corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 12:21

 

 

No harm befalls the righteous, But the wicked are filled with trouble.

Adam Clarke Commentary

There shall no evil happen to the just - No, for all things work together for good to them that love God. Whatever occurs to a righteous man God turns to his advantage. But, on the other hand, the wicked are filled with mischief: they are hurt, grieved, and wounded, by every occurrence; and nothing turns to their profit.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-12.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 12:21

There shall no evil happen to the just.

The security of the faithful

The things which distinguish us most try us most. Those attributes of our nature which serve to mark its superiority, serve also to evince its liability to trouble. The animal tribes, as they have no capacity for reviewing the past, so have they no power of anticipating the future. And hence they have no dread, in the strict sense, of coming evils. But we can look forward. We can busy ourselves in thought and imagination with days to come. Yet the heavier half of the cares and anxieties that we have to bear are connected with this faculty. The afflictions we fear often distress us more than the afflictions we lie under. But God, who gave us our being, knows this, and has provided against it in His Word. Does not this text meet our whole case? Amidst all disasters the good may be confident and calm. What is the significance of this assurance? It cannot be taken literally. Evil in the sense of earthly calamity, sorrow and trial is the lot of all. What, then, does the text mean? Things which are evil in themselves do not, as such, fall upon the people of God. For them the curse is turned into a blessing. A divine process of transmutation takes place in the case of every ill that befalls a child of God, and the ill becomes a good. Illustrate this--

1. From cases of personal affliction of mind, or of body, or of both.

2. Adverse circumstances.

3. Bereavements. This subject teaches the goodness of Divine providence; and it tranquillizes us under present trials. (C. M. Merry.)

No evil to the just

The word “just” was a term used anciently in connection with the chase, and meant the equal dividing of the prey procured by hunting among those that took part in the pursuit. It means to do right, to try to be harmless. Though the just man sometimes come short of the mark, his prevailing disposition and aim are to be and to do right. He is studious to do right. To such a man, it is declared, no evil shall happen. How are we to understand this?

1. Whatever evil comes to a just man cannot happen in the sense of coming by chance. There is a government of God over the affairs of men, and therefore nothing takes place by accident or chance. No evil can come to the just man that does not come designedly, or permissively, in the course of providence.

2. To a just man no evil can come that is not controlled and overruled for his good. “All things work together for good to them that love God.”

3. This is true in relation to helping others, as well as himself. Those who have suffered themselves are the better prepared to sympathise with and help their fellow-creatures that suffer.

4. No permanent evil can come to a just man. Then--


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 12:21". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-12.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"There shall be no mischief happen to the righteous; But the wicked shall be filled with evil."

Toy preserved the form of the antithesis thus: "No mischief befalls the righteous, but the wicked are full of misfortune."[31]


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

There shall no evil happen to the just,.... The evil of sin: no iniquity, as the Targum; which, and the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, interpret of sin not being agreeable, convenient, suit able, and pleasing to a righteous man. Moreover, the Lord, by his Spirit and grace, weakens the power of sin in them; and, by his providence, prevents and removes occasion of sinning; and by his power preserves from it, from being overcome and carried away with it, at least finally and totally. Or the evil of punishment is here meant; no penal evil shall befall them; the punishment of their sin has been inflicted on Christ their surety, and therefore shall never be laid on them; and whatever afflictions may happen to them, which have the name and appearance of evil, these work together for their good, spiritual and eternal; so that, in reality, no evil thing, properly speaking, happens to them; see Psalm 91:10. Or whatever does come to them comes not by chance unto them, but by the decree and will of God, and is overruled for good;

but the wicked shall be filled with mischief; or "with evil"F8רע "malo", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Michaelis. , the evil of sin; with malice and wickedness, with all impiety and unrighteousness, with ignorance and error; with all kind of sins, both against the first and second table of the law, and so with all the consequences of sin: with the evil of punishment; with an evil conscience, with the terrors of it; with many distresses here, and with everlasting destruction hereafter. Some understand it of the mischief they devise to others, which they are full of and big with; and "though" they are, as Aben Ezra interprets the word, yet no evil shall happen to the righteous; the mischief contrived by them shall fall upon themselves.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-12.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

no evil — (as in Psalm 91:10), under God‘s wise limitations (Romans 8:28).

mischief — as penal evil.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

21 No evil befalls the righteous,

But the godless are full of evil.

Hitzig translates און “sorrow,” and Zöckler “injury;” but the word signifies evil as ethical wickedness, and although it may be used of any misfortune in general (as in בּן־אוני , opp. בּנימין ); thus it denotes especially such sorrow as is the harvest and product of sin, Proverbs 22:8; Job 4:8; Isaiah 59:4, or such as brings after it punishment, Habakkuk 3:7; Jeremiah 4:15. That it is also here thus meant the contrast makes evident. The godless are full of evil, for the moral evil which is their life-element brings out of itself all kinds of evil; on the contrary, no kind of evil, such as sin brings forth and produces, falls upon the righteous. God, as giving form to human fortune (Exodus 21:13), remains in the background (cf. Psalms 91:10 with Psalms 5:1.); vid ., regarding אנה , the weaker power of ענה , to go against, to meet, to march against, Fleischer, Levy's Chald. Wörterbuch , 572.


Copyright Statement
The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-12.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Note, 1. Piety is a sure protection. If men be sincerely righteous, the righteous God has engaged that no evil shall happen to them. He will, by the power of his grace in them, that principle of justice, keep them from the evil of sin; so that, though they be tempted, yet they shall not be overcome by the temptation, and though they may come into trouble, into many troubles, yet to them those troubles shall have no evil in them, whatever they have to others (Psalm 91:10), for they shall be overruled to work for their good. 2. Wickedness is as sure a destruction. Those that live in contempt of God and man, that are set on mischief, with mischief they shall be filled. They shall be more mischievous, shall be filled with all unrighteousness, Romans 1:29. Or they shall be made miserable with the mischiefs that shall come upon them. Those that delight in mischief shall have enough of it. Some read the whole verse thus, There shall no evil happen to the just, though the wicked be filled with mischief and spite against them. They shall be safe under the protection of Heaven, though hell itself break loose upon them.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

If men are sincerely righteous, the righteous God has engaged that no evil shall happen to them. But they that delight in mischief shall have enough of it.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 12:21 There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.

Ver. 21. There shall no evil happen to the just.] First, For evil of sin: God will not lead him into temptation, but will cut off occasions, remove stumbling blocks out of his way: devoratory evils, as Tertullian calls them, he shall be sure not to fall into. "That evil one shall not touch him," [1 John 5:18] viz., tactu qualitativo, as Cajetan expounds it, with a deadly touch: nibble he may at their heels, but cannot reach their heads; shake he may his chain at them, but shall not set his fangs in them, or so far thrust his sting into them as to infuse into them the venom of that sin unto death. [Proverbs 12:17] Next, For evil of pain: though "many be the troubles of the righteous," [Psalms 34:19] and they "fall into manifold temptations," [James 1:2] they go not in step by step into these waters of Marah, but "fall into" them, being, as it were, precipitated, plunged over head and ears, yet are bidden to be "exceeding glad," as a merchant is to see his ship come laden in. Their afflictions are not penal, but probational; not mortal, but medicinal. "By this shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the fruit, the taking away of his sin." [Isaiah 27:9] Look how the scourging and beating of a garment with a stick, drives out the moths and the dust; so doth affliction corruptions from the heart; and there is no hurt in that, no evil happens thereby to the just.

But the wicked shall be filled with mischief.] To treasure up sin, is to treasure up wrath. [Romans 2:5] "Every bottle shall be filled with wine"; [Jeremiah 13:12] the bottle of wickedness, when once filled with those bitter waters, will sink to the bottom: the ephah of wickedness, when top full, shall be borne "into the land of Shiner, and set there upon her own base." [Zechariah 5:8; Zechariah 5:11] He that makes a match with mischief, shall have his bellyful of it; [Hosea 4:17 Proverbs 14:14] he shall have an evil, "an evil, an only evil" [Ezekiel 7:5] - that is, "judgment without mercy," as St James expounds it. [James 2:13] Non surgit hic afflictio, as the prophet Nahum hath it; [Nahum 1:9] affliction shall not rise up the second time: God will have but one blow at him; he shall totally and finally be cut down at once. The righteous are smitten in the branches, but the wicked at the root; [Isaiah 27:8] those he corrects with a rod, yea, with the rods of men, hominum debilium, of weak or old men, as the word signifies, [2 Samuel 7:11] but these with a "grounded staff"; [Isaiah 30:32] and yet the worst is behind too. For whatsoever a wicked man suffers in this world is but hell typical; it is but as the falling of leaves - the whole tree will one day fall upon them. It is but as a drop of wrath forerunning the great storm, a crack forerunning the ruin of the whole building; it is but as a paying the use money required for the debt that must be paid at last.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-12.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 21. There shall no evil happen to the just, the very suffering coming upon them in God's wise government being but blessings in disguise, Psa_91:10; Rom_8:28; but the wicked shall be filled with mischief, evil, misfortune, and calamity striking them.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-12.html. 1921-23.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

No evil; either,

1. Of sin; or rather,

2. Of suffering or mischief, as the next clause explains this. No such evil shall befall them as doth commonly befall the wicked, who are filled, or overwhelmed, and utterly destroyed by it; whereas good men are supported under their troubles, and shall be delivered out of them, and receive much benefit by them.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

21. Evil — Calamity.

Happen — Meet or befall. Romans 8:28 is a good comment on this clause: “All things work together for good to them that love God.”

Filled with mischief — Evil calamity. Compare Proverbs 10:3; Proverbs 11:23; Proverbs 12:2-3; Psalms 91:10; 1 Corinthians 3:22-23; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Peter 3:12-13; 2 Peter 2:9.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-12.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

". . . decent people do not have frequent trouble of their own making ..." [Note: Ross, p972.]

The verse is also true when one considers what happens to people after death, as well as before.

"The rigid application of this law was the mainstay of Job"s comforters; but taken rightly, it is a stimulating truth as valid for Paul ( Romans 8:28 with36 , 37) as for Joseph ( Genesis 50:20)-cheaply held in prosperity, precious in adversity." [Note: Kidner, p98.]


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/proverbs-12.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Sad. Even if he fall into sin, he will not lose all hope. (Calmet) --- The accidents accompanying this life will not overwhelm him. (St. Chrysostom) --- Hebrew, "no evil shall befall the just." If he be afflicted here, he will be amply rewarded hereafter. Septuagint, "the just will not be pleased with any injustice."


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

no evil = nothing in vain. Hebrew. "aven. App-44.

mischief. Hebrew. ra"a". Same word as "evil" in verses: Proverbs 12:12, Proverbs 12:20.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. "No evil" (literally, iniquity; Hebrew, aven) whether of guilt or of its punishment, 'shall happen,' so as lastingly to hurt "the just" (Psalms 91:10). "But the wicked shall be filled (cf. Proverbs 1:31) with" the 'iniquity' and the punishment of their own "mischief." One clause is to be supplied from the other.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) There shall no evil happen to the just.—Comp. our Lord’s promise as to temporal matters for those who “seek the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). and for God’s care in spiritual matters, 1 Corinthians 10:13.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
no
Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 3:22,23; 2 Corinthians 4:17
filled
1:31; 14:14; Jeremiah 13:12-14; Habakkuk 2:16; Revelation 18:6

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-12.html.

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