Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Proverbs 24:23-34 (ESV)
More Sayings of the Wise
23 These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good. 24 Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,” will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, 25 but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. 26 Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips. 27 Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. 28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips. 29 Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.” 30 I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, 31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. 32 Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
We finish this section of Proverbs with a few more wise sayings that are not by Solomon, nor part of the Egyptian book of 30 sayings. The odd image in 24:26 of honesty being like a “kiss on the lips,” refers to how people (even two men) would great each other in Bible times. When a man met his superior, he would kiss his feet. When he met someone who was an equal, but not a friend, he would kiss his cheek. When he met an equal whom he trusted, he kissed on the lips. The important lesson is that we cannot have a genuine relationship with others, unless there is open and honest communication. Verse 24:27 is a general statement saying “focus on earning your money before thinking too much about spending it!”