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Overturning or escaping

Proverbs 21:12

  “The righteous {God} wisely considers the house of the wicked, overthrowing the wicked for {their} wickedness.”

The NKJV places the word “God” after righteous here whereas the KJV places the word “man” here. Neither word is in the original Hebrew and thus both words were chosen by translators based on context to give clarity. The problem is that they did not choose the same word and neither God nor man makes this verse clearer. 

    The word here translated as “considers” is Strong’s # 7919- “sakal”  and it means to look at, to lay hands across, to act prudently, or to turn the mind to. The word for “overthrowing” here is the Hebrew word #5557- “salaph” and it means to turn headlong, to cause to slip, to give destruction, or to escape. 

    Utilizing these two definitions, and removing the added words,  we can contend that the verse has a completely separate and distinct connotation. 

The verse would then appear this way:

“The righteous wisely looks at and acts prudently toward the house of the wicked; turning over and escaping the wicked because of their wickedness.”

    It doesn’t really compute that God would overthrow the house of the wicked because they are wicked. This does not seem to be the nature of God as indicated in the whole of Scripture. Take for instance the tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, Pharaoh and Abimelech when they had Sarah in their harems, Pharaoh at the Exodus…. In every case mentioned, the people were, for all intents and purposes wicked and God gave them chance after chance after chance to follow Him, yet they hardened their hearts. They were all overthrown because they were against God but that is the law of sowing and reaping and not a direct action of God. Sodom and Gomorrah, it can be argued, were purposely wiped out by God and that the languages were separated by God on purpose… these things are true, but they were done only after the Lord gave the people the chance to turn their hearts to Him. This is not God’s first reaction. 

    It does square though that in all of the cases above, the righteous men of God escaped from the hands and the plights of the wicked. This is a different impression entirely of the verse that indicates deliverance from a righteous and loving God for His children from the hands of and consequences faced by the wicked. 

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