Bible Study Christian Living

Surprising Proverbs

Written by Patti Greene

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 Surprising Proverbs

As a teenager, I had a healthy, holy regard for the Bible from afar. But, once I began to read the Bible at the age of 16 years old, I was awed that this HOLY BOOK contained some of the funniest and most profound things I had ever seen. One of the funniest proverbs I read as a new believer was about how it was better to live in the corner of an attic than with a crabby woman in lovely home. [Proverbs 21:9] I pictured my future husband hanging out in an attic because he couldn’t stand to be around me. Of course, it was funny because I wasn’t married at the time. Then, I read about a dog who returns to his vomit, just like a fool repeats his folly. [Proverbs 16:31] Finally, I read about how white hair is a crown of glory and is seen most among the godly. [Proverbs 26:11] — It made me think of my Grammy! Once I read verses like those, I was hooked into reading more of these surprising Proverbs. Believe it or not, those verses were what God used to get me interested in reading more of the Bible!

I love the word “PITHY.” My definition of a proverb is, “a brief, pithy statement voicing a wise truth regarding how we should live or how we should not live.”

The Book of Proverbs is an Old Testament book. Many of the proverbs come from King Solomon who spoke these words in the 10 century B.C. Solomon’s 3,000 wise sayings and 1,005 contains wisdom sayings for everyone — from the very young to the aged. God wants to instruct us on how to be a better person. He does this through this little instruction book by discussing the fear of God, reckoning, human speech, human sexuality, and more.

‘The purposes of the book of Proverbs are stated in the prologue to the wisdom collections in Proverbs 1:2-7.” They include:

  • Know wisdom and instruction
  • To receive teaching in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity
  • To help the simple gain prudence and the youth to gain knowledge and discretion
  • To increase learning and to acquire skill in understanding
  • To understand proverbs, parables, wise sayings, and riddles, and
  • To learn the fear of the Lord.¹

I can’t help but encourage all of you to read this awesome book. Reading the Book of Proverbs will make you laugh, cry, inspire, and convict you. Today, let’s look at one proverb or phrase from each of the 31 chapters of Proverbs. Hopefully, these will excite and motivate you to read the entire chapter. Determine to read one chapter of Proverbs each day for a month. What a wonderful way to study this outstanding book. And, for all you women reading this blog, check out Proverbs 31 – It’s written just for you!!!

Surprising Proverbs: Verses from The Living Bible

Proverbs 1:7-9 How does a man become wise? The first step is to trust and reverence the Lord! Only fools refuse to be taught. Listen to your father and mother. What you learn from them will stand you in good stead; it will gain you many honors.

Proverbs  2:1-5 Every young man who listens to me and obeys my instructions will be given wisdom and good sense. Yes, if you want better insight and discernment, and are searching for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure, then wisdom will be given you and knowledge of God himself; you will soon learn the importance of reverence for the Lord and of trusting him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

Proverbs 4:24 Spurn the careless kiss of a prostitute. Stay far from her.

Proverbs 5:18 Be happy, yes, rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Proverbs 6:10-11 “Let me sleep a little longer!” Sure, just a little more!  And as you sleep, poverty creeps upon you like a robber and destroys you; want attacks you in full armor.

Proverbs 7:1-3 Follow my advice, my son; always keep it in mind and stick to it. Obey me and live! Guard my words as your most precious possession. Write them down, and also keep them deep within your heart.

Proverbs 8:33-34 “Listen to my counsel—oh, don’t refuse it—and be wise. Happy is the man who is so anxious to be with me that he watches for me daily at my gates, or waits for me outside my home!

Proverbs 9:6 Leave behind your foolishness and begin to live; learn how to be wise.

Proverbs 10:4 Lazy men are soon poor; hard workers get rich.

Proverbs 11:13 A gossip goes around spreading rumors, while a trustworthy man tries to quiet them.

Proverbs 12:20 Deceit fills hearts that are plotting for evil; joy fills hearts that are planning for good!

Proverbs 13:11 Wealth from gambling quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows.

Proverbs 14:17 A short-tempered man is a fool. He hates the man who is patient.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels.

Proverbs 16:3-4 Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed. The Lord has made everything for his own purposes—even the wicked for punishment.

Proverbs 17:27-28 The man of few words and settled mind is wise; therefore, even a fool is thought to be wise when he is silent. It pays him to keep his mouth shut.

Proverbs 18:17 Any story sounds true until someone tells the other side and sets the record straight.

Proverbs 19:21 Man proposes, but God disposes.

Proverbs 20:13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Stay awake, work hard, and there will be plenty to eat!

Proverbs 21:14 An angry man is silenced by giving him a gift!

Proverbs 22:1 If you must choose, take a good name rather than great riches; for to be held in loving esteem is better than silver and gold.

Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father’s advice and don’t despise an old mother’s experience.

Proverbs 24:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemy meets trouble. Let there be no gladness when he falls— for the Lord may be displeased with you and stop punishing him!

Proverbs 25:2 It is God’s privilege to conceal things, and the king’s privilege to discover and invent. You cannot understand the height of heaven, the size of the earth, or all that goes on in the king’s mind!

Proverbs 26:17 Yanking a dog’s ears is no more foolish than interfering in an argument that isn’t any of your business.

Proverbs 27:1-2 Don’t brag about your plans for tomorrow—wait and see what happens. Don’t praise yourself; let others do it!

Proverbs 28:5 Evil men don’t understand the importance of justice, but those who follow the Lord are much concerned about it.

Proverbs 29:20 There is more hope for a fool than for a man of quick temper.

Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God proves true. He defends all who come to him for protection. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Proverbs 31:10-12 If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! Her husband can trust her, and she will richly satisfy his needs. 12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip through the Proverbs.

If you have a favorite proverb, I would love to hear it in the comment section!

God Bless.


Bible Verses:

See above.


Dear Lord, I want to be a wise person. Please show me what I need to do and what I need to learn to be more like you. Help me to read through your Holy Scriptures with an understanding given from the Holy Spirit. I need you in my life and I need to be constantly close to you. Give me power to be committed in Bible study and prayer. If I don’t have you by my side, my life will spiral out of control and I don’t want that. Thank you for who you are and how you are going to lead my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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¹ Hill, Andrew and John H. Walton. A Survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 2000.

About the author

Patti Greene

Patti Greene is the author of three outstanding devotional prayer journals, Answer Me, Anchor Me, and Awaken Me and a book titled "Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending." Patti earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and pursued graduate studies in religious education and library science spending two years as a second-grade teacher. After spending 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, Greene spent 18 more years as a school librarian in St. Louis, Missouri and Houston, Texas. When not writing books or blogs, Greene spends her time caregiving, reading, researching, and hanging out with her family and friends. Patti and her husband have three adult children and five grandchildren. Visit her blog at

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