Proverbs 24:2

ESV for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble.
NIV for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.
NASB For their minds plot violence, And their lips talk of trouble.
CSB for their hearts plan violence, and their words stir up trouble.
NLT For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble.
KJV For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

What does Proverbs 24:2 mean?

The nineteenth of Solomon's thirty wise sayings (Proverbs 22:17–21) is completed here. The prior verse delivered another warning against close association with wicked people (Proverbs 24:1). This is a theme often echoed in the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 1:10–15; 13:20). In an equivalent way, it's not good to be jealous of what people attain through evil means (Proverbs 23:17–18). Any such benefits are shallow, temporary, and self-defeating (Proverbs 11:4, 7; 21:12). Those who ignore godly wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) invent evil plans. They discuss those plots with others; eventually, they act on those impulses. That brings consequences and ultimately ruin (Proverbs 6:12–15; 16:27).

The Bible also notes that all people grapple with their sin nature. Jeremiah 17:9 describes the heart as "deceitful above all things, and desperately sick." Paul notes that to avoid every speck of contact with sin would require believers to leave the world (1 Corinthians 5:9–10). Yet some people aggressively embrace their sin. Genesis 6:5 discloses that the hearts of human beings who lived before the flood were full of evil continually. Consequently, God, who knows the heart, destroyed that civilization with a flood.

Only Jesus, the Great Physician, can transform the heart into one acceptable to God: one that loves Him and obeys Him. The apostle Paul points to the change of heart that believers experience. He writes in Romans 6:17–18: "But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness."
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