“Whoso” in Proverbs: Part 10

“Whoso” in Proverbs: Part 10

As noted, there are 27 occurrences of the word “whoso” in Proverbs, which is half of all its appearances in Scripture (KJV). Our study continues as we examine briefly just a few of these.

Solomon revealed, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13). In contrast in this passage is the individual who seeks to cover his sins to the individual who earnestly seeks to recover from his sins. Of this passage Matthew Henry commented, “Here is…the folly of indulging sin, of palliating and excusing it, denying or extenuating it, diminishing it, dissembling it, or throwing the blame of it upon others.” Achan (Josh. 7:21) and Gehazi (II Kgs. 5:24) readily come to mind as examples of those who attempted literally to “cover” their sins.

In contrast to covering one’s sin is the one who “confesseth” and “forsaketh” his sins. Note that confession and forsaking of sins were not alone sufficient under Old Testament guidelines for sins to be taken away. (For example, note among other things the various offerings required by the law- Leviticus 4-7.) So, the confessing and forsaking of sin is used here as a synecdoche (a part standing for the whole of what must be done). This is done in numerous places in Scripture regarding many subjects, in both Old and New Testaments. For instance, “belief’ is often used as a synecdoche in the New Testament. In answer to the question asked by those on Pentecost, Peter replied in part, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Later in this same context those who obeyed (Acts 2:41) were referred to as “all that believed” (Acts 2:44). These individuals had not merely mentally assented to a fact or set of facts. They had acted upon that belief. They had obeyed. Yet, they were referred to merely as ones that had “believed.” Hence, the Bible instructs man to consider all that God has said about a matter before drawing a conclusion regarding it (Ps. 119:105- ASV; 139:17). The Proverbs writer reveals that mercy will be afforded the one who confesses and forsakes his sins (i.e. does what God requires for sins to be removed).



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