This is yet another Proverb which presents opposing perspectives. The first perspective is to be humble and keep company with the poor. The second option is to take part in the rewards of the proud. We are told that the first is the better perspective. The question is why? The previous verse speaks of the downfall of pride. Pride brings conflict and strife. If we share in the “spoils” of the prideful, we share in that conflict and strife. We can avoid the trouble that comes with pridefulness if we remain humble. If the wisest man in the world, Solomon says this is the better option, then we would be wise to listen.
The earliest collection (25:1–29:27), titled “proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied,” came into being about 700 BC; the latest (1:1–9:18) dates from the 4th century BC. There also is an untitled acrostic poem about the virtuous wife (31:10–31).
The third collection (22:17–24:22) has attracted much attention because of its close affinity to the Egyptian “Wisdom of Amenemope,” variously dated between the 10th and 6th centuries BC. This likeness suggests that Israel’s wisdom movement, whatever its origins, was influenced by the wisdom literature of other ancient Middle Eastern cultures.
And we pray:
Lord, Help me to remain humble, even though the world would have me to share the spoils of the prideful. Help to keep my eyes focused on You so that I will make the right choices. Amen.