corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Proverbs 12

 

 

Verses 1-3

The Rewards of a Righteous Heart in Contrast With a Wicked Heart- One of the consequences of rejecting God's instructions ( Proverbs 12:1) is that God will send them a strong delusion in its place, so that they will choose such a lie above the truth of the Word of God.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

As a result, the wicked heap to themselves divine condemnation, while the righteous shine brighter and brighter as a child of God ( Proverbs 12:2). As they continue in these lies and delusions, God will turn them over to a reprobate mind ( Romans 1:16-32). This position will bring the wicked to a quick end while the righteous become established in the things of God ( Proverbs 12:3).

Proverbs 12:1 Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

Proverbs 12:1 — "Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge" - Word Study on "instruction" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "instruction" ( מוּסָר) (H 4148) means, "correction, admonition, discipline, instruction, doctrine." Strong says it means, "chastisement, reproof, warning, instruction, restraint." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 50 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "instruction 30, correction 8, chasten 4, chastisement 3, check 1, bond 1, discipline 1, doctrine 1, rebuker 1." This Hebrew word is used 30 times in the book of Proverbs.

Comments- Correction is always found on the path that leads to knowledge. There is no way to stay on the journey that wisdom leads us without receiving correction and even the stronger meaning of chastisement. A man does not love correction for its own sake, but rather for the outcome that it brings in his life. He has enough wise to look forward to the knowledge that it brings and is therefore willing to endure correction.

Proverbs 12:1 — "but he that hateth reproof is brutish" - Word Study on "brutish" - Strong says the Hebrew word "brutish" ( בַּעַר) (H 1198) means, "food (as consumed)," and of cattle "brutishness, stupid)." Strong says the Hebrew word 5 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "brutish 4, foolish 1."

Comments- The word "brutish" is used to describe a person of ultimate stupidity. Note the other four uses of this Hebrew word in the Old Testament:

Psalm 49:10, "For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others."

Psalm 73:22, "So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee."

Psalm 92:6, "A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this."

Proverbs 30:2, "Surely I am more brutish than any Prayer of Manasseh , and have not the understanding of a man.

Scripture References- Note similar verses.

Psalm 92:6, "A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this."

Proverbs 5:12, "And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;"

2 Thessalonians 2:10, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

Proverbs 12:1Comments- The contrast of Proverbs 12:1 is easily seen in the fact that a wise person accepts correction, instruction and chastisement. But a fool hates to be corrected. In this sense, he is compared to a foolish beast, both in his nature as a beast to resist correction and in his stupidity which a beast symbolizes.

Those who have trained animals know that they have the ability to learn and to receive instruction. But an animal does not have the human capacity to receive chastisement. Animals needs a lot of positive rewards and should be given very little discipline, lest they become weak and fearful, or vindictive against their masters.

Thus, both humans and animals have the capability to receive instruction and learning. But only humans have the capacity to receive chastisement as a form of correction. Therefore, those who do not receive it are likened to beasts. Therefore, we can say that one distinguishing feature between man and beast is man's ability to receive discipline.

We can measure our ability to learn by our willingness to accept a disciplined lifestyle and correction from others. One who yields to a disciplined life will be able to pursue a good education and become a doctor, a lawyer, a minister, an engineer, etc. He will increase in learning all the days of his life and become a blessing to society.

But a child who refuses the disciplines of an education will find himself working and laboring at a mindless job like a beast labors. He will be a person who indulges in sins, who gives his honor, his strength, his wealth and his labours to others and at the end says, "How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me." ( Proverbs 5:9-14)

Proverbs 12:1Scripture References- Note similar verses.

Psalm 32:8-9, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee."

Proverbs 9:8, "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise Prayer of Manasseh , and he will love thee."

Proverbs 10:17, "He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth."

Proverbs 12:2 A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

Proverbs 12:2 — "A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD" - Word Study on "good" - Strong says the Hebrew word "good" ( טֹוב) (H 2896) means, "good" in the widest sense. The Enhanced Strong says it is used 559 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "good 361, better 72, well 20, goodness 16, goodly 9, best 8, merry 7, fair 7, prosperity 6, precious 4, fine 3, wealth 3, beautiful 2, fairer 2, favour 2, glad 2, misc 35."

Word Study on "obtaineth" - Strong says the Hebrew word "obtaineth" ( פּוּק) (H 6329) is a primitive root that means, "to issue, i.e, to furnish," and it is used causatively to mean, "to secure," and figuratively "to succeed." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 7 times in the Old Testament. being translated in the KJV as, "obtain 3, further 1, get 1, draw out 1, affording 1." Some translations bring out the literal meaning of "drawing out" or "bringing forth."

DRC, "He that is good, shall draw grace from the Lord: but he that trusteth in his own devices doth wickedly."

YLT, "The good bringeth forth favour from Jehovah, And the man of wicked devices He condemneth."

Comments- We first came across this truth in Proverbs 3:3-4 where we are taught that a pure heart brings favor from God and man.

Proverbs 3:3-4, "Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man."

Then,

Proverbs 8:35, "For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD."

We see this virtue in Barnabas, who also found favor with the Lord and was sent out with Paul as a missionary.

Acts 11:22-24, "Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord."

A good man is simply reaping the favor that he is showing to others.

Psalm 112:5, "A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion."

Proverbs 12:2 — "but a man of wicked devices will he condemn" - Word Study on "wicked devices" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "discretion" ( מְזִמָּה) (H 4209) means, "counsel, prudence, craftiness, wickedness." Strong says it means, "a plan, usually evil," and sometimes in the good sense, "sagacity," and it comes from a primitive root ( זָמַם) (H 2161), which means, "to plan, usually in a bad sense." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 19 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "discretion 4, wicked device 3, device 3, thought 3, intents 1, mischievous device 1, wickedly 1, witty inventions 1, lewdness 1, mischievous 1." This Hebrew word is used 8 times in the book of Proverbs.

Comments- The Hebrew noun ( מְזִמָּה) (H 4209) is used in a good sense in the first nine chapters and in a bad sense in the rest of the book.

Proverbs 1:4, "To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion ."

Proverbs 2:11, "Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:"

Proverbs 3:21, "My Song of Solomon , let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:"

Proverbs 5:2, "That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge."

Proverbs 8:12, "I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions."

Proverbs 12:2, "A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn."

Proverbs 14:17, "He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated."

Proverbs 24:8, "He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person."

Word Study on "condemn" - Strong says the Hebrew word ( רָשַׁע) (H 7561) is a primitive root that means, "to be wrong (in the causative, to do or declare wrong)," and it implies the meaning, "to disturb, to violate." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 34times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "condemn 15, wickedly 10, wicked 4, departed 2, trouble 1, vexed 1, wickedness 1".

Comments- God hates the vice of a man of wicked devices ( Proverbs 6:16-19).

Proverbs 6:16-19, "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."

Proverbs 12:2Comments- The contrast is clearly seen in that God favors the good man and condemns the wicked. When we look at the life of Barnabas, whom the Scriptures call "good," we can see that he was full of good deeds towards others. Thus, the contrast is between the good deeds of a good Prayer of Manasseh , and the evil deeds of the wicked. One will reap everlasting life and the other eternal condemnation in hell.

Proverbs 12:3 A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

Proverbs 12:3Comments- The wicked have no established boundaries, and therefore, have not way of being established. Their path wanders aimlessly. In contrast, the righteous have a fixed rule to guide them, a sure rule, the everlasting, eternal Word of God, which is forever established.

Psalm 119:89, "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."

Many Scriptures compare the wicked to the chaff that is blown by the wind, while the righteous are established and firmly rooted.

Job 21:18, "They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away."

Psalm 1:3-4, "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away."

Psalm 35:5, "Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them."

Hosea 13:3, "Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney."

Jesus tells the parable of the two houses, one founded upon the sand and the other upon the rock, in order to contrast the difference between the outcome of the wicked and the righteous.

This principle not only applies to individuals, but to societies and nations as well.

Proverbs 14:34, "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."


Verses 1-12

The Heart of Man: The Righteous Heart - Proverbs 12:1-12 places emphasis upon the heart of man.


Verse 4

Proverbs 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

Proverbs 12:4 — "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband" - Word Study on "virtuous" - Strong says the Hebrew word "virtuous" ( חַיִל) (H 2428) means "a force," and "an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 243times in the Old Testament Scriptures, being translated in the KJV as, "army 56, man of valour 37, host 29, forces 14, valiant 13, strength 12, riches 11, wealth 10, power 9, substance 8, might 6, strong 5, misc 33."

Comments- Regarding the definition of "force," this is what Jesus meant in Luke 8:46, when He said that virtue had gone out of Him.

Luke 8:46, "And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me."

The New Testament epistles list virtues and vices of men, their good characteristics and their bad ones. Therefore, the word "virtuous" here describes a woman of good moral character.

This Hebrew word describes a woman who is strong in godly character and well rounded in every area of her life. One authors translated this phrase as a woman of moral courage.

Word Study on "woman" - Strong says the Hebrew word "woman" ( אִשָּׁה) (H 802) means, "a woman." This word can be used broadly to refer to both a married and an unmarried woman. The Enhanced Strong says it is used 780 times in the Old Testament Scriptures, being translated in the KJV as, "wife 425, woman 324, one 10, married 5, female 2, misc 14."

Comments- In this passage of Scripture, there is a reference to a husband in Proverbs 12:11; Proverbs 12:23; Proverbs 12:28, so scholars interpret this as "wife."

Comments- The phrase "a virtuous woman" literally, "a woman of strength," or "a woman of worth." A person"s strength is measured not by the outward Prayer of Manasseh , but by the inner Prayer of Manasseh , by a person who has a character with godly qualities and virtues. We see this idea of a person"s inner strength in other verses in Proverbs.

Proverbs 16:32, "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."

Proverbs 25:28, "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."

The word "virtuous" is the same word that is used in Exodus 18:21 to describe men of strong moral character.

Exodus 18:21, "Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:"

It is the same word that describes Gideon as a might man of valour.

Judges 6:12, "And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour."

She is a woman that has control of her own spirit. This stability is in stark contrast to the instability of the whorish woman.

Proverbs 5:6, "Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them."

Note other verses that use the phrase, "a virtuous woman":

Ruth 3:11, "And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman."

Proverbs 12:4, "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones."

Adam Clarke also notes the importance of the literal use of this word "virtuous" which means "strength." He notes how hard the woman works in agricultural societies and states that a strong woman is of great value to her husband. 101]

101] Adam Clarke, Proverbs , in Adam Clarke"s Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), notes on Proverbs 12:4.

Word Study on "a crown" - To the Hebrew, the crown not only represents a reward of exaltation and recognition ( 1 Peter 5:4), but also of joy and gladness ( 1 Thessalonians 2:19, Song of Solomon 3:11).

1 Peter 5:4, "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."

1 Thessalonians 2:19, "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?"

Song of Solomon 3:11, "Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart."

Word Study on "husband" - Strong says the Hebrew word "husband" ( בַּעַל) (H 1167) means, "a master, hence, a husband." However, this word is seldom used as "husband in the Old Testament." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 82times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, " Prayer of Manasseh 25, owner 14, husband 11, have 7, master 5, man given 2, adversary 1, archers 1, babbler + 039561, bird + 036711, captain 1, confederate + 012851, misc 12."

Comments- Within the context of this verse in Proverbs , a woman who places herself under the authority of her husband is in a position to raise him up in honor.

Comments- The statement "a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: is a summary of the twenty-two (22) verses in Proverbs 31:10-31 that gives a description of a virtuous woman. This woman makes her husband stand out above other men and look like a leader. He is known in the gates of the city and sits among the wise men and elders ( Proverbs 31:23).

Proverbs 31:23, "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land."

Proverbs 12:4 — "but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones" - Comments- The is the woman that embarrasses her husband, making him ashamed by her vices becomes a heaviness to his soul.

A heavy spirit affects his health wellbeing.

Proverbs 14:30, "A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones."

Proverbs 17:22, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

Habakkuk 3:16, "When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops."

The problem begins small and works itself into every area of the marriage and home, much as rottenness grows and spreads itself throughout the entire body. Such a man is not qualified to stand with the elders and speak wisdom.

Proverbs 12:4Comments- A woman is the glory of the man ( 1 Corinthians 11:7). Therefore, when the woman shines as a light of virtue, so does the man shine forth. The opposite is true. A foolish woman makes her husband also look foolish. By strengthening her husband, a virtuous woman establishes her home, but a foolish woman brings her household to ruin ( Proverbs 14:1).

1 Corinthians 11:7, "For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."

Proverbs 14:1, "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands."

A man with a virtuous wife is full of gladness. He is made strong by the support and stability of a faithful wife. He is exalted among those in his society. In contrast, a man with a foolish woman carries around sorrow and grief. She brings him shame that lowers his reputation in the community. She takes away his strength and ultimately causes his downfall.


Verses 5-7

The Progress in One's Pursuit of Good and Evil- Proverbs 12:5-7 has a progression of thought, revealing the degree of progress in one's pursuit of good and evil. A righteous man's thoughts are to do good to others ( Proverbs 12:5) and this is put into action by his willingness to deliver others from their sins and bondages ( Proverbs 12:6). The outcome is that this man shall be established in the land ( Proverbs 12:7). When his heart is right (spiritual realm), then he speaks good words (mental realm), which results in a long and prosperous life (physical and financial). Thus, he is blessed in every area of his life.

In contrast, the wicked intend on deceiving others for selfish reasons ( Proverbs 12:5) and will go so far as destroying others in order to benefit himself ( Proverbs 12:6). The outcome is that the wicked will soon be overthrown and destroyed in his wickedness ( Proverbs 12:7). When his heart is evil (spiritual realm), then he speaks evil words (mental realm), which results in a shorter and difficult life (physical and financial). Thus, he is cursed in every area of his life.

Proverbs 12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.

Proverbs 12:5 — "The thoughts of the righteous are right" - Word Study on "thoughts" - Strong says the Hebrew word "thoughts" ( מַחֲשָׁבָה) (H 4284) means, "a contrivance," it is used concretely to mean, "a texture, or a machine," and it is used abstractly to means, "an intention, a plan, a plot or good advice." This noun comes from the primitive root ( חָשַׁב) (H 2803), which means, "to plait," and it is used literally to means, "to weave, or to fabricate," and figuratively to mean, "to plot or contrive." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 56 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "thought 28, device 12, purpose 6, work 3, imaginations 3, cunning 1, devised 1, invented 1, means 1."

Comments- This noun clear stands in direct contrast to the "counsels" of the wicked in this same verse.

Word Study on "right" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "judgment" ( מִשְׁפָּט) (H 4941) means, "judgment, right, that which is just, lawful, according to law." Strong says it means, "a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or [participant"s] divine law, individual or collective), including the Acts , the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstractly, justice, including a participant"s right or privilege (statutory or customary), or even a style," and it comes from the primitive root ( שָׁפַט) (H 8199) meaning, "to Judges , i.e. pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication, to vindicate or punish; by extension, to govern; passively, to litigate (literally or figuratively)." The Enhanced Strong says it is used it is used 421times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "judgment 296, manner 38, right 18, cause 12, ordinance 11, lawful 7, order 5, worthy 3, fashion 3, custom 2, discretion 2, law 2, measure 2, sentence 2, misc 18." This Hebrew word is used 20 times in the book of Proverbs.

Comments- Within the context of this verse, it means that the plans of the righteous are right decisions, or decisions that are intended to do good to others.

Comments- A man who is born again by the Spirit of God has good thoughts and intents because the Spirit now dwells in him and is guiding him towards good things.

Philippians 2:13, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

Therefore, the righteous man delights in the things of God whether he walks in them or fails. Either way, he desires to do good over evil.

Romans 7:22, "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:"

Proverbs 12:5 — "but the counsels of the wicked are deceit" - Comments- Counsels are words that are intended to lead others. But to the wicked, it becomes an opportunity to deceive. Therefore, deceit characterizes the wicked in many other Scriptures.

Psalm 12:2, "They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak."

Psalm 140:1-2, (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) "Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war."

Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

2 Corinthians 4:2, "But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man"s conscience in the sight of God."

The coming of the antichrist during the Tribulation will be characterized by deceitfulness.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-10, "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

2 John 1:7, "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."

Revelation 13:14, "And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live."

Proverbs 12:5Comments- The contrast in Proverbs 12:5 is very clear. The plans and intents of the righteous are to do good and benefit others, while the plans of the wicked are to deceive others so that he can benefit. This verse helps us to realize why a Christian is not to join an unbeliever in marriage, business or other forms of agreement and unity.

2 Corinthians 6:14, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

A child of God will base his decisions upon things that are good and righteous before God while a wicked man based his decisions upon deceit and manipulation.

Proverbs 12:5Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Proverbs 11:23, "The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath."

Matthew 12:34-35, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things."

Proverbs 12:6 The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.

Proverbs 12:6 — "The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood" - Comments- The previous verse ( Proverbs 12:5) tells us that the words of the wicked are deceit. This verse tells us that they are like a deadly ambush, ready to destroy those who believe them. The words of the wicked are designed to entrap and snare any victim who walks on this path of "counsel."

Psalm 10:7-8, "His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor."

Isaiah 59:7, "Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths."

Jeremiah 5:26-27, "For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich."

Micah 7:2, "The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net."

We have seen this person in the opening chapter of Proverbs , as he attempts to entice the simple ones to follow him.

Proverbs 1:11-12, "If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:"

The Pharisees laid in wait for the blood of Jesus by attempting Him to either blaspheme God so they could condemn Him, or by speaking against Caesar so that the Romans would kill Him.

Luke 11:53-54, "And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him."

Luke 20:21-23, "And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?"

They later tried to deceive the Romans into bringing Paul to a certain place so that they might kill him ( Acts 23:12-15; Acts 25:1-3).

Acts 23:15, "Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him."

Acts 25:2-3, "Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him, And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him."

Proverbs 12:6 — "but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them" - Comments- The righteous will speak up for those who are treated unjustly.

Proverbs 31:8-9, "Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy."

Mordecai and Esther spoke up to the king in order to deliver their people from destruction, and the wicked deceit of Haman was overthrown as a result.

Proverbs 12:6Comments- The contrast is clearly seen in the fact that the words of the wicked are intended to destroy those who believe them, while the words of the righteous are intended to bless others and deliver them from problems in their lives.

Proverbs 12:7 The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.

Proverbs 12:7 — "The wicked are overthrown, and are not" - Word Study on "overthrown" - Strong says the Hebrew word "overthrown" ( הָפַךְ) (H 2015) is a primitive root meaning, "to turn about or over," and it implies "to change, overturn, return, or pervert."

Proverbs 12:7 — "but the house of the righteous shall stand" - Comments- Even after the death of the righteous, his house will stand. For he has established a good word on this earth that will endure. The blessings of the Lord will pass upon his children and those lives whom he has touched. This is an enduring house because it is built in the hearts of men, and not of brick and stone. For example, the churches that Paul established were not built of brick and mortar, but in the hearts of those whom he converted to Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 3:3, "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."

The house the Paul and the apostles built, the early Church, stood against all the fury of Rome, against centuries of persecutions. This house will one day be established upon this earth as Jesus Christ returns to set up His earthly kingdom and the wicked will be no more.

Proverbs 12:7Comments- The contrast seen in the fact that when the wicked are overthrown, there is no remnant or existence of their lives. They have forever come to an end. In contrast, the righteous will be established forever. Even after death, their house still stands because of the good works they have established on this earth.

God has a divine way of bringing to an end the generation of the wicked, but causing the righteous to flourish and prosper from generation to generation. The Lord brought judgment upon several kings of Israel by cutting off their seed in the fourth generation. In contrast, the Lord established the throne of David forever.

2 Samuel 7:15-16, "But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever."

Scripture References- Note similar verses.

Psalm 37:10-11, "For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."

Psalm 37:35-38, "I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect Prayer of Manasseh , and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off."

Psalm 73:18-19, "Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors."

Proverbs 10:25, "As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation."

Proverbs 14:11, "The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright."

Proverbs 15:25, "The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow."


Verse 8-9

Proverbs 12:8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

Proverbs 12:8 — "A man shall be commended according to his wisdom" - Word Study on "commended" - Strong says the Hebrew word "commended" ( הָלַל) (H 1984) is a primitive root literally meaning, "to be clear, or to shine," hence, it means figuratively, "to make a show, to boast, and to be (clamorously) foolish, to rave, to celebrate." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 165 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "praise 117, glory 14, boast 10, mad 8, shine 3, foolish 3, fools 2, commended 2, rage 2, celebrate 1, give 1, marriage 1, renowned 1."

Comments- This word is most often translated "to praise." Thus, other translations give this reading.

YLT, "According to his wisdom is a man praised, And the perverted of heart becometh despised."

We see this same statement in Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 8:1, "Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man"s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed."

Word Study on "according to" - The Hebrew idiom ( ל) plus ( פֶּה) (H 6310) literally means, "according to the mouth of," and it means, "in proportion to."

Word Study on "wisdom" - Gesenius says the Hebrew word "understanding" ( שֶׂכֶל) (H 7922) means, "understanding, intelligence, prudence." Strong says it means, "intelligence, success." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 16 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "understanding 7, Wisdom of Solomon 3, wise 1, prudence 1, knowledge 1, sense 1, discretion 1, policy 1."

Strong says ( שֶׂכֶל) (H 7922) comes from the primitive root ( שָׂכַל) (H 7919), which means, "to be circumspect, and hence, intelligent." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 63times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "understand 12, wise 12, prosper 8, wisely 6, understanding 5, consider 4, instruct 3, prudent 2, skill 2, teach 2, misc 7."

Comments- This Hebrew noun is a key word woven throughout in the book of Proverbs being used six times:

Proverbs 3:4, "So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man."

Proverbs 12:8, "A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised."

Proverbs 13:15, "Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard."

Proverbs 16:22, "Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly."

Proverbs 19:11, "The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."

Proverbs 23:9, "Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words."

This word refers to the ability of a man to think straight in contrast to the person who has a twisted mind.

Proverbs 12:8 — "but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised" - Word Study on "despised" - Strong says the Hebrew word "despised" ( בּוּז) (H 937) means, "disrespect." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 11times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "contempt 7, despised 2, contemptuously 1, shamed 1."

Scripture References- Note a similar verse.

Proverbs 18:3, "When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach."

Proverbs 12:8Comments- The contrast in seen in the fact that a heart of wisdom and discretion will bring a man praise while a perverse heart will bring a man shame. The degree that a man has wisdom determines the degree that he will be praised. The opposite is true of the perverse heart. God does not measure and exalt a man by his tribe, by his noble birth or by his strength and riches. But God looks upon the heart of a man.

We see how wisdom brought praise in the life of Joseph.

Genesis 41:39-40, "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou."

We see this wisdom in the life of David.

1 Samuel 16:18, "Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant Prayer of Manasseh , and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him."

We see how wisdom brought honor to Gideon ( Judges 6-8) while a perverse heart brought despite to his son Abimelech ( Judges 7-9).

Wisdom will exalt a man.

Luke 12:42-44, "And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

The Lord spoke to Eli through the prophet and said,

1 Samuel 2:30, "Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed."

Also, people will speak well of those who show wisdom and discretion. But they will speak bad of those who have a perverse heart.

Proverbs 12:9 He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.

Proverbs 12:9Word Study on "despised" - Strong says the Hebrew word "despised" ( קָלָה) (H 7034) is a primitive root that literally means, "to be light," and figuratively it means, "to be in contempt." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 6 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "vile 1, shall be condemned 1, lightly esteemed 1, despised 1, base 1, settest light 1."

Comments- This word is used in Proverbs 12:9 to describe a lowly person who lives in a humble state, compared to Proverbs 12:8 which describes a person who is despised because of a perverse heart.

Proverbs 12:9Comments - The phrase "and hath a servant" implies that the person makes an honest living, in contrast to the person who is too highminded to provide himself the necessities of life.

It is better to live simple and have the money to pay the bills and even hire a servant, than to be one who puts on a display of false riches when they actually have no money once their debts are paid. It is better to be of low rank and have a comfortable life, than to be someone who glories in his noble position but really has nothing. The proud person is he that pretends to be something that he is not. The humble man hires only one servant that he can afford, while the proud man hires many servants that he cannot afford.

Note this meaning in the following translations:

BBE, "who is of low position and has a servant, is better than one who has a high opinion of himself and is in need of bread."

God'sWord, "Better to be unimportant and have a slave than to act important and have nothing to eat."

RSV, "Better is a man of humble standing who works for himself than one who plays the great man but lacks bread."

We might find a similar verse in Proverbs 13:7.

Proverbs 13:7, "There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches."

Illustration- One day while doing banking in Africa, I was standing in line talking to a person, when a window to the cashier had opened. Since I did not see the window, an African yelled, "Hey, Musungo!," as a way of telling me that it was my turn to move to the window. A few other Africans began to laugh as my being called a "musungo." This word is Swahili for "a wanderer" and hence, "white man who came to Africa initially as a wandering person exploring". I quietly walked to the window, with laughing behind me. I began to thank how blessed I was as a missionary in the country, with housekeepers at my home living is a nice home. I began to think that this person laughing was probably one of the many poor people who lacked bread. Song of Solomon , though I was despised, I had a servant and therefore, I had honour. The person causing others to laugh with his joke had honour for a few minute, but he would return to his poverty, which lacked honour, when the laughter was over.

We should learn to be content with the simple comforts of life and not seek to find the honor of men. For those who seek this honor, they will find their life uncontent and their basic needs unfulfilled.

Proverbs 12:9Comments- There is a second translation and meaning of this verse.

"He that is despised, and is his own servant, is better than he that boasteth himself and wanteth bread;"

This means that it is better to be humble and work for oneself than to be highminded and trying to see the honor of others while being too lazy to provide for oneself.


Verses 10-12

Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Proverbs 12:10Comments- The kindness of a righteous man extends to his livestock as well as to his family and friends. That Isaiah , all of his actions reflect kindness and an effort to be a blessing to others. In contrast, a wicked person, even with his best efforts, still acts with cruelty. As an illustration, I grew up around anger in my home. Although an angry person is often angry, that person also has days in which he tries to show kindness. But even these efforts of kindness lack genuine love from the heart. A wicked person"s kindness is shallow. It comes with great effort compared to the kindness that easily flows from the heart of the righteous. Kindness is forced out of the wicked, rather than flowing out of the righteous. From a wicked and angry heart, cruelty flows naturally and easily.

Illustration- I was raised in church and observed men of God treating their beasts with kindness. But the wicked men I met gave very little regard for their animals. As a young child, our home in the woods was sometimes visited by an old man riding a horse. He would drop by just to chat a while and then go on his way. This man had a reputation for being cruel to his animals. He would tie up animals and punish them with beatings, or lack of food and water. Years later, as a young pastor, I dropped by his house on an unannounced visit, as he had often visited my home years earlier. He was 95 years old then, and told me that he wished to die. I invited him to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior before he died. But, in his 95 years of learning to live without Christ, he rejected my offer. He certainly met the qualifications of the cruelty of the wicked.

Proverbs 12:11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.

Proverbs 12:12 The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.

Proverbs 12:12Word Study on "yieldeth fruit" - Strong says the Hebrew word "yieldeth fruit" ( נָתַן) (H 5414) is a primitive root that means, "to give." It has a wide application of uses. The Enhanced Strong says it is used 2008 times in the Old Testament. being translated in the KJV as, "give 1078, put 191, deliver 174, made 107, set 99, up 26, lay 22, grant 21, suffer 18, yield 15, bring 15, cause 13, utter 12, laid 11, send 11, recompense 11, appoint 10, shew 7, misc 167."

Comments- The phrase "yieldeth fruit" literally mean, "gives." Therefore, the word "fruit" used in this verse in added because of context. It is not in the original text.

Comments- The contrast in this verse can then easily been seen in the fact that the wicked covet evil things for himself. But the righteous man desires to give good things and become a blessing to others.


Verses 13-23

Proverbs 12:13 to Proverbs 13:5 — The Mind of Man: The Righteous Tongue - This section places emphasis upon the tongue of Prayer of Manasseh , which reflects the mind of man.

Proverbs 12:16 A fool"s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.

Proverbs 12:16Word Study on "presently" - The English word "presently is formed from the Hebrew word ( ב), meaning "in" and the Hebrew word ( יוֹם) (H 3117), meaning "day." Literally, it means, "in a day."

Proverbs 12:16Word Study on "shame" - Strong says the Hebrew word "shame" ( קָלוֹן) (H 7036) means, "disgrace." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 17 times in the Old Testament, being translated in KJV as, "shame 13, confusion 1, dishonour 1, ignominy 1, reproach 1."

Proverbs 12:16Comments- The contrast in Proverbs 12:16 is seen in the fact that a fool will quickly reveal his lack of control over his temper, but the prudent man will cover up this shameful act of displaying anger by controlling his spirit. It will only take one day to see the fool control over his temper, but a wise man will work to control his temper. It means that a fool will show his wrath in the same day that he is provoked, contrasted to a prudent Prayer of Manasseh , who will hold his anger back, thus covering it, for the proper occasion.

Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

Proverbs 12:22Word Study on "deal" - Strong says the Hebrew word "deal" ( עָשָׂה) (H 6213) is a primitive root that means, "to do, or to make," and it is used is a broad sense of applications. The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 2633times in the Old Testament, being translated in KJV as, "do 1333, make 653, wrought 52, deal 52, commit 49, offer 49, execute 48, keep 48, shew 43, prepare 37, work 29, do Song of Solomon 21, perform 18, get 14, dress 13, maker 13, maintain 7, misc 154."

Proverbs 12:23 A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.

Proverbs 12:23Comments- I saw this biblical principle used for the first time so effectively when I began to work with the leadership of DMJ Management. The general manager would often conceal how much he knew in meetings with vendors and contractors. He would actually act as if he knew very little about the subject and ask the other party to explain things to him. Thus, I saw a prudent man concealing knowledge.

This often led the other person to reveal how much he knew or to reveal how little he knew about the relevant issues at hand. Thus, the heart of the fool often proclaimed his foolishness by trying to pretend that he knew much, while he was revealing that he knew very little.

This gave the general manager a distinct advantage in negotiating the terms and conditions of a business arrangement. Note other related verses on this subject:

Proverbs 13:16, "Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly."

Proverbs 15:2, "The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness."

Proverbs 17:27, "He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit."

Proverbs 18:15, "The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge."

1 Corinthians 8:1, "Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth."

Prior to receiving a promotion as a supervisor in DMJ Management Company, I has spent four years working with the labourers of the company, those who were under the management of others. During the workday, I had often endured listening to uneducated fools in their jesting. One day, I cried out to the Lord in prayer that he would put me with a man of God in my workday. It was not long afterwards that I received the promotion into management, working under the general manager, who was a great man of God. There, I learned much about how to deal with people issues instead of mechanical issues.

Proverbs 13:20, "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."


Verse 24

The Physical Body of Man: Diligence - This section places emphasis upon man's physical body. The heart of man has been emphasized in Proverbs 12:1-12 and the mind has been emphasized in Proverbs 12:13 to Proverbs 13:5. We have passed a similar group of proverbs that placed emphasis upon man's physical body in Proverbs 10:27 to Proverbs 11:22. However, these verses focused upon a long life. The proverbs found in Proverbs 12:24 to Proverbs 13:4 will focus upon diligence.

Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.

Proverbs 12:24"The hand of the diligent shall bear rule" - Illustration- Presidents and leaders of countries are generally found to be hard-working men. The diligent man meets success in life.

Proverbs 12:24"but the slothful shall be under tribute" - Comments- The slothful man never has or keeps success in his life, but rather, he is a servant and in debt to those around him.

Proverbs 12:26 The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.

Proverbs 12:26 — "but the way of the wicked seduceth them" - Comments- The NKJV reads, "For the way of the wicked leads them astray." Note 1 Corinthians 15:33, "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."

Proverbs 12:27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

Proverbs 12:27"The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting" - Illustration- While hunting in the woods as a child with my brothers and father, we have come across game animals that have been shot and left to rot on the ground. There is a saying among hunters not to ever kill what you can or will not eat, or do not kill animals for waste. The sluggard is too lazy to dress and roast the game which he has enjoyed hunting. He is also a poor steward of the things God gives him.

Proverbs 12:27"but the substance of a diligent man is precious" - Comments- He is a good steward of the things that God gives him. He takes care of material things and is gracious to God for them. He sees that the things that God has given to him are precious. In addition, the peers of a diligent man perceive that his goods are precious. For example, I was in the office of a travel agent today in order to purchase tickets for a trip (May 31, 2004). I was referred to use a particular person in a particular travel agency in town. When my wife and I arrived at their office, we immediately recognized one very busy and organized and well dressed individual. We immediately knew that this was the person that was recommended to us as a good travel agent to work with. All other employees in the office looked to him for advice. Even the boss walked in and proudly walked by him. This is because everyone in the office perceived that this man's time, counsel and work was the most important in the office. Not only did this diligent man value his time and use it wisely, but all of his co-workers and his boss perceived the same value in his work.

Proverbs 12:27Practical Application - Proverbs 12:27 speaks of stewardship. God does not always give to us everything that we want immediately. We must labor and be found faithful before God will entrust us with His blessings and riches (note how Paul talks about this faithfulness in 1 Timothy 1:12). Otherwise, something easily gained is often despised. For example, I spent many years working and repairing homes and apartments. My tools became very precious to me. I had worked hard to purchase each one of them. I have seen teenagers who were given new cars and possessions by their wealthy parents just to have them wrecked and damages by undisciplined and slothful behaviour.

1 Timothy 1:12, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;"

God is a good steward of His blessings and He gives them to us as we work to be faithful with what He has already given to us.

Spiritual Application- After having watched Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ (released 2004) today for the first time, I was overwhelmed, as were all who have seen this drama of Jesus' suffering and death, of the pain He suffered at the hands of cruel men. How much does He now have compassion upon us when we are tempted into sin. He understands every ounce of emotions and temptation that we endure. He is willing to have compassion upon us when we fall and stumble for the price He paid through His suffering was incredible. The amount of effort and sacrifice He endured to purchase us as His possession will take eternity to be fully told to us. Remember in Proverbs 12:27 how we are told that to a diligent man his substance is precious. He was diligent to purchase us through His shed blood, so how much more precious we are to Him as His purchased possession.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/proverbs-12.html. 2013.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology