What does Proverbs 14:26 mean?
ESV: In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.
NIV: Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
NASB: In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge.
CSB: In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence and his children have a refuge.
NLT: Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.
KJV: In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Verse Commentary:
Reverencing the Lord builds confidence. Neither difficult personal circumstances nor alarming world events can shake the believer's assurance that God is in control. The word translated "fear" here implies respect and reverence; while it includes some sense of fright or alarm, it does not mean horror, or panic, or terror (Proverbs 1:7). A good example of the difference between these is stated by Moses in Exodus 20:20. There, he both tells the people "do not be afraid," then encourages the reverent "fear" of God spoken of in proverbs such as this.

In a believer, healthy respect for God and His truth helps a person avoid the consequences of sin in their earthly life (Proverbs 12:28; 13:13–14; 14:27). It also encourages confidence that all wrongs and suffering will be corrected in eternity (Proverbs 10:29–30; Revelation 20:11–15). In Romans 8:28 the apostle Paul writes "that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Later he lists things that cannot separate us from God's love. He includes tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and sword (Romans 8:31–39). In addition to this assurance, the Bible contains numerous commands not to fear. Knowing that God cares for us, believers can cast all their anxiety on Him (1 Peter 5:7).

Furthermore, the children of the person who reverences the Lord enjoy the Lord's protection. Scripture is clear that each person is judged for their own actions (Ezekiel 18:4, 20). Children who follow in the footsteps of their parents, however, can anticipate the same judgment (Deuteronomy 5:9–10; 6:4–9). The point made here is that the teaching and example of a God-fearing parent influences the children to reverence God (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:1–4). When they do so, those children can share in the same confidence as their parents. They know the Lord has everything under control.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 14:15–35 continues Solomon's wise sayings, once again mostly contrasting the wicked and the upright. He points out that those who do evil, by rejecting God's wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) are foolish and have no security. Those who do God's will (Proverbs 3:5) are wise and have unfailing security.
Chapter Summary:
This continues a series of literal "proverbs:" short statements of general-case wisdom. The first ten verses of this chapter contrast positive and negative traits related to work ethic, self-control, and seeking wisdom. Then come several verses contrasting the fate of the righteous with that of the wicked. The rest of this passage provides statements on a broad range of subjects.
Chapter Context:
Proverbs 14 continues King Solomon's wise sayings. In this chapter he discusses a variety of topics such as wisdom and folly, honesty and dishonesty, righteousness and evil, national security and national disgrace, personal security and destruction, the fear of the Lord, generosity, and wise servanthood. This series of astute comments will continue for several more chapters.
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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