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What does it mean that turning away from evil will be healing to the flesh?

Help me understand this verse. 

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:8

ESV - 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Clarify Share Report Asked August 28 2016 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In my opinion, this verse is indicating that fearing God, acknowledging Him, and turning away from evil will benefit the person who does it -- if not materially or temporally, then spiritually and eternally. I do not see the verse as meant to convey a promised link between doing so and experiencing greater physical health or relief (although that is certainly within God's capability to grant).

I view the wording as similar to other passages in Proverbs where Solomon refers (for example) to a wife who brings shame to her husband as being like rottenness in his bones (Proverbs 12:4), or where he speaks of envy as rotting a person's bones (Proverbs 14:30). He is not necessarily speaking of actual physical affliction, but saying that the effect on the person's feelings or overall sense of well-being will be similar.

August 29 2016 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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