What does Proverbs 3:27 mean?
ESV: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
NIV: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
NASB: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it.
CSB: When it is in your power, don't withhold good from the one to whom it belongs.
NLT: Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.
KJV: Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
NKJV: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
Verse Commentary:
Solomon now directs his student's attention to others. The phrasing used here highlights this as a duty: we are not to "withhold good." That implies this "good" is something we're obligated to give others. In more relaxed English, this is like saying, "treat others right." For that reason, this first instruction touches on the modern use of the word "honor," as used for meeting an obligation. Especially when something good is expected, or owed, we should actively seek to fulfill that command. This is re-emphasized in the following verse (Proverbs 3:28) This doing good, or honoring, can take many different forms.

A child can honor parents by being obedient and respectful (Ephesians 6:1–2). Parents can honor their children by not picking on them for every little thing. Instead, they ought to consider their children a stewardship from the Lord and rear them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Servants or employees can honor an employer by working hard and sincerely as unto the Lord (Ephesians 6:5–7). Masters or employers should treat their employees fairly (Ephesians 6:9). An employer can honor loyal, productive employees by granting a promotion, a gift of appreciation, or a raise.

Young people can honor and respect senior citizens (1 Peter 5:5).

Church members can honor their spiritual leaders by paying them well for their faithful service (1 Timothy 5:17) and by "[esteeming] them very highly in love because of their work" (1 Thessalonians 5:12–13).
Verse Context:
Proverbs 3:27–35 gives general principles about our relationships, both with other people and with God. Solomon instructs the reader to show honor, integrity, trustworthiness, peace, and contentment towards others. This passage also contrasts the response of God to those who defy His will, versus His actions towards those who honor Him.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter of Proverbs is addressed to Solomon's son. The term, ''my son'' occurs 15 times in chapters 1—7. The words may apply to one of Solomon's students in his court or to one of his biological sons. The application of wisdom in Proverbs 3 shows the benefits of trusting in the Lord with one's whole heart. Solomon credits obedience to and trust in God for longevity, success, guidance, health, reward that exceeds monetary wealth, enjoyment, peace, security, confidence, excellent human relationships, the Lord's blessing and favor, and honor. As with all ''proverbs,'' biblical or otherwise, their purpose is to impart general wisdom, not absolute prophecy. Like the original audience, modern readers are not expected to see these guidelines as absolute guarantees for any one person.
Chapter Context:
This passage lies in the second section of the book, found in chapters 1—9. The author, King Solomon, reigned over Israel from 971 to 931 BC. The first section of Proverbs, the preface, is found in Proverbs 1:1–7. The third section, chapters 10—22, were also written by Solomon. These proverbs were likely written by Solomon in his middle years, whereas he probably wrote Song of Songs in his early adulthood, and Ecclesiastes near the end of his life. As in the first two chapters, wisdom is stressed in Proverbs 3.
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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