Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
Fools and sinners are arrogantly confident. In this proverb a band of cutthroats try to lure an innocent youth to join it by boasting of certain success. Such lazy, murderous thieves, bloated with ambitious and ignorant pride, are beyond hope or help (Pr 26:12,16).
Solomon knew evil friends were the greatest danger to his son and all young men, so he began Proverbs by warning against them (Pr 1:10-19). This proverb is part of a parable about a gang of murdering marauders, who optimistically described their plans to entice a new member. Solomon concluded the parable by guaranteeing their ruin (Pr 1:17-19).
The murderers speak in this proverb. Though such things are rarely said openly, Solomon exposed their true intents for the purpose of his warning. Full of malice and violence, they intend to find victims with assets (Pr 1:11-14). They will kill the innocents easily and swallow them as thoroughly as the grave. The united band will kill quickly; there will be no opposition; any incriminating evidence will be destroyed. Success is certain!
The haughty confidence and lying words of these cutthroats are old. Sinners have always thought their crimes would be easy and without consequences. They are sure of success in their evil ambitions. Foolish and naïve young men fall for their boastful plans and join them. They do not see the certain destruction that is waiting for all such wicked rebels.
David was confident he could have Uriah killed in battle to have his wife, but he forgot about God seeing the deed and taking the life of his son by Bathsheba (II Sam 12:14-23). He never thought it could lead to Amnon’s incest and Absalom’s sedition and whoring.
In another chapter of Proverbs, Solomon told how a strange woman, an adulteress, guaranteed pleasure and success for a sinful liaison with a young man (Pr 7:18-23). She detailed how they could get away with the heinous crime against her husband. The foolish dolt that joined her ended up dead and in hell (Pr 2:18-19; 5:5; 7:27; 9:18).
Judas thought thirty pieces of silver for betraying Jesus was an easy score. But the end result was far different – he gave the money back and was mocked by his co-conspirators. In his pride, he did not see Satan leaving his guilty bowels scattered in a field (Acts 1:18). He never imagined that the severe curse of Psalm 109:6-20 was for him and his crime.
The Jews hated Jesus, so they demanded Pilate to crucify Him. When he sought to avoid His innocent blood, they begged for it on themselves and their children (Matt 27:24-25). God and Titus made sure exactly that happened with the worst tribulation and trouble the world had seen or ever would see (Matt 21:33-41; 22:1-7; 23:29-36; I Thes 2:15-16).
The way of transgressors is hard (Pr 13:15), the way of murder harder. Solomon wrote, “A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him” (Pr 28:17). Gang members of all kinds that practice violence will be destroyed. The Bible warns that the candle of the wicked will be put out (Job 21:17; Pr 24:20).
The proverb’s lesson is for you to wisely assess the boastful claims of sinners and reject them. They are ignorant liars or malicious liars, and only a fool would believe them. The reasons for their arrogance are wicked pride and the desire to deceive other fools to join them. Your skepticism and rejection should apply to gangs, churches, or anyone with an agenda contrary to the Bible. Let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom 3:4).