Proverbs 13:2

2 The good acquire a taste for helpful conversation; bullies push and shove their way through life.

Proverbs 13:2 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 13:2

A man shall eat good by the fruit of [his] mouth
Or, "of the mouth"; either another's or his own, since the word his is not in the text; though it is supplied by the Targum, Aben Ezra, the Vulgate Latin, and Syriac versions, as by us. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "shall eat of the fruits of righteousness". I should choose to translate the whole thus: "a good man shall eat of the fruit of his mouth": so Aben Ezra interprets it, "a good man shall eat"; and so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions render it. The sense is, that a good man brings forth good things out of the good treasure of his heart by his mouth; which not only minister grace to the hearers, and are for the use of edifying to others, but also to himself; while he gives wholesome counsel and advice to others, it is of service to himself; while he comforts others, he comforts himself; and while he teaches and instructs others, he teaches and instructs himself: so a good minister of Jesus Christ, while he feeds others with knowledge and understanding, he himself is nourished up with the words of faith and good doctrine; so Jarchi refers it to a man's doctrine, and the reward of it here and hereafter; but the soul of the transgressors [shall eat] violence;
Jarchi interprets it,

``the delight of transgressors is violence;'' F21
that is, what their souls desire, choose, will, and take pleasure in, even using violence, and doing mischief to others; and to the same purpose is the note of Gersom: but Aben Ezra supplies it from the former clause, as we do; and the sense is, that the same measure they mete out to others shall be measured out to them again; what they give others to eat, they shall eat themselves, even the bread of violence; see ( Proverbs 4:16 ) ( 10:6 ) . And this will be the case of all perfidious and treacherous ones, as the word F23 used signifies; of false teachers and cruel persecutors; and of Babylon, of whom it will he said, "reward her as she rewarded you", ( Revelation 18:6 ) .

F21 "Anima cupido praevaricatorum est violentis", Gussetius, p. 524.
F23 (Mydgb) "perfidiosorum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "perfidorum", Cocceius, Schultens.

Proverbs 13:2 In-Context

1 Intelligent children listen to their parents; foolish children do their own thing.
2 The good acquire a taste for helpful conversation; bullies push and shove their way through life.
3 Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything.
4 Indolence wants it all and gets nothing; the energetic have something to show for their lives.
5 A good person hates false talk; a bad person wallows in gibberish.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.