Proverbs 3:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 3:14, NIV: "for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold."

Proverbs 3:14, ESV: "for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold."

Proverbs 3:14, KJV: "For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold."

Proverbs 3:14, NASB: "For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold."

Proverbs 3:14, NLT: "For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold."

Proverbs 3:14, CSB: "for she is more profitable than silver, and her revenue is better than gold."

What does Proverbs 3:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Wisdom is a possession whose value far outweighs that of silver and gold. The reference to "her" continues the pattern of imagining wisdom as a woman (Proverbs 1:20). As used in the book of Proverbs, wisdom is the ability to act on knowledge. It implies the opportunity—but not the guarantee—for someone to make godly choices. A person can possess wisdom, but fail to follow it. The book of Ecclesiastes demonstrates that Solomon did not always act according to wisdom.

Like Solomon, many individuals have pursued wealth only to find unhappiness. Paul told Timothy to warn his congregation about the folly of lusting after riches. He said, "those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction" (1 Timothy 6:9). He explained, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils" (1 Timothy 6:10).

Proverbs 23:4–5 counsels: "Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven." Jesus told a story about a prosperous farmer who thought an abundant harvest could satisfy his soul far into the future. Jesus called him a fool, because he was not rich toward God, and before the light of the following day God demanded his soul. He died, leaving all his wealth behind (Luke 12:13–21).