Proverbs 17:13

Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
– Proverbs 17:13

This proverb also relies on the principle of sowing and reaping. Rewarding evil for good is to be ungrateful and churlish (1 Samuel 25:21). The reaping is given in the second phrase. The word for evil can be moral or natural. Either way, the evil done comes home to roost (Proverbs 13:21). Wisdom and faith teach the opposite behavior (Proverbs 3:30; 20:22; 1 Peter 3:9). Jesus taught to repay good for evil (Matthew 5:43-48).

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Proverbs 14:22

Do they not err that devise evil? But mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
– Proverbs 14:22

The word for err means to go astray and to devise is to plot or plan. The first phrase refers to the outcome of their plans. They go astray because they plan evil. These are not accidentally or carelessly getting into the wrong way, but are plotting and contriving wickedness (Proverbs 3:29; 6:14). The phrase, mercy and truth, speaks of God’s favor and blessing (Psalm 25:10; 61:7). Here it is the outcome or reward that comes to those who devise good.

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Proverbs 14:19

The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
– Proverbs 14:19

This proverb addresses the humbling of the wicked. Circumstances in life often appear to favor the wicked while the righteous seem to be humbled (Psalm 73:3-11; 37:35). The wicked go on in foolishness and pride. They seem to have success but their destruction is coming (Proverbs 18:12; 29:23). Ultimately, the righteous who have wisdom will be exalted over the wicked (Psalm 37:36-40; Proverbs 14:23).

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Proverbs 14:14

The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
– Proverbs 14:14

The word for backslider means to flinch or turn back. Isaiah and Jeremiah both used the word to describe those who apostatized from the truth, or true way. The backslider is then added to the list of fools, i.e., the foolish, the wicked, the scorner, the sluggard, etc. It describes one who has started in the way of wisdom but doesn’t continue in it. They may turn back because of simplicity or supposed gain, but the end is getting their own reward (Proverbs 1:31-32). This proverb speaks to the sowing and reaping principle. The second phrase emphasizes the good reward to the good man (Proverbs 12:14).

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Proverbs 13:22

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
– Proverbs 13:22

The word for good is a general term encompassing a wide range of good. Such a man is upright, just, and wise. We infer he has gathered whatever he leaves through honest dealing, diligent work, and wise stewardship. Wealth acquired that way tends to last (Proverbs 13:11; 27:23-27). The word for inheritance means to acquire a possession, or a bequeathal. Of course, such a man as described in the first phrase leaves more behind than silver and gold. He leaves a good name, good example, good instruction, and a good heritage. The children and the grandchildren of such an one are blessed beyond measure regardless of the size of their accounts. The contrast is how the wicked gather through unjust means and it tends not to last (Proverbs 10:2; 20:21). The contrast goes further and shows a providential correction. Their wealth is laid up for the just. What sinners gather will ultimately be possession of the righteous (Proverbs 28:8; Ecclesiastes 2:26; Psalm 37:9-11).

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Proverbs 13:2

A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
– Proverbs 13:2

This proverb relies on the general principle of sowing and reaping. In this case, words are the seed sown and either good or violence is reaped. The first phrase deals with wise words and their return of good (Proverbs 12:14; 18:20). The word for transgressors means traitors. It indicates acting deceitfully. Such men use their words deceitfully to fulfill their plans (Proverbs 1:11-13). Their love and pursuit of violence through their speech brings it back on their own heads eventually (Proverbs 1:31).

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Proverbs 12:2

A good man obtaineth favor of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
– Proverbs 12:2

The good man is contrasted with the man of wicked devices. The word for wicked devices means a plan or scheme. God often subjects such to their own plans (Proverbs 1:31). The word for good is good in the greatest sense, so all kinds of good. The word for favor refers to delight and goodwill. Elsewhere, the one who finds wisdom receives the goodwill of the Lord (Proverbs 8:35).

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Proverbs 11:27

He that diligently seeketh good procureth favor: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
– Proverbs 11:27

This proverb is a general truism about sowing and reaping. It is not reflective of a karmic worldview, for though the scriptures do speak of cycles in time, they do not present time as circular. Generally, a person reaps what they sow in this life. Diligently seeking speaks of early and eager seeking. It suggests one who actively pursues good. The word for seeketh in terms of mischief is a different word that includes a religious tinge, so that it speaks of one who religiously or devotedly seeks mischief. They are dedicated to it. There is a proverbial twist to the truism here for the implication seems to be that we will generally receive ourselves what we seek for others (Proverbs 17:11).

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Proverbs 11:23

The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
– Proverbs 11:23

The words for desire and expectation are similar. They both describe a longing and in this verse they describe what the righteous and the wicked are seeking. The contrast is in the outcomes, or wisdom’s estimate of the objects of their respective pursuits. Good is in the largest sense of good and wrath is an overflowing fury and rage.

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