What does Proverbs 6:22 mean?
ESV: When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.
NIV: When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.
NASB: When you walk, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you.
CSB: When you walk here and there, they will guide you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; when you wake up, they will talk to you.
NLT: When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you.
KJV: When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
NKJV: When you roam, they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; And when you awake, they will speak with you.
Verse Commentary:
A proverb is a short, compressed lesson which teaches a general truth. Unlike some statements in Scripture, proverbs are not meant to be guarantees or absolutes. As Solomon continues to warn his students, and sons, about sin, he refers to the relative safety of following good counsel. That's not an ironclad guarantee that someone will have an easy or prosperous life (John 16:33), but common sense says good choices more often result in better outcomes.

The purpose of these verses is to preface a serious topic: adultery (Proverbs 6:24). That brings severe temptations and often leads to catastrophe. It's crucial that those tempted by sexuality—especially the young—accept that the advice given here is worth taking. In that context, Solomon teaches his son that by heeding his father's instructions, he will enjoy clear direction in life, security, and constant reminders of what to do.

God's Word accomplishes those benefits in our lives when we retain it in our hearts and obey it in our daily lives. It will lead us in the right direction by pointing out what is right and what is wrong. We will be able to choose to do what is right and avoid what is wrong. At the end of day, we can sleep soundly with a clear conscience, knowing that we have obeyed God's Word (Psalm 3:5–6).

Throughout our waking hours, we will enjoy meditating upon God's Word and hearing God speak to us from His Word. In Psalm 119:59–62 David describes his relationship to God's Word in similar terms. He writes: "When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies…At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules."
Verse Context:
Proverbs 6:20–35 returns to the topic of adultery, something Solomon also discussed in chapter 5. He warns his son to abide by the teaching he received from his parents, because they will guide him and keep him from the adulteress. Further, he cites the harmful and irreversible consequences of adultery.
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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