Proverbs 13:17

A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
– Proverbs 13:17

Relying on an unreliable messenger brings many troubles upon you. The slothful messenger is a serious irritation (Proverbs 10:26) and a foolish messenger does more harm than good, as far accomplishing your purpose is concerned (Proverbs 26:6). Here a wicked messenger causes you trouble, or plunges you into it. The contrast is with the faithful ambassador, or messenger. The word for health has the idea of being curative and so, helpful. The faithful messenger is also presented as being refreshing to the one who sent him (Proverbs 25:13).

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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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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 10:23

It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
– Proverbs 10:23

The word for sport means laughter and points to enjoyment or pleasure. The word for mischief literally means a plan and the context dictates whether it is positive or negative. A fool finds delight in bringing off some evil plan. He is thoroughly pleased when his plans meet with success (Proverbs 2:14; 15:21). By contrast, the man who has understanding does not delight in making and prosecuting evil plans. He finds no joy in the follies and downfalls of others, but delights in wisdom. He recognizes the supreme value of wisdom so that he will seek and sacrifice to attain it (Proverbs 2:3-4; 23:23).

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Proverbs 6:18

An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
– Proverbs 6:18

Devising wicked imaginations is to plan evil schemes. The evil man does this continually (Proverbs 6:14). The heart is often put for the mind and the will. It is deceitful (Proverbs 12:20) and brings forth all manner of sin (Mark 7:21-22). Being swift to run means quickly or easily going to mischief, or to cause calamity. This is another mark of the evil man (Proverbs 6:13). It speaks of a bent toward this and even a zeal in that direction. Again, God hates these things.

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