PROVERBS CHAPTER 12.
V. 1. Whoso loveth instruction, including all moral training, loveth knowledge, for that is the fruit of such training; but he that hateth reproof is brutish, for in resenting correction a person places himself on the level of beasts in stupidity. V. 2. A good man obtaineth favor of the Lord, is an object of Jehovah’s good pleasure; but a man of wicked devices will He condemn, for He loathes planning which intends the neighbor’s harm. V. 3. A man shall not be established by wickedness, the prosperity of such a one will not be lasting, nor will it give him true happiness; but the root of the righteous shall not be moved; as their faith is rooted in Jehovah, their foundation is secure. V. 4. A virtuous woman, a wife of moral power and probity, as shown in her pious activity in the home, is a crown to her husband, an emblem of honor and glory before the whole world; but she that maketh ashamed, causing him shame by her misconduct, is as rottenness in his bones, like a gnawing worm, a canker slowly undermining and destroying. V. 5. The thoughts of the righteous are right, just and pious, leading to words and deeds which are also righteous; but the counsels of the wicked are deceit, the manner in which they influence and direct others is deceitful and is bound to work harm. V. 6. The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood, they intend malice and violence, their thoughts find expression in bloodthirsty and murderous ways; but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them, namely, those whose life is threatened by the wicked with their murderous designs. V. 7. The wicked are overthrown and are not, they come to an end like the ungodly inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah; but the house of the righteous shall stand, sustained in the midst of all storms by the power of Jehovah. V. 8. A man shall be commended according to (literally, “in the presence of”) his wisdom, in proportion to the insight he shows in all matters of life; but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised, his crooked and malicious dealings meeting with the contempt and condemnation which they deserve. V. 9. He that is despised and hath a servant is better, rather, “Better is the lowly that serveth himself,” being of small means and not too proud to be found engaged in performing the work of a servant about the house, than he that honoreth himself and lacketh bread, his pride of birth or caste keeping him from honest work. V. 10. A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast, taking proper care of his domestic animals; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel, they are utterly devoid of sympathy and compassion. V. 11. He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread, his industry ordinarily being rewarded in this manner; but he that followeth vain persons, vanity, idleness, laziness, is void of understanding, lacks the very principles of ordinary common sense. V. 12. The wicked desireth the net of evil men, rather, the spoil, that which is taken in the net; that is, one wicked person tries to deprive the other of his ill-gotten gains, their selfishness causing them to consume one another; but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit; since all their acts flow from faith, they are filled with a power which impels them forward in righteous conduct. V. 13. The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips, his own speeches prove a dangerous snare to him, so that he is overthrown; but the just shall come out of trouble, escaping from the net which was placed for his feet. V. 14. A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, his own wise, benevolent, and charitable discourse results in blessings to him; and the recompense of a man’s hands, what he deserves for his works, shall be rendered unto him, the justice of God being shown in rewards as well as in acts of punishment. V. 15. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, in his own judgment, making it practically impossible to convince him of the contrary; but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise, or, “the wise listens to sound advice,” it is one of his characteristics. V. 16. A fool’s wrath is presently known, his indignation breaks out suddenly, often without a careful examination of the difficulty which caused it; but a prudent man covereth shame, he exercises prudent self-control, he keeps his temper well in hand always. V. 17. He that speaketh truth showeth forth righteousness; breathing the atmosphere of the love of truth, he utters that which is strictly just; but a false witness deceit, he breathes and speaks lies. V. 18. There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword, his speeches being as rude and sharp as knife thrusts, their intention being to hurt and injure; but the tongue of the wise is health, healing, intended to overcome the effect of sharp speeches and to bind up the wounds inflicted by foolish babblers. V. 19. The lip of truth shall be established forever, for truth, although trodden to the earth, will ever rise again; but a lying tongue is but for a moment, the falsehood being readily exposed and therefore losing its power. V. 20. Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, for they can rarely carry out their evil intentions without malignity and deceit; but to the counselors of peace is joy, those who give wholesome counsel, and the peacemakers, cause rejoicing. V. 21. There shall no evil happen to the just, the very suffering coming upon them in God’s wise government being but blessings in disguise, Ps. 91, 10; Rom. 8, 28; but the wicked shall be filled with mischief, evil, misfortune, and calamity striking them. V. 22. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord, He loathes liars and deceivers; but they that deal truly, practicing uprightness always, are His delight. V. 23. A prudent man concealeth knowledge, not showing off his knowledge upon every occasion; but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness, they are bound to expose their nonsense by their forward manner. V. 24. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule, he will reach a position of power and influence; but the slothful shall be under tribute, being obliged to serve, to hold a subordinate position, all his life. V. 25. Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop, it is readily bowed down by trouble and grief; but a good word maketh it glad, so that he straightens up from his grief and gains new courage. V. 26. The righteous is more excellent than his neighbor, rather, guideth his friend aright, being concerned about his welfare, in a true spirit of altruism; but the way of the wicked seduceth them, their own foolishness and wickedness leading them astray. V. 27. The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting, literally, “catcheth not his prey,” being too lazy to make use of his opportunities; but the substance of a diligent man is precious, his industry is a valuable possession and grasps the opportunities offered him. V. 28. In the way of righteousness is life, it leads to the possession and enjoyment of true life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death, no misfortune of any kind, for it is only the devious way that leads to destruction.