Proverbs 21:20

ESV Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.
NIV The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.
NASB There is precious treasure and oil in the home of the wise, But a foolish person swallows it up.
CSB Precious treasure and oil are in the dwelling of a wise person, but a fool consumes them.
NLT The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
KJV There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

What does Proverbs 21:20 mean?

This commends the man who maintains provisions: who takes care not to run out of important supplies. Good stewardship involves guarding resources and using them wisely. A wise manager of what God has given is not stingy or greedy, but charitable. Solomon (Proverbs 10:1) contrasts this stewardship with foolish wastefulness. The foolish man does not see his possessions as God's investment in need of careful handling. Rather, he consumes like a wild animal gulping down prey. The fool focuses on immediate pleasure (Proverbs 21:17) and wastes resources he will need in the future.

A vivid example of this fate is seen in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32). That man foolishly took his share of the inheritance and wasted it through pleasure-seeking. When all his resources were gone, he took a lowly job feeding pigs. He was starving to the point of wishing he could eat the pig's food. That experience demonstrates the warning given in this passage.
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