What does Proverbs 13:9 mean? (NLT)

Solomon points out the common-sense observation that godliness tends to keep a person from danger (Proverbs 1:7, 32–33, while sin brings risks that lead to an early death (Proverbs 6:32–33; 11:5, 21; 12:21).

The reference to a “lamp” in this verse alludes to the illumination a person in the ancient Middle East had in his tent. His oil lamp did not stay lit throughout the entire night, and when it went out, everything became completely dark. Similarly, the life of the wicked—his lamp—will not stay lit forever. Shortly, it will be extinguished, and the wicked person will die and be surrounded by utter darkness (Proverbs 11:7). The life of the righteous—his light—will extend not only for a long time on earth but also throughout eternity (John 8:12). Whereas hell is described as a place of outer darkness (Matthew 8:12), heaven is described as a place of brilliant, dazzling light. In heaven, the Lord will be the light of the righteous, and there will be no night or any need for the light or lamp of the sun (Revelation 22:5).

Context Summary
Proverbs 13:4–11 observes key differences between the rich and poor, the testimony of the righteous and the dismal end of the wicked, the insolence of the wicked and the willingness of the wise to accept advice. This continues the pattern of contrast and comparison used in this section of the book.

SOURCE: Bible Ref – Proverbs 13:9a