Select Page
Mishlei 10-29 (Stability and Integrity)

Mishlei 10-29

Stability and Integrity

[Pesukim 10:29 and 10:30]

Key Concepts

The person who follows the way of Hashem will be blessed with a life of stability, one that is long and productive. The stability that is granted by Hashem is like a towering stronghold with firm foundations that are deeply implanted in the earth. Even when powerful winds shake the tower, its foundations remain firm.

And so, when a tzadik (righteous person) is challenged by problems which bend him low, he will be able to overcome them and recover to his full potential. On the other hand, the resha’im (wicked people) who reject Hashem’s way will ultimately be held accountable and they will stay down.

The tzadik who follows the way of Hashem, lives a life of integrity. That means he conscientiously observes Hashem’s Torah and mitzvos without re-interpreting their meaning to suit his own convenience. As previously noted (Mishlei 10-09), such a person has no need of lies or subterfuge because he is confident that no matter what happens, he will not be at a disadvantage if he stays with the truth. He trusts the good will of Hashem to ensure the best possible outcome.

Exploring Mishlei

 כט = מָעוֹז לַתֹּם דֶּרֶךְ ה’ וּמְחִתָּה לְפֹעֲלֵי אָוֶן

 ל = צַדִּיק לְעוֹלָם בַּל יִמּוֹט וּרְשָׁעִים לֹא יִשְׁכְּנוּ אָרֶץ

(29) The way of Hashem is a stronghold to the tzadik who lives with integrity,
but a disaster to wrongdoers.

(30) A tzadik will not be toppled forever,
but the resha’im will not dwell in the land.

Mishlei conveys the message of this segment in two proverbs (10:29 and 10:30). The first describes the way of Hashem as being a stronghold. It teaches that the essential characteristic of the tzadik who follows the way of Hashem is his integrity and so he is referred to as תֹּם (person of integrity).  See also Segment 13-06 for a further discussion on the stability inherent in the way of Hashem.

The second proverb elaborates on the concept of stronghold. Because of his strong foundation, the tzadik will not be toppled forever, even though he may falter.

As far the resha’im are concerned, they are described in the first proverb as being פּעֲלֵי אָוֶן (wrongdoers). Because they reject the way of Hashem their destiny is disastrous. The second proverb adds that they have no long-term future, that is, “they will not dwell in the land.”

Learning Mishlei

 כט = מָעוֹז לַתֹּם דֶּרֶךְ ה’ וּמְחִתָּה לְפֹעֲלֵי אָוֶן

(29) A stronghold to persons of integrity מָעוֹז לַתֹּם
is the way of Hashem דֶּרֶךְ ה’
for they are inspired to conscientiously emulate
the qualities of Hashem, His kindness and His truth.
it is a disaster to wrongdoers וּמְחִתָּה לְפֹעֲלֵי אָוֶן
for their dishonest behavior will bring about their own downfall.

 ל = צַדִּיק לְעוֹלָם בַּל יִמּוֹט וּרְשָׁעִים לֹא יִשְׁכְּנוּ אָרֶץ

(30) Even when he falters,
a tzadik will not be toppled forever צַדִּיק לְעוֹלָם בַּל יִמּוֹט.
But the resha’im will not dwell tranquilly in the land וּרְשָׁעִים לֹא יִשְׁכְּנוּ אָרֶץ.
for they will have no descendants to carry on their lineage.

Additional Insights


(1) The way of Hashem is a stronghold for people of integrity because even though they may be physically weak and their innocence may make them
vulnerable to deceivers, Hashem is their strength and He will protect them.
(רבינו יונה, דעת סופרים)

(2) Furthermore, it is a stronghold in that they have gained the benefit of the
wisdom of the Torah, which will guide them in every situation. (המאירי)

(3) Because it is a stronghold, the righteous plans they make in honesty and
sincerity will surely succeed. (רלב”ג)

(4) The tzadik pleases Hashem by following His way. Therefore, Hashem will reward him by becoming his stronghold to bring him the joy to which he aspires.
(מצודות, חנוך לנער)

(5) Because the way of Hashem is a stronghold, the tzadik who follows it is inspired to emulate the qualities of Hashem and practice kindness and honesty with
everyone. (מלבי”ם)

THE TZADIK  (v. 30)

(6) Despite his troubles the tzadik does not stay down forever because Hashem is his stronghold. (v. 29). (רש”י, רבינו יונה, אבן יחייא, מצודות)

(7) The hashgachah (direct care) of Hashem will protect the tzadik from being pushed away from his place in this world (Eretz Yisrael). (רלב”ג, חנוך לנער)

(8) Even when the tzadik dies, his descendants will carry on his life’s work. (אבן עזרא)


(9) The way of Hashem is a disaster for wrongdoers because they are held to
account for disregarding it. Their fate is to perish from the world. (מלבי”ם, חנוך לנער)

(10) Because they reject Hashem’s qualities of kindness and truth, their behavior will bring about their own downfall. (מלבי”ם)

(11) Even though they may be full of pride and arrogance because of their apparent good fortune, Hashem will ultimately see to it that they are brought down. Their plans in violation of Hashem’s way will surely fail. (רש”י, אבן יחייא, מצודות)

RESHA’IM  (v. 30)

(12) When the resha’im die, they won’t leave descendants who will cherish their memory. (אבן עזרא)

(13) The good fortune of the resha’im will not last and they will ultimately be doomed to oblivion. When they fall, they will not rise again. they will not live on in the World to Come. (See Yeshayah 60:21) (רבינו יונה, המאירי, מצודות, הגר”א)

(14) Because of their sins, the reshai’m will be will be driven out of their secure place by their many enemies. Even in this life they will have no peace. And when they fall it will be permanent. (רלב”ג, אבן יחייא, חנוך לנער, שבט מיהודה)

NOTE: For a PDF copy of this segment, please click on the blue title below.
This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article.

Mishlei 10-29 (Stability and Integrity) PDF version