The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Shall direct his way.—Or, make smooth, as Proverbs 3:6. The just man by his exact performance of all duty both towards God and man receives more and more light, and therefore continually sees more clearly how to avoid the difficulties that beset his path. The wicked darkens his conscience more and more by the commission of evil, till he stumbles as in the night (John 11:9), and at last falls, and rises not again.Zephaniah 1:15-18) of any "day of the Lord," any time of judgment, when men or nations receive the chastisement of their sins. At such a time "riches profit not." Shall direct his way; shall bring all his designs and endeavours to a happy issue, by comparing this clause with the next. Proverbs 12:28;
but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness; or, "in his wickedness" (g): in his own wicked way, which he has chosen and delights to walk in; he shall stumble therein, and fall into ruin and destruction, into hell and damnation: or by means or because of it he will fall; his wickedness will be the cause of his fall; as it will be the cause of the fall of Babylon, Revelation 18:2.
(f) "rectam facit", Cocceius; "complanat viam ejus", Schultens. (g) "in impietate sua", Tigurine version, Montanus, Baynus, Michaelis; "improbitate sua", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "in injustitia sua", Cocceius; "in improbitate sua turbulenta", Schultens.The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. direct] Or, make plain, or straight; so that it leads to a prosperous issue. See Proverbs 3:6, note.Verse 5. - The perfect; the upright and honest. Vulgate, "simple;" Septuagint, "blameless." Shall direct - make straight or smooth - his way (Proverbs 3:6). The good man, not blinded by passion, follows a safe and direct path of life; but the wicked, led by his own evil propensious, and losing the light of conscience (John 11:10), stumbles and fails. Septuagint, "Righteousness cutteth straight (ὀρθοτομεῖ) blameless paths, but ungodliness walketh in iniquity." Ὀρθοτομέω occurs in Proverbs 3:6, and nowhere else in the Septuagiut. St. Paul adopts the word in 2 Timothy 2:15.
The mouth of the righteous bringeth forth wisdom,
And the tongue of falsehood shall be rooted up.
Regarding the biblical comparison of thoughts with branches, and of words with flowers and fruits, vid., my Psychol. p. 181; and regarding the root נב (with its weaker אב), to swell up and to spring up (to well, grow, etc.), vid., what is said in the Comm. on Genesis on נביא, and in Isaiah on עוב. We use the word נוּב of that which sprouts or grows, and נבב of that which causes that something sprout; but also נוב may, after the manner of verbs of being full (Proverbs 3:10), of flowing (Gesen. 138, 1, Anm. 2), take the object accus. of that from which anything sprouts (Proverbs 24:31), or which sprouting, it raises up and brings forth (cf. Isaiah 57:19). The mouth of the righteous sprouts, brings forth (in Psalm 37:30, without a figure, יהגּה, i.e., utters) wisdom, which in all relations knows how to find out that which is truly good, and suitable for the end intended, and happily to unriddle difficult complications. The conception of wisdom, in itself practical (from חכם, to be thick equals solid, firm), here gains such contents by the contrast: the tongue - whose character and fruit is falsehood, which has its delight in intentional perversions of fact, and thus increaseth complications (vid., regarding תּהפּכות, Proverbs 2:12) - is rooted up, whence it follows as regards the mouth of the righteous, that it continues for ever with that its wholesome fruit.
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