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The fruit of a righteous person is a tree of life,
and the wise person takes away souls from death. Bible other translations

“takes away souls from death.” The Hebrew phrase “takes away souls” is generally used of taking a life, that is. killing. But here in Proverbs 11:30, by irony, the meaning is exactly the opposite; the wise person “takes” or “captures” a soul from death. Wise and righteous people save lives in this life and lead people to everlasting life in the next (cp. Prov. 14:25).

It is the irony in this verse that would normally catch the attention of the reader and cause them to stop and ponder the meaning of the verse, and it is verses like this that, when translated literally, can be so confusing, especially to a new believer. It is easy to see how a person would be confused when the first stanza of the proverb says the righteous person is a tree of life but the second stanza says the wise person “takes away souls.” The mature believer gets the irony and sees how God uses that irony to emphasize that wise people save the lives of other people, both here and now, and forever. The REV translation makes the Hebrew text easier for the beginning Bible reader by adding italics to clarify the meaning of the verse.


Commentary for: Proverbs 11:30

 
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