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20 Wine gives false courage; hard liquor leads to brawls; what fools men are to let it master them, making them reel drunkenly down the street!

The king’s fury is like that of a roaring lion; to rouse his anger is to risk your life.

It is an honor for a man to stay out of a fight. Only fools insist on quarreling.

If you won’t plow in the cold, you won’t eat at the harvest.

Though good advice lies deep within a counselor’s heart, the wise man will draw it out.

Most people will tell you what loyal friends they are, but are they telling the truth?

It is a wonderful heritage to have an honest father.

A king sitting as judge weighs all the evidence carefully, distinguishing the true from false.

Who can ever say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am sinless”?

10 The Lord despises every kind of cheating.[a]

11 The character of even a child can be known by the way he acts—whether what he does is pure and right.

12 If you have good eyesight and good hearing, thank[b] God who gave them to you.

13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Stay awake, work hard, and there will be plenty to eat!

14 “Utterly worthless!” says the buyer as he haggles over the price. But afterwards he brags about his bargain!

15 Good sense is far more valuable than gold or precious jewels.

16 It is risky to make loans to strangers!

17 Some men enjoy cheating, but the cake they buy with such ill-gotten gain will turn to gravel in their mouths.

18 Don’t go ahead with your plans without the advice of others; don’t go to war until they agree.

19 Don’t tell your secrets to a gossip unless you want them broadcast to the world.

20 God puts out the light of the man who curses his father or mother.

21 Quick wealth is not a blessing in the end.

22 Don’t repay evil for evil. Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.

23 The Lord loathes all cheating and dishonesty.[c]

24 Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that happens along the way?

25 It is foolish and rash to make a promise to the Lord before counting the cost.

26 A wise king stamps out crime by severe punishment.

27 A man’s conscience[d] is the Lord’s searchlight exposing his hidden motives.

28 If a king is kind, honest, and fair, his kingdom stands secure.

29 The glory of young men is their strength; of old men, their experience.[e]

30 Punishment that hurts chases evil from the heart.


  1. Proverbs 20:10 every kind of cheating, literally, “diverse weights and diverse measures.”
  2. Proverbs 20:12 thank, implied.
  3. Proverbs 20:23 all cheating and dishonesty, literally, “diverse weights . . . false scales.”
  4. Proverbs 20:27 conscience, literally, “spirit.”
  5. Proverbs 20:29 their experience, literally, “the hoary head.”

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