What does Proverbs 10:29 mean?
ESV: The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers.
NIV: The way of the LORD is a refuge for the blameless, but it is the ruin of those who do evil.
NASB: The way of the Lord is a stronghold for the upright, But ruin to the workers of injustice.
CSB: The way of the Lord is a stronghold for the honorable, but destruction awaits evildoers.
NLT: The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked.
KJV: The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
Verse Commentary:
The safest and best path to follow throughout one's life is the way of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). This is true much as a doctor's advice makes a person more likely to live a long, healthy life, even if accidents or violence can still occur. From an eternal perspective, pursuing God leads to eternal life (John 3:36; 10:28). Those who are "blameless," in this context, are not people who are "sinless." Rather, they are those who choose to honor God with their thoughts and actions, such that other people have no valid criticisms (Proverbs 2:7; Psalm 119:1). This follows the pattern of this part of Proverbs (Proverbs 10:27–28, 30).

However, the same truth that encourages believers predicts destruction for evildoers. The first chapter of Nahum makes these truths clear. This chapter describes the Lord as avenging and wrathful against His adversaries. It asks, "Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger?" (Nahum 1:6). However, against the backdrop of God's judgment on evildoers is His goodness and protection for those who take refuge in Him (Nahum 1:7).

Encouraging believers who were experiencing heavy persecution, Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:12–14: "'The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.' Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled."
Verse Context:
Proverbs 10:11–32 contrasts the righteous and the wicked, focusing on their different speech patterns, their different lifestyles, their different attitudes, and their different destinies. Verses 21 through 27 are especially focused on the different results which can be expected from pursuing godliness, versus pursuing sin.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter begins 375 "proverbs," which are general-case lessons or observations. These wise remarks continue the discussion of wisdom and wickedness begun in chapters 1—9. Most of the verses in chapter 10 contain a sharp contrast, with the conjunction "but" separating the lines. Often, the subject changes from verse to verse. The contrasting subjects include sons, treasure, work ethic, reputation, relationships, success, and speech.
Chapter Context:
In Proverbs 7—9 Solomon contrasts wisdom and wickedness in the symbolic persons of Lady Wisdom and Woman Folly. He calls upon his sons, or students, to choose wisdom, and he points out the benefits of choosing wisdom and the disastrous results of choosing wickedness. Chapter 10 presents vivid contrasts between wisdom and wickedness in many of life's settings. These comparisons continue into chapter 11.
Book Summary:
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
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