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Be Grounded in Justice, Discretion and Humility,
Compassion and Diligence
Proverbs 12:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 The wicked man desires the stronghold of evildoers,
but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
On this verse, the Revised Standard Version has a footnote that reads, “The Hebrew of verse 12 is obscure.” The newest semi-literal and literal translations have arrived at basically the same rendering as the essentially literal English Standard Version (ESV), “Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.”
The wicked man desires the stronghold of evildoers: The Hebrew word rendered wicked (rasha) here is an unrighteous man that is evil, with the focus on his guilt of violating moral standards, and here it is coveting or desiring what other evil ones have. Here the wicked man is strongly desiring the protection, shelter (stronghold), or security of the other evildoers. A stronghold (Heb. matsod) is a strongly fortified defense or military structure, which in this sense is referring to protection or shelter, or security.
but the root of the righteous bears fruit: The Hebrew word here (shoresh) rendered root is literally the underground part of a plant that anchors and nourishes the plant; thus, figuratively speaking, we are talking about the righteous one being stable, secure, and comfortable, healthy, or happy, enabling them to bear fruit, that is, be productive.
How does the wicked man strongly desire the stronghold of evildoers? Seemingly, by coveting, strongly desiring the protection, shelter, or security that the evildoers may be able to provide, which may even come in the way of spoils. The righteous one, on the other hand, is stable, secure, and comfortable, healthy, or happy, being able to bear fruit, that is, be productive. The wicked of this world strongly desire, lust, covet the evil of this world. They have no moral compass and will not hesitate to take advantage of the innocent, the weak, and the naïve. The righteous, on the other hand, are rooted, grounded by their being just, discreet and humble, compassionate and diligent, which allows their prosperity to grow.
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