Proverbs 12:21

21 No harm overtakes the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.

Read Proverbs 12:21 Using Other Translations

There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.
No harm comes to the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.

What does Proverbs 12:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Proverbs 12:21

There shall no evil happen to the just
The evil of sin: no iniquity, as the Targum; which, and the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, interpret of sin not being agreeable, convenient, suit able, and pleasing to a righteous man. Moreover, the Lord, by his Spirit and grace, weakens the power of sin in them; and, by his providence, prevents and removes occasion of sinning; and by his power preserves from it, from being overcome and carried away with it, at least finally and totally. Or the evil of punishment is here meant; no penal evil shall befall them; the punishment of their sin has been inflicted on Christ their surety, and therefore shall never be laid on them; and whatever afflictions may happen to them, which have the name and appearance of evil, these work together for their good, spiritual and eternal; so that, in reality, no evil thing, properly speaking, happens to them; see ( Psalms 91:10 ) . Or whatever does come to them comes not by chance unto them, but by the decree and will of God, and is overruled for good; but the wicked shall be filled with mischief;
or "with evil" F8, the evil of sin; with malice and wickedness, with all impiety and unrighteousness, with ignorance and error; with all kind of sins, both against the first and second table of the law, and so with all the consequences of sin: with the evil of punishment; with an evil conscience, with the terrors of it; with many distresses here, and with everlasting destruction hereafter. Some understand it of the mischief they devise to others, which they are full of and big with; and "though" they are, as Aben Ezra interprets the word, yet no evil shall happen to the righteous; the mischief contrived by them shall fall upon themselves.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 (er) "malo", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Michaelis.
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