He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.
– Proverbs 19:16
The word for commandment means law, or precept. It’s often used in Proverbs for the instruction of father and mother (Proverbs (2:1; 3:1; 6:20; 7:1). However, the instructions of father and mother are instructions in divine wisdom with life or death consequences (Proverbs 4:4; 6:23; 13:13). The fist phrase is like saying keep the commandment and keep your life. The word for despiseth means to hold in contempt, or think lightly of. The word for shall die means to be put to death, so it connotes a judicial punishment. Despising the way of wisdom and God’s commandment is not to merely run the risk of natural death, but it is to run afoul of the righteous Judge and face irremediable punishment.