Proverbs 10:31

ESV The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
NIV From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced.
NASB The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, But the perverted tongue will be cut out.
CSB The mouth of the righteous produces wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out.
NLT The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off.
KJV The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.

What does Proverbs 10:31 mean?

Proverbs connects legitimate wisdom with a reverent humility before God (Proverbs 1:7, 10:27). Common sense indicates that what a person believes will influence how they speak and act (Luke 6:43–45). Just as a productive field generates good crops, a wise person's lips produce valuable, truthful words. A wise person gives good advice. He helps to guide the actions of those who seek direction in life. He praises God, thanks Him for His blessings, encourages the weak, comforts the afflicted, and corrects those who are going astray. He points the way to God by presenting Jesus Christ as "the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). He teaches God's Word as it is to people as they are.

The wicked person lacks wisdom. His speech is described here as "perverse." This is from a Hebrew word used elsewhere in Proverbs for something twisted, immoral, or warped (Proverbs 2:12; 6:14; 8:13; 10:32). He profanes God and insults others. He swears and tells jokes that only seem funny because they are filthy. He lies and twists the truth for personal gain. He peddles false doctrine.

However, someday the speech of these godless, evil people will be silenced, and their perverse words will end. The wicked will be held accountable for what they say. Jesus said, "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:36–37). Even more dramatic, those who use their words to insult God will one day be forced to speak a confession of His sovereignty (Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11–12).
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