Proverbs 1:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 1:26, NIV: "I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you--"

Proverbs 1:26, ESV: "I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you,"

Proverbs 1:26, KJV: "I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;"

Proverbs 1:26, NASB: "I will also laugh at your disaster; I will mock when your dread comes,"

Proverbs 1:26, NLT: "So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock you when disaster overtakes you--"

Proverbs 1:26, CSB: "I, in turn, will laugh at your calamity. I will mock when terror strikes you,"

What does Proverbs 1:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The main consequence of ignoring wisdom is not that bad things might happen. The main consequence is that bad things are assured to happen. Once we have made a poor choice, it is too late to appeal for wisdom. Wisdom is the right action, based in knowledge. Calamity—or disaster—comes from the wrong action based in selfish desire.

In this passage, Solomon has personified wisdom as a woman. This verse explains one reason why: once the opportunity to act wisely has passed by, wisdom laughs and mocks. Few things are as humiliating or shaming as being ridiculed and taunted. In that day, when women were often considered of lesser status, it would have been especially humiliating to imagine a woman jeering publicly at a man. Imagery aside, the spiritual application works both for men and women. The sense of "mocking" here has more to do with remembering the advice that was ignored. There is a reason why we, as human beings, find it so irritating to hear someone else tell us, "I told you so!"

Rather than being pursued, wisdom was ignored, and the consequences are nobody's fault but our own. This applies both to Christian believers and non-believers alike. Actions have consequences. A person can have a saving relationship with Christ and still fail to listen to wisdom. The same aftermath is waiting for anyone who acts foolishly, Christian or not.