Counsel, way and seat (or ‘assembly’, or ‘dwelling’) draw attention to the realms of thinking, behaving and belonging, in which a person’s fundamental choice of allegiance is made and carried through; and this is borne out by a hint of decisiveness in the tense of the Hebrew verbs (the perfect). It would be reading too much into these verbs to draw a moral from the apparent process of slowing down from walking to sitting, since the journey was in the wrong direction for a start. Yet certainly the three complete phrases show three aspects, indeed three degrees, of departure from God, by portraying conformity to this world at three different levels: accepting its advice, being party to its ways, and adopting the most fatal of its attitudes—for the scoffers, if not the most scandalous of sinners, are the farthest from repentance (Prov. 3:34).
but a living organism which absorbs it, to produce in due course something new and delightful, proper to its kind and to its time.