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It is good that you take hold of this one, and also to not remove your hand from the other one, for he who fears God will go forth with them all.

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It is good for you to live by the first principle mentioned above, and also to keep living by the second principle listed above. The one who lives with proper commitment to God’s way will go on living while holding both of these in balance.


1: “will go forth with them all”

What I have presented in the translation column is a literal rendering of the Hebrew. Most scholars agree that this has to do with holding to and living by both of the warnings or principles Solomon gave in the preceding two verses. This last phrase is translated in a variety of ways, but all of them point toward balance of either these two things or balance of all things in our lives.

What does this balance look like? It includes a proper attitude toward spirituality, meaning that spirituality needs to be genuine. It also must include a proper perspective on sinful behavior. This perspective, according to Solomon, shows that the more you go toward the side of sinful activities, the more years it is liable to take off your life (but no guarantees either way.) The reverse is also true, the more you live for God, the more years it is likely to add to your lives. So even though he says, “Don’t be overly wicked,” we should not take this to mean that a small amount of wickedness is OK. A small degree of wickedness will not take as many years off your life, but it will still hurt you.