Planning and the Wicked Person

The wicked person is described as a worthless man, a dishonest man, a violent man, and a scheming man.

A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire” (Prov. 16:27, ESV). The word, “plots” (Heb. kara), means, “to dig.” (TWOT) It is a qal participle, “digging.” This man is “plotting against others.” (BDB)

He uses words to spread evil against others. His words are like a scorching fire. James wrote, “How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell” (Jas. 3:5-6).

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends” (Prov. 16:28, ESV). His words break up friends. The word, “whisperer” (Heb. ragan) means, “backbiter.” (Niphal, BDB) He backbites others, dividing close friends.

A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good” (Prov. 16:29, ESV). As a violent man, he leads others to sin. The word, “violence” (Heb. hamas), refers not to physical violence, but to psychological violence. It is the wrong done to others through damaging, harmful words and cruel, unjust treatment. (BDB)

Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things; he who purses his lips brings evil to pass” (Prov. 16:30, ESV). It does not mean that winking your eyes or pursing your lips are bad. Rather, the outward physical actions reveal the inward evil.[1] Thus, the physical actions of the wicked man are but the outer manifestation of the inner evil plans of his heart. The winking of his eyes shows his dishonest plans. The pursing (pinching) of his lips brings about evil.

This New Year, do not be a worthless person. Do not go around digging bad things about others, and plotting against them.

I hope that we will not be like the dishonest person, backbiting others, and dividing friends. We should not follow the man of violence, doing wrong to others by damaging, harsh words.

Let us seek the good of others, building up others in the peace of Christ.


[1] Rowland E. Murphy, Proverbs (WBC 22; ed. John D. W. Watts; Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 124.

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