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Be Grounded in Justice, Discretion and Humility,
Compassion and Diligence
Proverbs 12:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 The wicked man desires the stronghold of evildoers,
but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
The Revised Standard Version has a footnote on this verse that reads, “The Hebrew of verse 12 is obscure.” The newest semi-literal and literal translations have arrived at basically the same rendering as the essentially literal English Standard Version (ESV), “Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.”
The wicked man desires the stronghold of evildoers: The Hebrew word rendered wicked (רָשָׁע rasha) here is an unrighteous man that is evil. The focus is on his guilt of violating moral standards, and here it is coveting or desiring what other evil ones have. Here the wicked man strongly desires the protection, shelter (stronghold), or security of the other evildoers. A stronghold (מָצוֹד matsod) is a strongly fortified defense or military structure, which in this sense refers to protection or shelter, or security.
but the root of the righteous bears fruit: The Hebrew word here (שֹׁרֶשׁ shoresh) rendered root is literally the underground part of a plant that anchors and nourishes the plant; thus, figuratively speaking, we are talking about the righteous one being stable, secure, and comfortable, healthy, or happy, enabling them to bear fruit, that is, be productive.
How does the wicked man strongly desire the stronghold of evildoers? Seemingly, by coveting, strongly desiring the protection, shelter, or security that the evildoers may be able to provide, which may even come in the way of spoils. On the other hand, the righteous one is stable, secure, comfortable, healthy, or happy, being able to bear fruit, that is, be productive. The wicked of this world strongly desire, lust, and covet the evil of this world. They have no moral compass and will not hesitate to take advantage of the innocent, the weak, and the naïve. On the other hand, the righteous are rooted, grounded by their being just, discreet, humble, compassionate, and diligent, which allows their prosperity to grow.
 Lit net
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