Proverbs 12:28

In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof is no death.
– Proverbs 12:28

I understand the Hebrew is difficult in this proverb, and particularly the second phrase. Various interpretations have been given. The proverb doesn’t have a contrast and the first phrase sets the context. The way of righteousness, or the way of wisdom, is the way of life (Proverbs 8:35; 9:11). It’s the way of life now in the sense of wholeness and the way of life ultimately in hope beyond the grave. The second phrase indicates either there is a path of death, or there is no death in the path of righteousness. The general tenor of the Proverbs contrasts wisdom and folly as life and death. Wisdom and heeding wisdom tends to longer life (Proverbs 4:10). The way of folly is natural and wisdom delivers from death (Proverbs 15:24). The sober warning is given in Proverbs 8:36 that to hate and refuse wisdom is to embrace and love death.

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