Proverbs 25:6

ESV Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great,
NIV Do not exalt yourself in the king's presence, and do not claim a place among his great men;
NASB Do not boast in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the same place as great people;
CSB Don't boast about yourself before the king, and don't stand in the place of the great;
NLT Don’t demand an audience with the king or push for a place among the great.
KJV Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:

What does Proverbs 25:6 mean?

This verse advises readers not to barge into the presence of a king or pretend to be great. The imagery is someone overstating their importance, only to be "put in their place." This teaching indicates that it's better to be overly humble, then lifted up, rather than be embarrassed when overreaching and being put down. The danger is expressed in the second half of the proverb (Proverbs 25:7). Jesus used nearly this exact scenario in His parable of the wedding feast (Luke 14:8–11).

The book of Esther shows how Esther humbly presented herself to King Ahasuerus. At significant risk she presented herself to the king on behalf of her people who faced genocide. The king extended his golden scepter toward Esther as a sign of his favor, but Esther did not rush to make her request known. Instead, she touched the tip of the scepter and waited for him to ask (Esther 5:2–3). In contrast to Esther's humble approach to King Ahasuerus, wicked Haman boldly asked to destroy the Jews (Esther 3:1–11; 6:4). Later, when the king asked for Haman's input on how to honor the man in whom he delighted, Haman foolishly shared his elaborate ideas, thinking this meant his own benefit (Esther 6:6–9). As it happened, those honors went to the very Jewish man Haman hoped to destroy, and Haman was embarrassed (Esther 6:10–13).
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