Proverbs 19:4

ESV Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend.
NIV Wealth attracts many friends, but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.
NASB Wealth adds many friends, But a poor person is separated from his friend.
CSB Wealth attracts many friends, but a poor person is separated from his friend.
NLT Wealth makes many 'friends'; poverty drives them all away.
KJV Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.

What does Proverbs 19:4 mean?

Solomon reflects in this verse about the way wealth can earn a person many shallow friends. That doesn't necessarily refer to bribes or other overt gifts (Proverbs 17:8; 18:16). However, a rich man's wealth can attract people like a picnic draws ants. Many of these so-called friends do not really care about the rich man; they simply hope to receive his favor in the form of financial gifts.

On the other hand, those who are poor often find themselves shunned and sneered at by others (Proverbs 14:21; 17:5). The same type of so-called friends who flock to a wealthy person will abandon someone if they cannot benefit from their friendship. The last proverb of the prior chapter noted that some true "friends" can be more loyal than family (Proverbs 18:24). A modern English expression says, "a friend in need is a friend indeed." This implies that those who continue to help and associate with those from whom they cannot benefit show "true" friendship.

The Lord commanded the people of Israel to avoid such prejudicial treatment of the poor. He said in Deuteronomy 15:7–8: "If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be." The same prohibition against discriminating against poverty is seen in the New Testament, as well (James 2:1–9).

Two statements in this passage will expand on the ideas presented in this proverb (Proverbs 19:6–7).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: