Proverbs 24:22

ESV for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?
NIV for those two will send sudden destruction on them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?
NASB For their disaster will rise suddenly, And who knows the ruin that can come from both of them?
CSB for destruction will come suddenly from them; who knows what distress these two can bring?
NLT for disaster will hit them suddenly. Who knows what punishment will come from the Lord and the king?
KJV For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
NKJV For their calamity will rise suddenly, And who knows the ruin those two can bring?

What does Proverbs 24:22 mean?

Scripture acknowledges that evil people do not always experience justice in this life. In fact, at times, it can seem as if immoral people benefit from their choices (Psalm 73:2–3; Proverbs 24:1–2). Yet the Bible reminds us that rejecting godly wisdom brings great risks in this life (Proverbs 8:32–36) and damnation in eternity (Proverbs 10:24; 11:23). When such consequences occur, they can come abruptly, as noted in this verse.

The term translated "ruin" does not appear often in the Old Testament; it is seen only in this verse and several times in the book of Job. The word implies piercing: suggesting an especially damaging, sudden, painful experience. Other verses suggest this idea while using alternative terms (Proverbs 6:15; 29:1; 1 Corinthians 10:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:3). In most cases, those who reject God's law suffer the natural consequences of those choices. They also often experience punishment from human government (Romans 13:1–5). Just when someone thinks they've "gotten away with it," disaster strikes. The worst such experience is when the person dies and finds themselves judged by God for their sin (Proverbs 11:4; Revelation 20:11–15).

This concludes the thirty wise sayings which Solomon endorsed (Proverbs 22:17–21) but did not necessarily write himself.
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