The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The house of the wicked shall be overthrown.—Observe the contrast between the “house” and “tabernacle” (tent); the slighter one shall stand, while the more strongly built one shall perish. (Comp. Proverbs 3:33.)The house; their dwelling and family.
The tabernacle; which is a weak, and poor, and unstable thing, soon reared up, and soon taken down, and is here opposed to the large, and strong, and magnificent house of wicked men. Psalm 49:11; or their families shall become extinct, none to be their heirs and inherit their estates, and transmit their name to posterity; or the substance of their house, their riches and wealth, especially that gotten dishonestly, shall waste away: and in a spiritual sense the house or hope of such, as to eternal salvation, being built on the sand, or something of their own, their external duties, or an outward profession of religion, shall not stand; though they lean upon it and would hold it fast, but it shall fall, and great shall be the fall of it; and particularly the apostate church of Rome, that synagogue of Satan, that habitation of devils, that hold of every foul spirit, and cage of every unclean bird, shall be overthrown with an utter overthrow, shall fall and never rise more, Revelation 18:2;
but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish: their low and mean cottages, which are put up quickly, like tents movable from place to place, yet shall be established, Proverbs 15:25; their families shall become numerous like a flock of sheep, Psalm 107:41; and their substance increase; they shall flourish in worldly things and grow rich, or however in spirituals, in girls and grace; shall flourish in the courts of the Lord, and tabernacles of the most High, like palm trees and cedars; for the allusion is to the flourishing of trees, Psalm 92:13; especially they will be in such flourishing circumstances in the latter day, when antichrist will be destroyed, and when the tabernacle of God will be with men, Psalm 72:8.The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 11. - The house... the tabernacle. The house of the wicked, which they build and beautify and love, and which they look upon as a lasting home, shall perish; the hope which they founded upon it shall come to a speedy end (Proverbs 12:7); but the righteous rear only a tent on earth, as becomes those who are strangers and pilgrims; and yet this abode is more secure, the hopes founded upon it are more lasting, for it continues unto everlasting life. The text in its first sense probably means that sinners take great pains to increase their material prosperity, and to leave heirs to carry on their name and family, but Providence defeats their efforts: good men do their duty in their state of life, try to please God and benefit their neighbour, leaving anxious care for the future, and God prospers them beyond all that they thought or wished (comp. Proverbs 3:33). Shall flourish. The word applies metaphorically to the growth, vigour, and increase of a family under the blessing of God. Septuagint, "The tents of the upright shall stand." There is a cognate proverb at Proverbs 12:7. Proverbs 14:4. This is continued in Proverbs 14:5, where the collector gives two proverbs, the first of which commences with a word beginning with א, and the second with one beginning with ב:
5 A faithful witness does not speak untruth;
But a lying witness breathes out falsehoods.
The right vocalization and sequence of the accents is בּקּשׁ לץ חכמה (ק with Tsere and the servile Mahpach, חכמה with Munach, because the following Athnach-word has not two syllables before the tone). As in 5a עד אמוּנים, so in 5b עד שׁקר is the subject. Different is the relation of subject and predicate in the second line of the parallel proverbs, Proverbs 14:25, Proverbs 19:5. With 5a cf. ציר אמוּנים, Proverbs 13:17; and regarding יפיח (one who breathes out), vid., at Proverbs 6:19; Proverbs 12:17.
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