"The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked."
“The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life:”
The righteous man is a constant source of living water for others. His mouth uses words that heal and give life. This is very similar to the language that Jesus used in the Temple that last day of the feast.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).
He said that believers will be a source of lifegiving water, speaking of the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
“The righteous man.”
“His mouth, the outlet of his mind, is a well of life; it is a constant spring, whence issues good discourse for the edification of others, like streams that water the ground and make it fruitful, and for their consolation, like streams that quench the thirst of the weary traveler”1 (Henry).
“But violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”
“But” the wicked man only is a source of evil. Note the similarity of our verse for today and verse 6.
“Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked” (Proverbs 10:6).
The wicked man is unfaithful, and he is “very wickedness.”
“For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue” (Psalm 5:9).
His mouth does not bless others as the righteous man does. There is only trouble in his tongue.
“His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity” (Psalm 10:7).
“Violence covers the mouth of the wicked; what he got by violence shall by violence be taken from him”2 (Henry).
His family will pay dearly for his wickedness.
“His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them. Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance” (Job 5:4-5).
Believers, be thankful that God has redeemed you and declared you to be righteous! Be that source of blessing for others!
1. Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, the electronic version in eSword.
2. Henry, ibid.