What does Proverbs 2:12 mean?
ESV: delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech,
NIV: Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,
NASB: To rescue you from the way of evil, From a person who speaks perverse things;
CSB: It will rescue you from the way of evil -- from anyone who says perverse things,
NLT: Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted.
KJV: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
NKJV: To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things,
Verse Commentary:
Verse 11 explained that we are protected by discretion and understanding. As used here in Proverbs, discretion is a sensible control over our mind and thoughts. On the other hand, understanding implies a mastery of wisdom which allows us to make the right choices; this protects our body as well. Both protect us from the harms associated with impulsiveness and ignorance.

This verse begins in Hebrew with the term for "to," which directly connects this verse to ideas given in the previous verse. Discretion and understanding protect us in order that we are kept away from evil. Justice was earlier defined as giving a person whatever they are due, what they deserve. This verse brings home that point specifically. What we are "due" from being discerning and understanding is deliverance from evil and those who speak falsely against us.

The term "perverted speech" here is from the Hebrew word tahpukot, literally meaning something which is purposefully offensive, contrary, rebellious, or obstinate.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 2:9–15 refines our understanding of justice, which is possibly the most difficult of the four virtues to master. We have long misunderstood justice as fairness or equality. Everyone is familiar with the common complaint ''that's not fair.'' This is often expressed when someone perceives that they are not being treated identically to others. However, true justice makes no claim to be equal; instead it is equitable. Justice can be defined as giving each person their due. Justice is absolutely fair, it is not necessarily equal.
Chapter Summary:
In Proverbs chapter 2, Solomon highlights various virtues, as well as provides encouragement to live a virtuous life. As in chapter 1, specific concepts wil reoccur, and are used in certain ways. Here, these are ideas such as courage, integrity, wisdom, and justice. The gist of this passage is the positive effect that virtue—including these various aspects—will have on one's life. In contrast, those who pursue non-virtuous living will suffer dire consequences.
Chapter Context:
The overarching theme of Proverbs chapter 2 is the relationship between virtue and discernment. As described here, virtuous living is moral living. As a person strives to live a moral life, he or she develops a greater ability to discern right from wrong. Further, beyond simple matters of right and wrong, as virtue grows within a person, he or she becomes more proficient at discerning trickier situations. Real life predicaments often present two or more seemingly valid options. Discernment, then, also includes determining which of many different options is actually best. Likewise, many life situations appear to offer only a variety of bad options. There, discernment is once again required, to determine which option presents the correct choice, or to recognize where a ''good'' option has been hidden.
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.
Accessed 5/30/2024 5:30:58 AM
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