Proverbs 15:9

The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
– Proverbs 15:9

This proverb parallels the previous one. The former addressed religious acts and this one the life, or the way. The wicked do not pursue righteousness as the upright do. The way of the wicked is characterized as darkness, proud, and perverting the way of wisdom (Proverbs 4:19; 21:4, 8). Their way is an abomination to God. The word for followeth after means to run after, or pursue. God loves those who pursue righteousness in life and not merely pious rituals (Proverbs 21:21).

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Proverbs 15:8

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
– Proverbs 15:8

This proverb deals with worship and our approach to God. It is consistent with the rest of Scripture in that worship is a matter of spirit and not outward form (1 Samuel 15:22). The word for sacrifice refers to the slaughter of an animal, and contextually to the purpose of offering to the Lord. It is a ritual act. Even if the outward act is performed impeccably, the wicked condition of the offerer’s heart makes it an abomination to God (Isaiah 1:10-15). The wicked despise God’s word and want to perform a ritual for acceptance, but God hates and rejects it (Proverbs 21:27; 28:9; Luke 6:46). The contrast is the delight, pleasure or acceptance, of the prayer of the upright (Proverbs 15:29; 1 Chronicles 29:17).

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Proverbs 13:19

The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
– Proverbs 13:19

The wording in this proverb is difficult and various interpretations have been offered. The second and contrasting phrase gives the emphasis to the first phrase. Taken in this light, the desire mentioned must be a good desire as the obtaining it yields the sweet result. The contrast is that fools refuse the good that comes from wisdom and righteousness because they cannot depart from evil. It is an abomination to fools, just as the upright are to the wicked (Proverbs 29:27). This proverb then reflects the spiritual nature of the fool’s problem. He doesn’t lack good information. He refuses it because he loves his folly more (Proverbs 26:11). He is wise in his own eyes and does not fear the Lord and therefore will not depart from evil nor purge his iniquities (Proverbs 3:7; 16:6).

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Proverbs 11:20

They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.
– Proverbs 11:20

The word for froward is common in the Proverbs and means twisted, or perverse. I like to think of it as bent, as in bending away from wisdom. A perverse or twisted heart is abhorrent to God and the line suggests they invite his judgment upon them. By contrast, the upright walk according to wisdom and are his delight. Therefore, they invite his pleasure and blessing upon them (Psalm 18:25-26; 11:7; 140:13).

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Proverbs 11:1

A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
– Proverbs 11:1

The law forbade conducting deceptive transactions and cheating the scale (Leviticus 19:35-36; Deuteronomy 25:13-16). God rebuked Israel for this sin through the prophets (Amos 8:5; Micah 6:10). Wisdom likewise teaches the abomination of false balances (Proverbs 16:11; 20:10, 23). A just weight is a complete measure, or we might think of it as accurate. God delights in this sort of honesty, fairness, and just dealings.

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Proverbs 8:7

For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
– Proverbs 8:7

Wisdom continues explaining why she has called for attention to her words. The word for truth here is stable and reliable. The word for speaking is different from the previous verse. Here it means pondered or meditated speech. It isn’t rash or flippant speech. Wickedness is abhorrent to wisdom. The full picture suggests that wickedness is considered and found thoroughly disgusting and so put away from the lips.

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Proverbs 6:19

A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
– Proverbs 6:19

False witness refers to deception but it is distinct from just lying. A false witness lies in order to condemn someone. It is a false accusation or report that gives evidence of guilt against someone. False witness was prohibited by the law (Exodus 20:16; 23:1) and punishable (Deuteronomy 19:16-20). Of course, this is in the range of the evil man with a forward mouth (Proverbs 6:12).

The list concludes with declaring the sowing of discord to be an abomination and this was also a mark of the evil man (Proverbs 6:14). Discord is strife or contention. Sowing discord refers to causing such strife where none existed, or where there’s no reason for contention. This sort is quick to enflame a contention (Proverbs 26:20-21), or keep one going.

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Proverbs 6:16

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
– Proverbs 6:16

Verses 16-19 roundly condemn the wicked man from the previous section. Each sin enumerated corresponds to his description in verses 12-15. Solomon uses a particular arrangement for this list. The form is to list a number of things and plus one. This form is used elsewhere in Proverbs (Proverbs 30:15, 18, 21) and other books (Job 5:19; Ecclesiastes 11:2; etc.). This framework is used to show the last item as being the best or worst of the group. The plus one formula also shows the list is not exhaustive. In this case, these are not the only things God hates.

Yahweh hates the first six things. The seventh is an abomination, or abhorrent. The expressions of these sins means that God is completely separate from these sins and therefore they have no place in the wisdom that is from above. This also points to the fact that those who walk in these will not stand before God, but meet with his judgment against them.

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