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Chapter 19 continues the proverbs of Solomon. The chapter touches on friendships, wealth, laziness, the home, and more.
Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
– Proverbs 19:1
We expect the poor to be contrasted with the rich, and Proverbs 28:6 does that in a similar proverb. So the fool in the second phrase is understood to be a wealthy fool. The word for integrity means completeness, or innocence in the sense of being blameless. It is sometimes translated as upright. Walking uprightly means having wisdom and walking in wisdom (Proverbs 2:6-7; 13:6; 20:7). The word for perverse means distorted, or crooked. It is sometimes translated as froward. Cleverness is implicit in the twisting of words by the obstinate fool. Being poor and possessing wisdom is possible and better than being such a rich fool.
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