Proverbs 16:20

ESV Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
NIV Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD.
NASB One who pays attention to the word will find good, And blessed is one who trusts in the Lord.
CSB The one who understands a matter finds success, and the one who trusts in the Lord will be happy.
NLT Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful.
KJV He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

What does Proverbs 16:20 mean?

The book of Proverbs endorses several aspects of wisdom, including the benefit of thinking clearly and carefully. What's being given attention, in this verse, is translated from the Hebrew word dā'bor, which can refer to a statement, a concept, or an idea. A conscious effort to be diligent when assessing something tends to yield better results that inattention or laziness (Proverbs 14:15; 18:13). As other proverbs have noted, the most crucial aspect of clear thinking is seeking God's truth more than anything else (Proverbs 1:7).

The most valuable "word" one can consider is the Word of God. Psalm 119:97–100 indicates that the Word of God bestows wisdom and understanding. The same psalm declares that those who love the Word experience "great peace" (Psalm 119:165).

Scripture also cautions that merely thinking about doing good is not enough. James 1:22 admonishes us to "be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." James continues his admonition by comparing a man who simply hears the Word but does not obey it to a man who looks at his face in a mirror but soon forgets what he looks like (James 1:23¬–24). He concludes the admonition by saying, "But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing" (James 1:25).
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