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Proverbs 15 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 15

[a]A mild answer turns back wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.[b]
The tongue of the wise pours out knowledge,
    but the mouth of fools spews folly.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
    keeping watch on the evil and the good.
A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
    but a perverse one breaks the spirit.
The fool spurns a father’s instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.[c]
In the house of the just there are ample resources,
    but the harvest of the wicked is in peril.
The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
    but the heart of fools is not steadfast.[d]
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
    but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
    but he loves one who pursues justice.
10 Discipline seems bad to those going astray;
    one who hates reproof will die.[e]
11 Sheol and Abaddon[f] lie open before the Lord;
    how much more the hearts of mortals!
12 Scoffers do not love reproof;
    to the wise they will not go.
13 A glad heart lights up the face,
    but an anguished heart breaks the spirit.
14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
    but the mouth of fools feeds on folly.[g]
15 All the days of the poor are evil,
    but a good heart is a continual feast.[h]
16 [i]Better a little with fear of the Lord
    than a great fortune with anxiety.
17 Better a dish of herbs where love is
    than a fatted ox and hatred with it.
18 The ill-tempered stir up strife,
    but the patient settle disputes.
19 The way of the sluggard is like a thorn hedge,
    but the path of the diligent is a highway.
20 A wise son gives his father joy,
    but a fool despises his mother.
21 Folly is joy[j] to the senseless,
    but the person of understanding goes the straight way.
22 Plans fail when there is no counsel,
    but they succeed when advisers are many.[k]
23 One has joy from an apt response;
    a word in season, how good it is![l]
24 The path of life leads upward for the prudent,
    turning them from Sheol below.[m]
25 The Lord pulls down the house of the proud,
    but preserves intact the widow’s landmark.
26 The schemes of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,
    but gracious words are pure.[n]
27 The greedy tear down their own house,
    but those who hate bribes will live.[o]
28 The heart of the just ponders a response,
    but the mouth of the wicked spews evil.
29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
    but hears the prayer of the just.
30 A cheerful glance brings joy to the heart;
    good news invigorates the bones.
31 The ear that listens to salutary reproof
    is at home among the wise.[p]
32 Those who disregard discipline hate themselves,
    but those who heed reproof acquire understanding.
33 The fear of the Lord is training for wisdom,
    and humility goes before honors.

Footnotes:

  1. 15:1–7 These verses form a section beginning and ending with the topic of words.
  2. 15:1 Paradoxically, where words are concerned soft is powerful and hard is ineffective.
  3. 15:5 One becomes wise by keeping and foolish by rejecting. One must accept the tradition of the community.
  4. 15:7 “Lips” and “heart” are a fixed pair, in Proverbs signifying, respectively, expression and source. The wise disseminate what they have in their heart, but the wicked are unsound even in the source of their words, their hearts.
  5. 15:10 Discipline, always a good thing in Proverbs, seems bad to those deliberately wandering from justice.
  6. 15:11 Sheol and Abaddon: terms for the abode of the dead, signifying the profound obscurity which is open nevertheless to the sight and power of God; cf. 27:20.
  7. 15:14 The contrasts include heart (organ of reflection) and mouth (organ of expression), and the wise and fools. One type feeds its mind with wisdom and the other feeds its face with folly.
  8. 15:15 Good heart does not refer to good intentions but to an instructed mind. Wisdom makes poverty not only bearable but even joyful like the joy of feast days.
  9. 15:16–17 The sages favor wealth over poverty—but not at any price; cf. Ps 37:16.
  10. 15:21 The word “joy” occurs in the first line of vv. 20, 21, and 23. The state of folly is joy to a fool but the wise person is totally absorbed in keeping on the right or straight road.
  11. 15:22 Failure to consult makes it likely a plan will not succeed. The point is nicely made by contrasting the singular number in the first line (“no counsel”) with the plural number in the second line (“many advisers”).
  12. 15:23 Conversation is the art of saying the right thing at the right time. It gives pleasure to speaker and hearer alike.
  13. 15:24 Death is personified as Sheol, the underworld. “Up” and “down” in Hebrew as in English are metaphors for success and failure (see Dt 28:43). One who stays on the path of life need not fear the punishment that stalks sinners.
  14. 15:26 “Pure” here means acceptable. The language of ritual (acceptable or pure) is applied to ordinary human actions. “Gracious words” are words that bring peace to the neighbor.
  15. 15:27 The same lesson as the opening scene of Proverbs (1:8–19): one cannot build a house by unjust gain. Injustice will come back upon a house so built.
  16. 15:31 To become wise, one must hear and integrate perspectives contrary to one’s own, which means accepting “reproof.” Wisdom does not isolate one but places one in the company of the wise.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Proverbs 15 New International Version (NIV)

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[a] 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 15:11 Hebrew Abaddon
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.

Proverbs 15 King James Version (KJV)

15 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.

10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.

11 Hell and destruction are before the Lord: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

12 A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

16 Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.

17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.

20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.

22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

25 The Lord will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.

26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

29 The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.

31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

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