Proverbs 13:6
Righteousness keeps him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthrows the sinner.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way.—See above on Proverbs 11:5.

13:6. An honest desire to do right, preserves a man from fatal mistakes, better than a thousand fine-drawn distinctions. 7. Some who are really poor, trade and spend as if they were rich: this is sin, and will be shame, and it will end accordingly. Some that are really rich, would be thought to be poor: in this there is want of gratitude to God, want of justice and charity to others. There are many hypocrites, empty of grace, who will not be convinced of their poverty. There are many fearing Christians, who are spiritually rich, yet think themselves poor; by their doubts, and complaints, and griefs, they make themselves poor. 8. Great riches often tempt to violence against those that possess them; but the poor are free from such perils. 9. The light of the righteous is as that of the sun, which may be eclipsed and clouded, but will continue: the Spirit is their Light, he gives a fulness of joy: that of the wicked is as a lamp of their own kindling, easily put out. 10. All contentions, whether between private persons, families, churches, or nations, are begun and carried forward by pride. Disputes would be easily prevented or ended, if it were not for pride. 11. Wealth gotten by dishonesty or vice, has a secret curse, which will speedily waste it. 12. The delay of what is anxiously hoped for, is very painful to the mind; obtaining it is very pleasant. But spiritual blessings are chiefly intended.The fruit of his mouth - Speech rightly used is itself good, and must therefore bring good fruit.

Eat violence - i. e., Bring upon itself repayment in kind for its deeds of evil.

6. A sentiment of frequent recurrence, that piety benefits and sin injures. Keepeth him; either from sin, or from that overthrow which befalls sinners, in the next clause.

The sinner, Heb. the man of sin, who giveth up himself to wicked courses. Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way,.... Men of uprightness and integrity, whose hearts are sincere in the ways of God; the principle of grace and righteousness in them keeps them in those ways, and will not suffer them to turn aside into crooked paths; the word of righteousness, the doctrine of the Gospel, is a means of preserving them from sin, and of keeping them in the right way; particularly the doctrine of Christ's righteousness, and justification by it, is a great antidote against sin, and a powerful motive and incentive to the performance of good works, and all the duties of religion: it engages men to observe every command of Christ, to walk in all his ways; and is a great preservative from false doctrine and antichristian worship;

but wickedness overthroweth the sinner; it is the cause of his utter overthrow, of his being punished with everlasting destruction. It is, in the Hebrew text, "sin" (b) itself; the sinner is so called, because he is perfectly wicked, as Jarchi observes; he is nothing but sin, a mere mass of sin and corruption. Aben Ezra renders it, "the man of sin"; and it may be well applied to him, who is emphatically called so, and is likewise the son of perdition; who, for his wickedness, will be overthrown and destroyed at the coming of Christ, and with the brightness of it, 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

(b) "peccatum"; Montanus, Vatablus, Cocceius, Michaelis; "lapsationem", Schultens.

Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. keepeth] Rather, guardeth, as in Proverbs 13:3 above.

him that is upright in the way] “Heb. uprightness of way,” R.V. marg.

the sinner] “Heb. sin,” R.V. marg.Verse 6. - Righteousness keepeth (guardeth) him that is upright in the way; literally, uprightness of way, abstract for concrete, as in the second member, sin for sinner. Those who are good and innocent in the walk of life are preserved from evil, moral and material. Wickedness overthroweth the sinner; literally, sin "Overthroweth," makes to slip. Vulgate, supplantet. The LXX. inverts the clause, "Sin makes the impious worthless (φαύλους)" (see Proverbs 11:3, 5, 6). The verse is omitted in many Greek manuscripts. 28 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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