Proverbs 11:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 11:20, NIV: "The LORD detests those whose hearts are perverse, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless."

Proverbs 11:20, ESV: "Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD, but those of blameless ways are his delight."

Proverbs 11:20, KJV: "They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight."

Proverbs 11:20, NASB: "The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in their walk are His delight."

Proverbs 11:20, NLT: "The LORD detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity."

Proverbs 11:20, CSB: "Those with twisted minds are detestable to the Lord, but those with blameless conduct are his delight."

What does Proverbs 11:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus taught that our own hearts are the source of evil (Matthew 15:19). Jeremiah 17:9 declare, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick." Here, Solomon depicts the human heart as "crooked," meaning "distorted." This is the same term used in Proverbs 2:15 and Proverbs 8:8. Alternate translations use the word "perverse." Such attitudes are out of focus with the Lord's righteousness. Furthermore, those whose hearts are crooked are disgusting to God.

Isaiah 53:6 says we have all gone astray and turned to away from God. We have wandered away from God's truth the way sheep stray from their shepherd. However, when the Lord saves a believer in Christ (John 3:16–18), He brings us back to the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3). Whereas those of a twisted, perverse attitude are displeasing to God, He is happy in those who seek to live by His truth. "Blameless," as used here, does not mean sinlessly perfect. However, it does mean someone who diligently seeks to obey God, so that other people have no room to criticize their conduct.

Enoch is a good example of someone whose ways were blameless. While the human race was wandering away from God, Enoch walked with God, and God showed He delighted in Enoch. Enoch did not die, apparently, because God transported him directly from earth (Genesis 5:24).