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No Amount of Ill-Gotten Gain Is Going to Give You Protection
Proverbs 10:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 Treasures of wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
Treasures of wickedness do not profit: The Hebrew (otsar) rendered treasures means an accumulated wealth in the form of jewelry, money, or other valuables, such as food or property. Here it is a reference to a material gain of value or benefit such as wealth or goods. This wealth being of wickedness means that it was obtained in some unjust or dishonest manner or some moral or ethical wrong way of making the earnings, namely, it is an ill-gotten gain. The Hebrew (yaal) that is translated as profit means to profit, to benefit to get a profit of some value or benefit. In this context do not profit means that it is of no real advantage, or that in the end, it will do you no good. In other words, these ill-gotten gains are of no real advantage to you in the end.
but righteousness delivers from death: Here the Hebrew rendered righteousness (tsedaqah) is when someone adheres to the moral standard set out in God’s Word. (Prov. 2:9) In line one, wickedness referred to every manner of unjust, unfair, or dishonest way of obtaining wealth, so the contrast here is righteousness referring to one who is good, fair, just, or honest in his dealings with others. The other contrast here is that if you are adhering to the moral standard set out in God’s Word, living a good life, being just, fair, and honest as opposed to unjust, unfair, or dishonest, ignoring wisdom, your life will be more meaningful, healthier, and potentially longer if there is no unexpected tragedy. Moreover, you will be on the path (way) to eternal life, not death.
One may become wealthy or rich through some dishonest means, but the money has no real advantage. Yes, you may have a big, beautiful home, the best clothes, and jewelry, the ability to travel in luxury but wealth cannot stop sickness, old age, or death. Moreover, it cannot give you eternal life. In the end, at the Great Tribulation and Armageddon, there is no amount of ill-gotten gain that is going to give you protection from facing a condemnatory judgment. You will want to continue to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33.