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Shun Wicked Paths
Proverbs 4:14-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it; do not pass by it;
turn away from it and pass on.
Do not enter the path of the wicked: the Hebrew noun (ʾō·rǎḥ) road, way, path is figuratively speaking of a manner or course of conduct that we should not imitate. We should not live, do, or be like the wicked.
And do not walk in the way of evil men: In the Bible, the expression “to walk” (Heb. hā·lǎḵ) is illustrative and can mean to follow a certain course of action, as “Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:9; 5:22) Those who walk with God follow the life course outlined by God’s Word and will find his favor, that is, be pleasing to him. Pursuing such a life-course makes you different from most of the unbelievers. The Greek New Testament uses the same illustrative expression, contrasting two different courses of action sought by one before and after becoming a servant of God. (Eph. 2:2, 10; 4:17; 5:2) Similarly “running” is also used to symbolize a course of action. (1 Pet. 4:4) God tells us that the prophets in Judah “ran” though he did not send them, yet they took the prophetic course, that is, prophesied falsely. (Jer. 23:21) Paul gives us a visual picture of the Christian course in terms of “running.” He compares it to a race that a person must run, while also obeying the rules of the race if they are to win the prize. (1 Cor. 9:24; Gal. 2:2; 5:7) Therefore, you would not want to behave or follow the lifestyle of the wicked.
Avoid it; do not pass by it: The Hebrew (pā·rǎʿ) avoid means staying clear from, stay away from someone or something. You will stay clear of any person, so as to not walk in the way or the path of evil men.
Turn away from it and pass on: The Hebrew (śā·ṭā(h)) for turn away from is different from avoiding. This means that you are to turn away from the way or the path of evil men.
You should never enter the path (life course) of the wicked, do not walk down it even for a moment. Stay clear of that path as your life depends on it. Avoid the path of the wicked. However, if you happen upon the path of the wicked unexpectedly, turn away from it at once. Do not pause even for a moment.