What does Proverbs 6:34 mean?
ESV: For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
NIV: For jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
NASB: For jealousy enrages a man, And he will not have compassion on the day of vengeance.
CSB: For jealousy enrages a husband, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
NLT: For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
KJV: For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
Verse Commentary:
Adding to the afflictions brought by adultery (Proverbs 6:27–33), Solomon speaks of jealousy and revenge against the adulterer. The wronged spouse can be expected to express furious jealousy. Further, those who choose to take revenge as a result aren't inclined to show mercy. This fits into the Bible's warning that sin comes with many consequences, some of which are entirely natural. God does not need to specially arrange revenge against an adulterer: the normal pattern of the world is likely to make that happen, anyway.

History and news cycles overflow with reports of what jealous spouses do when they learn of their spouse's infidelity. It's especially common to read of a man who, in a fit of jealous rage, stabs or shoots the offender. If for no other reason than self-preservation, the violent rage of a wronged husband is something a prospective adulterer ought to consider.

Joseph rejected the seductive pleas of Potiphar's wife to have sexual relations with her. Her revenge took advantage of the natural jealousy of her own husband. She falsely accused Joseph to her husband, and in rage he took Joseph and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined (Genesis 39:19–20). Potiphar's reaction is only remarkable in that he didn't have Joseph killed outright—he might have suspected his wife was lying. When Shechem raped Jacob's daughter Dinah, her brothers were enraged. Two of them, Simeon and Levi, took revenge by killing all the males of Shechem's city. We read: "The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they [the men of the city] had defiled their sister" (Genesis 34:27). It was anger over David's indifferent reaction to his sister's rape that kindled Absalom's taste for rebellion (2 Samuel 13:20–22, 32; 15:13–14).
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.
Accessed 4/18/2024 7:38:31 PM
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