Proverbs 16:24

ESV Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
NIV Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
NASB Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
CSB Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body.
NLT Kind words are like honey — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
KJV Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

What does Proverbs 16:24 mean?

Two of the preceding proverbs pointed out the value of gracious speech (Proverbs 16:21, 23). This verse repeats a root word for "sweetness" used in verse 21. In this context, these are also called "gracious words," meaning they are not only truthful, but they are also spoken with tact and caution (Proverbs 15:1; Colossians 4:6). The right message, delivered in the right way, is a great blessing to others (Proverbs 15:23). Such advice helps the spirit (Proverbs 3:21–22), and helps the body, not the least by guiding a person away from the consequences of sin (Proverbs 11:19; 14:12).

As Solomon wrote these words, perhaps he remembered what his father David testified in Psalm 19:9–10: "The rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb." In Psalm 119:103 the psalmist exclaims, "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Words that believers speak can soothe, comfort, guide, and encourage others to know the Lord and obey His commands. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 the apostle Paul exhorts believers to "encourage one another and build one another up." Only gracious, delightful words can accomplish this task.
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