Parallel Verses

New American Standard Bible

Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?

King James Version

Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

Holman Bible

Don’t be excessively righteous, and don’t be overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

International Standard Version

Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise. Why be self-destructive?

A Conservative Version

Be not over-righteous, nor show thyself too wise. Why should thou destroy thyself?

American Standard Version

Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself overwise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?


Be not [morbidly exacting and externally] righteous overmuch, neither strive to make yourself [pretentiously appear] overwise -- "why should you [get puffed up and] destroy yourself [with presumptuous self-sufficiency]?

Bible in Basic English

Be not given overmuch to righteousness and be not over-wise. Why let destruction come on you?

Darby Translation

Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself overwise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?

Jubilee 2000 Bible

Do not be too legalistic; neither make thyself over wise in thine own eyes: why should thou destroy thyself?

Julia Smith Translation

Thou shalt not be greatly just; and thou shalt not be exceedingly wise: wherefore wilt thou be made desolate?

King James 2000

Be not overly righteous; neither make yourself overly wise: why should you destroy yourself?

Lexham Expanded Bible

Do not be excessively righteous, and do not act excessively wise, lest you destroy yourself.

Modern King James verseion

Do not be righteous overmuch, neither make yourself overwise; why destroy yourself?

Modern Spelling Tyndale-Coverdale

Therefore be thou neither too righteous nor over wise, that thou perish not:

NET Bible

So do not be excessively righteous or excessively wise; otherwise you might be disappointed.

New Heart English Bible

Do not be overly righteous, neither make yourself overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

The Emphasized Bible

Do not become so very righteous, neither count thyself wise beyond measure, - wherefore shouldst thou destroy thyself?


Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldst thou destroy thyself?

World English Bible

Don't be overly righteous, neither make yourself overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

Youngs Literal Translation

Be not over-righteous, nor show thyself too wise, why art thou desolate?


Root Form
Be not righteous
Usage: 206

Usage: 8

Usage: 27

Verse Info

Context Readings

The Law Of Retribution Does Not Always Work'But It Does Sometimes

15 I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16 Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

Cross References

Romans 12:3

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

Proverbs 25:16

Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, That you not have it in excess and vomit it.

Philippians 3:6

as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

Genesis 3:6

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Job 11:12

"An idiot will become intelligent When the foal of a wild donkey is born a man.

Job 28:28

"And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.'"

Proverbs 23:4

Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it.

Ecclesiastes 12:12

But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.

Matthew 6:1-7

"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 9:14

Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?"

Matthew 15:2-9

"Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."

Matthew 23:5

"But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.

Matthew 23:23-24

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

Matthew 23:29

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,

Matthew 23:38

"Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

Luke 18:12

'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'

Romans 10:2

For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

Romans 11:25

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery--so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

1 Corinthians 3:18

Let no man deceive himself If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.

1 Corinthians 3:20


Colossians 2:18

Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,

Colossians 2:23

These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

1 Timothy 4:3

men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

James 3:13-17

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

Revelation 18:19

"And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!'

Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.

International Standard Version Copyright © 1996-2008 by the ISV Foundation.

New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit

NET Bible copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. NetBible

Basic English, produced by Mr C. K. Ogden of the Orthological Institute - public domain