By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
Whoever belittles his neighbour lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety.
Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm,
but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.
A gracious woman gets honour,
and violent men get riches.
A man who is kind benefits himself,
but a cruel man hurts himself.
The wicked earns deceptive wages,
but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.
Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
but he who pursues evil will die.
Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD,
but those of blameless ways are his delight.
Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.
Comment: Here are a series of couplets. A statement is made and in the next line that sentence is either compared with the opposite or reinforced. Thus we have in the first two lines what exalts compared to what overthrows a city. The next two lines compare a person who belittles his neighbour with someone who keeps his mouth shut.
- slanderer v trustworthy
- falling with no supporting guide v abundance of counsellors and success
- lending and not sharing
- gracious woman v violent man
- kindness v cruelty etc.
They are all pretty obvious. There are expansions necessary but for me the real problem is in always deciding for the right! I tend to try to use a legitimate expansion of the concept to allow me to do what I want to!
Prayer: Help me to be insightful. Not legalistic, but to learn the intended lessons. Please.