Proverbs 21:28

ESV A false witness will perish, but the word of a man who hears will endure.
NIV A false witness will perish, but a careful listener will testify successfully.
NASB A false witness will perish, But a person who listens will speak forever.
CSB A lying witness will perish, but the one who listens will speak successfully.
NLT A false witness will be cut off, but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.
KJV A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.

What does Proverbs 21:28 mean?

Once again, Solomon predicts the judgment faced by those who lie: to perish. In an earlier statement, he noted the long-lasting nature of truth, in contrast to the temporary nature of lies (Proverbs 12:19). In one sense, those who lie subject themselves to risks such as criminal charges, social outrage, or even vengeance from those they hurt (Proverbs 19:5, 9). In another sense, those who make a habit of lying are doomed to suffer God's wrath (Proverbs 6:16–19). Those characterized by a sincere interest in truth (Proverbs 3:1–6; 9:10–11) not only generate wisdom which lives on, but they also find themselves rewarded by the Lord in eternity (Proverbs 1:7; John 14:6).

Solomon's praise here is for the person who listens carefully and absorbs what he hears. Other statements in the book of Proverbs refer to false witnesses and those who deceive (Proverbs 14:5; 19:22; 24:28). In contrast, the righteous person is an upright, truthful, dependable witness. False witnesses were brought into Jesus' trial to contribute to His death sentence (Matthew 26:60), but the apostles were upright men who testified honestly about Jesus when the Sanhedrin interrogated them. They testified: "We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).

Revelation 21:8 puts lying in the same category of sins as cowardice, disloyalty, depravity, murder, sexual sin, sorcery, and idolatry. Obviously, God, who is holy and true, detests lying. The lake of fire will be the destiny for those whose lives are defined by those types of evil. However, liars who sincerely repent and trust in Jesus as their Savior will avoid judgment. God's grace is strong enough to save even the foremost sinner (1 Timothy 1:14–16; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11).
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