Proverbs 11:5

ESV The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.
NIV The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
NASB The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
CSB The righteousness of the blameless clears his path, but the wicked person will fall because of his wickedness.
NLT The godly are directed by honesty; the wicked fall beneath their load of sin.
KJV The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

What does Proverbs 11:5 mean?

This verse contrasts the lifestyles of those who pursue godliness with those who indulge in sin. This is similar in meaning to verse 6.

Scripture often speaks of a truthful, godly life using the imagery of a straight, clear path (Proverbs 3:6; Isaiah 26:7). This is the meaning of the term "blameless:" no one can legitimately accuse the righteous of wrongdoing. Although they are not perfect, they live above reproach. They walk with God in humble dependence on Him.

Jesus said His sheep—those who are true believers—know His voice and follow Him. They take the same road He takes (John 10:4). Truly righteous people walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). They walk in a manner worthy of their calling (Ephesians 4:1). They walk in love (Ephesians 5:1), and they walk carefully (Ephesians 5:15).

By contrast, the wicked conduct themselves in a way that is right in their own eyes, but wrong in the Lord's eyes (Proverbs 14:12). They pursue evil, and they are at enmity with God. That rejection of truth and godliness often leads the wicked into destruction. In many cases—if not most—those who pursue evil in life suffer the consequences of those sins. Their wickedness brings unrest like the churning waves of the sea. God says, "'The wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. There is no peace,' says my God, 'for the wicked'" (Isaiah 57:20–21). The wicked have unrest in this life an also in eternity.
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