Proverbs 21:12

ESV The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; he throws the wicked down to ruin.
NIV The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin.
NASB The righteous one considers the house of the wicked, Bringing the wicked to ruin.
CSB The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked; he brings the wicked to ruin.
NLT The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them.
KJV The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.

What does Proverbs 21:12 mean?

Only God is credited with the ability to render absolute judgment (Psalm 1:5; 9:16). This means that the "Righteous One" in this proverb is the Lord, God, Himself. The book of Proverbs warns about evil leading to God's wrath (Proverbs 10:29; 14:32) and notes that His knowledge is complete over such matters (Proverbs 15:11). Nothing is hidden from God's knowledge (Hebrews 4:13; Matthew 12:36) and only a fool thinks God does not notice (Psalm 10:9–15; 94:2–7).

God searches the heart and mind (1 Samuel 16:7) and observes everything about every person. Jeremiah 17:10 says, "I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds." At the great white throne, history's final judgment, God will consign all unbelievers to the lake of fire because they did not believe on Jesus as their Savior (John 3:16–18, 36). At that time, He will also produce the record of everyone's deeds as proof of their sin. Revelation 20:12 says, "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done."
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