Proverbs 25:14

ESV Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
NIV Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given.
NASB Like clouds and wind without rain Is a person who boasts of his gifts falsely.
CSB The one who boasts about a gift that does not exist is like clouds and wind without rain.
NLT A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
KJV Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

What does Proverbs 25:14 mean?

In the dry climate of the Middle East farmers might look at the gathering clouds, feel a wind, and anticipate rain. This would be a welcome benefit to their crops. When clouds and wind passed without rain, it would be disappointing. The clouds and sky would suggest one thing, but not deliver on those signs. In a comparable way, a person who brags about their generosity without ever acting on it is disappointing. Giving others hope, only to let them down, brings a bad reputation. So, too, does taking credit for the accomplishments of others.

New Testament passages echo the idea of failing to live up to claims. Jude 1:12 depicts false teachers as "waterless clouds, swept along by winds." Second Peter 2:17 also refers to false teachers, using the same basic imagery of a cloud that produces no water. Hollow bragging might fool people on earth, but in the final judgment, no one will be able to fool Christ. Jesus indicted false religious teachers as hypocrites and announced: "On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness'" (Matthew 7:22–23).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: