What does Proverbs 6:13 mean?
ESV: winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger,
NIV: who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers,
NASB: Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, Who points with his fingers;
CSB: winking his eyes, signaling with his feet, and gesturing with his fingers.
NLT: signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye, a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
KJV: He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
Verse Commentary:
Solomon points out that the worthless person—earlier described as a deceptive liar (Proverbs 6:12)—sends signals to his companions that show his intention to do evil. His victim is completely unaware of the worthless man's intentions until it is too late.

The "winking" referenced here is only somewhat connected to the term in modern English. Today, the idea of "winking" usually means quickly closing one eye—which, even today, can be used as a subtle way of signaling others. The Hebrew term is qō'rēs, which implies something being pinched, squeezed, or shaped. In the context of this verse, that "winking," is explicitly connected to something nefarious; in this case, signals to fellow criminals. Con-artists and other frauds sometimes use subtle sign language to communicate with their accomplices. In the modern world, so-called "gang signs" are hand and body motions which send messages unsuspecting people may miss.

In Psalm 35:19 David prayed, "Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause." Proverbs 10:10 says, "Whoever winks the eye causes trouble," and Proverbs 16:30 states, "Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things."
Verse Context:
Proverbs 6:12–19 focuses on those who create unnecessary strife. These people are described as "worthless," "crooked," and associated with a list of actions and attitudes which God hates. Just as those who are lazy are at risk of sudden financial ruin (Proverbs 6:6–11), those who are corrupt are subject to sudden judgment. This passage uses a pattern common to books like Proverbs, giving a number for a list and then adding one more (Job 5:19; Proverbs 30:21). This is mostly a poetic flair, but sometimes highlights the last item as especially important. In this case, the last point is about those who create division, which is the common theme of the previous six ideas. In contrast, Matthew 5:1–12 describes God's blessings on those who are righteous.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter provides teaching on two aspects of wealth management. The first is avoiding putting one's property in debt for the sake of some other person's risky investment. The other warns against laziness, indicating that it puts a person at risk for sudden ruin. Solomon then poetically explains attitudes and actions which God finds especially repulsive. Next, Solomon returns to the subject of adultery. He reiterates the inherent risks of sexual immorality, including the catastrophic consequences which it brings. That lesson continues into the following chapter.
Chapter Context:
This chapter of Proverbs continues the wise sayings Solomon addresses to his son. In chapter 5 he addresses adultery and marriage. In this chapter he addresses financial matters, work ethics, characteristics and conduct the Lord despises, and sexual immorality. A common theme of these lessons is to avoid the natural consequences of foolish choices. The next chapter describes the adulteress's ways and the pitfalls involved in committing adultery with her.
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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