Proverbs 16:31

ESV Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
NIV Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
NASB A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness.
CSB Gray hair is a glorious crown; it is found in the ways of righteousness.
NLT Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.
KJV The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

What does Proverbs 16:31 mean?

An Amish proverb states that "we get too soon old and too late smart." Certain facets of wisdom only come by experience. Unfortunately, some people age more quickly than they mature. In prior eras, numerous factors led to fewer people surviving into old age. Those who did, however, usually acquired some level of wisdom. Solomon says of such people that their "gray hair is a crown of glory." He adds that the crown of glory is more readily acquired by leading a righteous life (Proverbs 3:1–2; 9:10–11).

Luke identifies two elderly people who led a righteous life. They were Simeon and Anna. Luke 2:25 describes Simeon as "righteous and devout," and he was "waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him." Anna, a prophetess, was an 84-year-old widow. Luke writes that she "did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer" (Luke 2:37). These two righteous, elderly people rejoiced when Jesus' parents brought Him as an infant to the temple. Both spoke with wisdom concerning Jesus. Simeon told Mary that Jesus was "appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel" (Luke 2:34), and verse 38 informs us that Anna gave thanks to God and spoke of Him "to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem."
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