Proverbs 16:19

ESV It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.
NIV Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
NASB It is better to be humble in spirit with the needy Than to divide the spoils with the proud.
CSB Better to be lowly of spirit with the humble than to divide plunder with the proud.
NLT Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.
KJV Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

What does Proverbs 16:19 mean?

This verse follows the denunciation of the arrogant who reject God (Proverbs 16:18). This again notes how much more valuable spiritual riches are as compared to material wealth (Proverbs 15:16; 16:16). Poverty is especially preferable to gaining wealth by pride and immorality (Proverbs 6:12–15; Luke 12:16–21).

C. S. Lewis is credited with saying, "humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." There's an element of truth to that, in that the goal of humility is not to have a "lower" view of ourselves. At the same time, this proverb is found near others that warn about the opposite of humility—arrogance—which comes with great risks (Proverbs 16:5, 18). True humility is often misinterpreted as weakness, but it is actually a sign of great strength. Christ's life gives us the perfect example of godly humility: He humbled himself to become our Savior. He demonstrated strength by doing the Father's will even though it meant pouring out His life on the cross for us (Philippians 2:5¬–8).

Those who humbly acknowledge their sin and believe on Jesus as their Savior receive everlasting life (John 3:16–18). Those who are too proud for repentance, so they reject Jesus as Savior, will lose everything, including their souls. Jesus asked an extremely important question: "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36). It is better to be materially poor but spiritually rich than to be materially rich but spiritually impoverished!
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