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The Words of the Righteous or the Worthless Mind of the Wicked
Proverbs 10:20 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver: Just as lips were used in verses 18-19 to refer to words and speech, so it is with the tongue (Heb. lashon) here in verse 20. Therefore, the tongue of the righteous refers to good speech or words of the person who has a good standing before God. Choice (בָּחַר bachar) means that it is a superior grade. It is the best and highly desired. The tongue [words] of the righteous is far superior to choice silver.
the heart of the wicked is of little worth: The Hebrew term (לֵב leb) rendered heart here means the sense or understanding of the wicked. The heart is often used figuratively to stand for the place of the person’s thoughts (mind). The contrast that we have is the tongue [words] of the righteous with the mind [sense or understanding] of the wicked, as well as choice silver [greatest value] with little worth [no real value].
The righteous person’s words are pure like choice, refined silver, free of dross (scum formed on the surface of molten metal), that is, free of what is worthless. This is indeed true of genuine Christians who share accurate life-saving knowledge of God’s Word with others. Through the inspired Word, God has educated these ones, giving them the tongue of the righteous, which means that ‘God has given them the tongue of those who are taught, that they may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary.’ (Isaiah 30:20; 50:4) Certainly, the tongue of these righteous ones is choice silver as it shares Bible truth with those who are rightly disposed for eternal life. How substantially more valuable are the words of the righteous to the honest-hearted ones who are receptive to the truth, than are the worthless minds that lack sense or understanding of the wicked ones!