Updated for Volume 12
Remember the other day we were talking about was that we should be different, but not strange? This passage equates evil with strange, perverse behavior.
Proverbs 21:6-8 (KJV) The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death. The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment. The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
Proverbs 21:6-8 NKJV Getting treasures by a lying tongue Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. The violence of the wicked will destroy them, Because they refuse to do justice. The way of a guilty man is perverse; But as for the pure, his work is right.
Proverbs 21:6-8 (AMP) Securing treasures by a lying tongue is a vapor driven to and fro; those who seek them seek death. The violence of the wicked shall sweep them away, because they refuse to do justice. The way of the guilty is exceedingly crooked, but as for the pure, his work is right and his conduct is straight.
21:6. Verses 6-8 refer to the wicked—their lying, violence, and devious actions. Wealth (a fortune) acquired in dishonest ways (by lying) will not last (cf. 10:2; 13:11); it will fade quickly like a vapor (cf. 23:4-5; 27:24). And a deadly snare is the way some Hebrew manuscripts, the Septuagint, and the Vulgate read, but most Hebrew manuscripts read “seekers of death” or “for those who seek death.” The thought is either that money gained dishonestly will ensnare rather than bless a person, ultimately bringing him to his death, or that seeking money dishonestly is like seeking or pursuing death.
21:7. People who are guilty of violence to others will find that it will boomerang (just as evil talk does, 12:13); eventually they themselves will be dragged away like fish caught in a net. In Habakkuk 1:15 the verb gārar (drag… away) is used of catching and dragging fish in a net. The wicked will be punished because even though they know what is right they refuse to do it.
21:8. Devious and upright describe the conduct of the guilty and the innocent, respectively. The Hebrew words for “guilty” and “devious” occur only here in the Old Testament. This verse, in antithetical parallelism, contrasts the crookedness of guilty people with the uprightness (straightforwardness or “rightness”) of godly people. In 20:11 “innocent” (zak) is translated “pure,” and “upright” (yāŝār) is translated “right.” Interestingly in 21:8 the Hebrew for “guilty” is wāzār and immediately following it is the similar-sounding Hebrew word for “but… the innocent” (wezak.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.
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