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.
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