The proud, the lazy, and the wicked (Prov 21:24-21:29)

“The proud and haughty persons

Are named ‘scoffers.’

They act with arrogant pride.

The craving of the lazy person is fatal.

His lazy hands refuse to labor.

All day long the wicked covet.

But the righteous give.

The righteous do not hold back.

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination.

How much more is it

When brought with evil intent.

A false witness will perish.

But a good listener will testify successfully.

The wicked put on a bold face.

But the upright give thought to their ways.”

The proud and haughty people are scoffers, or ones who mock people. They act with an arrogant pride. The lazy ones, on the other hand, refuse to work so that it is fatal to them. The wicked want more things, but the righteous are generous and do not hold back. Any sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination. It is even worse when they make a sacrifice with an evil intent. The person who gives false testimony will perish. The good listener will testify successfully. The wicked have a bold face, but the upright think before they act.

Righteous humans (Prov 20:7-20:10)

“The righteous walk in integrity.

Happy are the children who follow them!

A king who sits on the throne of judgment

Winnows all evil with his eyes.

Who can say?

‘I have made my heart clean.

I am pure from my sin’

Diverse weights

Are an abomination to Yahweh.

Likewise diverse measures

Are an abomination to Yahweh.”

The righteous people walk with integrity. Any children who follow the ways of the righteous with their integrity will be happy children. The king on his throne will be righteous if he removes or winnows all evil from his eyes. However, it is doubtful if anyone has a pure and clean heart. Yahweh does not like diverse weights and measures. There should be one standard, otherwise it is an abomination.

Evil men (Prov 17:11-17:15)

“Evil people seek only rebellion.

A cruel messenger will be sent against them.

Better to meet a she-bear robbed of its cubs,

Than to confront a fool immersed in folly.

Evil will not depart from the house

Of one who returns evil for good.

The beginning of strife is

Like letting out water.

So stop before the quarrel breaks out.

Whoever justifies the wicked,

Whoever condemns the righteous,

Are both alike.

They are an abomination to Yahweh.”

The evil people are rebellious. Therefore the good are in favor of the status quo. A cruel messenger will be sent to evil rebels, perhaps the angel of death. You are better off meeting a mama bear with her cubs than trying to confront a fool in his foolishness. Evil will stay in the house of those who return evil for good. A quarrel or strife is like running water. It is better to stop the quarrel before it breaks out. Whether you justify the wicked or condemn the righteous, you are both alike, an abomination before Yahweh.

The role of the king (Prov 16: 10-16:15)

“Inspired decisions are on the lips of a king.

His mouth does not sin in judgment.

Honest balances and scales are Yahweh’s.

All the weights in the bag are his work.

It is an abomination for kings to do evil.

The throne is established by righteousness.

Righteous lips are the delight of a king,

He loves those who speak what is right.

A king’s wrath is a messenger of death.

Whoever is wise will appease it.

In the light of a king’s face

There is life.

His favor is like the clouds

That bring the spring rain.”

This next section follows the medieval concept of the diving right of kings. Thus the king speaks in the name of Yahweh. His decisions are thus inspired by Yahweh. He does not sin in making his judgments. He expects, like Yahweh, to have honest scales and balances, so that there should not be any false weights in bags on the scales. Thus, it is an abomination for a king to do evil because the throne was established by righteousness, which should be the delight of the king. The king loves those who speak correctly and rightly. On the other hand, his wrath is a messenger of death. The wise ones are able to appease his anger. You will have life if the king’s face lights upon you. His favors are like refreshing spring rains.

The role of Yahweh (Prov 16:5-16:9)

“All the arrogant are an abomination to Yahweh.

Be assured!

They will not go unpunished.

By loyalty and faithfulness

Iniquity is atoned for.

By the fear of Yahweh

One avoids evil.

When the ways of people please Yahweh,

He causes even their enemies

To be at peace with them.

Better is a little with righteousness

Than large income with injustice.

The human mind plans the way.

But Yahweh directs the steps.”

What does God do to the arrogant? They are an abomination to Yahweh. Don’t worry since they will not go unpunished. You can atone for their iniquity by being loyal and faithful. If you fear Yahweh, you will avoid evil. To those people who please Yahweh, he will make their enemies be at peace with them. It is better to be righteous than have a large income, but be unjust. The human mind makes plans, but Yahweh directs their steps. In other words, man proposes but God disposes.

The wicked (Prov 15:26-15:30)

“Evil plans are an abomination to Yahweh.

But gracious words are pure.

Those who are greedy for unjust gain

Make trouble for their household.

But those who hates bribes

Will live.

The mind of the righteous

Ponders how to answer.

But the mouth of the wicked

Pours out evil.

Yahweh is far from the wicked.

But he hears the prayer of the righteous.

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart.

Good news refreshes the body.”

Wicked evil plans are an abomination to Yahweh. Gracious words, on the other hand, are pure. The greedy seek after an unjust gain or profit as they make trouble for their family. If you hate bribes, you will have a long life. The righteous ponder how to answer questions, while the mouths of the wicked pour out evil things. Yahweh stays far away from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. The light in your eyes rejoices your heart, just as good news refreshes your body.

The wicked (Prov 15:8-15:12)

“The sacrifice of the wicked is

An abomination to Yahweh.

But the prayer of the upright is

His delight.

The way of the wicked is

An abomination to Yahweh.

But he loves whoever

Pursues righteousness.

There is severe discipline

For one who forsakes the way.

But one who hates rebuke will die.

Sheol and Abaddon lie open before Yahweh.

How much more the human hearts!

Scoffers do not like to be rebuked.

They will not go to the wise.”

The wicked are so bad that their sacrifice to Yahweh is an abomination. However, the prayer of the upright is delightful to Yahweh. The way of the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh because Yahweh loves righteousness. He rebukes those who forsake his way. However, the wicked do not like to be rebuked. These wicked ones will die and go to Sheol, the shadowy underground world, or Abaddon, the bottomless pit. Those cynic scoffers do not like to be rebuked either. They refuse to go with their human heart in following the wise ones.

Seven ugly vices (Prov 6:16-6:19)

“Yahweh hates six things.

But seven are an abomination to him.

They are haughty eyes.

They include a lying tongue.

They are hands that shed innocent blood.

They include a heart that devises wicked plans.

They are feet that hurry to run to evil.

They include a lying witness who testifies falsely.

They include anyone who sows discord in a family.”

This is a numerical listing of vices like the medieval 7 deadly sins. Although Yahweh hates 6 things, 7 are an abomination to him. Among these 7 mentioned, lying is mentioned twice. The first is haughty eyes. The second is the lying tongue. Thus eyes and mouths can create evil vices. Then there are hands that shed innocent blood and feet that run to evil. Thus hands and feet can do evil. Then there is the heart that devises wicked plans. There is then a second mention of lying, by being a false witness, which is somehow different than just a lying tongue. Finally, there is the 7th vice of sowing discord in a family.