Proverbs 14:24

ESV The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.
NIV The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly.
NASB The crown of the wise is their riches, But the foolishness of fools is simply foolishness.
CSB The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the foolishness of fools produces foolishness.
NLT Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness.
KJV The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.

What does Proverbs 14:24 mean?

The wise have a lasting, valuable wealth in the form of their wisdom and diligence. This causes others to regard them highly, and often leads to material resources needed to do good. A godly, wise person who is diligent and hardworking (Proverbs 14:23) can give generously to the needy and have opportunities to provide for others. They can use their wealth to serve God.

Fools, however, engage in foolishness. The book of Proverbs notes that real wisdom means following God (Proverbs 1:7; 3:5) and ignoring Him is a type of deliberate stupidity (Proverbs 12:1). Those who turn away from godliness do nothing to enrich the lives of others They squander what they have instead of using it to serve God. They use their resources to advance their wicked plans. When life ends, they will have nothing to look forward to except judgment (John 3:36; Proverbs 10:7). Engaging in foolish thinking just leads to more foolishness (Proverbs 14:18).

Scripture describes a few notably wealthy people who used their riches for the good of others. Solomon was wealthy, and he used his resources to build a peaceful kingdom and a temple of worship (1 Kings 10:23). Joseph of Arimathea was rich, and he asked Pilate for Jesus' body, which he wrapped in a clean linen shroud and placed in his own tomb (Matthew 27:57–60). Lydia was a wealthy seller of purple cloth, and she opened her house as a headquarters from which Paul and his coworkers could spread the gospel (Acts 16:11–15).
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