“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” – Proverbs 11:30.
          I remember when I was first a believer and beginning Bible College to study to become a servant of the Lord, this was one of the first verse in the Scripture that I ever memorized.  The Pastor of the church that I was attending at that time encouraged the memorization of Scripture on a regular basis and, as I’ve said, this was one of the first that I commended to memory.  In the process of memorization, I had good reason and opportunity to think on it work its’ meaning through and it was a quite a joy and an eye-opener for me.  
           As we have noted before, this chapter in Proverbs is a part of a section that sets forth a contrast in life and conduct setting it forth for us in matters of work, diligence, ambition, speech, truth, stability, honesty, integrity, fidelity, guidance, graciousness, kindness, etc.  It is, as one can see, quite extensive and thorough in giving instruction for us as to evaluating the worldly and life around us and giving us direction in living in a godly fashion.
         The Hebrew phrase translated in most versions as “He who winneth souls” might better be translated as “
whoever captures souls” and is used elsewhere in places in the OT where the sense is “to take life” or “to kill” (e.g., 1 Sam. 24:11; 1 Kings 19:10, 14; Jonah 4:3).  However, this proverb appears to be purposely playing off the usual sense of the phrase to focus on the effect of the fruit of the righteous
         The particular phrasing of the verse is interesting.
    
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” – Proverbs 11:30.
         Solomon first talks about “the fruit of the righteous”.  The Word of God often speaks of the truth that genuine redemption ALWAYS produces what it calls “fruit”.  Just as the vine or the fruit tree, if it is healthy, brings forth fruit.  The point here is that those who are redeemed, called “the righteous” by means of their way of living, bring forth such truth that communicates the truths that will being redemption to the hearers.  It is one that happens some 10 times in the Scripture.

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