Pastor Bill Farrow

The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.” - Proverbs 14:11 (3:33; 10:25; 12:7).
         As is true any number of times in the Book of Proverbs (and is actually seen in many of the other Books of the OT) the writer shows a real concern that his readers see and understand that in God’s eyes (remember that the writers of the Books of the Bible were acting as Prophets of God in the delivery of their written message).  there was a functional difference between Solomon here calls wickedness and uprightness.  For other writers, it can be seen to be called goodness verses evil and other like it.  
           Solomon especially calls his readers to consider the effect that wickedness and/or goodness (or, here, “uprightness”) has in the general sense the persons’ entire life and path of living.  This is what he means when he makes reference to the “House” and the “tabernacle” of the two groups.  
         “House” is the Hebrew word, a common one, “bêt”, a singular noun and functions as what is called a “construct”, which means that it is tied, grammatically, to the object it has in view, here, the word “wicked”.  It is not referring simply to wickedness done in a house, but rather to the one who gives the house its’ “color” as referred to.  It can speak, either of the house itself, or of the household that occupies that “house”.  It is even used to speak of a Palace or a Temple, or even, in couple places, of a prison. 
           On the other hand, the word for “tent” in the verse is the Hebrew word “́o̅hel” which is rendered in a couple different ways defending on the version you are looking at is in much the same grammatical form and so is likewise tied to its’ object, the righteousness of those occupying it.  Like the prior picture of a “house”, it is speaking of the nature of those within the tent.  Now, notice that, with regard to the physicality of both the house and the tent, we are not talking about the aspects of the two that can be seen.  Rather we are talking about the habits and characteristics of those who call it home.
           In the prior verse, Solomon spoke to us and told s that, at its depth, suffering and rejoicing are personal and private. No one is able to communicate them fully (Cp. 1 Sam 1:10; 1 Kin. 8:38; Matt 2:18; 26:39–42, 75).  Solomon’s point here says that, though each person lives their lives personally and privately, there are still bearing on them the results of righteousness and wickedness that he speaks of in a variety of other contexts in the Book.  
         First, he tells us that the “The house of the wicked shall be overthrown…”.  As we’ve looked at in other studies, Solomon speaks of the wicked in two ways:

  • It speaks of the nature of the unredeemed at different times, they are wicked.
  • It speaks of the acts that men indulge themselves in from time to time, in the indulgence of their flesh.
          Here, Solomon enlarges the idea a bit, and speaks of what is, really, a combination of the two ideas.  He speaks a “house” or those who are together in some fashion, whose life or “path” is characterized by sin and wickedness.  He is underscoring for us that there are consequences for the wicked things that characterize such a “path” or life. 


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