"The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
but the righteous are bold as a lion"
the wicked flee when no one is pursuing
Those who live outside of God's moral boundary structure are always in a position in which they could be caught doing something that society finds wrong. Therefore they are ready to take off or scurry away at a moment's notice. They even take off when no one is following them.
The word for flee is nus in Hebrew which means to retreat, wander, flee, or moving away in a hurry from the scene. At the slightest little disturbance, the wicked are gone because they fear the inspection of the light.
The word pursuing is the word radap in the Hebrew which means to follow behind, to pursue.
Who wants to live a life of looking over your shoulder to see if someone is following?
but the righteous are bold as a lion
The word translated bold is the word for confidence or security. This suggests, in contrast to the wicked, that the righteous welcomes inspection and truth. When you have nothing to hide, then you are bold and moving forward.
The interesting point to notice is why would Solomon put this proverb here? What triggered this truth? The section of Proverbs that immediately precedes this verse is about good, sound financial management. The verse that follows talks about sin in the land causing many people to claim leadership. The idea here seems to be that the confidence and security – that those who act righteously enjoy – is obvious. They are putting down roots. On the other hand, the wicked are ready to take off at a moment’s notice.