What does Proverbs 13:18 mean?
ESV: Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
NIV: Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.
NASB: Poverty and shame will come to one who neglects discipline, But one who complies with rebuke will be honored.
CSB: Poverty and disgrace come to those who ignore discipline, but the one who accepts correction will be honored.
NLT: If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored.
KJV: Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
Verse Commentary:
The term "reproof" refers to correction, emphasized by the contrast with those who "ignore instruction." Solomon repeatedly warns about the hardships brought on by being hard-headed—by ignoring good advice (Proverbs 1:7; 9:7–12; 12:15). In general, those who refuse to be corrected put themselves on a path to failure. This is partly in terms of their reputation, but also applies to their wealth and employment.

The ability to accept teaching—to "heed reproof"— is an asset in one's education, job performance, and spiritual development. No employer wants to keep an untrainable employee on the company's payroll. No one wants to hire a know-it-all (Proverbs 13:1). Furthermore, by ignoring instruction a person never learns how to accomplish a task, and therefore goes through life as a failure. He disgraces himself in the eyes of those who know him. A person who willingly receives correction and instruction (Proverbs 12:1) performs each task successfully and advances in his employment. His employer is more likely to reward him with praise, or other benefits.

Paul urges Timothy to "preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching" (2 Timothy 4:2).
Verse Context:
Proverbs 13:12–25 emphasizes the value of wisdom as true wealth. Solomon writes that whoever reveres God's Word will be rewarded, and he describes how wisdom obtained from the Word applies to several areas of life.
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.
Accessed 4/18/2024 8:15:21 PM
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