20 (A)Wine is a mocker, (B)strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever (C)is led astray by it is not wise.[a]
The terror of a king is like (D)the growling of a lion;
    whoever provokes him to anger (E)forfeits his life.
It is an honor for a man to (F)keep aloof from strife,
    but every fool will be quarreling.
(G)The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
    (H)he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
The purpose in a man's heart is like (I)deep water,
    but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Many a man (J)proclaims his own steadfast love,
    but (K)a faithful man who can find?
The righteous who (L)walks in his integrity—
    (M)blessed are his children after him!
(N)A king who sits on the throne of judgment
    (O)winnows all evil with his eyes.
(P)Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
    I am clean from my sin”?
10 (Q)Unequal[b] weights and unequal measures
    are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
11 Even a child (R)makes himself known by his acts,
    by whether his conduct is pure and upright.[c]
12 (S)The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
    (T)the Lord has made them both.
13 (U)Love not sleep, lest you (V)come to poverty;
    open your eyes, and you will have (W)plenty of bread.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
    but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15 There is gold and abundance of (X)costly stones,
    (Y)but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 (Z)Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
    and (AA)hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.[d]
17 (AB)Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
    but afterward his mouth will be full of (AC)gravel.
18 (AD)Plans are established by counsel;
    by (AE)wise guidance (AF)wage war.
19 Whoever (AG)goes about slandering reveals secrets;
    therefore do not associate with (AH)a simple babbler.[e]
20 (AI)If one curses his father or his mother,
    (AJ)his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
21 (AK)An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
    will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, (AL)“I will repay evil”;
    (AM)wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
23 (AN)Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord,
    and (AO)false scales are not good.
24 A man's (AP)steps are from the Lord;
    how then can man understand his way?
25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and to reflect only (AQ)after making vows.
26 A wise king (AR)winnows the wicked
    and drives (AS)the wheel over them.
27 (AT)The spirit[f] of man is the lamp of the Lord,
    (AU)searching all (AV)his innermost parts.
28 (AW)Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
    and by steadfast love his (AX)throne is upheld.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
    but (AY)the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30 (AZ)Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
    strokes make clean (BA)the innermost parts.


  1. Proverbs 20:1 Or will not become wise
  2. Proverbs 20:10 Or Two kinds of; also verse 23
  3. Proverbs 20:11 Or Even a child can dissemble in his actions, though his conduct seems pure and upright
  4. Proverbs 20:16 Or for an adulteress (compare 27:13)
  5. Proverbs 20:19 Hebrew with one who is simple in his lips
  6. Proverbs 20:27 Hebrew breath

21 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
    he (A)turns it wherever he will.
(B)Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    but the Lord (C)weighs the heart.
(D)To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
(E)Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    (F)the lamp[a] of the wicked, are sin.
The plans of (G)the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is (H)hasty comes (I)only to poverty.
(J)The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a (K)fleeting (L)vapor and a (M)snare of death.[b]
The violence of the wicked will (N)sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.
The way of the guilty (O)is crooked,
    but the conduct of the pure is upright.
It is (P)better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
    his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11 When (Q)a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
    when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12 The Righteous One (R)observes the house of the wicked;
    he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13 (S)Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
    will himself call out and not be answered.
14 (T)A gift in secret averts anger,
    and a concealed bribe,[c] strong wrath.
15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
    (U)but terror to evildoers.
16 One who wanders from the way of good sense
    (V)will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
    he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18 (W)The wicked is a (X)ransom for the righteous,
    and the traitor for the upright.
19 It is (Y)better to live in a desert land
    than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20 (Z)Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling,
    but a foolish man (AA)devours it.
21 Whoever (AB)pursues righteousness and kindness
    will find (AC)life, righteousness, and honor.
22 (AD)A wise man scales the city of the mighty
    and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 (AE)Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
    (AF)keeps himself out of (AG)trouble.
24 (AH)“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
    who acts with arrogant pride.
25 The desire of (AI)the sluggard kills him,
    for his hands refuse to labor.
26 All day long he craves and craves,
    but the righteous (AJ)gives and does not hold back.
27 (AK)The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
    how much more (AL)when he brings it with evil intent.
28 (AM)A false witness will perish,
    but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29 A wicked man puts on a bold face,
    but the upright (AN)gives thought to[d] his ways.
30 (AO)No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
    can avail against the Lord.
31 (AP)The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but (AQ)the victory belongs to the Lord.


  1. Proverbs 21:4 Or the plowing
  2. Proverbs 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
  3. Proverbs 21:14 Hebrew a bribe in the bosom
  4. Proverbs 21:29 Or establishes

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