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Proverbs 19:16-17 meaning...

This emphasizes the concepts of obedience to God's commandments, showing compassion to the poor, and the resulting rewards.

  • Key Points:

Obedience and Self-Preservation: Verse 16 suggests that those who keep and obey God's commandments safeguard their own souls. It implies that living in accordance with God's guidance leads to a life that is spiritually fulfilling and preserves one from harm.

Contemptuous Behavior: On the contrary, the verse warns against being contemptuous or disdainful in one's ways. Such an attitude is associated with negative consequences, even death. This suggests that arrogance and disobedience to God's commands lead to spiritual and, possibly, physical harm.

Compassion for the Poor: In verse 17, the focus shifts to compassion for the poor. It states that those who show pity or compassion to the poor are, in effect, lending to God Himself. This indicates that acts of kindness and charity toward the less fortunate are viewed as lending to God.

God's Reward: The verse concludes by stating that those who show compassion to the poor will be rewarded by God. This suggests that God acknowledges and blesses acts of mercy and charity.

  • Significance:

Obedience and Wisdom: It emphasizes the importance of obeying God's commandments and living in a way that reflects His wisdom. Obedience is seen as a path to preserving one's spiritual well-being.

Compassion for the Poor: The passage highlights the virtue of showing compassion and kindness to those in need, particularly the poor. Such acts are not only viewed as lending to God but also result in divine rewards.

Spiritual and Material Consequences: The passage suggests that one's attitudes and actions have both spiritual and possibly material consequences. Obedience leads to the preservation of the soul, while contemptuous behavior can result in negative outcomes.

  • Application:

Obedience to God: Believers are encouraged to prioritize obedience to God's commandments as a means of preserving their spiritual well-being and avoiding harmful consequences.

Compassion and Charity: The passage underscores the importance of showing compassion and extending charity to the poor and those in need. Such acts are viewed as lending to God and result in divine rewards.

Humility and Respect: It reminds individuals to cultivate humility and respect in their attitudes and actions, avoiding arrogance or contemptuous behavior.


Matthew 5:7: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." This teaching of Jesus in the New Testament echoes the idea that those who show compassion will receive compassion and mercy.

Proverbs 14:21: "He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who has pity on the poor." This verse reinforces the virtue of showing pity and compassion to the poor.

Proverbs 19:16-17 emphasizes the importance of obedience to God's commandments for self-preservation and the significance of showing compassion to the poor as an act of lending to God. It underscores the potential spiritual and material consequences of one's attitudes and actions, encouraging obedience, humility, and acts of mercy and charity.

Proverbs 19:16-17. He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is contemptuous in his ways shall die. He who has pity on the poor lends to Yahweh; he will reward him.


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