Proverbs 10:2
(2) Treasures of wickedness--i.e., gained by wrong-doing.

Righteousness delivereth from death.--The Hebrew word translated "righteousness" has a much wider meaning than its English equivalent, which generally bears the sense only of deciding fairly, being especially applied to judges. But a "righteous" man in Hebrew is one who "renders to all their due," whether to God, as Noah, who was "just and perfect" before Him (Genesis 6:9; Genesis 7:1; comp. Ecclesiastes 7:20), or to man. To his fellow-men his "justice" will show itself in liberality (Psalm 37:21), mercy (Proverbs 12:10), carefulness of speech (Proverbs 15:28), truthfulness (Proverbs 13:5), and wisdom (Proverbs 9:9). He is considerate to animals also (Proverbs 12:10). So in the sermon on the Mount our Lord (Matthew 6:1) says, "Take heed that ye do not your 'righteousness' [so the best MSS. read] before men;" and then specifies it under the heads of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. In this passage it forms a contrast to riches gained by wrong, and therefore would seem particularly to signify "almsgiving," as its Greek equivalent does in 2Corinthians 9:10. It is often: rendered so by the LXX., and it is the most usual sense of the word in late Hebrew. It is so interpreted also in Tobit 4:10; Tobit 12:9, where this passage is quoted. (Comp. Ecclesiasticus 3:30; Ecclesiasticus 29:12, and our Lord's advice, Luke 16:9.) It "delivers from death," as being a sign of the divine life within, which is "hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).

Verse 2. - Treasures of wickedness; treasures acquired by wrong doing (Micah 6:10). Profit nothing "in the day of calamity" (Ecclus. 5:8; comp. Proverbs 11:4). The LXX. renders, "Treasures will not profit the wicked;" so Aquila. "For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" (Matthew 16:26). Righteousness (Proverbs 14:34); not simply justice and moral goodness, but more especially liberality, benevolence. So in Matthew 6:1 the Revised Version (in accordance with the best manuscripts) reads, "Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them," Christ proceeding to specify three outward acts as coming under this term, viz. almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. In some analogous passages the LXX. renders the word by ἐλεημοσύντ, e.g. Psalm 111:9; Daniel 4:27; Tobit 12:9 (comp. 2 Corinthians 9:10). Delivereth from death, shows that a man's heart is right towards God. and calls down special grace. Such a man lays up in store for himself a good foundation, that he may attain eternal life (1 Timothy 6:19; see on Proverbs 16:6).

10:1 The comfort of parents much depends on their children; and this suggests to both, motives to their duties. 2,3. Though the righteous may be poor, the Lord will not suffer him to want what is needful for spiritual life. 4. Those who are fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, are likely to be rich in faith, and rich in good works. 5. Here is just blame of those who trifle away opportunities, both for here and for hereafter. 6. Abundance of blessings shall abide on good men; real blessings.Treasures of wickedness profit nothing,.... By which are meant either a large abundance of riches in general, which for the most part are enjoyed by wicked men, and abused to wicked purposes, Proverbs 11:4; or an affluence of them, obtained in a wicked way, by fraud, oppression, and the like; see Micah 6:10; Or are either not used at all, or put to wicked uses: what are not used profit not the possessors of them, for they are "kept to the hurt of the owners" of them; and those which are got by ill means, or put to an ill use, "perish by evil travel", Ecclesiastes 5:13. Nor can anyone by his riches either redeem himself or his brother from destruction, or give to God a ransom for him; nor can he by them save himself from a corporeal death one year, one month, one day, one hour, one moment; nor will they be of any service to him in the day of judgment, when wrath comes forth against him;

but righteousness delivereth from death; either that which is righteously got, though it be ever so little, is a means of preserving life, and keeps their souls from famishing, Proverbs 10:3; or else what is liberally dispensed, for alms are called "righteousness", Psalm 112:9, Daniel 4:27. These are oftentimes the means of saving the lives of persons ready to perish, on whom they are bestowed, and who will venture their lives to save their benefactors; and such liberal persons are oftentimes blessed with long life, and are kept alive when threatened with death, Psalm 41:1; and though their good deeds are not meritorious of eternal life, yet they are rewarded with it in a way of grace, Matthew 25:34. Moreover, righteousness may be considered as legal and evangelical; a legal righteousness, or the righteousness of men in obedience to the law, cannot deliver from the sentence of death the law has passed; it is not properly a righteousness; it is imperfect, cannot justify, save, or bring to heaven, or entitle to life; notwithstanding this a man must die: but there is an evangelical righteousness; and this is either imparted and implanted in men, is the new man, which is created in righteousness and holiness; and this delivers from a moral or spiritual death, a death in trespasses and sins men are in; for by it they are quickened, live a life of faith on Christ, and have communion with God; have his image stamped on them, and live to him, and to Christ, and to righteousness, being freed from the servitude and dominion of sin; living in which is no other than death: or this righteousness is imputed, which is the righteousness of Christ; wrought out for them, reckoned to them, received by them, and by which they are justified; this delivers them, though not from a corporeal death, yet from the sting and curse of it, and from it as a penal evil, or as a punishment for sin: and it delivers from a legal death, or from the sentence and condemnation of the law, and from the second and eternal death, and entities them to life everlasting.

Proverbs 10:1
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