What does Proverbs 10:6 mean?
ESV: Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
NIV: Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
NASB: Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
CSB: Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
NLT: The godly are showered with blessings; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.
KJV: Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
This is a common theme in the book of Proverbs. Those who live according to godliness are more likely to experience success and to avoid negative consequences (Proverbs 4:13–14). Those who ignore good sense are more likely to suffer and fail.
Addressing His disciples from a mountain, Jesus pronounced blessings on the poor in spirit; on those who mourn; on the meek; on those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; on the merciful; on the pure in heart; on the peacemakers; on those who are persecuted; and on those who are reviled, persecuted, and maligned for His sake (see Matthew 5:1–12).
In contrast, those who hate and reject God curse, threaten, and blaspheme. Words reveal the condition of the heart. Jesus told the hypocritical Pharisees, "You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:34–37).
Proverbs 10:6–10 contrasts the blessings of righteousness with the crooked lifestyle of the wicked. The righteous person is wise, whereas the wicked person is a fool. The righteous person blesses others, whereas the wicked person conceals violence and causes trouble.
This chapter begins 375 "proverbs," which are general-case lessons or observations. These wise remarks continue the discussion of wisdom and wickedness begun in chapters 1—9. Most of the verses in chapter 10 contain a sharp contrast, with the conjunction "but" separating the lines. Often, the subject changes from verse to verse. The contrasting subjects include sons, treasure, work ethic, reputation, relationships, success, and speech.
In Proverbs 7—9 Solomon contrasts wisdom and wickedness in the symbolic persons of Lady Wisdom and Woman Folly. He calls upon his sons, or students, to choose wisdom, and he points out the benefits of choosing wisdom and the disastrous results of choosing wickedness. Chapter 10 presents vivid contrasts between wisdom and wickedness in many of life's settings. These comparisons continue into chapter 11.
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
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