The Excellence of Wisdom

Proverbs 8:11-23; 9:10-12

Verse 13 says that if we are going to properly show our reverence to the Lord we must hate evil. In order that there is no mistake concerning what evil is, God tells us what He hates. Four designations are listed: pride, arrogancy the evil way, and the froward mouth. To understand more clearly how we may best reverence the Lord we need to look at the meaning of these words.

Pride (gay-aw) and arrogancy (gaown) both come from the same root word. The root word means “to rise.” It occurs seven times in the Old Testament. It is translated as “triumphed gloriously,” “column”, and “raging.”

Pride (gay-aw) is used only in this verse. It and its synonyms, however, can have either in a positive or a negative sense. Positively it is used to speak of the land of Israel in terms of excellency. This is always the case when the relationship with God is satisfactory. At times it takes on the meaning of majesty or majestic. Pride often describes Gods character. In a negative sense, it is used by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, David, Solomon and Job. Fifty-three times these six writers use it to describe the Moabites, Egyptians, Philistines, Assyrians, and backslidden Israel. The harshest words are directed toward Israel when it is charged for being arrogant, cynical, presumptious, and insensitive to the needs of others. It is both a disposition and a conduct. Used negatively, pride is always striking out in rebellion against God.

Arrogancy (gaown) is always used in a negative sense and means pomp, pride, proud and swelling. The arrogant person is the self-sufficient one who does not need God and in manner if not in speech makes that fact evident.

The Evil (rah) Way (deh-rek) is the third thing that God hates. Evil (rah) is translated adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, displeasure, distress, harm, hurtful, mischievous, misery, naughty, noisome, sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked, wretchedness, and wrong. The Way (deh-rek) that it modifies means a way, road, journey, manner, or work. It is related to the verb (dorak) which means “to tread or trample.” Therefore it refers to a way or manner of life that is used constantly. Sometimes it refers to a major highway. At other times it speaks of duration. More often, however, it centers on the actions and behavior of people who either follow the way of God or the way of wickedness. From these we can see that he is speaking of a life that is continually given over to sinfulness.

Lastly, God hates the Froward (tah-poo-kaw) Mouth (peh). Froward (tah-poo-kaw) means that which is perverse or a fraud. Mouth (peh) on the other hand means “speech.” The meaning then is rather obvious. This is not surprising since we know that God has underscored the fact that all liars will go to hell. He is the essence of Truth and the Froward Mouth is His anti-thesis. (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

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