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20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
    and any who go astray by it are not wise.
Roaring like the lion is the dreaded anger of a king;
    he who provokes him forfeits his life.[a]
It is honorable for the man to refrain from strife,
    but every fool will be quick to quarrel.
The lazy person will not plow in season;
    he will expect at the harvest, but there will be nothing.
Deep waters are like purpose in the heart[b] of a man,
    and a man of understanding will draw it[c] out.
Many a person will proclaim his loyalty for himself,
    but a man who is trustworthy, who can find?
He who walks in his integrity is righteous;
    happy are his children who follow him.
A king who sits on the throne of judgment
    winnows all evil with his eyes.
Who will say “I have made my heart[d] clean;
    I am pure from my sin”?
10 Stone and stone, measure and measure,
    both of them[e] are an abomination of Yahweh.
11 Even by his acts, a young man[f] will make himself known,
    whether his acts are pure and upright.
12 The ear that hears and the eye that sees,
    Yahweh has made them both.[g]
13 Do not love sleep, lest you become poor;
    open your eyes and have plenty bread.
14 “Bad, bad,” the buyer will say,
    but when one goes to him, then he will boast.
15 There is gold and many costly stones,
    but precious jewels are lips of knowledge.
16 Take his garment, for he has given security to a stranger,
    and on behalf of a foreigner—take it as pledge.
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet for the man,
    but afterward, his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 A plan[h] will be established by advice,
    and with guidance make war.
19 He reveals a secret, he who walks about with gossip,
    and do not associate with a babbler’s lips.
20 He who curses his father and his mother,
    his lamp will be extinguished in the midst of darkness.[i]
21 An inheritance acquired hastily at the beginning[j]
    will not be blessed at its end.
22 Do not say “I will repay evil”;
    wait for Yahweh and he will deliver you.
23 An abomination of Yahweh is a stone and a weight,[k]
    and scales of falsehood are not good.
24 Away from Yahweh are the steps of a strong man,
    and how will humankind understand his ways?
25 It is a snare to humankind to say rashly “It is holy,”
    and after vows, to scrutinize.
26 A wise king winnows the wicked,
    and he will drive a wheel over them.
27 The lamp of Yahweh is the spirit[l] of humankind,
    he who searches every innermost part.[m]
28 Loyalty and faithfulness will preserve a king,
    and he is upheld with the righteousness of his throne.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,[n]
    but the beauty of the aged is gray hair.
30 The blows of a wound will cleanse evil,
    as will[o] beatings of the innermost part.[p]


  1. Proverbs 20:2 Or “soul,” or “inner self”
  2. Proverbs 20:5 Or “mind”
  3. Proverbs 20:5 Or “her”; referring to “purpose”
  4. Proverbs 20:9 Or “mind”
  5. Proverbs 20:10 Literally “also the two of them”
  6. Proverbs 20:11 Or “young boy,” or “adolescent”
  7. Proverbs 20:12 Literally “also the two of them”
  8. Proverbs 20:18 Hebrew “plans”
  9. Proverbs 20:20 Literally “in a pupil of darkness”
  10. Proverbs 20:21 Literally “at the first”
  11. Proverbs 20:23 Literally “a stone and a stone”
  12. Proverbs 20:27 Or “soul”
  13. Proverbs 20:27 Literally “parts of the inmost”
  14. Proverbs 20:29 Or “strengthens them”
  15. Proverbs 20:30 Hebrew “and”
  16. Proverbs 20:30 Literally “parts of the inmost”