Proverbs 3:29

ESV Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you.
NIV Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.
NASB Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you.
CSB Don't plan any harm against your neighbor, for he trusts you and lives near you.
NLT Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you.
KJV Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

What does Proverbs 3:29 mean?

Verses 27 and 28 warned against withholding good from those to whom it was due. This, it seems, includes the idea of not delaying charity for those who are in need (Proverbs 3:27–28). The instruction of this verse continues that progression of thought. This verse condemns actively planning to harm or cause trouble for someone's neighbor. The Hebrew word translated as "plan" here has an interesting set of meanings. It mostly refers to plowing a field by digging furrows. Yet it is also used for engraving, and as a noun it can refer to a skilled artist. Used here, this suggests purposeful, premeditated evil against one's neighbor.

This is especially wicked because the neighbor is totally unsuspecting. He presumes his neighbor will treat him respectfully. Exodus 20:16 –17 defends a neighbor's right to be honored and protected. These verses command: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." To purposely plot evil against a trusting neighbor is to transgress everything these commandments stand for.

Perhaps, when writing Proverbs 3:29, Solomon recalled his father David's evil plot against his neighbor Uriah. After stealing Uriah's wife, Bathsheba, and committing adultery with her, David ordered his general Joab to place Uriah on the front line against the enemy, knowing Uriah would be killed. The plot worked, but the Lord would soon expose David's sin (2 Samuel 11:1—12:7).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: