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Mishlei 22-08 (Power Abused)

Mishlei 22-08

Power Abused

Key Concepts

As we have seen in the previous proverb, there are times and circumstances when a rich person can exert power over poor people and a lender can exert power over a borrower. Situations like this are vulnerable to abuse. Tragically when people take advantage of others by acting unjustly, those who are unfairly treated are tempted to react with bitterness and take revenge upon their abuser. The result is a vicious circle of evil.

Exploring Mishlei

ח = זוֹרֵעַ עַוְלָה יִקְצָר אָוֶן וְשֵׁבֶט עֶבְרָתוֹ יִכְלֶה

(8) One who sows injustice will reap evil,
and his rod of wrath will be destroyed.

The first part of the proverb speaks about the consequences of the abuse of power, referred to as sowing injustice. As expected, the victim of such abuse will be motivated to take revenge in an open way or a subtle way. Thus, the initial abuser will effectively reap the evil that he has sowed. The second part of the proverb concludes with the ultimate fate of the abuser, involving the destruction of his ability to cause further damage.

Learning Mishlei

(8) One who sows injustice זוֹרֵעַ עַוְלָה
by taking advantage of his power over another
will reap evil, יִקְצָר אָוֶן
by becoming a victim of the one he abused.
Thus, his rod of wrath,וְשֵׁבֶט עֶבְרָתוֹ
that is, his ability to abuse.
will be destroyed.יִכְלֶה

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