Proverbs 13:3

3 1Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; 2he who opens wide his lips 3comes to ruin.

Proverbs 13:3 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 13:3

He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life
He that keeps his mouth shut keeps it as with a bridle; keeps it from speaking things of other persons, particularly of such as are in high places, of kings and princes, and civil magistrates: he keeps himself quiet and comfortable; keeps himself from many troubles, which otherwise he would come into; keeps his life from danger, to which it would be exposed, should he speak evil of dignities, or give himself the freedom, as some do, whereby they are brought to an untimely end; see ( Proverbs 18:21 ) ; besides, persons ought to be careful of their words, since by them a man will either be justified or condemned hereafter, ( Matthew 12:37 ) ; [but] he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction;
or "consternation" F24: he that is rash and inconsiderate, hasty with his lips, a talkative man; that speaks freely everything that comes into his mind, regardless of the characters of men, or consequences of things; is often brought into frights and fears, through the menaces and threatenings of men in power, whose characters he has made too free with, and oftentimes is brought to ruin and destruction: so he, whose throat is as an open sepulchre, belching out filthy words, horrid oaths, curses, and imprecations, destruction is near him, even in all his ways; and the man of sin, that opens his mouth in blasphemy against God, and his tabernacle, and his saints, shall go into perdition, ( Revelation 13:5 Revelation 13:6 ) ( 17:8 ) .


F24 (htxm) "consternatio", Mercerus, Cocceius, Michaelis; "terrebitur", Tigurine version.

Proverbs 13:3 In-Context

1 A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2 From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
5 The righteous hates falsehood, but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Proverbs 21:23; [Proverbs 12:13; Proverbs 18:21; James 3:2]
  • 2. Proverbs 20:19
  • 3. Proverbs 18:7
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.