What does Proverbs 12:6 mean?
ESV: The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
NIV: The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.
NASB: The words of the wicked wait in ambush for blood, But the mouth of the upright will rescue them.
CSB: The words of the wicked are a deadly ambush, but the speech of the upright rescues them.
NLT: The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.
KJV: The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.
NKJV: The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,” But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.
Verse Commentary:
The wicked try to deceive people so they can perpetrate violence against them (Proverbs 1:10–13). The righteous, however, offer guidance designed to rescue those who would otherwise be deceived.

When the scribes and chief priests wanted to arrest Jesus, they sent spies. These men pretended to be sincere about hearing Jesus' teaching, but they wanted to catch Him in something He said (Luke 20:19–20). The spies questioned Jesus and complimented Him on His teaching, but Jesus knew they were crafty, and their words were insincere (Luke 20:23). Luke reports that Jesus' wise answer spoiled their attempt (Luke 20:26). Instead, they were amazed at His answer and became silent.

Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44), uses his emissaries to spew twisted words to deceive people, but Jesus uses messengers of the gospel to rescue people by speaking the truth. Second Corinthians 4:1–6 reveals a battle between Satan and the messengers of the gospel for the minds of sinners.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 12:1–11 describes the righteous person and the wicked person. Solomon contrasts their character, their conduct, their relationship to the Lord, and the consequences of their behavior.
Chapter Summary:
Proverbs 12 contains a series of contrasts between lifestyles, comparing those who honor God to those who reject His wisdom. The results of those decisions are also compared. This repeats several common themes from the book of Proverbs, such as the self-destructive nature of sin and God's distaste for those who lie.
Chapter Context:
Proverbs 12 continues Solomon's wise sayings. A large portion of the book of Proverbs includes these short, common sense pieces of advice. After a series of introductions and lessons in chapters 1—9, chapter 10 began a long list of individual statements. In this chapter he continues to contrast the righteous and the wicked, showing that the life of the righteous is far better than the life of the wicked. This pattern will continue, covering the same basic theme, through chapter 15.
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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