Proverbs 14:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 14:20, NIV: The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends.

Proverbs 14:20, ESV: The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich has many friends.

Proverbs 14:20, KJV: The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.

Proverbs 14:20, NASB: The poor is hated even by his neighbor, But those who love the rich are many.

Proverbs 14:20, NLT: The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many 'friends.'

Proverbs 14:20, CSB: A poor person is hated even by his neighbor, but there are many who love the rich.

What does Proverbs 14:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A "proverb" is a brief statement of common sense, general wisdom. Often, proverbs give insight into how the world "is," not necessarily how it "ought to be." This example points out how poverty and wealth can drive prejudice. It also notes how often people are friendly to the rich only for the sake of their riches. The following verse denounces hatred for one's neighbor (Proverbs 14:21), and other verses in Scripture condemn the practice of shunning the poor (Isaiah 10:1–2; Proverbs 29:14).

Those struggling with poverty often experience social injustice as their neighbors shun them. The rich, on the other hand, have an easier time finding help and support. Unfortunately, such prejudice is common today, as people snub the poor but play up to the rich to get something from them. Feigned friendship and true friendship are worlds apart.

The apostle James writes against showing prejudicial treatment and condemns the hypocrisy of favoring the rich (James 2:1–9). He cites the occasion in which a man wearing a gold ring and expensive clothing receives far better treatment than a poor man in shabby clothing. When the men enter the believers' assembly, the rich man is ushered to a good seat, whereas the poor man is told to stand. In condemning this prejudice, he states that God has chosen the poor to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom.