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God Destroys the Houses of the Proud, and God Protects the Borders of the Widows
Proverbs 15:25 Updated American Standard Version (UASV
25 Jehovah tears down the house of the proud
but maintains the boundary of the widow.
This verse makes a comparison between the fate of the proud and the fate of the widow. The proud will have their house destroyed, while the widow’s boundaries will be preserved. The verse warns against the dangers of pride and suggests that humility is a virtue that will be rewarded. The reference to the widow also shows that God is particularly concerned with the welfare of the vulnerable and the oppressed.
Jehovah – This personal name of God, the creator, and ruler of the universe. He is the one who has the power to bring about the consequences described in the verse.
Tears down the house – The word “destroys” is translated from the Hebrew word “shachat,” which can also mean “to tear down” or “to bring to ruin.” The “house” being referred to could be taken metaphorically as a person’s life, reputation, or status.
Of the proud – The word “proud” is translated from the Hebrew word “ga’on,” which can also mean “haughty” or “arrogant.” This refers to individuals who have a high opinion of themselves and their abilities and who believe they are better than others.
But maintains the boundary – This word “preserves” is translated from the Hebrew word “yacar,” meaning to cherish, to keep, to maintain.
Of the widow – The “widow” is a vulnerable person in ancient Israelite society, and the reference to “boundaries” could refer to her land or property. The phrase “the widow’s boundaries” can also be taken to mean the limits or borders that protect her from harm.
In the historical and cultural context of ancient Israel, a person’s reputation and status were of great importance. A person who was considered “proud” or “haughty” would have been seen as arrogant and disrespectful to others and would have been looked down upon by their community. On the other hand, a person who was considered humble and respectful was seen as virtuous and would have been respected by their community.
In the case of widows, they were particularly vulnerable members of society, as they often had no male relatives to protect and provide for them. In ancient Israel, a widow’s property and land were often taken advantage of by more powerful individuals, so preserving these boundaries would have been crucial for her survival.
Additionally, in Ancient Near Eastern societies, gods were seen as powerful figures who controlled the natural world and who would punish or reward individuals based on their behavior. In this verse, the Lord is portrayed as one who destroys the house of the proud but preserves the widow’s boundaries. This suggests that God is not only aware of the vulnerable condition of widows but also actively working to protect them.
Therefore, in the historical and cultural context of ancient Israel, Proverbs 15:25 emphasizes the importance of humility and the protection of the vulnerable and oppressed. It also shows that God is not only aware of the plight of the vulnerable but also actively working to protect them.
Overall, this verse is a warning against the dangers of pride and suggesting that humility is a virtue that will be rewarded while pride will be punished. It also suggests that God is particularly concerned with the welfare of the vulnerable and the oppressed.