Proverbs 23:17

17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

Proverbs 23:17 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 23:17

Let not thine heart envy sinners
Their present prosperity and happiness, the pleasure, profit, and honour, they seem to enjoy; all which is but a shadow, fading had temporary; and yet good men are apt to envy it in their hearts, if they do not express it with their lips; and are ready to murmur and think it hard that they should be in straitened circumstances while the wicked are in flourishing ones; and inwardly fret and are uneasy at it, which they should not, ( Psalms 37:1 Psalms 37:7 ) ( 73:2 ) ; or do not "emulate" or "imitate" F26 them, or do as they do, thinking thereby to enjoy the same prosperity and happiness; choose not their ways, nor desire to be with them, to have their company, or be ranked among them, ( Proverbs 3:31 ) ( 24:1 ) ; but [be thou] in the fear of the Lord all the day long;
let the fear of God be always before thine eyes and in thine heart; be continually in the exercise of fear, which is attended with faith and trust in the Lord; with love and affection to him, and joy and delight in him; be constantly employed in the duties of religion, private and public, which the fear of God includes; and this will be a preservative from envying, murmuring, and fretting at the outward happiness of wicked men; and from joining with them in their evil ways. Aben Ezra, and who is followed by some others, render it, "but [emulate or imitate] the men that fear the Lord all the day long" F1; be followers of them, and do as they do; let their constant piety and devotion stir up a holy emulation in thee to copy after them and exceed them; but the former sense is best.


F26 (anqy la) "ne aemuletur", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Junius et Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.
F1 "Aemulare virum timentem, Jehovam", Vatablus.

Proverbs 23:17 In-Context

15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
The King James Version is in the public domain.