To get what Proverbs 21:20 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.”

High popularity: 590 searches a month
Popularity relative to other verses in Proverbs chapter 21 using average monthly Google searches.

Proverbs 21:20 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Hebrew Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
There is (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
treasure אוֹצָ֤ר׀ A depository treasure
to be desired נֶחְמָ֣ד To delight in desired
and oil וָ֭שֶׁמֶן Grease, especially liquid (as from the olive, often perfumed); figuratively, richness oil
in the dwelling בִּנְוֵ֣ה (adjectively) at home; hence (by implication of satisfaction) lovely; also (noun) a home, of God (temple), men (residence), flocks (pasture), or wild animals (den) dwelling
of the wise; חָכָ֑ם Wise, (i.e., intelligent, skilful or artful) wise
but a foolish וּכְסִ֖יל Properly, fat, i.e., (figuratively) stupid or silly foolish
man אָדָ֣ם Ruddy i.e., a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.) man
spendeth it up. יְבַלְּעֶֽנּוּ׃ To make away with (specifically by swallowing); generally, to destroy spendeth up

Verse Context

See Proverbs 21:20 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Follow either of the two large buttons below to see these verses in their broader context of the King James Bible or a Bible concordance.

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  • 18  The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.

  • 19  It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

  • 20  There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

  • 21  He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

  • 22  A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.


The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database ( within the BibleForge project ( Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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