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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 10:20

"The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, the heart of the wicked is worth little"


This is the Hebrew word lashon, which means tongue. This clearly refers to the spoken words of the righteous, not the physical tongue of the person. The things that this kind of person says is of extreme value. Pay attention when they speak.


This is the Hebrew word saddiq, which means just, righteous, in right standing with God. The idea in the Jewish context was that if a person was keeping the covenant between them and God, then they were considered righteous. They were not hiding their rebellion; they were seeking to do as God asked them to. It is these people who are in relationship with God by faith, trusting that the commands that He gave would bring them to a position of right standing with Him.

When you find a person who is speaking actually lives for God, then what they have to say is very valuable. It is as choice silver. However, if they are simply living for themselves in spiritual garb or pretending to live for God while really living for themselves, then it is doubly bad.


The word choice is the Hebrew word bachar, which means to choose, select, prefer. The idea is that if there is a purer silver, a more valuable silver, then each person would choose that silver. So the words of the righteous person are like that. When one needs counsel and direction, it is best to go to people who are righteous.

The tendency is to go to people who will tell you what you want to hear instead of people who will tell you what you need to hear. This tendency to talk to people who will agree that you need to be selfish is prominent when you are young. Look at the basic worth of each group.


This is the general word leb, which means the inner man or the soul of the person. In this case Solomon is saying clearly that a person who has feasted on selfishness and made their life a pursuit of a few selfish desires has a vacuous soul. There is nothing worth extracting from what they are saying, thinking, feeling, and doing.


This is the Hebrew word rasha, which means wicked, criminal. This means that this person has pushed the boundaries of selfishness to the place where they consistently go beyond societal limits to get what they want. If a person does this, then they will become a worthless soul. Selfishness will eat up the value of the choices they could have made.

You will be able to find people who believe that you should do whatever you feel like doing. Follow your heart, be selfish. But that road will not end where you think it will end. It will not end in success and rich relationships and joy. It will end in loneliness, strife, distance, and brokenness. Selfishness always ends this way.


This is the Hebrew word meat, which means little, few, scarce. The idea is clearly that the internal ruminations of the wicked person render them worth very little to others. They can only really think about themselves. Be very careful about this. Make no mistake; they are out for themselves.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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