Proverbs 16:28

ESV A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
NIV A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
NASB A perverse person spreads strife, And a slanderer separates close friends.
CSB A contrary person spreads conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
NLT A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
KJV A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

What does Proverbs 16:28 mean?

Verse 27 used a Hebrew word, translated as "worthless" in English, which was later used as another name for Satan: Belial. Those scoundrel-types, or villains, make deliberate effort to do evil and harm others with their words. Here, Solomon condemns similar themes of dishonesty and damaging speech. "Dishonest" is from a Hebrew term used elsewhere in Proverbs (Proverbs 2:12; 6:14; 8:13; 10:31–32) in reference to perversity and immorality.

From Solomon's royal perspective, a dishonest counselor might give false information about a neighboring nation (Proverbs 16:13). This could lead the two nations to war. A dishonest man might lie about the intentions of a neighbor, starting a conflict with someone else. One of the Devil's frequent tools is uncontrolled speech (James 3:5–6). That includes things like gossip and slander (Proverbs 6:16–19). Lies can create a rift even between friends. The apostle Paul wisely counsels Timothy to reject anyone who aspires to be a church leader if he tolerates slander within his family (1 Timothy 3:11). Jesus anticipated how often dishonest statements would be thrown against His people. He said, "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account" (Matthew 5:11).
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