Proverbs 24:26

Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.
– Proverbs 24:26

This verse closes the saying on just judgment. The word for right means straight and the word for answer means word, or something said. Giving a straight answer is likened to a kiss, which was a sign of loyalty and affection. Though the wording seems a little obscure, the proverb suggests a true kinship with one who speaks straight. This saying accords with the value of wise speech taught elsewhere (Proverbs 15:23; 16:13; 25:11-12).

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Proverbs 24:11

If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and that are ready to be slain;
– Proverbs 24:11

These next two verses illustrate the failure of verse 10 and end with God’s sovereign judgment as strong incentive to live righteously. Commentators vary on the specific application of those who are drawn unto death and ready to be slain. At least, the phrases refer to those in mortal dangers, and most likely due to some form of unjust oppression. The word for deliver means rescue and the condemnation here is failure to rescue. The general tenor comports with the teaching of wisdom, which requires eschewing the way of the wicked and doing righteousness (Proverbs 31:8-9).

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Proverbs 21:15

It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
– Proverbs 21:15

The word for joy means gladness, or pleasure. Judgment refers to justice, or just dealing. It can mean a legal verdict in the official sense of justice, or it can refer to the just respect and treatment of others in our dealings. The word for destruction means ruin, or terror. The just and upright delight in justice being done and it terrifies the wicked, because they want justice to be bendable to their advantage (Proverbs 17:23). This proverb complements Proverbs 10:29 where the way of the Lord, which is the way of judgment, is a fortification for the upright but a terror to the wicked.

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Proverbs 20:10

Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.
– Proverbs 20:10

The law requires equity and justice in business (Leviticus 19:35-26; Deuteronomy 25:13-16). Unequal weights and measures here refers to cheating the transaction by a false weight. This could be a way of oppressing the poor and inviting Divine retribution (Proverbs 17:5). The word for abomination means loathsome, or detestable. God hates all such cheating. The standard of measure belongs to the Lord (Proverbs 16:11) and proverbs such as this one show God’s sovereign omniscience. He ponders the hearts and judges by his standard.

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Proverbs 20:7

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
– Proverbs 20:7

The word for just means righteous, or lawful, in conduct and character. Walking justly is another aspect of walking in wisdom, for the upright man fears the Lord (Proverbs 14:2) and his integrity is better than wealth (Proverbs 19:1). Just men are a blessing to others because of their wise and healthy speech (Proverbs 10:11, 21), wise leadership (Proverbs 29:2), and their flourishing (Proverbs 11:28, 30). The blessing here is more specifically to his children after him. The just man blesses the generations that come after him through living out his life in integrity (Proverbs 10:7; 13:22).

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Proverbs 17:26

Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.
– Proverbs 17:26

The word for just means lawful, or righteous. The word for equity means upright, or straight, and it is used for what is right, or due. The word for punish means to fine and the word for strike means to beat, i.e., to flog as punishment. The proverb makes the point by juxtaposing an absurdity with a greater absurdity. Fining, or punishing, those who are doing what is right is not good in any sense. It is an abomination (Proverbs 17:15). Princes are rulers of some sort and it’s beyond absurd to envision their beating for executing their office justly. They’re being punished for not miscarrying justice through the respecting of persons (Proverbs 18:15).

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Proverbs 17:15

He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
– Proverbs 17:15

Injustice is a two-way street that runs to abomination at both ends. Justifying the wicked means to declare innocent one who is guilty. Whether the crime appears victimless or not, it is an injustice. The first phrase comes under the respect of persons and is abhorrent to the righteous Judge of all the earth (Proverbs 24:23-24). The second abomination is the reverse of the first. It is to declare guilty one who is innocent. The Lord abhors and the prophet Isaiah condemned Judah for it (Isaiah 5:20-23). It is one of the ways of calling “evil good, and good evil.”

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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 12:21

There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
– Proverbs 12:21

The word for evil means trouble or sorrow. The first phrase seems to run counter to reality. We know the wise and good have sorrows and troubles that come to them in life. We understand the meaning when we consider the contrast. The just don’t have the troubles and sorrows of their own making as the wicked do (Proverbs 14:14). The word for mischief means calamity or adversity. The wicked will not only have distresses but will be filled with them, which indicates fully and continually. This is the fruit of their own way (Proverbs 1:31).

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