise, but fools have no money to buy them.
239. Rain interrupts the sun, only to help it produce more abundantly.
240. It is God Who sends both the rain and the sun.
241. Solitude is the way of a great company.
242. To reach the heights, one must climb upward.
243. The thinner and more invisible the element, the greater and more urgent the need of it.
244. If ignorance is bliss, why, when tragedy strikes, do they cry, “Why did they not tell us?”
245. If greed is good, why give anything to the children?
246. If happiness is the principal thing, why does death come to all, and why do all people mourn when it comes?
247. If fat is beautiful, then what are running, agility, energy, depth of breath, moderate meals, normal-sized chairs and doorways, and longer life?
248. The fearful laugh and the faithful cry; the day comes when the tears are wiped from the face of the righteous and smiles from the face of the fearful.
249. Those who glorify the Lord are glorified, and those who contemn Him are despised.
250. There are those who get to give and those who give to get; so are the works of God and of men.
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