A rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
and like a high wall in his imagination.
Note the contrast with the previous proverb. The righteous man looks to the LORD to be his strength; the rich man looks to his wealth. The righteous man turns to the LORD and finds safety; the rich man turns to his wealth and finds an illusion. For wealth can save no one. It can create an illusion of safety, but it not only fails to protect; it creates its own dangers.
A wealthy man must take measures to protect his wealth. He must protect himself from others who seek his harm because he is wealthy. He cannot distinguish for sure those who are his friends and those attracted to his wealth. His wealth cannot protect him from slander nor from jealousy. He can fall in disgrace and lose his family.
Or even more dangerous, his wealth can make him happy all his days. It can protect him from constructive criticism and keep him entertained enough so that he does not consider his heart. It can deceive him into thinking he really is powerful. And thus he learns only at his death that his “high wall” was an imagination all along.
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