Proverbs 28:18

Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.
– Proverbs 28:18

The way of walking is a consistent theme in Proverbs, where there are only two ways—wisdom or folly. The word for uprightly means complete, or whole. It is often contrasted with perverse, as it is here (Proverbs 28:6; 10). The image of falling is common to one walking perversely. The thrust of the saying is the contrast between the safety of integrity and the certain fall of those who twist and distort the way of wisdom (Proverbs 2:8, 12-15, 20; 3:6, 23; 10:9, 25; 11:3-6).

Proverbs 28:10

Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.
– Proverbs 28:10

Corrupt dealings and leading others astray will merit divine justice. This is a wisdom theme in Proverbs (Proverbs 5:20; 20:1; 26:7), as well as throughout Scripture (Deuteronomy 27:18; Job 12:16; Isaiah 28:7; Amos 2:12; Matthew 5:19; 18:6; 23:15; Luke 17:1-2; Colossians 2:18; 2 Timothy 3:6; 2 Peter 2:15, 18). The reward for the evil is to fall into his own pit and the reward for the upright is to come into a good inheritance. The saying warns against using others for your own ends and also warns against being lead astray, reminiscent of the opening wisdom addresses (Proverbs 1:8-19).

Proverbs 28:6

Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
– Proverbs 28:6

Proverbs consistently holds that wisdom does not equal wealth and folly does not equal poverty. Uprightness, or integrity, is contrasted with perverse, or twisted or crooked. This proverb is a better than saying that states honest poverty is better than dishonest riches. While it is possible to be honest and rich, as well as being dishonest and poor, the choice is often between integrity/wisdom and wealth. Crooked ways lead to destruction (Proverbs 28:18). Wisdom teaches it is better to be upright than rich, if that’s the choice before you (Proverbs 16:8; 19:1, 22).

Proverbs 23:16

Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
– Proverbs 23:16

The word for reins literally means kidneys, but references to internal organs or parts, such as bones, are intended to speak of being deeply affected within. Rejoicing of the reins speaks of a deep joy and rejoicing of the whole man. The word for right things means even and straight. It is used figuratively to speak of moral uprightness. The parent rejoices when the child grows to speak right things, because this means he has learned wisdom. Speaking right things is the essential cry of wisdom in Proverbs 8:6. Those who have been instructed in wisdom, speak wise things (Proverbs 15:2, 28). Even the Servant of Yahweh speaks wisdom with “the tongue of the learned” (Isaiah 50:4). True wisdom can only be spoken from a heart possessing true wisdom (Proverbs 12:17; 14:5).

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Proverbs 21:29

A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.
– Proverbs 21:29

The word for hardeneth means to be strong, or firm. The word appears three times in Proverbs and is translated impudent (Proverbs 7:13), strengthened (Proverbs 8:28), and hardeneth (Proverbs 21:29). The word for directeth means to separate mentally, or understand. The proverb contrasts the wicked and the upright. The wicked man puts up a strong front, whereas the upright considers well his way. The proverb speaks of appearance versus substance. The wicked are more concerned about the right appearance, whereas the upright is more concerned about the right way.

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Proverbs 19:1

Introduction
Chapter 19 continues the proverbs of Solomon. The chapter touches on friendships, wealth, laziness, the home, and more.

Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
– Proverbs 19:1

We expect the poor to be contrasted with the rich, and Proverbs 28:6 does that in a similar proverb. So the fool in the second phrase is understood to be a wealthy fool. The word for integrity means completeness, or innocence in the sense of being blameless. It is sometimes translated as upright. Walking uprightly means having wisdom and walking in wisdom (Proverbs 2:6-7; 13:6; 20:7). The word for perverse means distorted, or crooked. It is sometimes translated as froward. Cleverness is implicit in the twisting of words by the obstinate fool. Being poor and possessing wisdom is possible and better than being such a rich fool.

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Proverbs 16:17

The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
– Proverbs 16:17

The word for highway means a road or course and is used figuratively for course of life. Departing from evil has a moral overtone and sums to more than simply avoiding pitfalls (Proverbs 16:6). The word for upright means straight and the way is obviously a straight and righteous way (Proverbs 11:3). The word for preserveth means to hedge about, or to guard. The second phrase is more than security in the sense of walking safely (Proverbs 10:9). By guarding his way, the upright man is guarding his soul (Proverbs 19:16).

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Proverbs 15:21

Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.
– Proverbs 15:21

Foolishness in Proverbs is a choice, or it is a consequence of rejecting wisdom’s instruction and correction. This proverb identifies folly as joy to those who are destitute of wisdom, or without understanding. Fools delight in folly as a sport and pleasure (Proverbs 10:23; 14:9). The word for understanding means intelligence and reason. It describes one who is skilled in discernment. The word for upright means straight, or direct. The discerning ones deliberately choose the way that is good (Proverbs 14:16; 16:17). This is a man who has good sense and considers the end (Proverbs 22:3).

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Proverbs 15:8

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
– Proverbs 15:8

This proverb deals with worship and our approach to God. It is consistent with the rest of Scripture in that worship is a matter of spirit and not outward form (1 Samuel 15:22). The word for sacrifice refers to the slaughter of an animal, and contextually to the purpose of offering to the Lord. It is a ritual act. Even if the outward act is performed impeccably, the wicked condition of the offerer’s heart makes it an abomination to God (Isaiah 1:10-15). The wicked despise God’s word and want to perform a ritual for acceptance, but God hates and rejects it (Proverbs 21:27; 28:9; Luke 6:46). The contrast is the delight, pleasure or acceptance, of the prayer of the upright (Proverbs 15:29; 1 Chronicles 29:17).

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