What does Proverbs 19:27 mean?
ESV: Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
NIV: Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
NASB: Stop listening, my son, to discipline, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
CSB: If you stop listening to correction, my son, you will stray from the words of knowledge.
NLT: If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will turn your back on knowledge.
KJV: Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
NKJV: Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
Verse Commentary:
No one ever arrives at a point of "knowing it all," especially when spiritual truth is involved. The search for wisdom and knowledge is rewarding, but never-ending (Proverbs 1:5; 15:14; 18:1). As soon as a person starts relying on themselves, alone, for wisdom, they will begin wandering from the path of truth (Proverbs 4:26; 10:17; 27:17).

Even the apostle Paul recognized the need to keep learning. From a Roman prison he urged Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:13 to visit him and bring him not only a cloak but "also the books, and above all the [copies of Scripture]." The apostle Peter exhorts us in 2 Peter 3:18 to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." If anyone thinks he knows everything he needs to know, he should ponder what happened to the children of Israel in the wilderness. Paul writes, "Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:11–12).
Verse Context:
Proverbs 19:22–29 continues to dispense wisdom, with a focus on integrity, the fear of the Lord, laziness, the value of discipline, the shame of unruly children, the sin of lying, and the inevitable punishment that comes with foolishness.
Chapter Summary:
Several themes are associated with these statements. Among them are the idea that personal integrity is worth much more than earthly wealth or success. Solomon discusses the unfortunate habit of favoring the rich and dismissing the poor, while commending those who care for the unfortunate. Many references are made to the consequences of foolish behavior, including the shame and punishment such things can bring.
Chapter Context:
This series of proverbs is part of Solomon's writing on wisdom (Proverbs 10:1), a long chain continuing into chapter 22. As do other segments, this speaks on the harsh realities of poverty, the need for integrity, the dangers of laziness, the value of loving discipline, and the consequences of acting foolishly.
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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