Proverbs 10:2
Ill-gotten treasures profit nothing, but righteousness brings deliverance from death.
The Profits of Wickedness and of RighteousnessThomas Dale, M.A.Proverbs 10:2
The Worthlessness of a Wicked Man's WealthHomilistProverbs 10:2
Treasures of WickednessR. Wardlaw.Proverbs 10:2
WealthR. F. Horton, D.D.Proverbs 10:2
What Money Cannot DoProverbs 10:2
Four Conditions of Well BeingW. Clarkson Proverbs 10:2-6
Moral Contrast in Earthly Lot and DestinyE. Johnson Proverbs 10:2-7

I. ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH AND RECTITUDE. (Ver. 2.) The former cannot avert sudden death or shame (vers. 25, 27); the latter is vital, and stands the man in good stead in every hour of human trial, and of Divine judgment.

II. HONEST POVERTY AND PROFLIGATE GREED. (Ver. 3.) The former does not hunger, is contented with little, has true satisfaction. The latter is never satisfied, expands with every indulgence, is like the "dire dropsy." It is an unappeasable thirst. God repudiates it by fixing it in perpetual impotency, while the temperate and chastened doilies are rewarded by fulfilment.

III. THE LAX AND THE INDUSTRIOUS HAND. (Ver. 4; comp. Proverbs 12:24.) The one leading to poverty, the other to fiches. Languor and energy have their physical conditions; but how much lies in the will? We live in a day when it is the fashion to talk of "determinism," and to extend the doctrine of "causes over which we have no control" beyond all reasonable limits. We need to fall back on the healthy common sense of mankind, and on the doctrine of these proverbs. There is a moral question involved. Laziness is immoral, and receives the condemnation of immorality; industry is a virtue, and brings its own reward in every sphere. The opposition is amplified in ver. 5; active forethought being contrasted with supine indifference. The hard field labour referred to belongs particularly to young men; and to young men idleness is peculiarly corrupting.

IV. ASSOCIATIONS OF BLESSING AND THOSE OF VIOLENCE. (Ver. 6.) However the verse may be rendered and interpreted, this is the opposition. Blessing leads the mind through such a series of associated ideas as peace, tranquillity, order, security; violence through a contrasted series - trouble, disquiet, disorder, and all that implies a curse.

V. BRIGHT AND DARK RECOLLECTIONS. (Ver. 7.) The good man lives in thankful memories; the bad man's name is like an ill odour, according to the literal meaning of the Hebrew word. When the saying is quoted, The ill men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones," we should recall by whom this was said, or feigned to be said, and for what purpose. In the memory of Caesar's ambition Antony is afraid the Romans will forget his services. Momentarily good may be forgotten, but ultlmately must come to recognition and honour. The course of time illustrates the worth of the good, and enhances the odium of evil memories. - J.

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivereth from death
In nothing is our common proneness to self-deception more conspicuously manifested than in the erroneous estimate which we form respecting this world and the next. Of the one we think as though it could never have an end; of the other as though it could never have a beginning.

I. THE TREASURES OF WICKEDNESS PROFIT NOTHING. "Treasures of wickedness" should mean wealth which has been acquired by dubious or unjustifiable methods, or which is applied to unhallowed or forbidden purposes. But it may be used to signify all wealth bearing no relation to the command and will of the Almighty; all wealth in the acquisition and expenditure of which religion has no influence. But take the present life only, and appearances are against the statement of this text. What will not riches do and obtain for men! Some things they will not. They cannot give health to the languid, ease to the tormented, nor life to the dead. Therefore, with all their fair appearances, they profit nothing. They bring with them no solid, substantial happiness; no joy upon which the soul can confidently repose itself; no strength to endure trials in adversity. If they could, we have still to keep in mind that man is destined for an eternal existence, and for him the hour is coming in which all must confess that riches are useless — nothing in the sight of immortal man, much less in the sight of an eternal God.

II. WHAT IS MEANT BY RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND IN WHAT SENSE IT DELIVERETH FROM DEATH. The righteousness which delivereth from death is not our own righteousness properly so-called, but the righteousness of Christ. This righteousness, however, involves a righteousness of our own, which is, in its nature, a necessary fruit, and without which it cannot really exist. The righteousness adverted to by Solomon, in the case of the Jews, was first a ceremonial and then a meritorious righteousness. For us there is first an imputation of the perfect righteousness of Christ, and secondly, an actual righteousness of our own; the first being the cause of our justification, and the second its natural and necessary consequence. The righteous man is he who has accepted the salvation of Christ, is in the leading of the Holy Spirit, and has the testimony of his conscience that, in simplicity and godly sincerity, he daily labours to combine a holy life with a humble and contrite heart. Such a righteousness delivers, not from bodily death, but from all those evils that are represented by, and consummated in, death. To disappointment religion opposes hope; to suffering, patience; to the loss of earthly friends, the friendship of One who "sticketh closer than a brother." In the hour of calamity, disease, and death itself, righteousness is proved to be the only lasting, sustaining remedy.

(Thomas Dale, M.A.)

may mean either treasures wickedly got or treasures wickedly spent, or both. Such treasures profit nothing unto the bestowment of true happiness.

(R. Wardlaw.)

No moral system is complete which does not treat with clearness and force the subject of wealth. The material possessions of an individual or of a nation are, in a certain sense, the prerequisites of all moral life. The production of wealth, it not, strictly speaking, a moral question itself, presses closely upon all other moral questions. Wisdom will be called upon to direct the energies which produce wealth, and to determine the feelings with which we are to regard the wealth which is produced. Moral problems mightier still begin to emerge when the question of distribution presents itself. If production is in a sense the presupposition of all moral and spiritual life, no less certainly correct moral conceptions — may we not even say, true spiritual conditions? — are the indispensable means of determining distribution. In our own day this question of the distribution of wealth stands in the front rank of practical questions. Religious teachers must face it. Socialists are grappling with this question not altogether in a religious spirit. But all socialism is not revolutionary. In the teaching of the Book of Proverbs on this subject note —

I. ITS FRANK AND FULL RECOGNITION THAT WEALTH HAS ITS ADVANTAGES AND POVERTY ITS DISADVANTAGES. There is no Quixotic attempt to overlook, as many moral and spiritual systems do, the perfectly obvious facts of life. The extravagance and exaggeration which led St. Francis to choose poverty as his bride find no more sanction in this ancient wisdom than in the sound teaching of our Lord and His apostles. As poverty is a legitimate subject of dread, there are urgent exhortations to diligence and thrift, quite in accordance with the excellent apostolic maxim, that if a man will not work he shall not eat; while there are forcible statements of the things which tend to poverty and of the courses which result in comfort and wealth.

II. BUT, MAKING ALL ALLOWANCE FOR THE ADVANTAGES OF WEALTH, WE HAVE TO NOTICE SOME OF ITS SERIOUS DRAWBACKS. To begin with, it is always insecure. If wealth has been obtained in any other way than by honest labour it is useless, at any rate for the owner, and indeed worse than useless for him. There is wealth of another kind, wealth consisting in moral and spiritual qualities, compared with which wealth, as it is usually understood, is quite paltry and unsatisfying. A little wisdom, a little sound understanding, or a little wholesome knowledge, is more precious than wealth.

III. POSITIVE COUNSELS ABOUT MONEY AND ITS ACQUISITION. We are cautioned against the fever of money-getting; we are counselled to exercise a generous liberality in the disposal of such things as are ours. Happy would that society be in which all men were aiming, not at riches, but merely at a modest competency, dreading the one extreme as much as the other.

(R. F. Horton, D.D.)

I. THE WORTHLESSNESS OF A WICKED MAN'S WEALTH. It will "profit nothing." The wicked man gets treasures here, and often, indeed, the more wicked a man is the more he succeeds. The fool of the gospel became rich. But of what real profit is wealth to the wicked? It feeds and clothes him well as an animal. It may give him gorgeous surroundings.

1. It "profits him" nothing in the way of making him truly happy. It cannot harmonise those elements of his nature which sin has brought into conflict; it cannot remove the sense of fault from his conscience; it cannot fill him with a bright hope for the future.

2. It "profits him" nothing in the way of obtaining the true love of his fellow-men. Men take off their hats to the wealthy, but there is no genuine reverence and love where there is not the recognition of goodness.

3. It "profits him" nothing in the dying hour or in the future world. He leaves it all behind. Money was the curse of Judas.

II. THE VALUE OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN'S CHARACTER. The righteous shall be delivered from death, from that which is the very essence in the evil of physical death — the sting of sin; and entirely from spiritual death. The soul of the righteous shall never famish. On the contrary, it shall increase in vigour for ever. There is no want to them that fear Him.


A millionaire who had been born a poor boy, and whose money had become his idol, was showing his house and grounds to a Quaker. The genial Friend praised them and said it was all wonderfully beautiful. "The almighty dollar has done it all," said the millionaire. "What cannot money do?" The Quaker looked sadly at him. He said, "Thy question reminds me of the people in the desert. They bowed clown to the golden calf and said it was that which brought them out of Egypt. As it turned out it hindered them and kept them out of the promised land. It would be an awful thing if thy gold kept thee out of heaven. You say, 'What cannot money do?' It cannot deliver thy soul."

Proverbs 10:2 NIV
Proverbs 10:2 NLT
Proverbs 10:2 ESV
Proverbs 10:2 NASB
Proverbs 10:2 KJV

Proverbs 10:2 Bible Apps
Proverbs 10:2 Parallel
Proverbs 10:2 Biblia Paralela
Proverbs 10:2 Chinese Bible
Proverbs 10:2 French Bible
Proverbs 10:2 German Bible

Proverbs 10:2 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Proverbs 10:1
Top of Page
Top of Page