Proverbs 6:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 6:22, NIV: When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.

Proverbs 6:22, ESV: When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.

Proverbs 6:22, KJV: When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

Proverbs 6:22, NASB: When you walk, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you.

Proverbs 6:22, NLT: When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you.

Proverbs 6:22, CSB: When you walk here and there, they will guide you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; when you wake up, they will talk to you.

What does Proverbs 6:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A proverb is a short, compressed lesson which teaches a general truth. Unlike some statements in Scripture, proverbs are not meant to be guarantees or absolutes. As Solomon continues to warn his students, and sons, about sin, he refers to the relative safety of following good counsel. That's not an ironclad guarantee that someone will have an easy or prosperous life (John 16:33), but common sense says good choices more often result in better outcomes.

The purpose of these verses is to preface a serious topic: adultery (Proverbs 6:24). That brings severe temptations and often leads to catastrophe. It's crucial that those tempted by sexuality—especially the young—accept that the advice given here is worth taking. In that context, Solomon teaches his son that by heeding his father's instructions, he will enjoy clear direction in life, security, and constant reminders of what to do.

God's Word accomplishes those benefits in our lives when we retain it in our hearts and obey it in our daily lives. It will lead us in the right direction by pointing out what is right and what is wrong. We will be able to choose to do what is right and avoid what is wrong. At the end of day, we can sleep soundly with a clear conscience, knowing that we have obeyed God's Word (Psalm 3:5–6).

Throughout our waking hours, we will enjoy meditating upon God's Word and hearing God speak to us from His Word. In Psalm 119:59–62 David describes his relationship to God's Word in similar terms. He writes: "When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies…At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules."