Proverbs 12

Proverbs 12 continues Solomon's wise sayings. A large portion of the book of Proverbs includes these short, common sense pieces of advice. After a series of introductions and lessons in chapters 1—9, chapter 10 began a long list of individual statements. In this chapter he continues to contrast the righteous and the wicked, showing that the life of the righteous is far better than the life of the wicked. This pattern will continue, covering the same basic theme, through chapter 15.
Chapter 12 continues to offer individual statements of common sense and godly wisdom.

The first portion of this chapter compares the various lifestyles of God-fearing people (Proverbs 1:7) to the lives of those who choose foolishness and sin. Among the highlights of this advice is the "stupidity"—the irrationality—of those who refuse to take good advice. Likewise, it is noted that it's better to "be" successful, even if others do not know it, rather than to "appear" successful and be a failure. Solomon also connects a person's treatment of animals to their righteousness (Proverbs 12:1–11).

The next part of chapter 12 makes frequent references to speech. Those who lie put themselves at risk: their own deceit, eventually, contradicts itself and they will be caught. Those who patiently hold their tongue, waiting to speak until they have something useful and helpful to say, are wise. In contrast are those who can't control their speech, hurting other people and damaging their own reputation in the process. Of special distaste to God are those who persistently lie (Proverbs 12:12–23).

The last statements of this chapter return to the opposing results of godliness, versus sin. Hard work, honesty, goodness, and kind words benefit a person and those around him. Laziness, lies, and rebellion against God are paths to disaster (Proverbs 12:24–28).

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