Proverbs 11:28

ESV Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
NIV Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
NASB One who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.
CSB Anyone trusting in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.
NLT Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.
KJV He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

What does Proverbs 11:28 mean?

A common theme of the book of Proverbs is the danger of putting one's trust in worldly wealth. Scripture does not condemn money, itself, but strongly warns against forgetting how temporary it is. Financial and material possessions can be taken away in an instant. In contrast, pursuing a right relationship with God results in eternal rewards, which can never be lost (Proverbs 11:4). Money cannot buy favor with God nor eternal life.

Paul writes to Timothy: "We brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world…But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction" (1 Timothy 6:7, 9). He also tells Timothy to charge the rich "not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy" (1 Timothy 6:17). The righteous can expect to receive rewards from the Lord, pictured as a lush plant showing signs of health.

An ancient king tried to use his riches to buy healing for Naaman, the leprous commander of his army, but his effort was fruitless. The prophet Elisha would not take any money, but commanded Naaman to wash in the Jordan River seven times, promising he would be clean (2 Kings 5:1–14). Elisha's refusal to take money for this miracle emphasized that material goods are worthless compared to the knowledge of God. His servant, Gehazi, tried to take advantage of the situation out of greed suffered ironic consequences (2 Kings 5:26–27).
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