What does Proverbs 24:13 mean?
ESV: My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
NIV: Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
NASB: My son, eat honey, for it is good; Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;
CSB: Eat honey, my son, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate;
NLT: My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.
KJV: My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:
NKJV: My son, eat honey because it is good, And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;
Verse Commentary:
Contrary to what some think, the Bible does not condemn pleasure and enjoyment of earthly things (1 Timothy 4:4). Excess, addiction, greed, and distraction are spiritual errors. Appreciating what God has provided in this life is not a sin. This verse and the one which follows (Proverbs 24:14) combine to link appreciation of something physical with the need to appreciate something spiritual. Honey, itself, is a "good thing." It is appropriate to take pleasure in properly experiencing something the way God intended. The following verse connects this value and appreciation to wisdom: a person ought to value godly truth (Proverbs 1:7) with at least as much pleasure as they do delicious foods (Psalm 19:9–11).

Canaan, the "Promised Land," is depicted as a land flowing with good things such as honey (Exodus 3:8, 17). Honey was among the sweetest substances known to man in the Middle East during Old Testament times (Genesis 43:11; 1 Samuel 14:27) and made an excellent substitute for sugar. People often ate it directly from the honeycomb. Occasionally, honey was presented as a gift (Genesis 43:11; 1 Kings 14:3). It was a staple in John the Baptist's diet (Matthew 3:4). Exodus 16:31 compares the taste of manna to that of wafers made with honey—enhancing the biblical connection between godliness, manna, truth, and the ministry of Jesus Christ (Psalm 119:103–104; John 6:32–35; 14:6; 20:31).
Verse Context:
Proverbs 24:13–22 gives practical advice to Solomon's son, or student. This passage includes the last five of thirty wise teachings endorsed by Solomon (Proverbs 22:17–21). Godly wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) is something to be savored and enjoyed. A wise person is not violent nor predatory; he does not gloat over a defeated enemy. The reader is again reminded not to be jealous or fearful of evil people, as they are subject to God's judgment.
Chapter Summary:
Solomon continues to list wise sayings (Proverbs 22:17–21), rounding out his promised list of thirty teachings. These endorse integrity, accepting good advice, reputation, and ethical actions. The lessons also stress godly attitudes about vengeance, bitterness, and companionship. After verse 23 come additional proverbs. These may or may not have been Solomon's own words, but at least some appear to be his thoughts. Key points in these verses are the need for impartiality in judgment, godly reputation, and work ethic.
Chapter Context:
This chapter continues thirty sayings of wise people (Proverbs 22:17–21), as collected and endorsed by Solomon. The remainder of the passage are additional wise statements, which are not as clearly attributed. Some of the lessons are framed as warnings, followed by reasons. The lessons contained here are more detailed than most of the proverbs in this book.
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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