Proverbs 23:17

Saying 15

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.

Proverbs 23:17 in Other Translations

17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
17 Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
17 Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the LORD .
17 Don't for a minute envy careless rebels; soak yourself in the Fear-of-God -
17 Don't be jealous of sinners; instead, always fear the Lord.

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 your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed;
16 my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.
18 There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path:

Cross References 1

  • 1. S Psalms 37:1; S Psalms 73:3; Proverbs 28:14
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