Proverbs 13:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 13:14, NIV: The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.

Proverbs 13:14, ESV: The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Proverbs 13:14, KJV: The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

Proverbs 13:14, NASB: The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn aside from the snares of death.

Proverbs 13:14, NLT: The instruction of the wise is like a life-giving fountain; those who accept it avoid the snares of death.

Proverbs 13:14, CSB: A wise person's instruction is a fountain of life, turning people away from the snares of death.

What does Proverbs 13:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this verse, we learn the crucial importance of heeding wise teaching. This is a primary theme of the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 1:7; 10:17; 13:6). Closely related is the fact that ignoring godly wisdom leads to both earthly and eternal consequences (Proverbs 9:7–12; 11:7; 13:15).

A fountain offers refreshment and sustains life. When Jesus spoke with a woman at Jacob's well, He told her that whoever drank from Jacob's well would thirst again, but whoever drank the water He offered would never thirst. He added that it would be a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:13–14). Jesus emphasized the benefit of responding appropriately to His teaching. John wrote, "For he whom God has sent utters the words of God…Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him" (John 3:34, 36).

The word "snares" here alludes to traps which spring shut when unsuspecting animals enter them. Jesus offers salvation that keeps those who believe on Him safe from the eternal death that suddenly comes upon unbelievers (Proverbs 29:1; Revelation 20:11–15).