“Guard your heart”



This verse says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (NIV). Keeping our heart pure and clean while safe guarding it against impurity is of utmost importance since it determines how we perceive and act throughout life.

To get what Proverbs 4:23 means in detail, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Very high popularity: 14,800 searches a month
Popularity relative to other verses in Proverbs chapter 4 using average monthly Google searches.

Proverbs 4:23 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.
Keep נְצֹ֣ר To guard, in a good sense (to protect, maintain, obey, etc.) or a bad one (to conceal, etc.) Keep
thy heart לִבֶּ֑ךָ The heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the center of anything heart
with all מִֽכָּל Properly, the whole; hence, all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense) all
diligence; מִ֭שְׁמָר A guard (the man, the post or the prison); a deposit (figuratively); also (as observed) a usage (abstractly), or an example (concretely) diligence
for כִּֽי (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjunction or adverb (as below); often largely modified by other particles annexed for
out of מִ֝מֶּ֗נּוּ Properly, a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses out
it the issues תּוֹצְא֥וֹת (only in plural collective) exit, i.e., (geographical) boundary, or (figuratively) deliverance, (actively) source issues
are (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
of life. חַיִּֽים׃ Alive; hence, raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively life

Verse Context

See Proverbs 4:23 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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  • 21  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

  • 22  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

  • 23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

  • 24  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

  • 25  Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.


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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