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The Great Joy of Your Neighbor
Proverbs 11:10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
and when the wicked perish there is joyful shouting.
When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices: When … well is referring to God’s people, the righteous, and their happiness as they prosper in life, having an abundance, wealth. The sense is their succeeding or having success. The righteous (צַדִּיק tsaddiq) person is a just person, innocent, in the right, upright and devout in all that his thoughts, words, and actions. He lives according to the moral standard of God’s Word, which is why has successes and succeeds. The city (Heb. qiryah) here is not a reference to the city itself as a whole but rather to the individuals within that city. Rejoice (עָלַץ alats) is to exult, to feel extreme happiness or elation, in a state of joy.
and when the wicked perish there is joyful shouting: Perish (אָבַד abad) means that the wicked man is dead, destroyed, annihilated, or ruined, lost, having no kind of impact on anyone or the city. The Hebrew word rendered wicked (רָשָׁע rasha) man here is an unrighteous man that is evil, with the focus on his guilt of violating God’s standards. Joyful shouting (רִנָּה rinnah) is a cry of jubilation, a cry of great joy
How are we to understand Proverbs 11:10? Well, the righteous person, who is just, innocent, living a life that is right, and who is upright and devout in all that his thoughts, words, and actions. He lives according to the moral standard of God’s Word, which is why he makes his neighbors and others within the city happy. On the other hand, there is no one within the city, who is happy with or fond of the wicked person. An evil, cruel person, who violates God’s standards brings ostracism upon himself. (Proverbs 11:17) Moreover, when the wicked person dies, there is no one in the city who is mourning him. At the second coming of Christ, there will be no sorrow when he and his myriad of angels destroy the wicked. Rather, there will be great joy at their being removed from the lives of the righteous, so they can live in peace. How are we living a life that contributes to the joy of others? We do well to reflect on whether our words and actions contribute to the joy of others.