Proverbs 21:8

The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
– Proverbs 21:8

The word for froward means crooked, or perverse. The word for strange means guilty. The first phrase means the guilty man goes in a crooked way. The same idea is expressed of the evil man in Proverbs 2:15. The word for pure means clean, or righteous. The word for right means straight, or upright. The contrast is obvious. The guilty walk a crooked way while the innocent walk a straight path. The purpose of the proverb is to teach wisdom and discernment. Wisdom here teaches a tree is known by its fruits.

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Proverbs 12:5

The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
– Proverbs 12:5

The principle in this proverbs was expressed by Jesus in terms of a tree bearing fruit only according to its type (Matthew 7:17-19). The word for thoughts means plans or intentions. The intentions of the righteous are the fruit they produce, which fruit is right. The word for counsels literally means steerage and indicates guidance or advice. These are the fruit produced by the wicked and, therefore, they are deceit, or treachery. Kidner observed that we ignore this proverb when we elect leaders based “on the strength of their promises rather than their principles.”

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