Proverbs 12:28
In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
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(28) In the way of righteousness is life.—Comp. above on Proverbs 10:2, “Righteousness delivereth from death.”

Proverbs 12:28. In the way of righteousness is life, &c. — The practice of righteousness, though it expose a man to some dangers and inconveniences in the world, through the corruption of mankind, and the malice of the devil, yet it will certainly lead a man to life and happiness; whereas the end of all the wicked is death and destruction.

12:16. A foolish man is soon angry, and is hasty in expressing it; he is ever in trouble and running into mischief. It is kindness to ourselves to make light of injuries and affronts, instead of making the worst of them. 17. It is good for all to dread and detest the sin of lying, and to be governed by honesty. 18. Whisperings and evil surmises, like a sword, separate those that have been dear to each other. The tongue of the wise is health, making all whole. 19. If truth be spoken, it will hold good; whoever may be disobliged, still it will keep its ground. 20. Deceit and falsehood bring terrors and perplexities. But those who consult the peace and happiness of others have joy in their own minds. 21. 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. 22. Make conscience of truth, not only in words, but in actions. 23. Foolish men proclaim to all the folly and emptiness of their minds. 24. Those who will not take pains in an honest calling, living by tricks and dishonesty, are paltry and beggarly. 25. Care, fear, and sorrow, upon the spirits, deprive men of vigour in what is to be done, or courage in what is to be borne. A good word from God, applied by faith, makes the heart glad. 26. The righteous is abundant; though not in this world's goods, yet in the graces and comforts of the Spirit, which are the true riches. Evil men vainly flatter themselves that their ways are not wrong. 27. The slothful man makes no good use of the advantages Providence puts in his way, and has no comfort in them. The substance of a diligent man, though not great, does good to him and his family. He sees that God gives it to him in answer to prayer. 28. The way of religion is a straight, plain way; it is the way of righteousness. There is not only life at the end, but life in the way; all true comfort.The word rendered "roasteth" occurs nowhere else; but the interpretation of the King James Version is widely adopted. Others render the first clause thus: "The slothful man will not secure (keep in his net) what he takes in hunting," i. e., will let whatever he gains slip from his hands through want of effort and attention. 28. (Compare Pr 8:8, 20, &c.). A sentiment often stated; here first affirmatively, then negatively. The practice of justice and godliness, though it expose a man to some dangers and inconveniences in the world, yet it will certainly lead him to life and happiness, whereas the end of all wicked courses is death and destruction.

In the way of righteousness is life,.... The life of the soul, or spiritual life, as Aben Ezra; and eternal life, as Gersom. One that is in the true way of righteousness is one that is instilled by the righteousness of Christ, which justification is the justification of life: such an one is made alive, and reckons himself alive in a law sense; and enjoys true spiritual peace and comfort, arising from the love and favour of God, and acceptance with him, in which he sees his interest, and in which is life; and this righteousness, by which he is justified before God, entitles him to eternal life; to which the path of holiness, he is directed and enabled to walk in, leads; though it is a narrow way, and a strait gate, Matthew 7:14. Christ, and righteousness and holiness in and by him, are the way, the truth, and the life, or the true way to eternal life; and all in this way now live spiritually, and shall live eternally, John 14:6;

and in the pathway thereof there is no death; no condemnation to them that are in Christ, the way, and are justified by his righteousness; the law's sentence of death shall not be executed on them, though it passed upon them in Adam; spiritual death shall not again prevail over those who are passed from death to life; nor shall they be hurt at the second death; they shall never die that death, it shall have no power over them; life and immortality are the sure effects of being in the way of righteousness. The Targum renders it, "the way of the perverse": and the Septuagint version, "of those that remember evil": and the Syriac and Arabic versions, "the way of angry men is unto death": and so the Vulgate Latin version,

"the out of the way path leads to death:''

and so some Hebrew copies read, instead of "no death, unto death"; but the most read as we do, and which the Jewish commentators follow.

In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
28. no death] The rendering to death, i.e. the pathway (sc. common and well-trodden, or, of evil men) leadeth to death, is supported by LXX. εἰς θάνατον, and Vulg. ducit ad mortem.

Verse 28. - In the way of righteousness is life (comp. Proverbs 10:2). For the promise of temporal prosperity which the Jew saw in such passages as these we substitute a better hope. And in the pathway thereof - of righteousness - there is no death. Many combine the two words thus: "no death," i.e. immortality; but examples of such combination are not forthcoming, and the anomaly is not necessitated by the failure of the usual rendering to afford an adequate sense. The Greek and Latin versions are noteworthy. Septuagint, "The ways of the revengeful (μνησικάκων) are unto (אֶל, not אַל) death." St. Chrysostom refers ('Hom. 16 in Ephesians') to this rendering: "He here speaks of vindictiveness; for on the spur of the moment he allows the sufferer to act in order to cheek the aggressor; but further to bear a grudge he permits not; because the act then is no longer one of passion, nor of boiling rage, but of malice premeditated. Now, God forgives those who may be carried away, perhaps upon a sense of outrage, and rush out to resent it. Hence he says, 'eye for eye;' and yet again 'The ways of the revengeful lead to death." Vulgate, "A devious path leads to death" - a path, that is, which turns aside from the right direction, a life and conversation which are alien from justice and piety. But both the Septuagint and the Vulgate have missed the right meaning of the words in question; derek nethibah, "pathway." Many see in this verse a plain evidence that the writer believed in the immortality of the soul. We have reason to suppose that such was his faith, but it cannot be proved from this passage, though we may consider that he was guided to speak in terms to which later knowledge would affix a deeper interpretation (see Proverbs 14:32, and note there). It is Jesus Christ "who hath brought life and immortality (ἀφθαρσίαν) to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). Writers in Solomon's time could speak only darkly about this sublime and comforting hope, though later, as in the Book of Wisdom and throughout most of the Apocryphal books, it formed a common topic, and was used as a reason for patience and resignation.

Proverbs 12:2828 In the path of righteousness is life,

     And the way of its path is immortality.

All the old versions to the Venet. give אל־ instead of אל־, and are therefore under the necessity of extracting from ודּרך נתיבה a meaning corresponding to this, εἰς θάνατον, in which they are followed by Hitzig: "a devious way leadeth to death." But נתיב (נתיבה) signifies step, and generally way and street (vid., at Proverbs 1:15), not "devious way," which is expressed, Judges 5:6, by ארחות עקלקלות. And that אל is anywhere punctuated thus in the sense of אל is previously improbable, because the Babylonian system of punctuation distinguishes the negative אל with a short Pathach, and the prepositional אל (Arab. ilâ) with a short Chirek, from each other (vid., Pinsker, Einl. p. xxii.f.); the punctuation 2 Samuel 18:16; Jeremiah 51:3, gives no support to the opinion that here אל is vocalized thus in the sense of אל, and it is not to be thus corrected. Nothing is more natural than that the Chokma in its constant contrast between life and death makes a beginning of expressing the idea of the ἀθανασία, which Aquila erroneously read from the אל־מות, Psalm 48:15. It has been objected that for the formation of such negative substantives and noun-adjectives לא (e.g., לא־אל, לא־עם) and not אל is used; but that אל also may be in close connection with a noun, 2 Samuel 1:13 shows. There אל־טל is equivalent to אל יהי טל, according to which it may also be explained in the passage before us, with Luther and all the older interpreters, who accepted אל in its negative signification: and on (the בּ governing) the way ... is no death. The negative אל frequently stands as an intensifying of the objective לא; but why should the Chokma, which has already shown itself bold in the coining of new words, not apply itself to the formation of the idea of immortality?: the idol name אליל is the result of a much greater linguistic boldness. It is certain that אל is here not equivalent to אל; the Masora is therefore right in affirming that נתיבה is written with He raphatum pro mappicato (vid., Kimchi, Michlol 31a, and in the Lex.), cf. 1 Samuel 20:20, vid., Bttcher, 418. Thus: the way of their step is immortality, or much rather, since דּרך is not a fixed idea, but also denotes the going to a distance (i.e., the journey), the behaviour, the proceeding, the walk, etc.: the walking (the stepping over and passing through) of their way is immortality. Rich in synonyms of the way, the Hebrew style delights in connecting them with picturesque expressions; but דּרך always means the way in general, which divides into ארחות or נתיבות (Job 6:18; Jeremiah 18:5), and consists of such (Isaiah 3:16). The distich is synonymous: on the path of righteousness (accentuate בארח צדקה) is life meeting him who walks in it, and giving itself to him as a possession, and the walking in its path is immortality (cf. Proverbs 3:17; Proverbs 10:28); so that to go in it and to be immortal, i.e., to be delivered from death, to be exalted above it, is one and the same thing. If we compare with this, 1 Samuel 14:32, it is obvious that the Chokma begins (vid., Psychol. p. 410) to break through the limits of this present life, and to announce a life beyond the reach of death.

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