What does Proverbs 1:27 mean?
ESV: when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
NIV: when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
NASB: When your dread comes like a storm And your disaster comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.
CSB: when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when trouble and stress overcome you.
NLT: when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone, and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
KJV: When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Verse Commentary:
The imagery of this verse hints at the reality of cause and effect. God sometimes intervenes in his creation through miracles. Most of the time, though, He allows the universe He has designed to function exactly as it was designed to. A primary theme of the book of Proverbs is that we do, in fact, have opportunities to reduce our suffering. This is the purpose of God-given wisdom. All too often, we ignore what God has told us, and then complain about the results. But if we ignore wisdom, we're throwing ourselves on the mercy of chance and consequences.

Cause and effect are not something we can escape, whether we follow Christ or not. Following the foolish ways of sin and temptation absolutely guarantees that calamity and terror will ensue. This passage, especially verses 26 and 27, is a stark reminder that when we purposefully ignore wisdom, we can't rightly demand sympathy.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 1:20–33 concludes the first chapter of Proverbs with the dire consequences of the behaviors defined in the previous section. Also, in this segment is the first personification of wisdom as a female. Throughout Proverbs, Solomon likens wisdom to a woman crying out. The theme is that she is not hiding but is out in the open for all to hear, even though she often goes overlooked.
Chapter Summary:
Proverbs Chapter 1 provides a clear description of the purpose of the book. It is stated plainly who wrote the book, the lineage of Solomon, and to whom he was writing. Solomon gives four distinct purpose statements in the opening verses. The essence of these is to explain why he is writing the book as well as the source of his inspiration. Solomon concludes with a warning against sinfulness and a personal plea for his children to act wisely.
Chapter Context:
Proverbs Chapter 1 is clearly born out of Solomon’s life history. Solomon held himself back from no earthly pleasure, he had everything he could ever desire, and in the end he saw the foolishness of his actions. Chapter 1 is Solomon’s reflection on his own life, how he had all the wisdom of God available to him, and yet chose to follow after foolish desires. Other chapters detail the advice which this experience allows Solomon to give.
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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