Proverbs 12:13
The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
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(13) The wicked is cursed by the transgression of his lips.—For his words, the product of his evil heart, while designed to injure others, often bring the offender himself into trouble (Psalm 7:16), and moreover, as being the true index of the inner life of the soul, are being stored up as a witness against him at the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:37). The “just man,” on the contrary, avoids all this “trouble.”

Proverbs 12:13-14. The wicked is snared — Brought into trouble; by the transgression of his lips — By his wicked speeches against God and men; but the just shall come out of trouble — Namely, by his wise, and holy, and inoffensive words, whereby he pacifieth men, and pleases God, and therefore is favoured with his protection. A man shall be satisfied, &c., by the fruit of his mouth — By his pious and profitable discourses. And the recompense of a man’s hands — That is, of his works, of which the hand is the great instrument; shall be rendered unto him — Namely, by God, to whom the work of retribution belongs.

12:10. A godly man would not put even an animal to needless pain. But the wicked often speak of others as well used, when they would not endure like treatment for a single day. 11. It is men's wisdom to mind their business, and follow an honest calling. But it is folly to neglect business; and the grace of God teaches men to disdain nothing but sin. 12. When the ungodly see others prosper by sin, they wish they could act in the same way. But the root of Divine grace, in the heart of the righteous, produces other desires and purposes. 13. Many a man has paid dear in this world for the transgression of his lips.The meaning seems to be: The "net of evil men" (compare Proverbs 1:17) is that in which they are taken, the judgment of God in which they are ensnared. This they run into with such a blind infatuation, that it seems as if they were in love with their own destruction. The marginal rendering gives the thought that the wicked seek the protection of others like themselves, but seek in vain; the "root of the just" (i. e., that in them which is fixed and stable) alone yields that protection. 13, 14. The wicked is snared, &c.—The sentiment expanded. While the wicked, such as liars, flatterers, &c., fall by their own words, the righteous are unhurt. Their good conduct makes friends, and God rewards them. The wicked is snared, i.e. brought into trouble,

by the transgression of his lips, by his wicked speeches against God and men. The just shall come out of trouble, to wit, by his wise, and holy, and inoffensive speeches, whereby he pacifieth men, and gaineth God’s favour and protection.

The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips,.... A wicked man often brings himself into trouble by giving his tongue too great a liberty, and by making free with the characters of others; sometimes by treasonable speeches against his sovereign; sometimes by bearing false Witness, and by lies and perjuries, of which he is convicted in open court; and by calumnies, reproaches, detraction, and scandal raised by him, and cast on his neighbour, who sues him for these things: or "in the transgression of the lips is an evil snare"; or "the snare of an evil man" (y); by the wicked things they say they lay a snare for others, which the simple and incautious are taken in; so heretics ensnare men by their good words and fair speeches, and plausibility of their doctrines; so antichrist, by lies in hypocrisy, and by his deceivableness of unrighteousness;

but the just shall come out of trouble; or escape it; he escapes the snare that is laid for him, and so the trouble consequent upon it; a just man escapes trouble by not giving his tongue the liberty wicked men do; and when he by any means falls into trouble, he gets out of it again by giving good words to those in whose hands he is; and by his prayers and supplications unto God. The righteous are sometimes in trouble, and in such sort of trouble as others are not; by reason of their own corruptions, Satan's temptations, the hidings of God's face, as well as various outward afflictions; out of all which the Lord delivers them sooner or later, in life or in death, Psalm 34:19. Jarchi exemplifies this in the case of righteous Noah, who escaped the flood, when the world of the ungodly were destroyed by it, for the transgression of their lips, saying, as in Job 21:15, "what is the Almighty?" &c.

(y) "in praevaricatione labiorum laqueos malus", Montanus, Michaelis, Schultens, so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "vel laqueus hominis mali", Mercerus, Gejerus.

The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
13. The wicked is snared] Rather:

In the transgression of the lips is a snare to the evil man,

R.V. text; comp. A.V. marg., and for the sentiment, Proverbs 18:7. This is preferable to the rendering of R.V. marg., an evil snare, because it preserves the balance of the verse: the evil man, by the wicked and deceitful words which he uses to prosecute his purposes, entangles himself in a snare: the righteous man, by his righteous dealing, though he fall into trouble, is delivered out of it and walks at liberty.

The LXX. add:

“He that hath regard to gentleness shall obtain mercy;

But he that opposeth men in the gates will trouble souls.”

Verse 13. - The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips; rather, in the transgression of the lips is an evil snare (Proverbs 18:7). A man by speaking unadvisedly or intemperately brings trouble upon himself, involves himself in difficulties which he did not foresee. Often when he has spoken in order to injure others, the slander or the censure has redounded on himself (comp. Psalm 7:15, 16; Psalm 9:16). The just; the man who does not offend with his lips, avoids these snares. The Septuagint here introduces a couplet not found in the Hebrew: "He who looketh gently (ὁ βλέπων λεῖα) shall obtain mercy; but he who frequents the gates [or, 'contends in the gates,' συναντῶν ἐν πύλαις] will harass souls." This seems to mean the man who is calm and considerate for others will himself be treated with pity and consideration (Matthew 5:7); but he who is a gossip, or a busybody, or litigious, will be always vexing his neighbours. Proverbs 12:13Proverbs regarding injurious and beneficial words, wise hearing and prudent silence.

13 In the transgression of the lips there lies a dangerous snare;

     The righteous escapeth from trouble.

The consecutive modus (ויּצא) is here of greater weight than e.g., at Proverbs 11:8, where the connection follows without it (ויּבא) from the idea of the change of place. The translation: but the righteous ... restores ויצא (ויצא), and ignores the syllogistic relation of the members of the proverb, which shows itself here (cf. the contrary, Proverbs 11:9) to a certain degree by ויּצא. Ewald displaces this relation, for he paraphrases: "any one may easily come into great danger by means of inconsiderate words; yet it is to be hoped that the righteous may escape, for he will guard himself against evil from the beginning." He is right here in interpreting צרה and מוקשׁ רע as the designation of danger into which one is betrayed by the transgressions of his lips, but "inconsiderate words" are less than פּשׁע שׂפתים. One must not be misled into connecting with פּשׁע the idea of missing, or a false step, from the circumstance that פּשׁע means a step; both verbs have, it is true, the common R. פש with the fundamental idea of placing apart or separating, but פּשׁע has nothing to do with פּשׁע (step equals placing apart of the legs), but denotes (as Arab. fusuwḳ fisḳ, from the primary meaning diruptio, diremtio) a sinning, breaking through and breaking off the relation to God (cf. e.g., Proverbs 28:24), or even the restraints of morality (Proverbs 10:19). Such a sinning, which fastens itself to, and runs even among the righteous, would not be called פשׁע, but rather חטּאת (Proverbs 20:9). According to this the proverb will mean that sinful words bring into extreme danger every one who indulges in them - a danger which he can with difficulty escape; and that thus the righteous, who guards himself against sinful words, escapes from the distress (cf. with the expression, Ecclesiastes 7:18) into which one is thereby betrayed. רע is the descriptive and expressive epithet to מוקשׁ (cf. Ecclesiastes 9:12): a bad false trap, a malicious snare, for מוקשׁ is the snare which closes together and catches the bird by the feet. This proverb is repeated at Proverbs 29:6, peculiarly remodelled. The lxx has after Proverbs 12:13 another distich:

He who is of mild countenance findeth mercy;

He who is litigious oppresseth souls.

(נפשׁות, or rather, more in accordance with the Hebrew original: oppresseth himself, נפשׁו.)

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