Proverbs 3:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 3:16, NIV: "Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor."

Proverbs 3:16, ESV: "Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor."

Proverbs 3:16, KJV: "Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour."

Proverbs 3:16, NASB: "Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor."

Proverbs 3:16, NLT: "She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left."

Proverbs 3:16, CSB: "Long life is in her right hand; in her left, riches and honor."

What does Proverbs 3:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this verse Solomon again portrays wisdom as a woman (Proverbs 1:20), perhaps a princess, who bestows valuable gifts to those who find her. It's helpful to remember that the book of Proverbs uses the term wisdom in reference to one's ability to act according to godly knowledge. This, accordingly, is more precious than any material possession.

From her right hand, wisdom bestows longevity. From her left hand she bestows wealth and honor. As a general rule, wisdom—the ability to follow the will and purposes of God—allows a person to enjoy both quantity of years and quality of life. Because wisdom enables a wise person to shun evil and bad habits, he avoids the destructive effects of sin that befall so many who lack wisdom. Therefore, the wise person's life is not cut short by reckless living. A wise person also enjoys quality of life by choosing to obey the Lord and stay in close fellowship with Him.

Furthermore, others respect such a person. Even unbelievers will respect him, although they reject his way of life. Believers are linked to Jesus, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). And when we draw from Christ's wisdom and live wisely, we are "blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom we shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15).