What does Proverbs 13:10 mean?
ESV: By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.
NIV: Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
NASB: Through overconfidence comes nothing but strife, But wisdom is with those who receive counsel.
CSB: Arrogance leads to nothing but strife, but wisdom is gained by those who take advice.
NLT: Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.
KJV: Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Verse Commentary:
The word translated "insolence" comes from a Hebrew verb literally meaning "to boil." This suggests a kind of inward, bubbling pride that refuses to learn anything from anybody (Proverbs 1:22; 12:15; 13:1). An insolent person is a contentious, know-it-all, egotistical individual with a superior attitude. He is quick to quarrel and unwilling to agree with anyone with a different view. Such persons create a great deal of drama but accomplish little else (Titus 3:9–11).

The philosophers at Mars Hill who rejected the apostle Paul's message about Jesus were insolent. They called Paul a babbler (Acts 17:18). Some of those who heard Paul preach about the resurrection made fun of him (Acts 17:32). Paul advised young Timothy to receive advice. He writes in 2 Timothy 1:13: "Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." He also offered good counsel in Romans 12:16: "Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight."
Verse Context:
Proverbs 13:4–11 observes key differences between the rich and poor, the testimony of the righteous and the dismal end of the wicked, the insolence of the wicked and the willingness of the wise to accept advice. This continues the pattern of contrast and comparison used in this section of the book.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter of Proverbs continues Solomon's wise sayings. He counsels his readers to be sensible and hardworking, as well as honest. This allows a person to be content with what they have, to enjoy life, and to bless their descendants. Laziness leads to trouble and ruin, as does a lack of discipline.
Chapter Context:
Starting in chapter 10, the book of Proverbs records a long series of wise sayings from Solomon. These continue for several chapters. Through chapter 15, a major focus is on issues such as godly living, mostly given in contrast with examples of ungodliness. This chapter emphasizes themes such as work ethic, honesty, and discipline.
Book Summary:
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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