Proverbs 3

  • 27 - Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
  • 28 - Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you.
  • 29 - Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.
  • 30 - Do not accuse anyone for no reason — when they have done you no harm.

2 Answers 2



Quite a large chunk of the legal system deals with those general concepts.

  • 27 - pretty much all contract law deals with when and how you must discharge your obligations
  • 28 - ditto, although if it’s not owed until tomorrow …
  • 29 - there are laws against criminal conspiracy
  • 30 - making false accusations can be a crime and can give rise to defamation
  • 7
    "do not withhold good" doesn't sound like it's talking about fulfilling an obligation, although I guess you were swayed by "to whom it is due".
    – Barmar
    Aug 13, 2021 at 14:00
  • Negligence laws could also be considered part of 27, although I understand that in general, there needs to be some sort of specific relationship to give rise to specific duties. Aug 13, 2021 at 14:58
  • 10
    The word is "good", not "goods". It's about doing good deeds for people. The whole proverb is about how to live a good life and these verses are about how to be nice to acquaintances.
    – Barmar
    Aug 13, 2021 at 16:20
  • 5
    @Kevin The meaning is "if there's something good you can do for someone, do it," not "fulfill your contractual obligations."
    – reirab
    Aug 13, 2021 at 20:38
  • 1
    v29 is more than just conspiracy (since conspiracy implies multiple people). It talks about a neighbor who trusts you, and says not to take advantage of that trust to do them harm. That gets into laws against various types of fraud, pyramid schemes, etc.
    – bta
    Aug 13, 2021 at 21:30

RE: Proverbs 3:27

YES, there are many laws that require you, under certain circumstances to render aid.

2010 Pennsylvania Code, Title 75 - VEHICLES, Chapter 37 - Miscellaneous Provisions, 3744 - Duty to give information and render aid.

§ 3744. Duty to give information and render aid.
(a) General rule.--The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damageto any vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall give his name, address and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving, and shall upon request exhibit his driver's license and information relating to financial responsibility to any person injured in the accident or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the accident and shall give the information and upon request exhibit the license and information relating to financial responsibility to any police officer at the scene of the accident or who is investigating the accident and shall render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the making of arrangements for the carrying of the injured person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if requested by the injured person.

Note the phrase I have flagged: "shall render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance"

  • This also reminded me of so-called “Good Samaritan” laws, which state you aren’t required to pull over to help someone on the side of the road, but if you do pull over to the side of the road alongside someone else, that you then help them. Meant to prevent other would-be assistants from thinking that the person is already being helped.
    – KRyan
    Aug 13, 2021 at 18:11
  • 11
    @KRyan My understanding of Good Samaritan laws is that they're more concerned with preventing those who help others from being sued for their efforts, and wikipedia seems to back up that understanding. The laws you and this answer are talking about are called Duty to Rescue laws. Though there's certainly some overlap between the two.
    – BThompson
    Aug 13, 2021 at 19:28
  • 1
    @BThompson You know, as I wrote that, I was thinking “Good Samaritan” didn’t really seem like an ideal name for the concept. That makes more sense, then.
    – KRyan
    Aug 13, 2021 at 21:19
  • 1
    @KRyan good samaritan laws are often described this way (individuals pulling over to help and not being sued), but I would wager that they more commonly activated to support policies that enable other agencies to render aid . For example, volunteer search and rescue operates under the umbrella of good samaritan liability protections, without a duty for care, in certain states. So in very real ways, these laws enable the cooperative rendering of aid within the community, outside of the formal first response system.
    – crasic
    Aug 13, 2021 at 21:32

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