Proverbs 14:21

21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.

Proverbs 14:21 in Other Translations

21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
21 Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.
21 It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.
21 It's criminal to ignore a neighbor in need, but compassion for the poor - what a blessing!
21 The one who despises his neighbor sins, but whoever shows kindness to the poor will be happy.

Proverbs 14:21 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 14:21

He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth
He that despiseth his neighbour in his heart, speaks slightly of him, overlooks him, is not friendly to him, will neither converse with him, nor relieve him in his necessity; for it seems to be understood of his poor neighbour; and so the Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "he that despiseth the poor"; that despises him for his poverty; because of his pedigree and education, and the low circumstances he is in; or on account of his weakness and incapacity, or any outward circumstance that attends him; such an one sins very greatly, is guilty of a heinous sin; and he will be reckoned and dealt with as a sinner, and be condemned and punished, and so be unhappy and miserable; but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy [is] he;

``that gives to the poor,''
as the Targum; who has compassion on him in his distress, and shows it by relieving him: he that shows favour to the meek and humble ones, as the word F19 may be rendered, and as they generally are that are in affliction and poverty, for these tend to humble men; and such who regard them in their low estate are "happy" or blessed; they are blessed in things temporal and spiritual, and both here and hereafter; see ( Psalms 41:1-3 ) ( Matthew 5:7 ) .

F19 (Mywne) "modestorum", Montanus, Mercerus; "mansuetos", Cocceius.

Proverbs 14:21 In-Context

19 Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends.
21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.
22 Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.
23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Proverbs 11:12
  • 2. Psalms 41:1; Proverbs 19:17
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.