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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 2:12

 

 

To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things;

Adam Clarke Commentary

The man that speaketh froward things - תהפכות tahpuchoth, things of subverston; from תפך taphach, to turn or change the course of a thing. Men who wish to subvert the state of things, whether civil or religious; who are seditious themselves, and wish to make others so. These speak much of liberty and oppression, deal greatly in broad assertions, and endeavor especially to corrupt the minds of youth.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-2.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 2:12

To deliver thee from the way of the evil man.

Wickedness and wisdom, the bane and the antidote

I. A terrible description of wicked persons.

1. Their character. Their speech is corrupt. Their habit is corrupt. Their heart is corrupt. Their influence is corrupt.

2. Their peril. The spell of lust palsies the grasp of her victims. Everything dies under the influence of wickedness--self- respect, spiritual sensibility, mental freedom, the freshness, the vigour, and the beauty of life.

3. Their doom. They are rooted out from the esteem of the good, from the sphere of improvement, from the realm of mercy, and from the domain of hope.

II. The antidote. Wickedness is terribly powerful, but wisdom is mightier. Its mightiness in man, however, depends upon its right reception.

1. Wisdom guards the innocent. The way to keep out evil is to fill the soul with goodness.

2. It delivers the fallen. Heavenly wisdom in the soul is the only soul-redemptive force.

3. It guides the redeemed. Like the star to the mariner, it this wisdom shine within us it will guide us safely over the voyage of life. (David Thomas, D.D.)

The influence of associates

The tree frog acquires the colour of whatever it adheres to for a short time. If it be found on the oak, it is a brown colour; on the sycamore or cedar, he is of a whitish brown colour; but when found on the growing corn, he is sure to be green. Just so it is with young men. Their companions tell us what their characters are; if they associate with the vulgar, the licentious, and the profane, then their hearts are already stained with their guilt and shame, and they will themselves become alike vicious. Our moral and physical laws show how important it is to have proper associations of every kind, especially in youth. How dangerous it is to gaze on a picture or scene that pollutes the imagination or blunts the moral perceptions, or has a tendency to deaden a sense of our duty to God and man! (Christian Treasury.)

From the man that speaketh froward things.--

Froward

This is a word which occurs more than once in these verses, and which occurs frequently throughout this book, and whereof I have not met with an exactly defined signification. Some understand by it peevishness or perverseness. Were I to consult its etymology I should rather conceive that it was “fromward”; and so, impetuous, headstrong, acting on the impulse of whatever feeling is uppermost in the mind, unrestrained by calculation or conscience, and the opposite, therefore, of discretion. In Proverbs 2:12 I should render the word by “unfaithful”; in Proverbs 2:14, by “perverse”; in Proverbs 3:32, by “unlawful,” or “transgressor of the law.” But it is not easy to gather the precise meaning of the word “froward,” as the original words for it are various. (T. Chalmers, D. D.)

Verses 13. To walk in the ways of darkness.--

Perils in the deep

Here an arm of the sea of life is spread out before us, and we are led to an eminence whence we may behold its raging. We must, one by one, go down into these great waters. We see many of our comrades sinking beneath the surge. It is good to count the number, and measure the height of these ranks of raging waves, that we may be induced to hold faster by the anchor of the soul, which is sure and steadfast. The dangers are delineated in exact order.

I. “the way of evil.” Whether they be persons or principles the word does not expressly say. The way of the evil is the way which Satan trod, and by which all his servants follow.

II. “the man that speaketh froward things.” He is one of the foremost dangers to young men. In a workshop, or warehouse, or circle of private friendship, one with a foul tongue is a serious mischief-maker. It may be that the froward things are swearings; or impurities, or infidel insinuations; or mere silliness that fills with vanity, and tends to weaken the moral fibre. Even when a person does not sympathise with the evil, and imitate it, his conscience gets a wound. It is not good for us, in an experimental way, thus to know evil.

III. “Who leave the paths of righteousness.” When the imagination is polluted, and the tongue let loose, the feet cannot keep on the path of righteousness. Thinking, and hearing, and speaking evil, will soon be followed by doing it. In all of us are the seeds of crime, and in many the seedlings are growing apace. He who would be kept from the path of the destroyer must crucify the flesh, with its affections and lusts. In the matter of watching for one’s soul the true wisdom is to take care of the beginnings.

IV. “to walk in the ways of darkness.” The doing of evil produces darkness, and darkness produces the evil-doing. Indulged lusts put out the eyesight of the conscience; and under the darkened conscience the lusts revel unchecked.

V. “Who rejoice to do evil.” A more advanced step in guilt. At first the backslider is ashamed of his fall. He palliates, alleges the strength of the temptation, and promises amendment. As the hardening progress goes on, he begins to feel more easy, and comes to rejoice in evil.

VI. Who “delight in the frowardness of the wicked.” These are more abandoned than the wicked themselves. To take pleasure in sin is a characteristic of fallen humanity; to delight in seeing others sinning is altogether devilish. To complete the picture of the dangers to which the young are exposed, one other peril of the world’s deep is marked on the chart which is mercifully placed in the voyager’s hands--it is “the strange woman.” The deceiver is so-called. Marriage is honourable in all. Unlawful relations of the sexes mean wild, selfish passions, which will surely be followed by visible marks of God’s vengeance. God’s anger will track lust through all its secret doublings. He makes sin generate its own punishment. And the woe of a hardened sensualist is a “hell” indeed. (W. Arnot, D. D.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 2:12". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-2.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

GOD'S MAN IS DELIVERED FROM EVIL

"To deliver thee from the way of evil,

From the men who speak perverse things;

Who forsake the paths of righteousness,

To walk in the ways of darkness;

Who rejoice to do evil,

And delight in the perverseness of evil;

Who are crooked in their ways,

And wayward in their paths:"

This paragraph speaks of the seditious and subversive enemies that form the bottom layer of every society. "They wish to subvert the state of things, whether or religious; they are seditious themselves and wish to make others so; they speak much of liberty, oppression, injustice, etc., endeavoring especially to corrupt the youth."[14] Such men are totally destructive, rebellious and critical; and they are bankrupt of any worthwhile purpose.

"To walk in the ways of darkness" (Proverbs 2:13). Christians are specifically warned against the ways of darkness. Much of the world's evil is perpetrated in darkness, due to men's instinctive desire to hide their evil deeds. "The word darkness carries with it two ideas (1) ignorance, and (2) error."[15] To walk in darkness is therefore to reject the true light of wisdom and to practice iniquity. The apostle Paul has commanded us to, "Cast off the works of darkness" (Romans 13:12): and in the same breath he mentioned among those works such things as, "Reveling, drunkenness, debauchery, licentiousness, quarreling and jealousy" (Romans 13:13).

"Who rejoice to do evil" (Proverbs 2:14). This fingers an amazing trait of wicked men; they rejoice in evil! "A malignant joy lights up the countenance of any abandoned sinner at the very prospect of some wicked deed. This is Satanic wickedness; and such men may exclaim with Milton's Satan, `Evil, be thou my good'!"[16]


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 2:12". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-2.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

To deliver thee from the way of the evil man,.... Who is so by nature and practice, who is hardened in sin and abandoned to it, whose course of life is evil, and who endeavours to draw others into the same evil practices; now the Gospel, and a spiritual knowledge of it, are a means of preserving men from following the examples of such persons, and from walking with them in the ways of sin: or from "the evil way"F20מדרך רע "a via mala", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis. , from every evil way, from a vicious course of life; not from idolatry only, as some interpret it, though this may be included, and chiefly designed; but from all manner of sin, from everything that is contrary to the law of God and sound doctrine;

from the man that speaketh froward things; perverse things, things contrary to the light of nature, to divine revelation, to the word of God, both law and Gospel; if a single man is meant, he might be thought to be the man of sin, antichrist, who has a mouth speaking blasphemies against God, his name, his tabernacle, and them that dwell therein, Revelation 13:5; and the Gospel delivers men from following him, and falling in with his perverse doctrines and practices; but the word seems to be a collective one, and to be understood of all wicked men, to whom the description agrees, as it is explained in the following verses in the plural number; who out of their evil hearts, and the abundance of wickedness there, speak evil things, tending to debauch the minds and manners of others; to be delivered from whom is a singular mercy. Jarchi restrains this to heretics, and such as caused Israel to apostatize to idolatry, and turned the law into evil. The Gospel is undoubtedly a means of preserving from error and heresy.


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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 2:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-2.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 2:12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil [man], from the man that speaketh froward things;

Ver. 12. That speaketh froward things.] As if his mouth were distorted, or the upper lip stood where the nether should. See Acts 20:30. (a)


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 2:12. The man that speaketh froward things "With a design to corrupt your mind, and entice you to evil principles and practices:" A species of corruption of which young persons in particular should be extremely cautious.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:12". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-2.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

From the way of the evil man; from following his counsel or example, which others for want of wisdom commonly do.

That speaketh froward things; with design to corrupt thy mind, and entice thee to evil principles or practices.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 2:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-2.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12. They do this, to deliver thee (now their ward) from the way of the evil man, (especially) from the man that speaketh froward things תהפכות, (tahpukhoth,) another obscure word, found almost exclusively in this book. It is the opposite of m’sharim, (Proverbs 1:3,) equity, rectitude. It seems to be a comprehensive term, implying all manner of evil doing. Perhaps subversions or perversions comes as near the original as any English word; that is, the man uttering words calculated to subvert or pervert — to turn the hearer from the right to the wrong, or to change the condition of things, whether in the Church or State, from good to evil. It applies to all reckless innovators and revolutionists, particularly to such as seek to overthrow a good government in order to put another in its place. This conception is somewhat supported by the preceding word, רע, (ra’h,) evil, badness, worthlessness. The radical idea of this word is to break; and it denotes “the breaking of some established order of things, or some preconceived design, plan, or the like.” Gesenius says, “Intransitive — to be evil, bad; from the idea of breaking, being broken, and so made worthless.” But may not the idea of moral badness also appropriately come from the active conception of breaking, destroying? It is certainly a very vivid and truthful conception of a bad man, that he is a breaker, a destroyer of things, like his father Abaddon, the destroyer. He breaks law and order, peace, quietness, and harmony. He destroys virtue, character, reputation, property, government — in short, every thing he lays his hands on or influences; he destroys his associates, and, finally, himself.

The Septuagint adds to this verse the following, not found in the Hebrew: “He that stays himself upon falsehoods attempts to rule the winds, and the same will pursue birds in their flight: for he has forsaken the ways of his own vineyard, and he has caused the axles of his own husbandry to go astray; but he goes through a dry desert, and a land appointed to drought, and he gathers barrenness with his hands.”


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-2.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Things. The danger of such company for young people is very great, as the heart is misled by the understanding, (Calmet) if it do not itself shew the way to error. (Haydock) --- We all possess a fund of corruption. (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-2.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

deliver = pluck, or rescue. evil = evil [man]. Hebrew. ra"a".

froward = perverse. Hebrew occurs nine times in Proverbs (verses: Proverbs 2:12, Proverbs 2:14, Proverbs 2:14; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 10:31, Proverbs 10:32; Proverbs 16:28, Proverbs 16:30; Proverbs 21:8); elsewhere only in Deuteronomy 32:20.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-2.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

To deliver thee from the way of the evil (man), from the man that speaketh froward things - things contrary to what is right. (Compare with instance of their froward speeches, Proverbs 1:11-14.)


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-2.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) Froward things.—(Heb., tahpûkhôth), i.e., misrepresentations, distortions of the truth.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
deliver
1:10-19; 4:14-17; 9:6; 13:20; Psalms 17:4,5; 26:4,5; 141:4; 2 Corinthians 6:17
from the man
3:32; 8:13; 16:28-30; Psalms 101:4; Isaiah 59:3-5; Acts 20:30; 1 Corinthians 15:33

Copyright Statement
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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 2:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-2.html.

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