There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.
A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath. The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way. There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD. Proverbs 21:10-31 (KJB)
Prepared for the Battle – Proverbs 21:20-31
Verse 20 – The treasure to be desired. The oil in the dwelling of the wise. Foolish spending.
Verse 21 – Following righteousness and mercy. The fruit of the find is righteousness and honor.
Verse 22 – While the mighty may believe their wall is impregnable; the wise will scale the wall and defeat the city. The confidence of the city is then cast down too.
Verse 23 – More wisdom concerning the mouth and the tongue. Keeping the mouth equals guarding what you say. Those who will guard their mouth and tongue will have far less troubles and sorrows of soul.
Verse 24 –
“If you meet a proud and haughty man, just call him “Scoffer.” That’s his name! The name, of course, stands for what a person is. “For as his name is, so is he” (1 Sam. 25:25).” From Believer’s Bible Commentary.
Verses 25-26 – A difference in the slothful and the righteous. The slothful desires big things, but refuses to labor; while the righteous labor in order that they might have to give to need.
Verse 27 – Sacrifice of the wicked; the wicked mind. Compare Cain’s sacrifice with Abel’s (Genesis 4:1-15); King Saul’s sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:10-15ff) with the heart of David (Psalm 51:1-19).
Verse 28 –
“The contrast of a false witness with one who hears indicates that a person who testifies falsely has chosen not to listen carefully to either the matter at hand or the requirements that a witness act justly. Both the person and the perjury of such a witness will ultimately perish, because it is the Lord who clearly sees and judges these things (vv. 2, 12) and causes the word of the faithful witness to endure (cf. 12:19; 19:5, 9).” From the ESV Study Bible notes.
Verse 29 –
“A wicked man hardeneth his face,…. Against all corrections and reproofs of parents, masters, ministers, and others; he blushes not at sins committed, and is not ashamed of them, but glories in them: or, he “strengthens with his face” (l); he puts an impudent face upon his words, and confirms them by his impudence; if he tells the most notorious lies, and says things the most shameful and scandalous, his countenance does not alter, by which he would be thought to have spoken what is right and true;
but as for the upright, he directeth his way; or “his ways” (m); according to the various reading; the man that is upright in heart, and walks uprightly, he directs his way according to the word of God; and, if he does amiss, when sensible he is ashamed of it, and amends.” John Gills Expostion of the Bible.
Verses 30-31 – “And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.” (Jeremiah 51:29). Note; “…for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed…” No plan working against God will succeed.
The Believer’s Bible Commentary summarizes verses 30 and 31 this way:
“Verse 30: Nothing avails against God.
Verse 31: Nothing avails without God.”
No one is prepared for a victorious battle whose heart, mind, weapons, and armor are against the LORD.