Proverbs 15:25

ESV The LORD tears down the house of the proud but maintains the widow’s boundaries.
NIV The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow's boundary stones in place.
NASB The Lord will tear down the house of the proud, But He will set the boundary of the widow.
CSB The Lord tears apart the house of the proud, but he protects the widow's territory.
NLT The Lord tears down the house of the proud, but he protects the property of widows.
KJV The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.

What does Proverbs 15:25 mean?

Earthly justice is not always complete; those who do evil in this life might not suffer full consequences prior to death (Psalm 73:2–3). Here, Solomon assures us that the proud—the arrogant, the self-righteous—are guaranteed to face a day of reckoning. Because they lift themselves up instead of humbling themselves in the sight of the Lord, all that they have built and accumulated will come crashing down under the Lord's hand of judgment (Proverbs 10:16, 25, 28).

In direct contrast, Solomon refers to a widow. In ancient culture, widows were especially vulnerable. Their position, by definition, was not something secure or a source of pride. To make his point about God's preference for the humble person, Solomon depicts God defending such a woman and her land against thieves. Unlike the house of the proud, her house would stand. The Lord would keep the boundaries of her land in place.

Those who rely on their own prideful ability, rather than on God, are building houses on sand. This cannot stand when the Lord sends wind, rain, and floods against it (Matthew 7:26–27). James 4:6 teaches that "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

Jesus told the story of two men who entered the temple to pray. One, a Pharisee, was proud. He boasted to the Lord about his self-righteousness. The other man, a tax collector, was humble. He admitted to the Lord that he was a sinner, and he asked for mercy. Jesus said only the humble tax collector went home as a justified man (Luke 18:14). He explained, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
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