Proverbs 22:21

ESV to make you know what is right and true, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
NIV teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve?
NASB To make you know the certainty of the words of truth, So that you may correctly answer him who sent you?
CSB in order to teach you true and reliable words, so that you may give a dependable report to those who sent you?
NLT In this way, you may know the truth and take an accurate report to those who sent you.
KJV That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
NKJV That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?

What does Proverbs 22:21 mean?

Solomon has already stated that he relates wisdom so others will develop trust in God (Proverbs 22:19). The collected sayings he is about to record (Proverbs 22:20) are useful in pointing students towards truth (Proverbs 23:23). Solomon does not reject these simply because he did not think of them (Proverbs 22:17). Instead, he acknowledges that true wisdom is always useful (Proverbs 3:5–6) and always comes from the Lord (Proverbs 1:7).

That learning wisdom points towards truth is a crucial part of Solomon's message. Earthly life is not a guarantee, but adherence to God's Word gives a person the best opportunity for success and happiness (Proverbs 8:34–36). This is because it is true and gives readers a true picture of life. The Scriptures are God's message, and they are fully dependable. God breathed out all the words of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16), and God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Armed with Scripture, believers can discern truth from error and correct conduct from conduct that offends God.

However, believers must not hoard Scripture. That is, they should realize that wisdom is meant to be shared. Here, Solomon notes that another purpose of his teaching is so that others can repeat it. These truths are not meant to be learned and hidden, but applied and shared (Matthew 5:13–16).

The person "sending" here is unclear. Perhaps this refers to a teacher or employer. Whatever the case, these wise sayings will equip a learner to give a reliable answer. Paul describes his message as "trustworthy" (1 Timothy 1:15) and "sound words" (2 Timothy 1:13). Sharing the gospel gives people an opportunity to know the truth and to believe on Jesus, who is the truth (John 14:6).
What is the Gospel?
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