Proverbs 14:16

16 The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.

Proverbs 14:16 in Other Translations

KJV
16 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
ESV
16 One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.
NLT
16 The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
MSG
16 The wise watch their steps and avoid evil; fools are headstrong and reckless.
CSB
16 A wise man is cautious and turns from evil, but a fool is easily angered and is careless.

Proverbs 14:16 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 14:16

A wise [man] feareth, and departeth from evil
He fears God, and is careful not to offend him; wherefore he departs from sin, stands at a distance from it, abstains from all appearance of it; being influenced by the goodness and grace of God unto him, he fears the Lord and his goodness, and therefore avoids all occasions of sinning against him: his motive is not merely fear of punishment, as Jarchi, but a sense of goodness; and now, as it is through the influence of divine fear that men depart from evil; so to do this shows a good understanding, and that such a man is a wise man, ( Proverbs 16:6 ) ( Job 28:28 ) ; but the fool rageth, and is confident;
he fears neither God nor men, he sets his mouth against both; he "rages" in heart, if not with his mouth, against God and his law, which forbid the practice of such sins he delights in; and against all good men, that admonish him of them, rebuke him for them, or dissuade him from them: and "is confident" that no evil shall befall him; he has no concern about a future state, and is fearless of hell and damnation, though just upon the precipice of ruin; yet, as the words may be rendered, "he goes on confidently", nothing can stop him; he pushes on, regardless of the laws of God or men, of the advices and counsels of his friends, or of what will be the issue of his desperate courses in another world.

Proverbs 14:16 In-Context

14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs.
15 The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.
16 The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.
17 A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.
18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Exodus 20:20; Proverbs 22:3
  • 2. S 1 Samuel 25:25