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Contrasting the Righteous and the Wicked As to the Necessities of Life
Proverbs 13:25 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
25 The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul,
but the belly of the wicked suffers want.
The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul: The English Standard Version renders this, “The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite.” The Lexham English Bible, “The righteous eats to satisfy his life.” The literal rendering found in the Updated American Standard Version, “eats to the satisfying of his soul” likely means having the necessities of life.
But the belly of the wicked suffers want: The Hebrew word rendered belly (בֶּטֶן beten) here in this context has the meaning the stomach or abdomen, that is, the body part that processes the food, the upper part of the digestive tract specifically. (Job 15:2; 20:15; Prov. 13:25; 18:20) Suffers want translates a verb (תֶּחְסָר techsar), which has the sense of “lacks.” Suffers want is a way of saying one is living in poverty, lacking the basics of life’s necessities, penniless. The wicked one will suffer from hunger in that he will often go hungry.
Many times, in Proverbs, we are contrasting the righteous and the wicked here. In the case of 13:25, generally speaking, the righteous will have plenty to eat and will not go hungry. Generally speaking, the righteous one will not live in poverty, lacking the necessities of life. Why do I say generally speaking? It is because no Proverb is absolute. In Satan’s world and human imperfection, bad things happen to righteous people. Nevertheless, the righteous one living by God’s Word, that is, the Spirit will most often have the necessities of life, having plenty to eat. On the other hand, the wicked one, living by the flesh, many times, will not have the necessities of life and will go hungry. Now, even this is not absolute because many righteous people go hungry their entire life and many wicked people are wealthy their entire life. But this life in human imperfection is short-lived, and the wicked will not see eternal life under human imperfection and God’s sovereignty. The sense here is that the righteous, prudent, upright person who makes choices based on accurate knowledge of God’s Word has a far greater chance of even being blessed in this Satanic age. God is well aware of what is good for us in life, in our family, our relationship, our workplace, our worship, or even if we need to be disciplined, as we saw in 13:24. Therefore, once again, if we apply the wise counsel of God’s Word, we will undeniably experience the best way of life even in human imperfection and Satanic rule.