Proverbs 18:3

ESV When wickedness comes, contempt comes also, and with dishonor comes disgrace.
NIV When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes reproach.
NASB When a wicked person comes, contempt also comes, And with dishonor comes taunting.
CSB When a wicked person comes, contempt also comes, and along with dishonor, derision.
NLT Doing wrong leads to disgrace, and scandalous behavior brings contempt.
KJV When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.
NKJV When the wicked comes, contempt comes also; And with dishonor comes reproach.

What does Proverbs 18:3 mean?

The first phrase of this proverb seems to suggest that sinful attitudes lead people to be arrogant. That's true—the prior two proverbs noted that an ungodly resistance to wisdom leads to arrogant isolation (Proverbs 18:1–2). However, the main point here is clarified by the second phrase: living wickedly leads a person into shame and humiliation. At the most important level, this shame comes from God, who has contempt for the wicked person (Isaiah 23:9; Psalm 59:8). Man was created in God's image (Genesis 1:26–27), so our purpose is to glorify Him. When we act against His truth (Proverbs 1:7), we necessarily bring dishonor on ourselves; this is a natural consequence of sin.

Other proverbs have noted that sin can have earthly consequences, as well (Proverbs 10:14; 16:18). One of these is the loss of reputation one can experience when they act wickedly.

Adam and Eve discovered this fact when they rebelled against God in the garden of Eden. By failing to obey the only prohibition they received from God, they experienced judgment. The death penalty passed upon them and all their descendants. Shame followed their sin and caused them to try to hide from God's sight. No longer allowed to live in paradise, they were compelled to leave it. Sorrow and laborious work replaced perfect comfort and ease. Broken fellowship with God and a marred image of God replaced perfect fellowship with God and His perfect image in them. Their son Seth was born in Adam's fallen image, and all of Adam's subsequent descendants bear Adam's image (Genesis 5:3; 1 Corinthians 15:47–49).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: