Proverbs 12:3
A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Proverbs 12:3. A man shall not be established by wickedness — By any sinful course, however craftily devised, and apparently well calculated to answer that end. For the power and prosperity which are raised by sin are built on the sand. But the root of the righteous shall not be moved — Namely, out of its place. They shall stand fast and flourish like well-rooted trees.12:1 Those who have grace, will delight in the instructions given them. Those that stifle their convictions, are like brutes. 2. The man who covers selfish and vicious designs under a profession of religion or friendship, will be condemned. 3. Though men may advance themselves by sinful arts, they cannot settle and secure themselves. But those who by faith are rooted in Christ, are firmly fixed. 4. A wife who is pious, prudent, and looks well to the ways of her household, who makes conscience of her duty, and can bear crosses; such a one is an honour and comfort to her husband. She that is the reverse of this, preys upon him, and consumes him. 5. Thoughts are not free; they are under the Divine knowledge, therefore under the Divine command. It is a man's shame to act with deceit, with trick and design. 6. Wicked people speak mischief to their neighbours. A man may sometimes do a good work with one good word. 7. God's blessing is often continued to the families of godly men, while the wicked are overthrown. 8. The apostles showed wisdom by glorying in shame for the name of Christ. 9. He that lives in a humble state, who has no one to wait upon him, but gets bread by his own labour, is happier than he that glories in high birth or gay attire, and wants necessaries.Brutish - Dumb as a brute beast. The difference between man and brute lies chiefly in the capacity of the former for progress and improvement, and that capacity depends upon his willingness to submit to discipline and education. Compare Psalm 49:12. 3. Wickedness cannot give permanent prosperity.

root … not be moved—firm as a flourishing tree—(Ps 1:3; 15:5; Jer 17:8).

By wickedness; by any sinful courses by which he useth to secure or stablish himself; whereby he implies that he shall be rooted up.

Shall not be moved, to wit, out of its place. He shall stand fast, and flourish, like a well-rooted tree. A man shall not be established by wickedness,.... Not any man, though he may be established in his wickedness, so as not to be rooted out of it; yet he cannot be so established by it as not to be removed from a prosperous state and condition into an unhappy and distressed one; he may seem to be in a firm and settled state of prosperity, amidst all his wickedness; be like a green bay tree, spreading itself, and seemingly immovable, when on a sudden it is blown down and rooted up, and is no more: so Babylon will seem to be in a settled state of grandeur, ease, and rest, and say, "I sit a queen, and shall see no sorrow"; when in one day, and in one hour, her destruction shall come upon her, Revelation 18:7;

but the root of the righteous shall not be moved; they are rooted and grounded in the love of God, which is immovable; they are rooted and built up in Christ, and so are as Mount Zion, which can never be removed; the root of the matter, or of grace, is in them, which can never be lost; while others wither away, because they have no root in them, these abide; and though they may be shaken with the persecutions of men, the temptations of Satan, the errors of the wicked, and their own corruptions, yet they afresh take root again downward, and bring forth fruit upward.

A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the {a} root of the righteous shall not be moved.

(a) They are so grounded in the favour of God, that their root will prosper continually.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 3. - A man shall not be established by wickedness. Man is metaphorically compared to a tree, especially the olive. Wickedness gives him no firm hold for growth or life (comp. Proverbs 10:25). The root of the righteous shall not be moved. The righteous are planted in a good soil, are "rooted and grounded in love" (Ephesians 3:17), and the root being thus well placed, the tree is safe, and brings forth much fruit (comp. ver. 12; Job 14:7-9). Vers. 4-12 contain proverbs concerning the management of a house and business. 28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall,

     And the righteous shall flourish like the green leaf.

יפּול (plene after the Masora) as well as the figure וכעלה (cf. for the punctuation וכעשׁן, Proverbs 10:26) are singular, but are understood if one observes that in 28a a withered tree, and in 28b a tree with leaves ever green, hovers before the imagination of the poet (cf. Psalm 1:4; Jeremiah 17:8). The proud rich man, who on the ground of his riches appears to himself to be free from danger, goes on to his ruin (יפול as Proverbs 11:5, and frequently in the Book of Proverbs), while on the contrary the righteous continues to flourish like the leaf - they thus resemble the trees which perennially continue to flourish anew. Regarding עלה as originally collective (Symm. θάλλος), vid., at Isaiah 1:30, and regarding פּרח (R. פר, to break), here of the continual breaking forth of fresh-growing leaf-buds, vid., at Isaiah 11:1. The apostolic word names this continual growth the metamorphosis of believers, 2 Corinthians 2:18. The lxx has read וּמעלה (approved by Hitzig): and he who raiseth up the righteous.

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