Proverbs 22:5

Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.
– Proverbs 22:5

The word for froward means crooked, perverse, and false. It describes a way bent away from the way of wisdom. The froward are described as speaking froward things, walking in dark ways, rejoicing to do evil, and taking pleasure in the frowardness of others (Proverbs 2:12-15; 19:1). They are described as having a froward mind, which speaks of the crookedness of their inmost being (Proverbs 11:20; 17:20). They also sometimes enjoy abundant fruit from their crooked activities (Proverbs 28:6). Despite the appearance of profit, the way of frowardness is fraught with pitfalls and ends in destruction (Proverbs 13:3, 15; 15:19; 19:16).

Wisdom contrasts the froward with the one who hedges, or guards his soul. Keeping means to guard the way of your life (Proverbs 16:17), and the commandments of wisdom (Proverbs 19:16). Just like the prudent man who takes refuge from danger (Proverbs 22:3), the soul keeper walks in security from the pitfalls of frowardness.

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Proverbs 13:14

The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
– Proverbs 13:14

The word for law means direction or instruction. It can refer to any instruction, though it often refers to God’s law-word. Here it is qualified as the law of the wise. The wise have the fear of the Lord and have acquired wisdom (Proverbs 14:27). Their wise instruction functions two ways. The fountain of life imagery suggests they are a source of life as well as refreshment. Their law also teaches to depart from the snares of death, or delivers from death (Proverbs 15:24; 16:6, 17).

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