I like the NASB’s chapter heading: On Life and Conduct. This is, however, a tad generic. After all, most of Scripture is on life and conduct. Still, as a summation of this chapter, it’s a good one.
Proverbs 23:9 is interesting to contemplate in today’s culture. It certainly befits us all to avoid sharing secrets in the presence of the fool, but there is more here than that. It’s the idea of teaching or trying to enlighten others with fools present. The challenge for today is that we often try to teach through blogs or social media, where any idiot can see it and respond as they choose. It is important to recognize fool-responses and try to just ignore them.
That is not to support ignoring legitimate questions or contrary views. Take politics: someone that wants to discuss healthcare by working through the benefits of bigger regulation should be willing to talk the merits of less regulation. Those who only want to demand either socialized, single-payer or who want to insist that a completely deregulated free market system are the only ways to go, and think shouting louder is discussion, these are acting foolishly.
Proverbs 23:19 connects wisdom with walking in “the way.” Two thoughts: first, it’s a definite way. Not any of the good ways of which there are a plentitude, because there is only the way. The second thought is a stretch, exegetically. That is, if you turned this in on an assignment in class, it’s going to be less than perfect. The first term in Acts for those who follow Christ, after “disciples,” is “The Way.” Acts 9:2 tells us Saul was after those who followed the Way. What does wisdom do? It follows the Way.
You can draw that connection. I think it’s a decent one.
Proverbs 23:29 gives a list of rhetorical questions, all answered in Proverbs 23:30. This is about those who abuse alcohol. Wisdom avoids the abuse of intoxicants. Wisdom avoids the abuse of anything, really.