Proverbs 10:3 (NASB) states: The Lord will not allow the righteous to hunger, But He will reject the craving of the wicked.

There are 89 verses in NASB containing the words "hunger" and "hungry." Some of these are without doubt those considered righteous. Does the promise only apply to spiritual things?

  • This is not clear. What do you mean by 'spiritual beings' ? 'The righteous' are humans who have been justified (by faith).
    – Nigel J
    Dec 10, 2020 at 14:04
  • Proverbs 10:3 is restated in * Matthew 7:6 "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs." - We should read the Bible aloud (chewing words & sharing verses) with God's children (who recognize YHWH as our heavenly Father). Avoid treating the Bible like leftovers you would not eat (dog food). Help protect the Bible from being disrespected by people who devour & discuss bits of scripture out of context (never understanding & rejecting Him). - לֹֽא־יַרְעִ֣יב יְ֖הוָה נֶ֣פֶשׁ צַדִּ֑יק וְהַוַּ֖ת רְשָׁעִ֣ים יֶהְדֹּֽף Dec 10, 2020 at 16:31
  • Nigel J, I believe you misread my question. I wrote "spiritual things," not "spiritual beings."
    – Papa Pat
    Dec 11, 2020 at 15:13

2 Answers 2


A proverb is frequently written as a oneliner. Because of its lack of context, it is often misunderstood and misapplied. It is a general statement of truth with exceptions. It should not be interpreted as a 100% guaranteed promise. That's the nature of a proverb in the Bible and elsewhere.

Here is another example:

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

This is a good rule of thumb but there is no guarantee that he will not turn from it. There are exceptions. That's why Paul was careful to mention in Titus 1:6

An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.


The problem that the OP raises is acute because we have not only:

Prov 10:3 - The Lord will not allow the righteous to hunger, But He will reject the craving of the wicked.

... but also -

Prov 13:25 - The righteous eat to their hearts' content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

Ps 37:25 - I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

Ps 34:10 - The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Yet, we find Paul saying:

1 Cor 11:27 - I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

If we want to understand these verses too literally, then we have simple contradictions. However, they are NOT discussing mere temporal hunger. [However, the righteous are much less often hungry than the wicked.] Rather these texts are discussing something much more important, the PRIORITIES of one's life, as outlined in the texts below:

Matt 6:26, 33 - Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? ... But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Ps 119:165 - Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

Matt 5:6 - Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

In commenting on Prov 10:3, Matthew Poole says this:

Will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish; will preserve them from famine, according to his promises, Psalm 34:10, and elsewhere, which, as other temporal promises, is not to be understood simply and universally, but with this limitation, except this be necessary for God’s glory, which in all reason should overrule the creatures’ good, and for their own greater benefit. For, to say nothing of eternal felicities which follow every good man’s death, it is certainly in some times and eases a less evil for men to be killed with famine, than to survive to see and feel those miseries which are coming upon them, and upon the land where they live.

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