Proverbs 13:13

ESV Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
NIV Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it, but whoever respects a command is rewarded.
NASB One who despises the word will do badly, But one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
CSB The one who has contempt for instruction will pay the penalty, but the one who respects a command will be rewarded.
NLT People who despise advice are asking for trouble; those who respect a command will succeed.
KJV Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

What does Proverbs 13:13 mean?

Ever the teacher, Solomon instructs his readers to hold their instructors' lessons. Doing so brings reward or blessing. The person who laughs off such teaching brings ruin on himself. This is a recurring theme in the book of Proverbs. Those who follow good advice, coming from godly wisdom (Proverbs 1:7), put themselves on a path to success (Proverbs 10:17). The person who "despises" instruction is the scoffer depicted in other verses as a fool (Proverbs 9:7–12; 13:1).

Various translations use the phrase "the word," "instruction," or "advice" here. The Hebrew term is dā'bār, which implies a message, commandment, or instruction. This is not an explicit reference to Scripture, though what's written in the Bible is certainly included in the wisdom that a godly person will pursue (Proverbs 6:23; Psalm 1:1–2).

Blessing for following wisdom, versus ruin for disobedience, appears in Jesus' story about two builders. A wise builder constructed his house on a rock, and it survived heavy winds, torrential rains, and rising floods. A foolish man built his house on sand, and it collapsed under strong wind, heavy rain, and swirling floods. Jesus compared the wise builder to whoever hears and obeys His words and the foolish builder to whoever hears His words but fails to obey them. (Read Matthew 7:24–27). In Luke 8:18 we find this exhortation given by Jesus: "Take care then how you hear." When Jesus addressed the churches of Asia Minor, He commanded, "He who has an ear, let him hear," and He included a promise for obedient hearing (Revelation 2:11, 17, 26–29; 3:5–6, 12–13, 20–22).
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