Contrast of the Upright and the Wicked

17 (A)Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it
Than a house full of [a]feasting with strife.
A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully,
And will share in the inheritance among brothers.
The (B)refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But (C)the Lord tests hearts.
An (D)evildoer listens to wicked lips;
A [b]liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.
One who mocks the (E)poor taunts his Maker;
One who (F)rejoices at disaster will not go unpunished.
(G)Grandchildren are the crown of the old,
And the (H)glory of sons is their fathers.
[c](I)Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool,
Much less are (J)lying lips to a prince.
A (K)bribe is a [d]charm in the sight of its owner;
Wherever he turns, he prospers.
One who (L)conceals an offense seeks love,
But one who repeats a matter (M)separates close friends.
10 A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding
Than a hundred blows into a fool.
11 A rebellious person seeks only evil,
So a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12 Let a (N)person meet a (O)bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his foolishness.
13 One who (P)returns evil for good,
(Q)Evil will not depart from his house.
14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
So (R)abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.
15 One who (S)justifies the wicked and one who condemns the righteous,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
16 Why is there money in the hand of a fool to (T)buy wisdom,
When [e]he has no sense?
17 A (U)friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.
18 A person lacking in [f]sense (V)shakes hands
And becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor.
19 One who (W)loves wrongdoing loves strife;
One who (X)makes his doorway high seeks destruction.
20 One who has a crooked [g]mind (Y)finds nothing good,
And one who is [h](Z)corrupted in his language falls into evil.
21 He who (AA)fathers a fool does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy.
22 A (AB)joyful heart [i]is good medicine,
But a broken spirit (AC)dries up the bones.
23 A wicked person accepts a (AD)bribe [j]from an inside pocket
To (AE)pervert the ways of justice.
24 Wisdom is in the presence of one who has understanding,
But the (AF)eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25 A (AG)foolish son is a grief to his father,
And (AH)bitterness to her who gave birth to him.
26 It is also not good to (AI)fine the righteous,
Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
27 One who (AJ)withholds his words [k]has knowledge,
And one who has a (AK)cool spirit is a person of understanding.
28 Even a fool, when he (AL)keeps silent, is considered wise;
When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.

Contrast of the Upright and the Wicked

18 One who separates himself seeks his own desire;
He [l](AM)quarrels against all sound wisdom.
A fool does not delight in understanding,
But (AN)in revealing his own [m]mind.
When a wicked person comes, contempt also comes,
And with dishonor comes taunting.
The words of a person’s mouth are (AO)deep waters;
[n]The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
To (AP)show partiality to the wicked is not good,
Nor to (AQ)suppress the righteous in judgment.
A fool’s lips [o]bring strife,
And his mouth invites (AR)beatings.
A (AS)fool’s mouth is his ruin,
And his lips are the snare of his soul.
The words of a gossiper are like dainty morsels,
And they go down into the [p]innermost parts of the body.
He also who is (AT)lax in his work
(AU)Is a brother to him who destroys.
10 The (AV)name of the Lord is a (AW)strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and (AX)is [q]safe.
11 A (AY)rich person’s wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own imagination.
12 (AZ)Before destruction the heart of a person is haughty,
But (BA)humility goes before honor.
13 One who (BB)gives an answer before he hears,
It is foolishness and shame to him.
14 The (BC)spirit of a person can endure his sickness,
But as for a (BD)broken spirit, who can endure it?
15 The [r](BE)mind of the discerning acquires knowledge,
And the (BF)ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16 A person’s (BG)gift makes room for him
And brings him before great people.
17 The first [s]to plead his case seems right,
Until [t]another comes and examines him.
18 The cast (BH)lot puts an end to quarrels,
And [u]decides between the mighty ones.
19 A brother who is offended is harder to be won than a strong city,
And quarrels are like the bars of a citadel.
20 With the [v](BI)fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied;
(BJ)He will be satisfied with the product of his lips.
21 (BK)Death and life are in the [w]power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its (BL)fruit.
22 He who finds a (BM)wife finds a good thing
And (BN)obtains favor from the Lord.
23 A (BO)poor person utters pleadings,
But a (BP)rich person (BQ)answers defiantly.
24 A person of too many friends comes to [x]ruin,
But there is (BR)a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

On Life and Conduct

19 (BS)Better is a poor person who (BT)walks in his integrity
Than a person who is perverse in [y]speech and is a fool.
Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge,
And one who hurries [z](BU)his footsteps [aa]errs.
The (BV)foolishness of a person ruins his way,
And his heart (BW)rages against the Lord.
(BX)Wealth adds many friends,
But a poor person is separated from his friend.
A (BY)false witness will not go unpunished,
And one who (BZ)declares lies will not escape.
(CA)Many will seek the favor of a [ab]generous person,
And every person is a friend to (CB)him who gives gifts.
All the brothers of a poor person hate him;
How much more do his (CC)friends abandon him!
He (CD)pursues them with words, but they are [ac]gone.
One who gets [ad]wisdom loves his own soul;
One who keeps understanding will (CE)find good.
A (CF)false witness will not go unpunished,
And one who declares lies will perish.
10 Luxury is (CG)not fitting for a fool;
Much less for a (CH)slave to rule over princes.
11 A person’s (CI)discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory (CJ)to overlook an offense.
12 A (CK)king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like (CL)dew on the grass.
13 A (CM)foolish son is destruction to his father,
And the (CN)quarrels of a wife are a constant dripping.
14 House and wealth are an (CO)inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the Lord.
15 (CP)Laziness casts one into a deep sleep,
And [ae]a lazy [af]person will suffer hunger.
16 One who (CQ)keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But one who [ag]is careless of [ah]conduct will die.
17 One who (CR)is gracious to a poor person lends to the Lord,
And He will repay him for his [ai](CS)good deed.
18 (CT)Discipline your son while there is hope,
And do not desire [aj]his death.
19 A person of great anger will suffer the penalty,
For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.
20 (CU)Listen to advice and accept discipline,
So that you may be wise [ak]the rest of your days.
21 Many (CV)plans are in a person’s heart,
But the (CW)advice of the Lord will stand.
22 What is desirable in a person is his [al]kindness,
And it is better to be a poor person than a liar.
23 [am]The (CX)fear of the Lord leads to life,
So that one may sleep (CY)satisfied, [an](CZ)untouched by evil.
24 The [ao](DA)lazy one buries his hand (DB)in the dish,
But will not even bring it back to his mouth.
25 (DC)Strike a scoffer and the naive may become clever,
But (DD)rebuke one who has understanding, and he will [ap]gain knowledge.
26 He (DE)who assaults his father and drives his mother away
Is a shameful and disgraceful son.
27 Stop listening, my son, to discipline,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28 A worthless witness makes a mockery of justice,
And the mouth of the wicked [aq](DF)swallows wrongdoing.
29 [ar]Judgments are prepared for (DG)scoffers,
And (DH)beatings for the backs of fools.

On Life and Conduct

20 (DI)Wine is a mocker, (DJ)intoxicating drink a brawler,
And whoever [as]is intoxicated by it is not wise.
The terror of a king is like the roaring of a lion;
One who provokes him to anger [at](DK)forfeits his own life.
(DL)Avoiding strife is an honor for a person,
But any fool will [au]quarrel.
The [av](DM)lazy one does not plow after the autumn,
So he [aw]begs during the harvest and has nothing.
A plan in the heart of a person is like deep water,
But a person of understanding draws it out.
Many a person (DN)proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a (DO)trustworthy person?
A righteous person who (DP)walks in his integrity—
(DQ)How blessed are his sons after him.
(DR)A king who sits on the throne of justice
[ax]Disperses all evil with his eyes.
(DS)Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”?
10 [ay](DT)Differing weights and differing measures,
Both of them are abominable to the Lord.
11 It is by his deeds that a boy [az](DU)distinguishes himself,
If his conduct is pure and right.
12 The hearing (DV)ear and the seeing eye,
The Lord has made both of them.
13 (DW)Do not love sleep, or you will become poor;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with [ba]food.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
But when he goes his way, then he boasts.
15 There is gold, and an abundance of [bb]jewels;
But lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.
16 Take his garment when he becomes guarantor for a stranger;
And for foreigners, seize a pledge from him.
17 (DX)Bread obtained by a lie is sweet to a person,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 Prepare (DY)plans by consultation,
And (DZ)make war by wise guidance.
19 One who (EA)goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets;
Therefore do not associate with [bc](EB)a gossip.
20 He who (EC)curses his father or his mother,
His (ED)lamp will go out in time of darkness.
21 An inheritance gained in a hurry at the beginning
Will not be blessed in the end.
22 (EE)Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
(EF)Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.
23 [bd](EG)Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord,
And a [be](EH)false scale is not good.
24 (EI)A man’s steps are ordained by the Lord;
How then can a person understand his way?
25 It is a trap for a person to say carelessly, “It is holy!”
And (EJ)after the vows to make inquiry.
26 A (EK)wise king scatters the wicked,
And [bf]drives a (EL)threshing wheel over them.
27 The [bg](EM)spirit of a person is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the [bh]innermost parts of his being.
28 [bi]Loyalty and (EN)truth watch over the king,
And he upholds his throne by [bj]loyalty.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
And the [bk](EO)honor of old men is their gray hair.
30 (EP)Bruising wounds clean away evil,
And blows cleanse the [bl]innermost parts.

On Life and Conduct

21 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He (EQ)turns it wherever He pleases.
(ER)Every person’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord (ES)examines the hearts.
To do (ET)righteousness and justice
Is preferred by the Lord more than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
The (EU)lamp of the wicked, is sin.
The plans of the (EV)diligent certainly lead to advantage,
But everyone (EW)who is in a hurry certainly comes to poverty.
The (EX)acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue
Is a fleeting vapor, the [bm]pursuit of (EY)death.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
Because they (EZ)refuse to act with justice.
The way of a guilty person is (FA)crooked,
But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.
It is better to live on a corner of a roof
Than [bn]in a house shared with a contentious woman.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His (FB)neighbor is shown no compassion in his eyes.
11 When the (FC)scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12 The [bo]righteous one considers the house of the wicked,
Bringing the (FD)wicked to ruin.
13 One who (FE)shuts his ear to the outcry of the poor
Will also call out himself, and not be (FF)answered.
14 A (FG)gift in secret subdues anger,
And a bribe [bp]in an inside pocket, strong wrath.
15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous,
But (FH)terror to those who practice injustice.
16 A person who wanders from the way of understanding
Will (FI)rest in the assembly of the [bq]dead.
17 One who (FJ)loves pleasure will become a poor person;
One who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
18 The wicked is a (FK)ransom for the righteous,
And the (FL)treacherous is in the place of the upright.
19 (FM)It is better to live in a desert land
Than with a contentious and irritating woman.
20 There is precious (FN)treasure and oil in the home of the wise,
But a foolish person (FO)swallows it up.
21 One who (FP)pursues righteousness and loyalty
Finds life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A (FQ)wise person scales the city of the mighty
And brings down the [br]stronghold in which they trust.
23 One who (FR)guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles.
24 “Proud,” “Arrogant,” “(FS)Scoffer,” are his names,
One who acts with (FT)insolent pride.
25 The (FU)desire of the [bs]lazy one puts him to death,
For his hands refuse to work;
26 All day long he [bt]is craving,
While the righteous (FV)gives and does not hold back.
27 The (FW)sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,
How much more when he brings it with evil intent!
28 A (FX)false witness will perish,
But a person who listens will speak forever.
29 A wicked person [bu](FY)displays a bold face,
But as for the (FZ)upright, he makes his way sure.
30 There is (GA)no wisdom, no understanding,
And no [bv]plan against the Lord.
31 The (GB)horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But the (GC)victory belongs to the Lord.

On Life and Conduct

22 A (GD)good name is to be more desired than great wealth;
Favor is better than silver and gold.
The rich and the poor [bw]have a common bond,
The Lord is the (GE)Maker of them all.
A (GF)prudent person sees evil and hides himself,
But the naive proceed, and pay the penalty.
The reward of humility and [bx]the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor, and life.
(GG)Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
One who guards himself will be far from them.
(GH)Train up a child [by]in the way he should go,
Even when he grows older he will not abandon it.
The (GI)rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
One who (GJ)sows injustice will reap disaster,
And the (GK)rod of his fury will perish.
One who [bz]is (GL)generous will be blessed,
Because he (GM)gives some of his food to the poor.
10 (GN)Drive out the scoffer, and strife will leave,
Even quarreling and dishonor will cease.
11 One who loves (GO)purity of heart
And [ca]whose speech is (GP)gracious, the king is his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord protect knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous person.
13 The [cb](GQ)lazy one says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of [cc](GR)an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is (GS)cursed of the Lord will fall [cd]into it.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The (GT)rod of discipline will remove it far from him.
16 One (GU)who oppresses the poor to make [ce]more for himself,
Or gives to the rich, (GV)will only come to poverty.

17 (GW)Extend your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
18 For it will be (GX)pleasant if you keep them within you,
[cf]So that they may be ready on your lips.
19 So that your (GY)trust may be in the Lord,
I have [cg]taught you today, you indeed.
20 Have I not written to you [ch](GZ)excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 To make you (HA)know the [ci]certainty of the words of truth,
So that you may [cj](HB)correctly answer him who sent you?

22 (HC)Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor (HD)crush the needy at the gate;
23 For the Lord will (HE)plead their case
And [ck]take the life of those who rob them.

24 Do not make friends with a person given to anger,
Or go with a (HF)hot-tempered person,
25 Or you will (HG)learn his ways
And [cl]find a snare for yourself.

26 Do not be among those who (HH)shake hands,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to repay,
Why should he (HI)take your bed from under you?

28 (HJ)Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

29 Do you see a person skilled in his work?
He will (HK)stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure people.


  1. Proverbs 17:1 Lit sacrifices of strife
  2. Proverbs 17:4 Lit falsehood
  3. Proverbs 17:7 Lit A lip of abundance
  4. Proverbs 17:8 Lit stone of favor
  5. Proverbs 17:16 Lit there is no heart
  6. Proverbs 17:18 Lit heart
  7. Proverbs 17:20 Lit heart
  8. Proverbs 17:20 Lit altered in his tongue
  9. Proverbs 17:22 Lit causes good healing
  10. Proverbs 17:23 Lit a fold in a robe; i.e., secretly
  11. Proverbs 17:27 Lit knows
  12. Proverbs 18:1 Lit breaks out
  13. Proverbs 18:2 Lit heart
  14. Proverbs 18:4 Or A bubbling brook, a fountain of wisdom
  15. Proverbs 18:6 Lit come with
  16. Proverbs 18:8 Lit chambers of the belly
  17. Proverbs 18:10 Lit set on high
  18. Proverbs 18:15 Lit heart
  19. Proverbs 18:17 Lit in his plea
  20. Proverbs 18:17 Lit his neighbor
  21. Proverbs 18:18 Lit makes a division
  22. Proverbs 18:20 I.e., speech
  23. Proverbs 18:21 Lit hand
  24. Proverbs 18:24 Lit be broken in pieces
  25. Proverbs 19:1 Lit his lips
  26. Proverbs 19:2 Lit with his feet
  27. Proverbs 19:2 Lit sins
  28. Proverbs 19:6 Or noble
  29. Proverbs 19:7 Lit not
  30. Proverbs 19:8 Lit heart
  31. Proverbs 19:15 Lit an idle
  32. Proverbs 19:15 Lit soul
  33. Proverbs 19:16 Lit despises
  34. Proverbs 19:16 Lit ways
  35. Proverbs 19:17 Or benefits
  36. Proverbs 19:18 Lit causing him to die
  37. Proverbs 19:20 Lit in your latter end
  38. Proverbs 19:22 Or loyalty
  39. Proverbs 19:23 Or Reverence for
  40. Proverbs 19:23 Lit not visited
  41. Proverbs 19:24 Lit idle person
  42. Proverbs 19:25 Lit discern
  43. Proverbs 19:28 Another reading is pours out
  44. Proverbs 19:29 LXX Rods
  45. Proverbs 20:1 Lit errs
  46. Proverbs 20:2 Lit sins against
  47. Proverbs 20:3 Lit burst out
  48. Proverbs 20:4 Lit idle
  49. Proverbs 20:4 Lit asks
  50. Proverbs 20:8 Or Sifts
  51. Proverbs 20:10 Lit A stone and a stone, an ephah and an ephah
  52. Proverbs 20:11 Or makes himself known
  53. Proverbs 20:13 Lit bread
  54. Proverbs 20:15 Or corals
  55. Proverbs 20:19 Lit one who opens his lips
  56. Proverbs 20:23 Lit A stone and a stone
  57. Proverbs 20:23 Lit balance of deceit
  58. Proverbs 20:26 Lit turns
  59. Proverbs 20:27 Lit breath
  60. Proverbs 20:27 Lit chambers of the body
  61. Proverbs 20:28 I.e., covenant loyalty
  62. Proverbs 20:28 I.e., covenant loyalty
  63. Proverbs 20:29 Or splendor
  64. Proverbs 20:30 Lit chambers of the body
  65. Proverbs 21:6 Lit seekers
  66. Proverbs 21:9 Lit with a woman of contentions and a house of association
  67. Proverbs 21:12 Or Righteous One
  68. Proverbs 21:14 Lit a fold in a robe; i.e., secretly
  69. Proverbs 21:16 Lit departed spirits
  70. Proverbs 21:22 Lit strength of trust
  71. Proverbs 21:25 Lit idle
  72. Proverbs 21:26 Lit desires desire
  73. Proverbs 21:29 Lit makes firm with his face
  74. Proverbs 21:30 Or advice
  75. Proverbs 22:2 Lit meet together
  76. Proverbs 22:4 Or reverence for
  77. Proverbs 22:6 Lit according to his way
  78. Proverbs 22:9 Lit has a good eye
  79. Proverbs 22:11 Lit has grace on his lips
  80. Proverbs 22:13 Lit idle
  81. Proverbs 22:14 Lit strange woman
  82. Proverbs 22:14 Lit there
  83. Proverbs 22:16 Lit much
  84. Proverbs 22:18 Lit They together
  85. Proverbs 22:19 Lit made you know
  86. Proverbs 22:20 Or previous
  87. Proverbs 22:21 Lit truth
  88. Proverbs 22:21 Lit return words of truth
  89. Proverbs 22:23 Lit rob the soul
  90. Proverbs 22:25 Lit take

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