The Usefulness of Proverbs

The (A)proverbs of Solomon (B)the son of David, king of Israel:

To know (C)wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of (D)understanding,
To (E)receive instruction in wise behavior,
(F)Righteousness, justice, and integrity;
To give (G)prudence to the naive,
To the youth (H)knowledge and discretion,
A wise person will hear and (I)increase in learning,
And a (J)person of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and a saying,
The words of the wise and their (K)riddles.

(L)The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The Enticement of Sinners

(M)Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,
And (N)do not ignore your mother’s teaching;
For they are a (O)graceful wreath for your head
And (P)necklaces for your neck.
10 My son, if sinners (Q)entice you,
(R)Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let’s (S)lie in wait for blood,
Let’s (T)ambush the innocent without cause;
12 Let’s (U)swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, like those who (V)go down to the pit;
13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with plunder;
14 Throw in your lot [a]with us;
We will all have one money bag,”
15 My son, (W)do not walk on the way with them.
(X)Keep your feet from their path,
16 For (Y)their feet run to evil,
And they are quick to shed blood.
17 Indeed, it is [b]useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any [c]bird;
18 But they (Z)lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
19 Such are the ways of everyone who (AA)makes unjust gain;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

Wisdom Warns

20 (AB)Wisdom shouts in the street,
She [d]raises her voice in the public square;
21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she declares her sayings:
22 “How long, you (AC)naive ones, will you love simplistic thinking?
And how long will (AD)scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools (AE)hate knowledge?
23 Turn to my rebuke,
Behold, I will (AF)pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because (AG)I called and you (AH)refused,
I (AI)stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
25 And you (AJ)neglected all my advice
And did not (AK)want my rebuke;
26 I will also (AL)laugh at your (AM)disaster;
I will mock when your (AN)dread comes,
27 When your dread comes like a storm
And your disaster comes like a (AO)whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will (AP)call on me, but I will not answer;
They will (AQ)seek me diligently but will not find me,
29 Because they (AR)hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
30 They (AS)did not accept my advice,
They disdainfully rejected every rebuke from me.
31 So they shall (AT)eat of the fruit of their own way,
And be (AU)filled with their own schemes.
32 For the (AV)faithlessness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
33 But (AW)whoever listens to me will live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security

My son, if you will (AX)receive my words
And (AY)treasure my commandments within you,
(AZ)Make your ear attentive to wisdom;
Incline your heart to understanding.
For if you cry out for insight,
And [e]raise your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as (BA)silver
And search for her as for (BB)hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the (BC)fear of the Lord,
And discover the knowledge of God.
For (BD)the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a (BE)shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He (BF)watches over the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern (BG)righteousness, justice,
And integrity, and every (BH)good path.
10 For (BI)wisdom will enter your heart,
And (BJ)knowledge will be delightful to your soul;
11 Discretion will (BK)watch over you,
Understanding will guard you,
12 To (BL)rescue you from the way of evil,
From a person who speaks (BM)perverse things;
13 From those who (BN)leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the (BO)ways of darkness;
14 Who (BP)delight in doing evil
And rejoice in the perversity of evil;
15 Whose paths are (BQ)crooked,
And who are devious in their ways;
16 To (BR)rescue you from the strange woman,
From the (BS)foreign woman who flatters with her words,
17 Who leaves the (BT)companion of her youth
And forgets the (BU)covenant of her God;
18 For (BV)her house sinks down to death,
And her tracks lead to the [f]dead;
19 None (BW)who go to her return,
Nor do they reach the (BX)paths of life.
20 So you will (BY)walk in the way of good people
And keep to the (BZ)paths of the righteous.
21 For (CA)the upright will live in the land,
And (CB)the blameless will remain in it;
22 But (CC)the wicked will be eliminated from the land,
And (CD)the treacherous will be (CE)torn away from it.

The Rewards of Wisdom

My son, (CF)do not forget my [g]teaching,
But have your heart (CG)comply with my commandments;
For (CH)length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
Do not let (CI)kindness and truth leave you;
(CJ)Bind them around your neck,
(CK)Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will (CL)find favor and a (CM)good [h]reputation
In the sight of God and man.
(CN)Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And (CO)do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways (CP)acknowledge Him,
And He will (CQ)make your paths straight.
(CR)Do not be wise in your own eyes;
(CS)Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be (CT)healing to your [i]body
And (CU)refreshment to your bones.
(CV)Honor the Lord from your wealth,
And from the (CW)first of all your produce;
10 Then your (CX)barns will be filled with plenty,
And your (CY)vats will overflow with new wine.
11 (CZ)My son, do not reject the [j]discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His rebuke,
12 For (DA)whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
Just (DB)as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.

13 (DC)Blessed is a person who finds wisdom,
And one who obtains understanding.
14 For [k]her (DD)profit is better than the profit of silver,
And her produce better than gold.
15 She is (DE)more precious than [l]jewels,
And nothing you desire compares with her.
16 [m](DF)Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are (DG)riches and honor.
17 Her (DH)ways are pleasant ways,
And all her paths are (DI)peace.
18 She is a (DJ)tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are those who hold on to her.
19 The Lord founded the earth (DK)by wisdom,
He (DL)established the heavens by understanding.
20 By His knowledge the (DM)ocean depths were burst open,
And the (DN)clouds drip with dew.
21 My son, see that (DO)they do not escape from your sight;
Comply with sound wisdom and discretion,
22 And they will be (DP)life to your soul
And (DQ)adornment to your neck.
23 Then you will (DR)walk in your way securely,
And your foot will not (DS)stumble.
24 When you (DT)lie down, you will not be afraid;
When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 (DU)Do not be afraid of sudden danger,
Nor of (DV)trouble from the wicked when it comes;
26 For the Lord will be [n]your confidence,
And will (DW)keep your foot from being caught.

27 (DX)Do not withhold good from [o]those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
28 (DY)Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it to you,”
When you have it with you.
29 (DZ)Do not devise harm against your neighbor,
While he lives securely beside you.
30 (EA)Do not contend with a person for no reason,
If he has done you no harm.
31 (EB)Do not envy a violent person,
And do not choose any of his ways.
32 For the (EC)devious are an abomination to the Lord;
But [p]He is (ED)intimate with the upright.
33 The (EE)curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He (EF)blesses the home of the righteous.
34 Though (EG)He scoffs at the scoffers,
Yet (EH)He gives grace to the needy.
35 (EI)The wise will inherit honor,
But fools [q]increase dishonor.

A Father’s Instruction

Listen, my sons, to the (EJ)instruction of a father,
And (EK)pay attention so that you may [r]gain understanding,
For I give you good (EL)teaching;
(EM)Do not abandon my [s]instruction.
When I was a son to my father,
(EN)Tender and (EO)the only son in the sight of my mother,
He (EP)taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart (EQ)take hold of my words;
(ER)Keep my commandments and live;
(ES)Acquire wisdom! (ET)Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not abandon her, and she will guard you;
(EU)Love her, and she will watch over you.
(EV)The [t]beginning of wisdom is: (EW)Acquire wisdom;
And with all your possessions, acquire understanding.
(EX)Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place (EY)on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

10 Listen, my son, and (EZ)accept my sayings,
And the (FA)years of your life will be many.
11 I have (FB)instructed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12 When you walk, your (FC)steps will not be hampered;
And if you run, you (FD)will not stumble.
13 (FE)Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your (FF)life.
14 (FG)Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil people.
15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they (FH)cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And [u]they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 For they (FI)eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the (FJ)path of the righteous is like the (FK)light of dawn
That (FL)shines brighter and brighter until the (FM)full day.
19 The (FN)way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they [v](FO)stumble.

20 My son, (FP)pay attention to my words;
(FQ)Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 (FR)They are not to escape from your sight;
(FS)Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are (FT)life to those who find them,
And (FU)healing to all [w]their body.
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For (FV)from it flow the springs of life.
24 Rid yourself of a (FW)deceitful mouth
And (FX)keep devious [x]speech far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your [y]gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
26 (FY)[z]Watch the path of your feet,
And all your (FZ)ways will be established.
27 (GA)Do not turn to the right or to the left;
(GB)Turn your foot from evil.

Pitfalls of Immorality

My son, (GC)pay attention to my wisdom,
(GD)Incline your ear to my understanding,
So that you may (GE)maintain discretion
And your (GF)lips may comply with knowledge.
For the lips of an [aa](GG)adulteress (GH)drip honey,
And her [ab]speech is (GI)smoother than oil;
But in the end she is (GJ)bitter as wormwood,
(GK)Sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet (GL)go down to death,
Her steps take hold of Sheol.
[ac]She does not ponder the (GM)path of life;
Her ways are (GN)unstable, she (GO)does not know it.

(GP)Now then, my sons, listen to me
And (GQ)do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
(GR)Keep your way far from her,
And do not go near the (GS)door of her house,
Otherwise you will give your vigor to others,
And your years to the cruel one;
10 And strangers will be filled with your strength,
And your hard-earned possessions will go to the house of a foreigner;
11 And you will groan [ad]in [ae]the end,
When your flesh and your body are consumed;
12 And you say, “How I (GT)hated instruction!
And my heart (GU)disdainfully rejected rebuke!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my (GV)teachers,
Nor incline my ear to my instructors!
14 I was almost in total ruin
In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
And [af]fresh water from your own well.
16 Should your (GW)springs overflow into the street,
Streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your (GX)fountain be blessed,
And (GY)rejoice in the (GZ)wife of your youth.
19 Like a loving (HA)doe and a graceful mountain goat,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be [ag]exhilarated always with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an [ah](HB)adulteress,
And embrace the breasts of a (HC)foreigner?
21 For the (HD)ways of everyone are before the eyes of the Lord,
And He (HE)observes all his paths.
22 His (HF)own wrongdoings will trap the wicked,
And he will be held by the ropes of his sin.
23 He will (HG)die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his foolishness he will go astray.

Parental Counsel

My son, if you have become a (HH)guarantor for your neighbor,
Or have given a handshake for a stranger,
If you have been ensnared by the words of your mouth,
Or caught by the words of your mouth,
Then do this, my son, and save yourself:
Since you have come into the [ai]hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and be urgent with your neighbor to free yourself.
Give no (HI)sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;
Save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand,
And like a (HJ)bird from the hand of the fowler.

Go to the (HK)ant, you [aj](HL)lazy one,
Observe its ways and be wise,
Which, having (HM)no chief,
Officer, or ruler,
Prepares its food (HN)in the summer
And gathers its provision in the harvest.
How long will you lie down, you [ak]lazy one?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 (HO)A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to [al]rest,”
11 (HP)Then your poverty will come in like a [am]drifter,
And your need like [an]an armed man.

12 A (HQ)worthless person, a wicked man,
Is one who walks with a (HR)perverse mouth,
13 Who (HS)winks with his eyes, who [ao]signals with his feet,
Who [ap]points with his fingers;
14 Who, with (HT)perversion in his heart, continually (HU)devises evil,
Who [aq](HV)spreads strife.
15 Therefore (HW)his disaster will come suddenly;
(HX)Instantly he will be broken and there will be (HY)no healing.

16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
Seven that are an abomination [ar]to Him:
17 (HZ)Haughty eyes, a (IA)lying tongue,
And hands that (IB)shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises (IC)wicked plans,
(ID)Feet that run rapidly to evil,
19 A (IE)false witness who declares lies,
And one who [as](IF)spreads strife among brothers.

20 (IG)My son, comply with the commandment of your father,
And do not ignore the [at]teaching of your mother;
21 (IH)Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
22 When you (II)walk, [au]they will guide you;
When you sleep, [av]they will watch over you;
And when you awake, [aw]they will talk to you.
23 For (IJ)the commandment is a lamp and the [ax]teaching is light;
And rebukes for discipline are the way of life
24 To (IK)keep you from the evil woman,
From the smooth tongue of the foreign woman.
25 (IL)Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her capture you with her (IM)eyelids.
26 For (IN)the price of a prostitute reduces one to a loaf of bread,
And [ay]an adulteress (IO)hunts for a precious life.
27 Can anyone take fire in his lap
And his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can a person walk on hot coals
And his feet not be scorched?
29 So is the one who (IP)goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
Whoever touches her (IQ)will not [az]go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
To (IR)satisfy [ba]himself when he is hungry;
31 But when he is found, he must (IS)repay seven times as much;
He must give up all the property of his house.
32 One who commits adultery with a woman is (IT)lacking [bb]sense;
He who would (IU)destroy [bc]himself commits it.
33 He will find wounds and disgrace,
And his shame will not be removed.
34 For (IV)jealousy [bd]enrages a man,
And he will not have compassion on the (IW)day of vengeance.
35 He will not [be]accept any settlement,
Nor will he be [bf]satisfied though you make it a large gift.

The Lures of the Prostitute

My son, (IX)keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you.
(IY)Keep my commandments and live,
And my [bg]teaching (IZ)as the [bh]apple of your eye.
(JA)Bind them on your fingers;
(JB)Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your intimate friend,
So that they may keep you from an [bi]adulteress,
From the foreigner who flatters with her words.

For (JC)at the window of my house
I looked out (JD)through my lattice,
And I saw among the (JE)naive,
And discerned among the [bj]youths
A young man (JF)lacking [bk]sense,
Passing through the street near (JG)her corner;
And he walks along the way to (JH)her house,
In the (JI)twilight, in the [bl]evening,
In the [bm]middle of the night and the darkness.
10 And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
(JJ)Dressed as a prostitute and cunning of heart.
11 She is (JK)boisterous and rebellious,
Her (JL)feet do not remain at home;
12 She is now in the streets, now (JM)in the public squares,
And (JN)lurks by every corner.
13 So she seizes him and kisses him,
[bn]And with a (JO)brazen face she says to him:
14 [bo]I was due to offer (JP)peace offerings;
Today I have (JQ)paid my vows.
15 Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence diligently, and I have found you.
16 I have spread my couch with (JR)coverings,
With colored (JS)linens of Egypt.
17 I have sprinkled my bed
With (JT)myrrh, aloes, and (JU)cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning;
Let’s delight ourselves with caresses.
19 For [bp]my husband is not at home;
He has gone on a long journey.
20 He has taken a (JV)bag of money [bq]with him.
At the full moon he will come home.”
21 With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her [br](JW)flattering lips she seduces him.
22 Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as [bs]one walks in ankle bracelets to the discipline of a fool,
23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a (JX)bird hurries to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24 Now therefore, my sons, (JY)listen to me,
And pay attention to the words of my mouth.
25 Do not let your heart (JZ)turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths.
26 For many are the [bt]victims she has brought to ruin,
And (KA)numerous are all those slaughtered by her.
27 Her (KB)house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death.

The Commendation of Wisdom

Does not (KC)wisdom call,
And understanding [bu]raise her voice?
On top of (KD)the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
Beside the (KE)gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
“To you, people, I call,
And my voice is to [bv]mankind.
You (KF)naive ones, understand prudence;
And, you (KG)fools, understand [bw]wisdom!
Listen, for I will speak (KH)noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal (KI)right things.
For my (KJ)mouth will proclaim truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing (KK)crooked or perverted in them.
They are all (KL)straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who (KM)find knowledge.
10 Accept my (KN)instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is (KO)better than [bx]jewels;
And (KP)all desirable things cannot compare with her.

12 “I, wisdom, (KQ)dwell with prudence,
And I find (KR)knowledge and discretion.
13 The (KS)fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
(KT)Pride, arrogance, (KU)the evil way,
And the (KV)perverted mouth, I hate.
14 (KW)Advice is mine and (KX)sound wisdom;
I am understanding, (KY)power is mine.
15 By me (KZ)kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.
17 I (LA)love those who love me;
And (LB)those who diligently seek me will find me.
18 (LC)Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring (LD)wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is (LE)better than gold, even pure gold;
And my yield better than (LF)choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may (LG)fill their treasuries.

22 “The Lord [by]created me (LH)at the beginning of His way,
Before His works [bz]of old.
23 From eternity I was [ca](LI)established,
From the beginning, (LJ)from the earliest times of the earth.
24 When there were no (LK)ocean depths, I was born,
When there were no springs abounding with water.
25 (LL)Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was born;
26 While He had not yet made the earth and the [cb]fields,
Nor the first dust of the world.
27 When He (LM)established the heavens, I was there;
When (LN)He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became [cc]fixed,
29 When (LO)He set a boundary for the sea
So that the water would not violate His [cd]command,
When He marked out (LP)the foundations of the earth;
30 Then (LQ)I was beside Him, as a master workman;
And I was His delight daily,
[ce]Rejoicing always before Him,
31 [cf]Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And having (LR)my delight in the sons of mankind.

32 “Now then, sons, (LS)listen to me,
For (LT)blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 (LU)Listen to instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.
34 (LV)Blessed is the person who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
35 For (LW)one who finds me finds life,
And (LX)obtains favor from the Lord.
36 But one who [cg]sins against me (LY)injures himself;
All those who (LZ)hate me (MA)love death.”

Wisdom’s Invitation

Wisdom has (MB)built her house,
She has carved out her seven pillars;
She has [ch](MC)prepared her food, she has (MD)mixed her wine;
She has also (ME)set her table;
She has (MF)sent out her attendants, she (MG)calls out
From the (MH)tops of the heights of the city:
(MI)Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!”
To him who (MJ)lacks [ci]understanding she says,
“Come, (MK)eat of my food
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
[cj]Abandon your foolishness and (ML)live,
And (MM)proceed in the way of understanding.”

One who (MN)corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And one who rebukes a wicked person gets [ck]insults for himself.
(MO)Do not rebuke a scoffer, or he will hate you;
(MP)Rebuke a wise person and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise person and he will become still wiser;
Teach a righteous person and he will (MQ)increase his insight.
10 The (MR)fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For (MS)by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
12 If you are wise, you are wise (MT)for yourself,
And if you (MU)scoff, you alone will [cl]suffer from it.

13 [cm]A woman of foolishness is (MV)boisterous,
She has a lack of understanding and (MW)knows nothing.
14 She sits at the doorway of her house,
On a seat by (MX)the high places of the city,
15 Calling to those who pass by,
Who are going straight on their paths:
16 (MY)Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,”
And to him who lacks [cn]understanding she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet;
And (MZ)bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know that the [co]dead are there,
That her guests are in the (NA)depths of Sheol.

Contrast of the Righteous and the Wicked

10 The (NB)proverbs of Solomon.

(NC)A wise son makes a father glad,
But (ND)a foolish son is a grief to his mother.
[cp](NE)Ill-gotten gains do not benefit,
But righteousness rescues from death.
The Lord (NF)will not allow the [cq]righteous to hunger,
But He (NG)will [cr]reject the craving of the wicked.
Poor is one who works with [cs]a lazy hand,
But the (NH)hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely,
But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.
(NI)Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
But (NJ)the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The (NK)mentioning of the righteous is a blessing,
But (NL)the name of the wicked will rot.
The (NM)wise of heart will receive commands,
But [ct]a babbling fool will come to ruin.
One (NN)who walks in integrity walks securely,
But (NO)one who perverts his ways will be found out.
10 He (NP)who winks the eye causes trouble,
And [cu](NQ)a babbling fool will come to ruin.
11 The (NR)mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
But (NS)the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12 Hatred stirs up strife,
But (NT)love covers all offenses.
13 On (NU)the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found,
But (NV)a rod is for the back of him who has no [cv]sense.
14 Wise people (NW)store up knowledge,
But with (NX)the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.
15 The (NY)rich person’s wealth is his [cw]fortress,
The (NZ)ruin of the poor is their poverty.
16 The [cx](OA)wages of the righteous is life,
The income of the wicked, punishment.
17 One who (OB)is on the path of life follows instruction,
But one who ignores a rebuke goes astray.
18 One (OC)who conceals hatred has lying lips,
And one who spreads slander is a fool.
19 When there are (OD)many words, wrongdoing is unavoidable,
But (OE)one who restrains his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is like (OF)choice silver,
The heart of the wicked is worth little.
21 The (OG)lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools (OH)die for lack of [cy]understanding.
22 It is the (OI)blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it.
23 Doing wickedness is like (OJ)sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a person of understanding.
24 What (OK)the wicked fears will come upon him,
But the (OL)desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the (OM)whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more,
But the (ON)righteous has an everlasting foundation.
26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
So is the [cz](OO)lazy one to those who send him.
27 The (OP)fear of the Lord prolongs [da]life,
But the (OQ)years of the wicked will be shortened.
28 The (OR)hope of the righteous is gladness,
But the (OS)expectation of the wicked perishes.
29 The (OT)way of the Lord is a stronghold for the upright,
But (OU)ruin to the workers of injustice.
30 The (OV)righteous will never be shaken,
But (OW)the wicked will not live in the land.
31 The (OX)mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom,
But the (OY)perverted tongue will be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous know (OZ)what is acceptable,
But the (PA)mouth of the wicked, what is perverted.

Contrast of the Upright and the Wicked

11 A (PB)false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
But a (PC)just weight is His delight.
When (PD)pride comes, then comes dishonor;
But with the humble there is wisdom.
The (PE)integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the (PF)perversity of the treacherous will destroy them.
(PG)Riches do not benefit on the day of wrath,
But (PH)righteousness rescues from death.
The (PI)righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way,
But (PJ)the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright will rescue them,
But the treacherous will (PK)be caught by their own greed.
When a wicked person dies, his (PL)expectation will perish,
And the (PM)hope of strong people perishes.
The righteous is rescued from trouble,
But the wicked [db]takes his place.
With his (PN)mouth the godless person destroys his neighbor,
But through knowledge the (PO)righteous will be rescued.
10 When things (PP)go well for the righteous, the city rejoices,
And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.
11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
But by the mouth of the wicked, it is torn down.
12 One who despises his neighbor lacks [dc]sense,
But a person of understanding keeps silent.
13 One (PQ)who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,
But one who is [dd]trustworthy (PR)conceals a matter.
14 Where there is no (PS)guidance the people fall,
But in an abundance of counselors there is [de]victory.
15 One who is a (PT)guarantor for a stranger will certainly suffer for it,
But one who hates [df]being a guarantor is secure.
16 A (PU)gracious woman attains honor,
And ruthless men attain riches.
17 A (PV)merciful person does [dg]himself good,
But the cruel person [dh]does himself harm.
18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
But one who (PW)sows righteousness gets a true reward.
19 One who is steadfast in (PX)righteousness attains life,
But (PY)one who pursues evil attains his own death.
20 The perverse in heart are an abomination to the Lord,
But the (PZ)blameless in their [di]walk are His (QA)delight.
21 [dj]Be assured, the evil person will not go unpunished,
But the [dk]descendants of the righteous will be rescued.
22 As a (QB)ring of gold in a pig’s snout
So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.
23 The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the (QC)expectation of the wicked is wrath.
24 There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in poverty.
25 A [dl](QD)generous person will be [dm]prosperous,
And one who (QE)gives others plenty of water will himself be given plenty.
26 One who withholds grain, the (QF)people will curse him,
But (QG)blessing will be on the head of him who (QH)sells it.
27 One who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But (QI)one who seeks evil, evil will come to him.
28 One who (QJ)trusts in his riches will fall,
But (QK)the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.
29 One who (QL)troubles his own house will (QM)inherit wind,
And (QN)the foolish will be servant to the wise-hearted.
30 The fruit of the righteous is (QO)a tree of life,
And (QP)one who is wise [dn]gains souls.
31 If (QQ)the righteous will be repaid on the earth,
How much more the wicked and the sinner!

Contrast of the Upright and the Wicked

12 One who loves [do]discipline loves knowledge,
But one who hates rebuke is stupid.
A (QR)good person will obtain favor from the Lord,
But He will condemn a person [dp]who devises evil.
A person will (QS)not be established by wickedness,
But the root of the (QT)righteous will not be moved.
An [dq](QU)excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who shames him is like (QV)rottenness in his bones.
The thoughts of the righteous are just,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
The (QW)words of the wicked wait in ambush for blood,
But the (QX)mouth of the upright will rescue them.
The (QY)wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the (QZ)house of the righteous will stand.
A person will be praised according to his insight,
But one of perverse [dr]mind will be despised.
Better is one who is lightly esteemed and has a servant,
Than one who honors himself and lacks bread.
10 A (RA)righteous person has regard for the life of his animal,
But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
11 One (RB)who works his land will have plenty of bread,
But one who pursues worthless things lacks [ds]sense.
12 The (RC)wicked person desires the [dt]plunder of evil people,
But the root of the righteous (RD)yields fruit.
13 [du]An evil person is ensnared by the offense of his lips,
But the (RE)righteous will escape from trouble.
14 A person will be (RF)satisfied with good by the fruit of his [dv]words,
And the (RG)deeds of a person’s hands will return to him.
15 The (RH)way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But a person who listens to advice is wise.
16 A (RI)fool’s anger is known at once,
But a prudent person conceals dishonor.
17 One who declares truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.
18 There is one who (RJ)speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the (RK)tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips will endure forever,
But a (RL)lying tongue is only for a moment.
20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.
21 (RM)No harm happens to the righteous,
But the wicked are filled with trouble.
22 (RN)Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal faithfully are His delight.
23 A (RO)prudent person conceals knowledge,
But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.
24 The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the [dw]lazy hand will be (RP)put to forced labor.
25 (RQ)Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down,
But a (RR)good word makes it glad.
26 The righteous person is a guide to his neighbor,
But the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27 [dx]A lazy person does not [dy]roast his prey,
But the (RS)precious possession of a person is diligence.
28 (RT)In the way of righteousness there is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.

Contrast of the Upright and the Wicked

13 A (RU)wise son accepts his father’s discipline,
But a (RV)scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
From the fruit of a person’s mouth he [dz](RW)enjoys good,
But the [ea]desire of the treacherous is (RX)violence.
One who (RY)guards his mouth protects his life;
One who (RZ)opens wide his lips [eb]comes to ruin.
The soul of the [ec]lazy one craves and gets nothing,
But the soul of the diligent is made [ed]prosperous.
A righteous person (SA)hates a false statement,
But a wicked person [ee](SB)acts disgustingly and shamefully.
Righteousness (SC)guards the [ef]one whose way is blameless,
But wickedness brings the [eg]sinner to ruin.
There is one who (SD)pretends to be rich but has nothing;
Another pretends to be (SE)poor, but has great wealth.
The ransom of a person’s life is his wealth,
But the poor hears no rebuke.
The (SF)light of the righteous [eh]rejoices,
But the (SG)lamp of the wicked goes out.
10 Through overconfidence [ei]comes nothing but strife,
But wisdom is with those who receive counsel.
11 Wealth obtained from [ej]nothing dwindles,
But one who gathers [ek]by labor increases it.
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire [el]fulfilled is a tree of life.
13 One who (SH)despises the word will do badly,
But one who fears the commandment will be (SI)rewarded.
14 The [em]teaching of the wise is a (SJ)fountain of life,
To turn aside from the (SK)snares of death.
15 (SL)Good understanding produces favor,
But the way of the treacherous is [en]their own disaster.
16 Every (SM)prudent person acts with knowledge,
But a fool [eo]displays foolishness.
17 A wicked messenger falls into adversity,
But (SN)a faithful messenger brings healing.
18 Poverty and shame will come to one who (SO)neglects [ep]discipline,
But one who complies with rebuke will be honored.
19 Desire realized is sweet to the soul,
But it is an abomination to fools to turn away from evil.
20 (SP)One who walks with wise people will be wise,
But a companion of fools will suffer harm.
21 (SQ)Adversity pursues sinners,
But the (SR)righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.
22 A good person (SS)leaves an inheritance to his [eq]grandchildren,
And the (ST)wealth of a sinner is stored up for the righteous.
23 (SU)Abundant food is in the uncultivated ground of the poor,
But [er]it is swept away by injustice.
24 He who (SV)withholds his [es]rod hates his son,
But he who loves him [et](SW)disciplines him diligently.
25 The (SX)righteous [eu]has enough to satisfy his appetite,
But the stomach of the (SY)wicked is in need.


  1. Proverbs 1:14 Lit in the midst of us
  2. Proverbs 1:17 Lit in vain
  3. Proverbs 1:17 Lit possessor of wing
  4. Proverbs 1:20 Lit gives
  5. Proverbs 2:3 Lit give
  6. Proverbs 2:18 Lit departed spirits
  7. Proverbs 3:1 Or law
  8. Proverbs 3:4 Lit understanding
  9. Proverbs 3:8 Lit navel
  10. Proverbs 3:11 Or instruction
  11. Proverbs 3:14 I.e., the profit from Wisdom (personified)
  12. Proverbs 3:15 Lit corals
  13. Proverbs 3:16 Lit Length of days
  14. Proverbs 3:26 Or at your side
  15. Proverbs 3:27 Lit its owners
  16. Proverbs 3:32 Lit His private counsel is
  17. Proverbs 3:35 Lit raise high
  18. Proverbs 4:1 Lit know
  19. Proverbs 4:2 Or law
  20. Proverbs 4:7 Or primary thing is wisdom
  21. Proverbs 4:16 Lit their sleep is robbed
  22. Proverbs 4:19 Or may stumble
  23. Proverbs 4:22 Lit his
  24. Proverbs 4:24 Or lips
  25. Proverbs 4:25 Or eyelids
  26. Proverbs 4:26 I.e., prob. stay on the path
  27. Proverbs 5:3 Lit strange woman
  28. Proverbs 5:3 Lit palate
  29. Proverbs 5:6 Lit That she not watch
  30. Proverbs 5:11 Or at
  31. Proverbs 5:11 Lit your end
  32. Proverbs 5:15 Lit flowing
  33. Proverbs 5:19 Lit intoxicated
  34. Proverbs 5:20 Lit strange woman
  35. Proverbs 6:3 Lit palm
  36. Proverbs 6:6 Lit idle one
  37. Proverbs 6:9 Lit idle one
  38. Proverbs 6:10 Lit lie down
  39. Proverbs 6:11 Lit one who moves about
  40. Proverbs 6:11 Lit a man with a shield
  41. Proverbs 6:13 Lit scrapes
  42. Proverbs 6:13 Lit instructs with
  43. Proverbs 6:14 Lit sends out
  44. Proverbs 6:16 Lit of His soul
  45. Proverbs 6:19 Lit sends out
  46. Proverbs 6:20 Or law
  47. Proverbs 6:22 Lit she
  48. Proverbs 6:22 Lit she
  49. Proverbs 6:22 Lit she
  50. Proverbs 6:23 Or law
  51. Proverbs 6:26 Lit a man’s wife
  52. Proverbs 6:29 Lit be innocent
  53. Proverbs 6:30 Lit his soul
  54. Proverbs 6:32 Lit heart
  55. Proverbs 6:32 Lit his soul
  56. Proverbs 6:34 Lit is the rage of
  57. Proverbs 6:35 Lit lift up the face of any
  58. Proverbs 6:35 Lit willing
  59. Proverbs 7:2 Or law
  60. Proverbs 7:2 Lit pupil
  61. Proverbs 7:5 Lit strange woman
  62. Proverbs 7:7 Lit sons
  63. Proverbs 7:7 Lit heart
  64. Proverbs 7:9 Lit evening of the day
  65. Proverbs 7:9 Lit pupil (of the eye)
  66. Proverbs 7:13 Lit She makes bold her face and says
  67. Proverbs 7:14 Lit Sacrifices of peace offerings are with me
  68. Proverbs 7:19 Lit the man
  69. Proverbs 7:20 Lit in his hand
  70. Proverbs 7:21 Lit smooth
  71. Proverbs 7:22 Or as a stag goes into a trap; as in some ancient versions, Heb is uncertain
  72. Proverbs 7:26 Lit wounded
  73. Proverbs 8:1 Lit give
  74. Proverbs 8:4 Lit sons of mankind
  75. Proverbs 8:5 Lit heart
  76. Proverbs 8:11 Lit corals
  77. Proverbs 8:22 Or possessed
  78. Proverbs 8:22 Lit from then
  79. Proverbs 8:23 Or consecrated
  80. Proverbs 8:26 Lit outside places
  81. Proverbs 8:28 Lit strong
  82. Proverbs 8:29 Lit mouth
  83. Proverbs 8:30 Or Playing
  84. Proverbs 8:31 Or Playing
  85. Proverbs 8:36 Or misses me
  86. Proverbs 9:2 Lit slaughtered her slaughter
  87. Proverbs 9:4 Lit heart
  88. Proverbs 9:6 Or Abandon the naive
  89. Proverbs 9:7 Lit a blemish
  90. Proverbs 9:12 Lit bear
  91. Proverbs 9:13 Or A foolish woman
  92. Proverbs 9:16 Lit heart
  93. Proverbs 9:18 Lit departed spirits
  94. Proverbs 10:2 Lit Treasures of wickedness
  95. Proverbs 10:3 Lit soul of the righteous
  96. Proverbs 10:3 Lit thrust away
  97. Proverbs 10:4 Lit an idle hand
  98. Proverbs 10:8 Lit the foolish of lips
  99. Proverbs 10:10 Lit the foolish of lips
  100. Proverbs 10:13 Lit heart
  101. Proverbs 10:15 Lit strong city
  102. Proverbs 10:16 Or work
  103. Proverbs 10:21 Lit heart
  104. Proverbs 10:26 Lit idle one
  105. Proverbs 10:27 Lit days
  106. Proverbs 11:8 Lit enters
  107. Proverbs 11:12 Lit heart
  108. Proverbs 11:13 Lit faithful of spirit
  109. Proverbs 11:14 Lit deliverance
  110. Proverbs 11:15 Lit those who strike hands
  111. Proverbs 11:17 Lit his soul
  112. Proverbs 11:17 Lit ruins his flesh
  113. Proverbs 11:20 Lit way
  114. Proverbs 11:21 Lit Hand to hand
  115. Proverbs 11:21 Lit seed
  116. Proverbs 11:25 Lit soul of blessing
  117. Proverbs 11:25 Lit made fat
  118. Proverbs 11:30 Lit takes
  119. Proverbs 12:1 Or instruction
  120. Proverbs 12:2 Lit of evil devices
  121. Proverbs 12:4 Or virtuous
  122. Proverbs 12:8 Lit heart
  123. Proverbs 12:11 Lit heart
  124. Proverbs 12:12 Lit net (for trapping prey); another reading is mountain stronghold
  125. Proverbs 12:13 Lit In the offense of the lips is an evil snare
  126. Proverbs 12:14 Lit mouth
  127. Proverbs 12:24 Lit idle
  128. Proverbs 12:27 Lit An indolent
  129. Proverbs 12:27 Or catch
  130. Proverbs 13:2 Lit eats
  131. Proverbs 13:2 Lit soul
  132. Proverbs 13:3 Lit ruin is his
  133. Proverbs 13:4 Lit idle
  134. Proverbs 13:4 Lit fat
  135. Proverbs 13:5 Lit causes a bad odor and causes shame
  136. Proverbs 13:6 Lit blamelessness of way
  137. Proverbs 13:6 Lit sin
  138. Proverbs 13:9 I.e., shines brightly
  139. Proverbs 13:10 Lit gives
  140. Proverbs 13:11 Prob. referring to fraud
  141. Proverbs 13:11 Lit by hand
  142. Proverbs 13:12 Lit coming
  143. Proverbs 13:14 Or law
  144. Proverbs 13:15 Cf. LXX in destruction; MT constant
  145. Proverbs 13:16 Lit spreads out
  146. Proverbs 13:18 Or instruction
  147. Proverbs 13:22 Lit sons’ sons
  148. Proverbs 13:23 Lit there is what is swept
  149. Proverbs 13:24 I.e., correction or discipline
  150. Proverbs 13:24 Lit seeks him diligently with discipline
  151. Proverbs 13:25 Lit eats to the satisfaction of his soul

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