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Proverbs 6:16-19 meaning...

Within these verses, a succinct but potent list is presented, outlining actions and attitudes that stand in direct contrast to the virtues upheld by God. This passage beckons us to explore the deeper meaning and significance of these abominable qualities and their impact on our lives.

A Hierarchy of Detestable Traits: The structure of the passage, listing six things that the Lord hates and then emphasizing a seventh as an abomination, captures our attention. The progression from "haughty eyes" to "sowing discord among brothers" seems to form a hierarchy of detrimental behavior. This suggests that the seeds of discord—those actions that tear at the fabric of unity—are particularly loathed by the Divine.

  • Haughty Eyes:

The phrase "haughty eyes" refers to a sense of pride and arrogance that is reflected in one's gaze. It embodies the posture of looking down on others, a disregard for their worth, and a sense of superiority. This attitude undermines the fundamental value of humility and compassion that lies at the core of ethical living.

  • A Lying Tongue:

A "lying tongue" is a betrayal of truth and trust. Lies erode the foundation of relationships and undermine integrity. In a world where honesty is treasured, a lying tongue stands as a direct affront to the principles of trustworthiness and authenticity.

  • Hands that Shed Innocent Blood:

The mention of "hands that shed innocent blood" evokes a visceral reaction. This condemns not just physical violence but any action that brings harm to the innocent. It draws attention to the atrocities committed when power is abused and lives are callously taken.

  • A Heart that Devises Wicked Schemes:

The heart is often seen as the wellspring of intentions and motivations. A heart that devises wicked schemes harbors malice, manipulates situations, and seeks personal gain at the expense of others. This quality highlights the importance of inner moral alignment.

  • Feet Swift in Running to Mischief:

The image of "feet that are swift in running to mischief" suggests a readiness to engage in wrongdoing. This captures the impulsive nature of some individuals who eagerly participate in harm rather than resisting its allure.

  • A False Witness who Utters Lies:

This is a continuation of the theme of dishonesty. A false witness perpetuates untruths, often contributing to unjust judgments or tarnishing reputations. The act of bearing false witness undermines justice and the pursuit of what is right.

  • Sowing Discord Among Brothers:

The culmination of the list, "he who sows discord among brothers," is underscored as an abomination—a particularly severe offense. This emphasizes the sanctity of unity and the destruction caused by those who purposefully create division. It echoes Jesus' call for unity among believers (John 17:20-23), highlighting the divine desire for harmony.


Matthew 5:9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God." This cross-reference speaks to the contrast of those who sow discord with the blessed role of peacemakers, those who work towards unity and reconciliation.

James 3:16: "For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed." This New Testament verse echoes the sentiments of the passage, highlighting the destructive consequences of wicked intentions.

Proverbs 6:16-19 offers us a powerful meditation on the behaviors and attitudes that God finds abominable. It is a call to self-examination, prompting us to assess whether we are aligned with virtues or caught in the web of destructive traits. The passage's relevance transcends time, as it illuminates the universal struggle between vice and virtue.

As we reflect on these verses, let us remember that the Divine's abhorrence of these qualities is not a display of punitive judgment but a reminder of the values that foster human flourishing. By avoiding these detestable behaviors, we pave the way for compassion, integrity, and unity. In a world often beset by conflict and dishonesty, these verses stand as a beacon, guiding us toward the path of righteousness and reminding us that our actions and attitudes matter deeply in the eyes of the Divine.

Proverbs 6:16-19. There are six things which Yahweh hates; yes, seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood; a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers.


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