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Saying and Doing Good Will Get You Good
Proverbs 12:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
Both lines in this verse are saying the same thing, and it is not a contrast that we have grown accustomed to by Solomon. The point being made here is that the person who says and does the right thing will have more good things happen to him over time than bad things. The old saying is, ‘those who do good will get good.’
From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good: The fruit (פְּרִי peri) of the mouth (פֶּה peh) means words from the mouth of the righteous (good, honest, upright person), that is, speech, words, and thoughts, which can bring forth good. Being satisfied with good means receiving good things as a result of the good things one thinks and says.
and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him: The hand (יָד yad) here refers to the work (גְּמוּל gemul) or activity that one does, as is made clear from the expression the work of a man’s hand. Based on the good work or activity that one does will be a big determiner in what comes back to him, that is, the benefit and rewards that result.
And the work of a man’s hand comes back to him: Work of … hand refers to the work or other activity that a person does. In many languages, hand is redundant in this context. Comes back to him means he benefits and receives rewards.
The person with good things to say will have more good things come his way over time than the one who only has bad things to say. Moreover, the person who does good work and works hard or is involved in good activities will gain more good results over time than the one who does shabby work and is involved in bad activities. “Do not be deceived: God is not to be mocked,” warns the apostle Paul. “for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap.” – Galatians 6:7.