Chapter marks are a more recent development added to the Bible for purposes of easier reference. Sometimes they get in the way of the more fluid reading that the writer intended. It is interesting way to read these proverbs to remove these chapter partitions and read larger chunks of instruction. kjv@CONCORD:Proverbs:1-8
If the preparations of the heart are the Lord's kjv@Proverbs:16:1, if his goings forth are from the Lord and his way cannot be understood outside of the Lord kjv@Proverbs:20:24 and if it is only the counsel of the Lord that will stand kjv@Proverbs:19:21, what do we have other than to choose which of His steps to take? In light of kjv@Romans:1:18-24 God prepared hearts to follow after Him, He gave them a choice, as much as He prepared they still chose contrary, their steps now are directed (that choice leads to these steps) yet His counsel must stand - they are condemned for transgressing the preparation laid into their hearts.
I have typically viewed these proverbs as being directed toward individuals for personal consideration and use. But then I see the wicked, the workers of iniquity, plural, collective. How is it that we are to overcome their masses individually if we the upright are not affiliated collectively like they? For us to do justice/judgement large scale, mercy/charity, be prosperous but not greedy, be generous and not selfish, doesn't their have to be a strong element of collaboration and community?
This is not to say that it shouldn't be this way. The majority of the poor are poor for the reasons explained here in the proverbs. They do not rule themselves so how should it be expected to rule well over others. The borrower rightfully owes the lender all that he has agreed to return else he would be a thief. It could be said that much of our nation's problem is not that we are overly compassionate but, that we are ruled by the poor and by debt that we have no intention of paying back. Debt and severe covetness have become our vision of entitlement and we blame the rich and the lender for our deepening woes.
A government driven false economy develops around the service of the poor. Money that should be flowing to the truly needy is sucked up by the service providers and delivery mechanisms installed. It is not so much the rich who desires to increase his riches that oppresses, but the workers and providers who see the service of poor as their employment career and retirement. The government sees the system as a means of inflating their employment numbers. Where are the poor left? Better off? Oppressed?
Dainties...deceitful meat...desirous. Not everything is as it seems. Not everything is as it is presented. People put the best spin on things. People have their way of making even the worst look the best. Their is a price that they have had to pay; no need paying it alongside with them or for them.
The application of reproof appears to be situational or conditional. For instance, if you snap back at him in like manner you are as big a fool as he. If you rebuff him at his conceit without a conceit of your own you may show where he is unwise.