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Truth That Can Be Trusted
Proverbs 8:7-9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all straight to him who understands,
and right to those who find knowledge.
For my mouth will utter truth: Here the Hebrew word (חֵךְ chek) rendered mouth is vital for speech, with half of the occurrences being in Job in the context of taste or speech. It is linked to both true and false statements. Job states that “I have not let my mouth sin” (31:30), and here wisdom declares that “my mouth will utter truth.” Utter (הָגָה hagah) means to speak. It also conveys ‘a lion that growls over his prey (Isa. 31:4) and “the moan like a dove.” (Isa. 38:14). Also, “the heart of the righteous ponders (hagah) [to reflect deeply] how to answer” (Prov. 15:28) and then “the mouth of the righteous utters (hagah) [talk about] wisdom,” or the righteousness of God. (Ps 35:28; 71:24) Proverbs 24:1-2 conveys the idea of mental exercise and planning, which is accompanied by low talking, “Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise (hagah) violence and their lips talk of trouble.” Yes, wisdom’s utterances (speech) will always be filled with truth (Heb. emeth) in the sense of only the truth, nothing but the truth.
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips: Here, wickedness (רֶשַׁע resha) is be contrasted with the truth. Therefore, it is referring to false speech. Wickedness: (רֶשַׁע resha; Gr. ponēria) A quality, state, or condition that does not conform to God’s standard of moral excellence is wicked, bad, evil, or worthless. Abomination (Heb. toebah) is a detestable thing that is repulsive, which causes horror and disgust in the heart and minds of the righteous. Abomination: (תּוֹעֵבָה toebah or תֹּעֵבָה toebah) It is a repulsion, abhorrence, that is, an object or person that is loathsome or repulsive. The sense of toebah is a detestable thing or person that causes horror and disgust in another person.
All the words of my mouth are righteous: Here, righteous (Heb. tsedeq) has the sense of what is morally right or honest. Righteous; upright; just: (צֶדֶק tsedeq; ) refers to one who is in a righteous standing before God, who is characterized by righteous actions and morals in accordance with God’s moral standards. What does this mean? The person adheres to God’s standards, His moral code. He does what is required according to this moral standard. (Ps 7:9) He is honest, fair, and truthful in his actions, which are correct according to God’s standards. He is not deviant in any way (Lev. 19:36). He is able to make a moral judgment when deciding what is right and wrong, without prejudice. – Gen. 18:23-24; Deut. 16:20; Prov. 3:33; Zeph. 2:3; James 3:18.
There is nothing twisted or crooked in them: This line is simply repeating the first line but in the negative sense. Twisted (פָּתַל pathal) meaning to bend or curl something, distorting the shape is being used figuratively here in that wisdom’s utterances, speech, words are never false, distorted, or misleading. Crooked (עִקֵּשׁ iqqesh) is saying that wisdom’s words will never be dishonest, fraudulent, untrue, evasive, or deceptive.
They are all straight to him who understands: Of course, they refer to wisdom’s words, which are straight (נָכֹחַ nakoach), the opposite of twisted. The sense is of words that are straightforward, never being evasive or deceptive. Him who understands is a person who possesses insight and good sense. This is one who has the ability to see into a situation. One who possesses insight acts with wisdom, caution, and discretion. Insight is closely related to understanding, with the distinction that insight is using one’s common sense to distinguish between something while understanding relates to intelligent knowledge of something.
And right to those who find knowledge: right (יָשָׁר yashar) means what is upright, that is, a moral standard, what is fair, just, or reasonable, what conforms with justice, law, morality. Knowledge (דַּעַת daath) is the possession of information learned by personal experience, observation, or study. It includes wisdom, understanding, insight, and the ability to live successfully and apply what has been taken into one’s heart and mind. The Bible strongly urges us to seek and treasure accurate knowledge, as it is far superior to gold. The Bible strongly urges us to seek and treasure accurate knowledge, as it is far superior to gold.
We can be grateful that what wisdom teaches is ‘noble and upright, nothing but the truth, as well as righteous.’ In other words, there is nothing about her teaching which is twisted or crooked. She is not cunning or scheming in her teaching, and her teaching is completely trustworthy. Once we have been on the path of righteousness long enough, listening to wisdom’s utterances, heeding her words, we will have insight and discern with our good common sense between things; we will have come to see the benefits of her counsel. The words of Wisdom find their highest fulfillment in that of the Word of God. – Luke 4:22; Matt. 11:19.