Proverbs 1:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 1:10, NIV: "My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them."

Proverbs 1:10, ESV: "My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent."

Proverbs 1:10, KJV: "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not."

Proverbs 1:10, NASB: "My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent."

Proverbs 1:10, NLT: "My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!"

Proverbs 1:10, CSB: "My son, if sinners entice you, don't be persuaded."

What does Proverbs 1:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

There is a small, easily misunderstood term hidden here in verse 10: "if." Immediately after exalting the merits of parental instruction, Solomon quickly makes this decisive statement. In Hebrew, the term translated as "if" is a widely used demonstrative term, 'im. This word is used frequently in Hebrew writing when one wishes to demonstrate a point. While we translate it often as "if" in English, it can also mean "doubtless if," "moreover if," or even "when." The word is meant to imply a hypothetical, a situation that is not (yet), but may or probably will be.

In more literal English, Solomon is not saying "if" sinners entice you, he is saying "when" sinners entice you. And we can all agree that sin has enticed us throughout our lives. The parental command here is not to consent to sin, not to go willingly into it. It advises us to use our wisdom and act according to our knowledge, taught to us by our parents and found in the Scriptures.