19 Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous. (NIV )
ESV - 19 The evil bow down before the good, the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
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I would say that the circumstances being referred to by the proverb are similar to the judgment that God pronounced in 1 Samuel 2 against the Levite priest Eli because of the corruption of his sons (Hophni and Phinehas) that Eli was doing nothing about. At that time, God told Eli, "I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always. Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, 'Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.’” In the same way, God will ultimately cause the evil to bow before the righteous (if not in this life or world, then in the final judgment at the close of the age).
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