Proverbs 16:30

ESV Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things; he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.
NIV Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity; whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.
NASB He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things; He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass.
CSB The one who narrows his eyes is planning deceptions; the one who compresses his lips brings about evil.
NLT With narrowed eyes, people plot evil; with a smirk, they plan their mischief.
KJV He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
NKJV He winks his eye to devise perverse things; He purses his lips and brings about evil.

What does Proverbs 16:30 mean?

Proverbs 6:13 refers to those who use subtle signals to communicate with other criminals. The association of wrongdoing with "shifty" facial signs is also seen in Proverbs 10:10. The imagery here is of someone who plans evil (Proverbs 16:27) and conspires with others to secretly spring violence (Proverbs 16:29) on an unsuspecting person (Proverbs 1:11, 18).

Others may not understand the signals sent by conspiring attackers, but the Lord understands. Nothing is hidden from God (Hebrews 4:13). He sees the heart and discerns the intentions of the heart and mind (1 Samuel 16:7). He will not fail to judge the unrighteous. Jeremiah 17:9–10 declares: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 'I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.'"

Perhaps the Bible's most infamous use of these deceptive signals was Judas. He betrayed Christ using a signal to those who would arrest Jesus. He told the arresting soldiers that he would identify Jesus by kissing Him. However, Jesus knew what the kiss meant (Luke 22:47–48).
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