Proverbs 21:10

ESV The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
NIV The wicked crave evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.
NASB The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor is shown no compassion in his eyes.
CSB A wicked person desires evil; he has no consideration for his neighbor.
NLT Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.
KJV The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.

What does Proverbs 21:10 mean?

A cornerstone aspect of biblical morality is "love" for one's neighbors. This includes more than emotional aspects; it's meant to imply working for that person's benefit. Scripture notes that the definition of "neighbor" even includes those whom society thinks we ought to hate (Luke 10:29–37; John 13:34). This proverb presents a contrast to that ideal. For those who reject God's goodness and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 10:23), their neighbors are objects of evil intent (Proverbs 3:29; 14:21).

Wickedness originates in the human soul. No one can say God is the source of their sinful urges because God cannot be tempted with evil, nor does He tempt anyone (James 1:13). Instead, James writes, "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own evil desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death" (James 1:14). The apostle John warns about three sources of sinful desire: the flesh, the eyes, and pride (1 John 2:16).

Believers have a choice. The Holy Spirit, who resides in them, wants to produce godly traits in them; therefore, believers ought to obey the exhortation: "Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
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