Proverbs 12:13

ESV An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous escapes from trouble.
NIV Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk, and so the innocent escape trouble.
NASB An evil person is ensnared by the offense of his lips, But the righteous will escape from trouble.
CSB By rebellious speech an evil person is trapped, but a righteous person escapes from trouble.
NLT The wicked are trapped by their own words, but the godly escape such trouble.
KJV The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.

What does Proverbs 12:13 mean?

Solomon teaches that an evil person is entangled in a trap by what he says. A common English expression refers to a "web of lies," speaking to the complicated tangle that comes with dishonesty. A natural, unavoidable risk of deceit is when those webs collapse on themselves. Sooner or later, a liar will be caught in their own web. As Solomon notes, the ungodly person lies about others and curses them, but his evil speech boomerangs and ensnares him. Psalm 7:16 declares that the wicked man's "mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends."

This also comes with an eternal component. The wicked man's corrupt words are evidence of his corrupt nature, and they will hold him accountable on the day of judgment. Jesus said, "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:36–37).

Because a righteous person speaks words that disclose the righteous nature of his heart, he will not be condemned. Those who tell the truth don't have to worry about catching themselves in their own lies. Words matter, and therefore they should be expressed thoughtfully and prayerfully. If the word of Christ dwells in a person richly, edifying, grateful words will issue from him (Colossians 3:16–17).
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