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

Proverbs 10:10, NIV: "Whoever winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin."

Proverbs 10:10, ESV: "Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will come to ruin."

Proverbs 10:10, KJV: "He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall."

Proverbs 10:10, NASB: "He who winks the eye causes trouble, And a babbling fool will come to ruin."

Proverbs 10:10, NLT: "People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace."

Proverbs 10:10, CSB: "A sly wink of the eye causes grief, and foolish lips will be destroyed."

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

The expression "winks the eye" is a reference to secret signs and hidden messages (Proverbs 6:13). In this context, it means a signal to evil companions to join in some crime. In Psalm 35:19 David prayed: "Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause." While not exactly the same, "winking the eye" in Old Testament times sent messages similar to modern-day gang signs.

Obviously, those who create trouble lack wisdom. Just as a self-inflated, arrogant person comes to ruin (Proverbs 10:10), so eye winkers will pay a similar price for causing trouble. Fortunately, God's grace extends even to the troublemaker who repents and trusts in Jesus. Saul of Tarsus was the greatest troublemaker that persecuted the early church. He describes his life of terror in Galatians 1:13. He writes: "For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it." However, after he became a Christian by God's grace, he became an ardent preacher of the faith he had been committed to destroying (Galatians 1:23).