A second time the author identifies himself as Solomon (see Prov 1:1), perhaps suggesting a new series of topics are forthcoming. Prov 1-9 spoke primarily to matters of wisdom and foolishness (a motif clearly running throughout all 31 Proverbs) and sexual immorality. Proverbs 10 and following speak to a variety of life skills needed to navigate successfully through the maize of moral choices one faces.
Wisdom and foolishness give birth to their own: the righteous and the wicked, respectively. Once again, diligence is marked as a character trait of the righteous. The fruit of one’s labor, systematically and strategically executed over extended periods of time, will sustain the prudent by the Lord’s provision. When opportunity arises, the wise seize it. “Carpe diem!” (Prov 10:1-5).
Sin is not committed in a moral vacuum. Prov 10:18 indicates that lying is not merely an assault on the truth, it is a form of hatred. Intentionally saying false things about others with a view to maligning their character is a strike against a person. We could say “While not all hatred involves lying, all lying involves hatred.” It is the nature of sin that, once committed, a host of moral failures emerge.
Prov 10:8, 10-11, 13, 19-21 suggest that much can be known about a person by their words. Our words put our soul on display for all to observe and to scrutinize. The more we say, the more we reveal. What we sow in words we reap in relationships (Prov 10:32).
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Mt 12:35–37).