Daily reading for Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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Version:
 

Proverbs 7:1 - Proverbs 20:21 (New International Version)

Proverbs 7-20:21

Warning Against the Adulterous Woman

My son, keep my words
    and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;
    guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
    and to insight, “You are my relative.”
They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

At the window of my house
    I looked down through the lattice.
I saw among the simple,
    I noticed among the young men,
    a youth who had no sense.
He was going down the street near her corner,
    walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight, as the day was fading,
    as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
    dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
    her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
    at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
    and with a brazen face she said:

14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
    and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
    I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
    with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
    with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
    let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
    he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
    and will not be home till full moon.”

21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
    she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
    like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b]
23     till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
    little knowing it will cost him his life.

24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
    pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
    or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
    her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
    leading down to the chambers of death.

Wisdom’s Call

Does not wisdom call out?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
    at the entrance, she cries aloud:
“To you, O people, I call out;
    I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
    you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[c]
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
    for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
    they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
    I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
    I hate pride and arrogance,
    evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
    I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
    and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
    and nobles—all who rule on earth.[d]
17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
    enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
    what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
    along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
    and making their treasuries full.

22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,[e][f]
    before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
    at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
    when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
    before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
    or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
    when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
    and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
    so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30     Then I was constantly[g] at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in mankind.

32 “Now then, my children, listen to me;
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
    and receive favor from the Lord.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
    all who hate me love death.”

Invitations of Wisdom and Folly

Wisdom has built her house;
    she has set up[h] its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servants, and she calls
    from the highest point of the city,
    “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
    “Come, eat my food
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways and you will live;
    walk in the way of insight.”

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
    whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
    rebuke the wise and they will love you.
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
    teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For through wisdom[i] your days will be many,
    and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
    if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

13 Folly is an unruly woman;
    she is simple and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house,
    on a seat at the highest point of the city,
15 calling out to those who pass by,
    who go straight on their way,
16     “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
17     “Stolen water is sweet;
    food eaten in secret is delicious!
18 But little do they know that the dead are there,
    that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

Proverbs of Solomon

10 The proverbs of Solomon:

A wise son brings joy to his father,
    but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value,
    but righteousness delivers from death.

The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
    but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

Lazy hands make for poverty,
    but diligent hands bring wealth.

He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
    but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
    but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.[j]

The name of the righteous is used in blessings,[k]
    but the name of the wicked will rot.

The wise in heart accept commands,
    but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
    but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.

10 Whoever winks maliciously causes grief,
    and a chattering fool comes to ruin.

11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

12 Hatred stirs up conflict,
    but love covers over all wrongs.

13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
    but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

14 The wise store up knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.

15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
    but poverty is the ruin of the poor.

16 The wages of the righteous is life,
    but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.

17 Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life,
    but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips
    and spreads slander is a fool.

19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
    but the prudent hold their tongues.

20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
    but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
    but fools die for lack of sense.

22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth,
    without painful toil for it.

23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes,
    but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.

24 What the wicked dread will overtake them;
    what the righteous desire will be granted.

25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
    but the righteous stand firm forever.

26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
    so are sluggards to those who send them.

27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life,
    but the years of the wicked are cut short.

28 The prospect of the righteous is joy,
    but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

29 The way of the Lord is a refuge for the blameless,
    but it is the ruin of those who do evil.

30 The righteous will never be uprooted,
    but the wicked will not remain in the land.

31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom,
    but a perverse tongue will be silenced.

32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favor,
    but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

11 The Lord detests dishonest scales,
    but accurate weights find favor with him.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with humility comes wisdom.

The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness delivers from death.

The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
    but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
    but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.

Hopes placed in mortals die with them;
    all the promise of[l] their power comes to nothing.

The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
    and it falls on the wicked instead.

With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,
    but through knowledge the righteous escape.

10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
    when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

12 Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
    but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.

13 A gossip betrays a confidence,
    but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

14 For lack of guidance a nation falls,
    but victory is won through many advisers.

15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,
    but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.

16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,
    but ruthless men gain only wealth.

17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,
    but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
    but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

19 Truly the righteous attain life,
    but whoever pursues evil finds death.

20 The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
    but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
    but those who are righteous will go free.

22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
    but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
    another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

25 A generous person will prosper;
    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

26 People curse the one who hoards grain,
    but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.

27 Whoever seeks good finds favor,
    but evil comes to one who searches for it.

28 Those who trust in their riches will fall,
    but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
    and the fool will be servant to the wise.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and the one who is wise saves lives.

31 If the righteous receive their due on earth,
    how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

12 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but whoever hates correction is stupid.

Good people obtain favor from the Lord,
    but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.

No one can be established through wickedness,
    but the righteous cannot be uprooted.

A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
    but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

The plans of the righteous are just,
    but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.

The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
    but the speech of the upright rescues them.

The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
    but the house of the righteous stands firm.

A person is praised according to their prudence,
    and one with a warped mind is despised.

Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant
    than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
    but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

11 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
    but those who chase fantasies have no sense.

12 The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers,
    but the root of the righteous endures.

13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk,
    and so the innocent escape trouble.

14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
    and the work of their hands brings them reward.

15 The way of fools seems right to them,
    but the wise listen to advice.

16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
    but the prudent overlook an insult.

17 An honest witness tells the truth,
    but a false witness tells lies.

18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

19 Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
    but those who promote peace have joy.

21 No harm overtakes the righteous,
    but the wicked have their fill of trouble.

22 The Lord detests lying lips,
    but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves,
    but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.

24 Diligent hands will rule,
    but laziness ends in forced labor.

25 Anxiety weighs down the heart,
    but a kind word cheers it up.

26 The righteous choose their friends carefully,
    but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

27 The lazy do not roast[m] any game,
    but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

28 In the way of righteousness there is life;
    along that path is immortality.

13 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
    but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.

From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,
    but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
    but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
    but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

The righteous hate what is false,
    but the wicked make themselves a stench
    and bring shame on themselves.

Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
    but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

A person’s riches may ransom their life,
    but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.

The light of the righteous shines brightly,
    but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

10 Where there is strife, there is pride,
    but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

11 Dishonest money dwindles away,
    but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it,
    but whoever respects a command is rewarded.

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    turning a person from the snares of death.

15 Good judgment wins favor,
    but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.[n]

16 All who are prudent act with[o] knowledge,
    but fools expose their folly.

17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,
    but whoever heeds correction is honored.

19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but fools detest turning from evil.

20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
    for a companion of fools suffers harm.

21 Trouble pursues the sinner,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good things.

22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
    but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

23 An unplowed field produces food for the poor,
    but injustice sweeps it away.

24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
    but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

14 The wise woman builds her house,
    but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly,
    but those who despise him are devious in their ways.

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
    but the lips of the wise protect them.

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
    but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.

An honest witness does not deceive,
    but a false witness pours out lies.

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
    but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.

Stay away from a fool,
    for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
    but the folly of fools is deception.

Fools mock at making amends for sin,
    but goodwill is found among the upright.

10 Each heart knows its own bitterness,
    and no one else can share its joy.

11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
    but the tent of the upright will flourish.

12 There is a way that appears to be right,
    but in the end it leads to death.

13 Even in laughter the heart may ache,
    and rejoicing may end in grief.

14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways,
    and the good rewarded for theirs.

15 The simple believe anything,
    but the prudent give thought to their steps.

16 The wise fear the Lord and shun evil,
    but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.

17 A quick-tempered person does foolish things,
    and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.

18 The simple inherit folly,
    but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19 Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good,
    and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors,
    but the rich have many friends.

21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
    but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.

22 Do not those who plot evil go astray?
    But those who plan what is good find[p] love and faithfulness.

23 All hard work brings a profit,
    but mere talk leads only to poverty.

24 The wealth of the wise is their crown,
    but the folly of fools yields folly.

25 A truthful witness saves lives,
    but a false witness is deceitful.

26 Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
    and for their children it will be a refuge.

27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
    turning a person from the snares of death.

28 A large population is a king’s glory,
    but without subjects a prince is ruined.

29 Whoever is patient has great understanding,
    but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

30 A heart at peace gives life to the body,
    but envy rots the bones.

31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
    but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down,
    but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.

33 Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning
    and even among fools she lets herself be known.[q]

34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
    but sin condemns any people.

35 A king delights in a wise servant,
    but a shameful servant arouses his fury.

15 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.

The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,
    but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
    keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
    but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

A fool spurns a parent’s discipline,
    but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

The house of the righteous contains great treasure,
    but the income of the wicked brings ruin.

The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
    but the hearts of fools are not upright.

The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
    but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

The Lord detests the way of the wicked,
    but he loves those who pursue righteousness.

10 Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path;
    the one who hates correction will die.

11 Death and Destruction[r] lie open before the Lord
    how much more do human hearts!

12 Mockers resent correction,
    so they avoid the wise.

13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
    but heartache crushes the spirit.

14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
    but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.

16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord
    than great wealth with turmoil.

17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
    than a fattened calf with hatred.

18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
    but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,
    but the path of the upright is a highway.

20 A wise son brings joy to his father,
    but a foolish man despises his mother.

21 Folly brings joy to one who has no sense,
    but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.

22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,
    but with many advisers they succeed.

23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply
    and how good is a timely word!

24 The path of life leads upward for the prudent
    to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.

25 The Lord tears down the house of the proud,
    but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.

26 The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked,
    but gracious words are pure in his sight.

27 The greedy bring ruin to their households,
    but the one who hates bribes will live.

28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
    but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
    but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

30 Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,
    and good news gives health to the bones.

31 Whoever heeds life-giving correction
    will be at home among the wise.

32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
    but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.

33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,
    and humility comes before honor.

16 To humans belong the plans of the heart,
    but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.

All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
    but motives are weighed by the Lord.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

The Lord works out everything to its proper end
    even the wicked for a day of disaster.

The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
    Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
    through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.

When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
    he causes their enemies to make peace with them.

Better a little with righteousness
    than much gain with injustice.

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.

10 The lips of a king speak as an oracle,
    and his mouth does not betray justice.

11 Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord;
    all the weights in the bag are of his making.

12 Kings detest wrongdoing,
    for a throne is established through righteousness.

13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips;
    they value the one who speaks what is right.

14 A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
    but the wise will appease it.

15 When a king’s face brightens, it means life;
    his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,
    to get insight rather than silver!

17 The highway of the upright avoids evil;
    those who guard their ways preserve their lives.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.

19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
    than to share plunder with the proud.

20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,[s]
    and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

21 The wise in heart are called discerning,
    and gracious words promote instruction.[t]

22 Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent,
    but folly brings punishment to fools.

23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,
    and their lips promote instruction.[u]

24 Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

25 There is a way that appears to be right,
    but in the end it leads to death.

26 The appetite of laborers works for them;
    their hunger drives them on.

27 A scoundrel plots evil,
    and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.

28 A perverse person stirs up conflict,
    and a gossip separates close friends.

29 A violent person entices their neighbor
    and leads them down a path that is not good.

30 Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity;
    whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.

31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor;
    it is attained in the way of righteousness.

32 Better a patient person than a warrior,
    one with self-control than one who takes a city.

33 The lot is cast into the lap,
    but its every decision is from the Lord.

17 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
    than a house full of feasting, with strife.

A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son
    and will share the inheritance as one of the family.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
    but the Lord tests the heart.

A wicked person listens to deceitful lips;
    a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
    whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
    and parents are the pride of their children.

Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool—
    how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it;
    they think success will come at every turn.

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
    but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

10 A rebuke impresses a discerning person
    more than a hundred lashes a fool.

11 Evildoers foster rebellion against God;
    the messenger of death will be sent against them.

12 Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
    than a fool bent on folly.

13 Evil will never leave the house
    of one who pays back evil for good.

14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
    so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent
    the Lord detests them both.

16 Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom,
    when they are not able to understand it?

17 A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

18 One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge
    and puts up security for a neighbor.

19 Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin;
    whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.

20 One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper;
    one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.

21 To have a fool for a child brings grief;
    there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

23 The wicked accept bribes in secret
    to pervert the course of justice.

24 A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,
    but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father
    and bitterness to the mother who bore him.

26 If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good,
    surely to flog honest officials is not right.

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
    and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
    and discerning if they hold their tongues.

18 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
    and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

Fools find no pleasure in understanding
    but delight in airing their own opinions.

When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
    and with shame comes reproach.

The words of the mouth are deep waters,
    but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.

It is not good to be partial to the wicked
    and so deprive the innocent of justice.

The lips of fools bring them strife,
    and their mouths invite a beating.

The mouths of fools are their undoing,
    and their lips are a snare to their very lives.

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
    they go down to the inmost parts.

One who is slack in his work
    is brother to one who destroys.

10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe.

11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
    they imagine it a wall too high to scale.

12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.

13 To answer before listening—
    that is folly and shame.

14 The human spirit can endure in sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?

15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
    for the ears of the wise seek it out.

16 A gift opens the way
    and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

17 In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right,
    until someone comes forward and cross-examines.

18 Casting the lot settles disputes
    and keeps strong opponents apart.

19 A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city;
    disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.

20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
    with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.

21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit.

22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
    and receives favor from the Lord.

23 The poor plead for mercy,
    but the rich answer harshly.

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

19 Better the poor whose walk is blameless
    than a fool whose lips are perverse.

Desire without knowledge is not good—
    how much more will hasty feet miss the way!

A person’s own folly leads to their ruin,
    yet their heart rages against the Lord.

Wealth attracts many friends,
    but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and whoever pours out lies will not go free.

Many curry favor with a ruler,
    and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.

The poor are shunned by all their relatives—
    how much more do their friends avoid them!
Though the poor pursue them with pleading,
    they are nowhere to be found.[v]

The one who gets wisdom loves life;
    the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and whoever pours out lies will perish.

10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury—
    how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!

11 A person’s wisdom yields patience;
    it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

12 A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion,
    but his favor is like dew on the grass.

13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin,
    and a quarrelsome wife is like
    the constant dripping of a leaky roof.

14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
    but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

15 Laziness brings on deep sleep,
    and the shiftless go hungry.

16 Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life,
    but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.

17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and he will reward them for what they have done.

18 Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
    do not be a willing party to their death.

19 A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
    rescue them, and you will have to do it again.

20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

22 What a person desires is unfailing love[w];
    better to be poor than a liar.

23 The fear of the Lord leads to life;
    then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

24 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
    he will not even bring it back to his mouth!

25 Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence;
    rebuke the discerning, and they will gain knowledge.

26 Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother
    is a child who brings shame and disgrace.

27 Stop listening to instruction, my son,
    and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

28 A corrupt witness mocks at justice,
    and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.

29 Penalties are prepared for mockers,
    and beatings for the backs of fools.

20 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
    whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion;
    those who anger him forfeit their lives.

It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
    but every fool is quick to quarrel.

Sluggards do not plow in season;
    so at harvest time they look but find nothing.

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
    but one who has insight draws them out.

Many claim to have unfailing love,
    but a faithful person who can find?

The righteous lead blameless lives;
    blessed are their children after them.

When a king sits on his throne to judge,
    he winnows out all evil with his eyes.

Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
    I am clean and without sin”?

10 Differing weights and differing measures—
    the Lord detests them both.

11 Even small children are known by their actions,
    so is their conduct really pure and upright?

12 Ears that hear and eyes that see—
    the Lord has made them both.

13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;
    stay awake and you will have food to spare.

14 “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer—
    then goes off and boasts about the purchase.

15 Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
    but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

16 Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
    hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.

17 Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
    but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.

18 Plans are established by seeking advice;
    so if you wage war, obtain guidance.

19 A gossip betrays a confidence;
    so avoid anyone who talks too much.

20 If someone curses their father or mother,
    their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.

21 An inheritance claimed too soon
    will not be blessed at the end.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 7:22 Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew fool
  2. Proverbs 7:22 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
  3. Proverbs 8:5 Septuagint; Hebrew foolish, instruct your minds
  4. Proverbs 8:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; other Hebrew manuscripts all righteous rulers
  5. Proverbs 8:22 Or way; or dominion
  6. Proverbs 8:22 Or The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work; or The Lord brought me forth at the beginning of his work
  7. Proverbs 8:30 Or was the artisan; or was a little child
  8. Proverbs 9:1 Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew has hewn out
  9. Proverbs 9:11 Septuagint, Syriac and Targum; Hebrew me
  10. Proverbs 10:6 Or righteous, / but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence
  11. Proverbs 10:7 See Gen. 48:20.
  12. Proverbs 11:7 Two Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate, Syriac and Targum When the wicked die, their hope perishes; / all they expected from
  13. Proverbs 12:27 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  14. Proverbs 13:15 Septuagint and Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  15. Proverbs 13:16 Or prudent protect themselves through
  16. Proverbs 14:22 Or show
  17. Proverbs 14:33 Hebrew; Septuagint and Syriac discerning / but in the heart of fools she is not known
  18. Proverbs 15:11 Hebrew Abaddon
  19. Proverbs 16:20 Or whoever speaks prudently finds what is good
  20. Proverbs 16:21 Or words make a person persuasive
  21. Proverbs 16:23 Or prudent / and make their lips persuasive
  22. Proverbs 19:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
  23. Proverbs 19:22 Or Greed is a person’s shame
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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