Proverbs 19:10

ESV It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury, much less for a slave to rule over princes.
NIV It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury-- how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!
NASB Luxury is not fitting for a fool; Much less for a slave to rule over princes.
CSB Luxury is not appropriate for a fool-- how much less for a slave to rule over princes!
NLT It isn’t right for a fool to live in luxury or for a slave to rule over princes!
KJV Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.

What does Proverbs 19:10 mean?

The Hebrew word nā'weh means "beautiful," "attractive," or "appropriate." Here it is translated as "fitting." The two scenarios described here are the opposite: ugly and unsuitable. Cultural assumptions play into the phrasing used in this verse. The book of Proverbs has already noted that godly wisdom is the most likely path to success (Proverbs 1:7; 8:35–36). That doesn't mean immoral and unwise people cannot become wealthy (Psalm 37:7; 73:3)—but when they do, it's an unwelcome sight. A fool fails to understand that every possession has been entrusted to him by God (Matthew 25:14–15). Instead of using his wealth and luxurious belongings for God's glory, a fool squanders everything (Matthew 6:19–20; Luke 12:20–21) and perhaps believes what he possesses makes him secure (Proverbs 18:11).

According to Solomon, it's even less appropriate for "slaves" to be leaders over "princes." This is a difficult statement to accept, especially for modern readers. A later comment in the book echoes the same idea (Proverbs 30:21–23), and in the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon expresses almost the same idea as this verse (Ecclesiastes 10:6–7). At first glance, this seems to suggest that slaves are inherently unworthy of leadership, while princes deserve their status. In the broad context of Scripture, this remark is more tied to qualifications than to a moral principle. Servants / slaves of the ancient world were not necessarily equipped to suddenly take on large-scale leadership. In a tighter context, the first half of this proverb notes something incongruous—a situation that appears absurd—which is how servants ruling over masters would also appear.

Other Scriptures indicate that skills, not class, are in mind in this proverb. Joseph, for instance, was a "slave" but was repeatedly given enormous authority because of his abilities (Genesis 39:1–6, 20–23; 41:38–40).
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