Proverbs 6:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 6:13, NIV: who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers,

Proverbs 6:13, ESV: winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger,

Proverbs 6:13, KJV: He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;

Proverbs 6:13, NASB: Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, Who points with his fingers;

Proverbs 6:13, NLT: signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye, a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.

Proverbs 6:13, CSB: winking his eyes, signaling with his feet, and gesturing with his fingers.

What does Proverbs 6:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Solomon points out that the worthless person—earlier described as a deceptive liar (Proverbs 6:12)—sends signals to his companions that show his intention to do evil. His victim is completely unaware of the worthless man's intentions until it is too late.

The "winking" referenced here is only somewhat connected to the term in modern English. Today, the idea of "winking" usually means quickly closing one eye—which, even today, can be used as a subtle way of signaling others. The Hebrew term is qō'rēs, which implies something being pinched, squeezed, or shaped. In the context of this verse, that "winking," is explicitly connected to something nefarious; in this case, signals to fellow criminals. Con-artists and other frauds sometimes use subtle sign language to communicate with their accomplices. In the modern world, so-called "gang signs" are hand and body motions which send messages unsuspecting people may miss.

In Psalm 35:19 David prayed, "Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause." Proverbs 10:10 says, "Whoever winks the eye causes trouble," and Proverbs 16:30 states, "Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things."