Proverbs 30:10

ESV Do not slander a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
NIV Do not slander a servant to their master, or they will curse you, and you will pay for it.
NASB Do not slander a slave to his master, Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty.
CSB Don't slander a servant to his master or he will curse you, and you will become guilty.
NLT Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.
KJV Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

What does Proverbs 30:10 mean?

This teaching functions much like a heading for the next several verses. In the widest sense, the lesson is to "mind your own business." Interpreters see two ways to render this verse; both imply the dangers of criticizing others without exceptionally good cause (Proverbs 24:28; 26:17). The more common reading condemns false accusations about a servant. The master is likely to recognize the lies as false and react with offense. The other interpretation is that one should not encourage a servant to speak poorly of their master, with the same risks.

"Slander" is criticism which is untrue and harmful (Proverbs 10:18; Leviticus 19:16; Mark 7:22). This includes exaggerating a situation or misrepresenting it with the intent of causing harm. Lying about something a servant has done only makes their difficult life that much harder. Their master is liable to "curse" the critic and even take them to court for a false accusation. Such punishment would be well deserved. In the same way, it is wrong to tempt servants—or employees, or workers—to invent gossip about their supervisors. Some commentators have linked the principle of this proverb to the idea of being a "tattletale:" one who unnecessarily magnifies minor concerns.

Apparently, slander and bickering were common in the Galatian churches. The apostle Paul specifically commanded the Galatians to serve one another through love (Galatians 5:13). He warned, "But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another" (Galatians 5:15). Writing to the Ephesians, Paul exhorts: "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted" (Ephesians 4:32). It has been observed that the only bit that can bridle the tongue (James 1:26) is love.
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