Wealth is the rich man’s great advantage.
Poverty is the poor man’s great curse.
Righteous men spend money to help others.
Wicked men spend money on themselves.
About this Song:
Maybe you’ve noticed that some of my songs are shorter than others. Although this one is probably THE shortest, that doesn’t diminish the importance of its message.
The words are adapted from Proverbs 10:15-16. I’m including six translations here. . .
15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
but poverty is the ruin of the poor.
16 The wages of the righteous is life,
but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.
(New International Version)
15 Great wealth can be a fortress,
but poverty is no protection at all.
16 If you live right, the reward is a good life;
if you are evil, all you have is sin.
(Contemporary English Bible)
15 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city;
The destruction of the poor is their poverty.
16 The labor of the righteous leads to life,
The wages of the wicked to sin.
(New King James)
15 The wealth of the rich is their fortress;
the poverty of the poor is their destruction.
16 The earnings of the godly enhance their lives,
but evil people squander their money on sin.
(New Living Translation)
15 The wealth of the rich is their bastion;
the poverty of the indigent is their ruin.
16 The wage of a good person is exuberant life;
an evil person ends up with nothing but sin.
15 Wealth protects the rich; poverty destroys the poor.
16 The reward for doing good is life, but sin leads only to more sin.
If I’m reading these Scriptures correctly, they agree that the rich depend upon their wealth. They hide in it. They take refuge in it. In my mind, that gives them a “great advantage.” The second part of verse fifteen seems to agree that “Poverty is the poor man’s great curse.”
Although these versions agree that money enables the rich to have “life,” “exuberant life,” and “a good life,” I chose to put a different spin on the first part of my parallel to verse sixteen. My wording goes along best with “The reward for doing good is life.” The rest of Scripture supports that. The rich–all of us, for that matter–ought to help those in need to whatever extent they can.
I chose not to deviate from the second half of verse sixteen, however. When wicked people squander their money on sin rather than using it to accomplish good, they end up getting exactly what they deserve.
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