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Truth That Can Be Trusted
Proverbs 8:7-9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all straight to him who understands,
and right to those who find knowledge.
For my mouth will utter truth: Here the Hebrew word (chek) rendered mouth is vital for speech, with half of the occurrences being in Job in the context of taste or speech. It is linked to both true and false statements. Job states that “I have not let my mouth sin,” (31:30) and here wisdom declares that “my mouth will utter truth.” Utter (Heb. hagah) means to speak. It also conveys, ‘a lion that growls over his prey (Isa. 31:4), and “the moan like a dove.” (Isa. 38:14). Also, “the heart of the righteous ponders (hagah) how to answer” and then “the mouth of the righteous utters (hagah) [talk about] wisdom,” or the righteousness of God. (Ps 35:28; 71:24) Proverbs 24:1-2 conveys the idea of mental exercise, planning, which is accompanied by low talking, “Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise (hagah) violence, and their lips talk of trouble.” Yes, wisdom’s utterances (speech) will always be filled with truth (Heb. emeth) in the sense of only the truth, nothing but the truth.
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips: Here wickedness (Heb. resha) is be contrasted with truth. Therefore, it is referring to false speech. Abomination (Heb. toebah) is a detestable thing that is repulsive, which causes horror and disgust in the heart and minds of the righteous.
All the words of my mouth are righteous: Here righteous (Heb. tsedeq) has the sense of what is morally right or honest.
There is nothing twisted or crooked in them: This line is simply repeating the first line but in the negative sense. Twisted (pathal) meaning to bend or curl something, distorting the shape is being used figuratively here in that wisdom’s utterances, speech, words are never false, distorted, or misleading. Crooked (Heb. iqqesh) is saying that wisdom’s words will never be dishonest, false, evasive, or misleading.
They are all straight to him who understands: Of course, they refer to wisdom’s words, which are straight (Heb. nakoach) the opposite of twisted. The sense is of words that are straightforward, never being evasive or deceptive. Him who understands is a person who possesses insight and good sense. This is one who has the ability to see into a situation. One who possesses insight acts with wisdom, caution, and discretion. Insight is closely related to understanding, with the distinction that insight is using one’s common sense to distinguish between something while understanding relates to an intelligent knowledge of something.
And right to those who find knowledge: right (Heb. yashar) means what is upright, that is, a moral standard, what is fair, just, or reasonable, what conforms with justice, law, morality. Knowledge (Heb. daath) is the possession of information learned by personal experience, observation, or study. The Bible strongly urges us to seek and treasure accurate knowledge, as it is far superior to gold.
We can be grateful that what wisdom teaches is ‘noble and upright, nothing but the truth, as well as righteous.’ In other words, there is nothing about her teaching, which is twisted or crooked. She is not cunning or scheming in her teaching. Her teaching is completely trustworthy. Once we have been on the path of righteousness long enough, listening to wisdom’s utterances, heeding her words, so that we have insight and can discern with our good common sense between things, we will have come to see the benefits of her counsel.