Blog - Proverbs 2:22

  • By Pastor Chad Wagner
  • on Monday, May 15, 2017
If you like this blog, then you will like Get Wisdom, Get Understanding which is Pastor Wagner's commentary series on the book of Proverbs which is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle. Find out more here. For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary. Proverbs 2:22 "But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. " (Pro 2:22)
Whereas the perfect and upright will dwell and remain in the land of the living (Pro 2:21), the wicked shall be cut off from the earth. In the context of this verse, as is often the case throughout the scriptures, cut off means "to put to death (suddenly or prematurely), to bring to an untimely end" (OED). The following verses make clear that to be "cut off from the earth" is to be "put to death."

Gen 9:11 - And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
Exo 9:15 - For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.
Exo 31:14 - Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

The LORD has declared that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Eze 18:4), which thing happens routinely under the sun. The righteous dwell on the earth while the wicked dwell in the earth when they are cut off from the earth. But even to the wicked, in mercy, the LORD gives a space of repentance before He cuts them off. God told Abraham that his seed would dwell in a strange land for four hundred years before being delivered out of it and given the land of Canaan (Gen 15:13-16). The inhabitants of the land would eventually be cut off, but not for a long while to come, "for," said God, "the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full" (Gen 15:16). The Almighty will dig about and dung around a tree slated for obliteration to see if it will produce fruit, "and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that [he shall] cut it down" (Luk 13:9). Jesus taught His followers that they were not exempt from the judgment of the LORD, but would die the death of sinners if they didn't repent.

Luk 13:4-5 - Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

The Christian who would have "length of days, and long life, and peace" (Pro 3:2) and not be cut off from the earth and rooted out of it (Pro 2:22) need only follow Solomon's prescription given in this second chapter of Proverbs to obtain it. If he will receive God's words and hide His commandments in his heart, incline his ear unto wisdom and apply his heart to understanding, cry after knowledge and lift up his voice for understanding, and seek it as silver and search for it as for hid treasures, then he will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God, and the LORD will give him wisdom, knowledge, and understanding which will keep his paths and preserve his way (Pro 2:1-9). When wisdom has entered into his heart and knowledge is pleasant unto his soul, discretion will preserve him and understanding will keep him, delivering him from the evil man and the strange woman, leading him to walk in the way of good men and keep the paths of the righteous, and enabling him to dwell in the land of the living in his uprightness and to live an abundant Christian life (Pro 2:10-21).
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