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Righteousness Serves as a Protection
Proverbs 13:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 Righteousness guards the blameless of way,
but wickedness will overthrow sin.
Righteousness guards the blameless of way: Here righteousness (Heb. tsedaqah) is the same as found at 10:2 and 11:4, which refers to when someone adheres to the moral standard set out in God’s Word. (Prov. 2:9) Guards (Heb. natsar) means to keep watch, to watch over, to protect, cause to be safe from danger, suggestive of a relationship with the personification protector, righteousness. The phrase blameless of way means one whose way of life is upright. The upright (Heb. yashar) are God’s true believers, his holy ones, who are diligently seeking and searching to know, love, and obey God and to live righteously as one can within their human imperfection. – Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 5:12.
but wickedness will overthrow sin: In the Hebrew, wickedness (Heb. rishah) is a state of being, not a group of people. A quality, state, or condition that does not conform to God’s standard of moral excellence is wicked, bad, evil, or worthless. (Prov. 11:5) Overthrow is the rendering of a different Hebrew word (salaph) than what was used in 11:11 and 12:7. Here too, sin (Heb. chattath) is the translation of an abstract noun (quality, state, or condition), not a reference to sinners. Therefore, the sense is that he who is living a life of wickedness, in that, he is not conforming to God’s moral standards, he will bring to ruin or destroy himself for living in sin (sinfulness).
Here in verse 6 of chapter 13, the wise king is highlighting that when one does what is right in God’s eyes (living by God’s moral standards), it is also beneficial as well. Like an ancient stronghold fortress, righteousness serves as a protection, whereas wickedness will bring the unrighteous one to ruin like a fortress that has been breached, for his living in sin (sinfulness). Thus, righteousness, living by the moral standards of God’s Word will serve as protection because he is blameless (upright) in all his ways. Wickedness, on the other hand, will bring to ruin the man who walks (lives) in sin. For the one rushing into destruction, he believes that wickedness is actually the safest way, when, in fact, it is just the opposite. The one living righteously will be protected or guarded by his walking in the way that is blameless (upright), so, his very righteousness will serve as a protection.
 I.e., guards him whose way is upright