Proverbs 11:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 11:4, NIV: "Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death."

Proverbs 11:4, ESV: "Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death."

Proverbs 11:4, KJV: "Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death."

Proverbs 11:4, NASB: "Riches do not benefit on the day of wrath, But righteousness rescues from death."

Proverbs 11:4, NLT: "Riches won't help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death."

Proverbs 11:4, CSB: "Wealth is not profitable on a day of wrath, but righteousness rescues from death."

What does Proverbs 11:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

No one can buy his way into heaven. Wealth is useless when God directs His wrath at unbelievers. Modern English proverbs such as "you can't take it with you" convey only part of the problem. Those who rely on money, instead of God, will not only lose their wealth in eternity, they'll lose everything.

Luke 16:19–31 relates a story about a rich man who wore expensive clothes and ate plenty of luxurious food every day, but when he died, he went to a place of torment. His fate was sealed, and the money he'd earned in life was useless. The wrath of God had come upon him. In a similar parable, Jesus depicts a rich fool who takes comfort in his money, only to find his soul is in jeopardy (Luke 12:13–21).

Revelation 18 describes the fall of prosperous Babylon under God's wrath. The merchants, "who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud" (Revelation 18:15). They cry, "Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls! For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste" (Revelation 18:16–17).

However, believers need not fear death (John 3:36). Clothed in the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), they enjoy victory over death, and when they die, they enter the presence of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21–23).