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Proverbs 18:21 & meaning...


and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21


Proverbs 18 [20.] A man’s stomach is filled with the fruit of his mouth.

    With the harvest of his lips he is satisfied.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue;

    those who love it will eat its fruit.

Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing,

    and obtains favor of Yahweh.

The poor plead for mercy,

    but the rich answer harshly.

A man of many companions may be ruined,

    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 


  • Life and Death:

This verse encapsulates the significant impact our words can have. It contrasts the outcomes of our speech, highlighting the potential to either bring life or death. Our words possess the power to build up and encourage, leading to life, or tear down and destroy, resulting in death.

  • Power of the Tongue:

The tongue symbolizes our ability to communicate through speech. Proverbs 18:21 acknowledges the immense influence wielded by our words. Like a powerful tool, our tongue can shape our reality and the reality of those around us, impacting relationships, emotions, and destinies.

  • Eating the Fruit:

The second part of the verse suggests that those who love to use their tongue—those who delight in speaking—will experience the consequences of their words. Just as a tree bears fruit according to its nature, our speech yields outcomes corresponding to the content and intent of our words.


Responsibility in Speech: Proverbs 18:21 reminds us of the weighty responsibility we bear in our communication. Our words have lasting effects, shaping not only our immediate interactions but also the course of our lives and the lives of others. As stewards of our speech, we must exercise wisdom and discernment in what we say.

Impact on Relationships: Our words have the power to either nurture or harm our relationships. Positive, uplifting speech fosters connection, trust, and intimacy, while negative, destructive words breed conflict, resentment, and division. By choosing our words carefully, we can cultivate healthy, thriving relationships built on a foundation of mutual respect and understanding.

Manifestation of Character: Proverbs 18:21 reflects the inseparable link between our speech and our character. The words we speak reveal the condition of our hearts and reflect our innermost thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. By guarding our speech and cultivating a heart of love, kindness, and integrity, we can ensure that our words align with the values we cherish.

Cross References:

Matthew 12:34-35: Jesus teaches about the connection between the heart and speech: "For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things."

Ephesians 4:29: Paul exhorts believers to use their words to edify and build up others: "Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for building up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear."

In Conclusion: Proverbs 18:21 serves as a powerful reminder of the profound impact our words can have on ourselves and others. By recognizing the significance of our speech and exercising wisdom and restraint in what we say, we can harness the power of our tongue to bring life, build up, and edify those around us.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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