Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
– Proverbs 23:17
Verses 17 and 18 form a wise saying about the informed perspective of wisdom. The word for envy means jealousy when used in the negative sense. It’s not uncommon to be envious of sinners (Psalm 37:1; 73:3). Such envy is contrasted in this saying with the fear of the Lord, which we know is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). Wisdom teaches to not envy the momentarily prosperous (Proverbs 3:31; 24:1), but rather to understand wisdom that knows the fear of the Lord is better than momentary success (Proverbs 15:16; 28:14).