Proverbs 11:10

When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.
– Proverbs 11:10

The prospering of the righteous and the perishing of the wicked both bring rejoicing to the city. Though imperfect and often fickle, many recognize and value justice. At the very least, they enjoy the benefits brought about through the righteous and wise (Proverbs 29:2; Ecclesiastes 9:15). Reference to the city here could indicate the contrast between the rule of the righteous and that of the wicked. Men are far less appreciative of wickedness and injustice when it is at their own expense.

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Proverbs 10:32

The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh forwardness.
– Proverbs 10:32

The word for acceptable means delightful and pleasant. The words of the righteous are fitting words (Proverbs 15:23; 25:11). There is beauty in them and these come from a well of wisdom (Matthew 13:52). The words of the wicked are presented in contrast. They are not few, well-chosen, nor beautiful (Proverbs 15:2, 28). They only speak frowardness, which is twistedness or perversity.

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Proverbs 10:31

The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
– Proverbs 10:31

To bring forth is literally to germinate or bear fruit. It is also put figuratively for speech as the idea that words are the fruit produced. A just man will bear the fruit of wisdom in his speech (Psalm 37:30). The froward tongue is contrasted. The word indicates something twisted, crooked, or otherwise perverse. Wicked prattling will ultimately be stopped (Psalm 31:18). The cutting out promised in the proverb puts one in mind of a bad tree with bad fruit being cut down and burned up.

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Proverbs 10:30

The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
– Proverbs 10:30

Despite momentary circumstances throughout life, the righteous will not fall or be cast off. Likewise, the wicked will never be established (Proverbs 12:3). Scripture consistently warns that wickedness will not lead to peace and prosperity (Psalm 37:9-11).

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Proverbs 10:29

The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
– Proverbs 10:29

The way of the Lord is contrasted between the upright and the workers of iniquity. Some see the Lord’s overall providential governance in the way of the Lord, but as way is frequently put for course of life in Proverbs, it is more fitting to see it as the way one should go. The wisdom we should walk by is the wisdom we shall be judged by. It is safety or security to the upright, but the wicked falter and fail therein (Hosea 14:9).

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Proverbs 10:28

The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
– Proverbs 10:28

This proverb takes the long view of wisdom. It is not so much concerned with near-future earthly life as it is with after life. Many look at the Proverbs as a collection of home-spun wisdom sayings that help you get on in life. If you pay attention, along the way Solomon drops wisdom that lets you know much more is at stake. This is one of those proverbs and there are others (Proverbs 11:7; 14:32). Righteousness shall ultimately be rewarded with eternal joy (Psalm 16:9-11). Wickedness will also be rewarded by eternal punishment (Psalm 112:10; Revelation 21:8).

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Proverbs 10:27

The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
– Proverbs 10:27

The fear of the Lord is where we begin in divine wisdom (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7). Continuing in fear means continuing in wisdom and departing from sin (Proverbs 16:6) and coming into God’s goodness (Psalm 31:19). In general, walking in fear and wisdom tends to long life whereas continuing in wickedness tends to being cut off (Psalm 55:23). Whatever prospering the wicked enjoy, it is short lived (Job 12:6; Psalm 73:12; 17:13-14).

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Proverbs 10:26

As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.
– Proverbs 10:26

The vinegar and smoke mentioned are both irritants. Smoke in the eyes when trying to work to get something done can be frustrating. A sluggard is an indolent, lazy person. The sluggard is one of the recurring characters throughout Proverbs. When a sluggard is employed or otherwise relied on to accomplish something, it is an exasperating experience.

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Proverbs 10:25

As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.
– Proverbs 10:25

The wicked are compared to a whirlwind, which is a terrible storm but soon passes. The point is that the gains of the wicked are all temporal and their life is built upon shifting sand (Matthew 7:24-27). The righteous, by contrast, build upon sure foundations and enduring wisdom. They are well grounded and able to weather the storms of life.

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