Proverbs 5:23

ESV He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.
NIV For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.
NASB He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his foolishness he will go astray.
CSB He will die because there is no discipline, and be lost because of his great stupidity.
NLT He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.
KJV He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

What does Proverbs 5:23 mean?

According to this verse the undisciplined person—the one who turns away from good teaching (Proverbs 5:11–13)—is subject to death as a natural result. Unrestrained sinning weakens the body and inflicts damage on the person who indulges in a wicked lifestyle. This suffering is physical, mental, and spiritual.

Certainly, anyone who participates in sexual sin invites horrific diseases. Discipline keeps a person's body strong and healthy, but fools lack discipline and therefore greatly increase their risk of suffering an early death. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."

Solomon also points out here that a lack of discipline—here meaning a choice to ignore correction and teaching—leads him astray. The words, "led astray," in this verse are from the same Hebrew word for "captivated." Foolishness captivates some people, leading them to do whatever their sinful desires dictate. The adulterer foolishly thinks an extramarital affair will be pleasant, but he soon discovers that it brings trouble. By pursuing sin, the foolish person wanders away from God and may never find his way back.
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