Day 13, Proverbs 13:18

Proverbs 13:18

“Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored.” NASB

There is what is called an antithetical parallelism in this verse. You see it easily if you look at Young's Literal Translation:

Whoso is refusing instruction — poverty and shame, And whoso is observing reproof is honoured.

Look at the structure below. Each kind of word is given different brackets. See how the two halves match? See how any given pair of brackets contains an parallelism? 

*Whoever* [refuses] <instruction>, (poverty and shame);


*Whoever* [observes] <reproof>, (honor).

Hopefully it shows up right if you're using a phone. The point is, there is a stark dichotomy here.

It's a pretty simple formula: Choose which end result you want, in the parentheses(). Then you look at the corresponding bracket[], and do that verb in relationship to instruction<>. Do you want honor? Listen to instruction! If you prefer shame, refuse it.


Can it really be that simple? Most of the time, I think we know it is.


Today, when you receive instruction, reproof, or discipline, especially when it seems unfair, out of place, or mean spirited, stop and think. Do you want honor, or poverty and shame? Think of the two “whoevers” in this verse; which one will you be?

If you would like to join us in reading Proverbs every day, and subscribe to a daily email, click here.

If you would like to share one of your favorite Proverbs, or some way the Proverbs have influenced you recently, post a comment below.