Proverbs 24:1

ESV Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them,
NIV Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company;
NASB Do not be envious of evil people, Nor desire to be with them;
CSB Don't envy the evil or desire to be with them,
NLT Don’t envy evil people or desire their company.
KJV Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.

What does Proverbs 24:1 mean?

This advice echoes other statements in the book of Proverbs which warn against associating with immoral people. Jealousy over their success is short-sighted (Proverbs 23:17–18). Close friendships or other relationships with them brings risk and temptation (Proverbs 1:10–15; 13:20). Sin is enticing. Yet a wise person (Proverbs 1:7) knows that God's goodness is far more valuable than temporary earthly wealth. They also remember that the company we keep influences our morals (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Whatever wealth or possessions people gain by evil means cannot last. They are always subject to sudden loss. Jesus said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19). He also spoke about eternal treasure. He said, "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:20). The poorest believer is richer than the wealthiest unbeliever on earth. So why should he envy?

The nineteenth of Solomon's thirty wise sayings begins here and is completed in the following verse (Proverbs 24:2).
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