Proverbs 12:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 12:12, NIV: "The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers, but the root of the righteous endures."

Proverbs 12:12, ESV: "Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit."

Proverbs 12:12, KJV: "The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit."

Proverbs 12:12, NASB: "The wicked person desires the plunder of evil people, But the root of the righteous yields fruit."

Proverbs 12:12, NLT: "Thieves are jealous of each other's loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit."

Proverbs 12:12, CSB: "The wicked desire what evil people have caught, but the root of the righteous is productive."

What does Proverbs 12:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

According to this verse, wicked people are never content with what they have. They are even jealous for what other evil people are able to gain. One could imagine this person being like a weed or a parasite that exists only to suck the life out of others. In contrast, the person who follows godly wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) is like a healthy root that supports a fruit-bearing plant or tree. The truly righteous person is content with what the Lord provides.

Jesus taught us not to obsess over material goods on earth. Rather, we should focus on building up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19–33). The wicked person strives to obtain treasures on earth. To him life consists only in worldly goods; he has no interest in what is eternal (Luke 12:15–21). The righteous person, on the other hand, sees life in the perspective of eternity. He lives to honor the Lord, and he does not worry about material things. He seeks "the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1). His life is fruitful because he walks by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 22–23).