Proverbs 12:12

12 The wicked desire what evil men have,[a] but the root of the righteous produces [fruit].

Proverbs 12:12 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 12:12

The wicked desireth the net of evil [men]
To be master of all the wicked arts and methods evil men use to ensnare and oppress others; to get them and their substance into their hands; or "desireth the evil net", as the Targum; the evil net of antichrist, which he lays for the poor, whom he draws into it and catches them; see ( Psalms 10:9 ) . Jarchi understands it of "hunting" F20 and of wicked men desiring to be fed and nourished with what evil men get by hunting; compare with this ( Ezekiel 13:18-21 ) . Some render it the "fortress" or "strong hold" F21 of evil men, in which they fortify and secure themselves to do mischief to others, and to prevent any besieging them, so Gersom; and this is what all wicked men are desirous of; but the root of the righteous yieldeth [fruit];
or "shall give" F23 that; that security and protection from real evil and mischief which the wicked cannot obtain; or he, that is, God, "shall give the righteous root" F24, firmly fix them that they shall not be moved; or as we supply it, and so Aben Ezra, "yieldeth fruit", much more desirable than the net of evil men the wicked covet: righteous men are compared to trees, they are called "trees of righteousness", ( Isaiah 61:3 ) ; these have a root in the love of God, in the person of Christ, and in the grace of the Spirit, and this root yieldeth fruit; the love of God is the root and source of all good things, of all the blessings of grace, of the fruit of grace, faith, hope, and love, and of evangelical obedience; the person of Christ is the source of all spiritual blessings, of salvation and eternal life; the righteous have their being in him as a root; they are bore by him, have all their life, grace, holiness, fruitfulness, and perseverance therein, from him; and the grace of the Spirit in the heart, which is the root of the matter, the hidden man of the heart, from hence are fruits meet for faith and repentance, and good works, which are both pleasant and profitable. The Targum is,

``the root of the righteous shall remain, or be established;''
see ( Proverbs 12:3 ) .

F20 (dwum) "venationem", Munster, Schultens; "venatum", Tigurine version.
F21 "Praesidium", Mercerus, Junius & Tremelllus, Piscator.
F23 (Nty) "dabit", Pagninus, Montanus, Baynus, Mercerus.
F24 "Radicem justorum dabit Deus", Gejerus, Michaelis.

Proverbs 12:12 In-Context

10 A righteous man cares about his animal's health, but [even] the merciful acts of the wicked are cruel.
11 The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases fantasies lacks sense.
12 The wicked desire what evil men have, but the root of the righteous produces [fruit].
13 An evil man is trapped by [his] rebellious speech, but the righteous escapes from trouble.
14 A man will be satisfied with good by the words of his mouth, and the work of a man's hands will reward him.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or desire a stronghold of evil
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