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A person’s wicked desire is his shame,
and it is better to be poor than one who tells lies. Bible

wicked desire is his shame.” The text of line 1 is difficult to translate as there is a Hebrew homonym chesed (#02617 חֶסֶד ) that can have more than one coherent meaning in the verse, hence the vastly different English translations. Chesed can mean either “loyalty,” that is, “covenant loyalty,” loyalty to and based on the covenant (cf. Prov. 3:3; 14:22), “loving kindness” (cf. Prov. 11:17), or “disgrace/shame” (cf. Prov. 14:34; 25:10). “Wicked” is supplied in the text because the “desires” that are being referred to are not good desires but consist of twisted desires like self-gratification, greed, power, etc. The proverb is asserting that it is better to be poor and destitute than to be corrupt (i.e., a liar) and pursue wicked desires that are shameful and displeasing to God.


Commentary for: Proverbs 19:22