Proverbs 22:18

ESV for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.
NIV for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips.
NASB For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, So that they may be ready on your lips.
CSB For it is pleasing if you keep them within you and if they are constantly on your lips.
NLT For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips.
KJV For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.

What does Proverbs 22:18 mean?

All "proverbs" are general statements of wisdom. These are not absolute guarantees, but they do present the most likely scenario. A person who takes good advice (Proverbs 12:15) and applies it (Proverbs 1:33) is much more likely to experience success and safety (Proverbs 8:34–36). Following godly wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) is the most reliable way to avoid disaster (Proverbs 10:16).

Solomon's suggested approach to these teachings is that the reader "keep them within," meaning to memorize them. The psalmist writes in Psalm 119:11: "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." In verse 97 he writes: "Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day." In verse 103 he exclaims, "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

Merely remembering promising ideas is not enough, however. Solomon adds that these teachings should also be "ready on your lips." It is important to know how to apply Scripture in every situation. Scripture was ready on Jesus' lips when He turned aside temptation in the wilderness. He answered each test with a quotation from Scripture (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). The apostle Paul underscores the key role God's Word plays in the Christian's battles with Satan. He writes: "And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17).
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