Proverbs 11:31

ESV If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!
NIV If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!
NASB If the righteous will be repaid on the earth, How much more the wicked and the sinner!
CSB If the righteous will be repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and sinful.
NLT If the righteous are rewarded here on earth, what will happen to wicked sinners?
KJV Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

What does Proverbs 11:31 mean?

Solomon repeats here the general lesson of the last two proverbs (Proverbs 11:29–30). Both the righteous and the wicked receive the expected consequences of their choices. This is, of course, a general statement; Scripture clearly notes how, at times, evil people seem to "get away with" their wickedness here on earth (Psalm 73:2–3).

There are a few ways this phrasing can be interpreted. One is to suggest that godly people (Proverbs 1:7) can expect God to respond according to His approval. Those who anger God have even more reason to expect a response, in their case for their sin (Proverbs 11:7). Another possibility is that even good people are disciplined by God when they sin (Proverbs 3:12; Revelation 3:19), so those who routinely defy God are all the more subject to judgment.

A wicked person may be punished in the form of physical pain brought on by a reckless lifestyle. He may suffer emotional distress from conviction of sin. Other forms of punishment might include financial loss, disrespect, shame, imprisonment, and mental anguish. Judas Iscariot felt so miserable after betraying Jesus that he committed suicide. He admitted, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood" (Matthew 27:4), and then "went and hanged himself" (Matthew 27:5). Such earthly consequences are the normal outcome of sin (Proverbs 6:27–28). Eternal costs for sin are unavoidable (Romans 6:23), for those who don't turn to Christ for forgiveness (John 3:36).
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