Proverbs 21:18

18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright.

Read Proverbs 21:18 Using Other Translations

The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.
The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the traitor for the upright.
The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest.

What does Proverbs 21:18 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Proverbs 21:18

The wicked [shall be] a ransom for the righteous
Not to make satisfaction for them, as Christ is a ransom for his people; but as a ransom is in the room of another, so the wicked cometh in the stead of the righteous, and into the trouble he is delivered from; as Haman for Mordecai, which instance Jarchi mentions; see ( Proverbs 11:8 ) ; or when a body of people are threatened with divine vengeance; and this falls upon the wicked, whose sins caused it, and the righteous are delivered from it; as in the case of Achan, and the seven sons of Saul, ( Joshua 7:26 ) ( 2 Samuel 21:1-6 ) . And sometimes God turns the wrath of the princes of the earth from his own people, and causes it to fall upon the wicked, and so they are a ransom for them; as Sennacherib intended the destruction of the Jews, but was called off in providence to fall upon the Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Sabeans, and therefore they are said to be a ransom for them; see ( Isaiah 43:3 ) ; and sometimes wicked men are the means of a ransom or deliverance of the righteous, as Cyrus was of the Jews: and it may be considered, as the word used signifies a "cover" {d}, whether it will not bear this sense, that the wicked are a cover for the righteous, and oftentimes protect and defend them; so the earth helped the woman, ( Revelation 12:16 ) ; and the transgressor for the upright;
which are but different characters of the same persons, bad and good men; and the sense is the same as before.


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