Proverbs 28:1 Meaning of the Righteous Are as Bold as a Lion

Proverbs 28:1
“The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

Explanation and Commentary of Proverbs 28:1

Righteousness is a powerful concept that is made up of sub-concepts. We are called to seek “his righteousness” (Mt 6:33). Underneath this quality are sub qualities that will be ours when we are righteous. Love, patience, and all the other fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) will be present. And also, boldness will characterize the righteous man or woman of God. You could call this courage or bravery, but righteousness breeds boldness.

How does righteousness lead to boldness? One way is that to be righteous, one must first accept Christ. Our first act of boldness is to come into the presence of God (Heb 4:16), boldly, because we are holy by our justification, redemption, and adoption as sons of God in Christ. God fills us with the Holy Spirit who, himself, is bold. Then as we mature, we learn to care what God thinks of us more than what other people think of us, as we die daily to our old ways and mortify the sin in our flesh. This we do by the power of the Holy Spirit and abiding in Christ in obedience. Finally, as we learn to know the truth in our inner man or woman, we are sure of what we think and believe about things, so that when the time comes for boldness, we are ready to step forward like a lion.

Alternatively, any boldness on the part of the wicked is just for show. Most of them will flee in the face of true and godly boldness. They live life insecure and afraid of being caught in their schemes and deceptions. They have no genuine confidence, and consequently, they must run from conflict except when their adversary is truly helpless, in which case they will attack like cowards.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Proverbs 28:1

#1 “The wicked…”
The Bible teaches that all of us were born in a state of sinfulness because of the sin of Adam (Eph 2:1). Until Christ saves us, we are wicked. Our motives are wicked. Our actions are wicked. If we have godly parents, they will train us in the ways of goodness, and they will introduce us to Christ with the great hope that he will become our Savior when we believe in him. It is not that nonbelievers can do nothing good, but even the good they do is sinfully motivated (Isa 64:6).

#2 “…flee though no one pursues,”
This describes the paranoia of the godless. Why would they not be paranoid? If there is no God, anything can happen to them at any time. There is no true boldness, only arrogant bravado. There is no true conviction, only the subjective opinions of the other people whose disapproval they fear.

#3 “but the righteous…”
The righteous are those who are saved by grace and filled with the Holy Spirit, learning to integrate into every fiber the truth and confidence of living by the ways of God, abiding in Christ and trusting him in all circumstances.

#4 “…are as bold as a lion.”
Sons and daughters of God are like their Savior, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. While being meek when meekness is called for, God’s children, the righteous, are also able to be bold when boldness is what is needed. The fear of the Lord is a remedy against the fear of man or disaster (Mk 4:35-31).

Expert Overview of Proverbs

Biblical Translations of Proverbs 28:1

The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Proverbs 28:1 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.