Proverbs 6:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 6:23, NIV: For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,

Proverbs 6:23, ESV: For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,

Proverbs 6:23, KJV: For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

Proverbs 6:23, NASB: For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And rebukes for discipline are the way of life

Proverbs 6:23, NLT: For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.

Proverbs 6:23, CSB: For a command is a lamp, teaching is a light, and corrective discipline is the way to life.

What does Proverbs 6:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Solomon emphasizes the perfect guidance provided by God's Word (Psalm 119:105). It acts as a lamp for one's immediate surroundings, showing where to step. Also, it serves as a light to blaze the trail ahead, so the obedient believer sees what lies ahead. The Hebrew worldview associated light with truth, goodness, and knowledge. The presence of light makes a situation clearer, safer, and more open.

By reading and heeding God's Word, believers can discern what lies around them and what looms before them. The unbeliever lives in spiritual darkness, but the believer can better interpret their surroundings (1 Corinthians 2:14–16). Also, believers can trust God regarding what lies in the future. Knowing that God is in control of both the present and the future gives the believer peace and direction.

At the same time, the Word of God gives the believer reproofs of discipline. If a believer strays from the right path, the Holy Spirit uses the Word for conviction—it tells us when we go wrong. Scripture assures us that God's discipline is for our good (Hebrews 12:5–6). The reproofs and discipline are not pleasant, but they assure us that God is our loving heavenly Father who uses both to make us more righteous (Hebrews 12:7–11).

These last few verses have framed parental advice in strong terms, warning of the danger one faces when they ignore it. The specific subject Solomon has in mind, earning that warning, is adultery (Proverbs 6:24).