(Proverbs 10:2 KJV) Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
I appreciate the attempts of modern translators to try to make thinking easy for me but I believe in the long run it makes my thinking weaker. It also can make my faith weaker by not expecting me to think. The NASB phrase “ill-gotten gains” is literally “treasures (214) of wickedness (7562)” as printed in the KJV. Once again by trying to help, the translators limit my choices.
“Ill-gotten gains” is one aspect of the phrase. It focuses on the actions of the wicked. “Treasures of wickedness” is better because not only includes the actions but the possessions, attitudes and priorities of those who live for themselves. It is possible to procure something through legal means and have an attitude which makes that object more important than a hungry man next door. The purchase was not ill-gotten but ignoring your brother in need was wicked.
So? As followers of Jesus we are called to a higher standard than just following the law. That is the glory of living under grace. It does not excuse law breaking, it takes us to levels of obedience fueled by love and guided by a desire to walk straight.