Proverbs 22:4

ESV The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.
NIV Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.
NASB The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches, honor, and life.
CSB Humility, the fear of the Lord, results in wealth, honor, and life.
NLT True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.
KJV By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

What does Proverbs 22:4 mean?

This is a book of "proverbs:" short, general-case statements of wisdom or common sense. They are not absolute guarantees. A doctor might say, "eat healthy food and you will live longer," and the patient knows this will not make them immune to all disease or accidents. "Proverbs" express something which applies in most cases, but not without exceptions. Solomon's comments (Proverbs 10:1) indicate the benefits of godly wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 3:1–5), without implying something contrary to other statements in this book (Proverbs 11:18; 15:16) and others (Psalm 49:5–6). Those who act according to ultimate truth are more likely to succeed and less likely to suffer negative consequences than those who participate in sin (Proverbs 8:35–36; 13:20).

To "fear" God is to respectfully recognize how great He is and act accordingly. The "fear of the Lord" is more than respect, but it is not abject terror. True reverence drives out pride and fills the heart with humility. When Isaiah caught a glimpse of the Lord in heavenly glory, he exclaimed, "Woe is me! For I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). When Peter saw Jesus perform the miracle of providing an abundant catch of fish, he said, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8). To "fear the Lord" is to believe Him and submit to His control (Proverbs 1:7). In turn, the Lord rewards this faith with spiritual riches, the honor of membership in God's family, and eternal life.
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