Proverbs 16:13

ESV Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right.
NIV Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right.
NASB Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And one who speaks right is loved.
CSB Righteous lips are a king's delight, and he loves one who speaks honestly.
NLT The king is pleased with words from righteous lips; he loves those who speak honestly.
KJV Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.

What does Proverbs 16:13 mean?

The book of Proverbs has much to say about the value of good advice (Proverbs 1:8; 8:12–14; 11:14; 19:20). This need for good counsel applies just as much to kings as to common people. In ancient times, as today, no ruler can be perfectly aware of everything happening in their kingdom at all times. Nor can they be experts in all possible areas. So, kings and leaders have always depended on the counsel of their advisers. Dishonest counselors might give treacherous advice that could lead to defeat at the hands of an enemy. They could supply false information that might topple the king from his throne. However, righteous counselors would truthfully guide the king.

Solomon lauds those who speak with righteous lips. This can also be applied beyond royal counselors, to all people. As a king, Solomon appreciated those who spoke with godly truth. Indeed, the rise or fall of an entire kingdom depended upon righteousness. Proverbs 14:34 assures us that "righteousness exalts a nation." Although few people today are ruled by a king, it is still true that a righteous leader and a righteous nation are essential to peace and prosperity. Regardless of the exact relationship, those who seek advice should appreciate godly counselors.
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