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20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler.
Whoever is led astray by them is unwise.

The terror of a king is like a lion’s growl.
Whoever provokes him endangers his life.

It is honor for one to resolve a dispute,
yet every fool quarrels.

A slacker will not plow in season,
so at harvest he looks but finds nothing.

The intent of a man’s heart is deep water,
but a man of insight draws it out.

Loyalty, Integrity, Justice

Many a man proclaims his loyalty,
but a faithful man who can find?[a]
A righteous person walks in integrity.
Blessed are his children after him.

A king sitting on the throne to judge
separates out all evil with his eyes.

Who can say: “I have kept my heart pure;
I am cleansed from my sin”?[b]

10 Unequal weights and measures—[c]
both are an abomination to Adonai.

11 Even a child is known by his actions,
whether his conduct is pure and upright.

12 Ears that hear and eyes that see—
Adonai has made them both.

13 Do not love sleep, lest you become poor.
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.

Adonai’s Lamp Searches

14 “It’s bad, bad!” says the buyer,
but then he goes away and boasts.
15 There is gold and abundance of rubies,
but lips that speak knowledge are precious.

16 Take a man’s garment, who puts up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge, as security for a foreign woman.

17 Bread gained by fraud is sweet to a man,
but later his mouth is filled with gravel.

18 Plans are made by counsel,
so wage war with guidance.

19 A talebearer goes about, revealing secrets,
so do not associate with a babbler.

20 Whoever curses his father or his mother,[d]
his lamp will be snuffed out in utter darkness.

21 An estate acquired quickly in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.

22 Do not say, “I will pay back evil!”
Wait for Adonai, so He may deliver You.

23 Unbalanced weights are detestable to Adonai,
and dishonest scales are wicked.

24 A man’s steps are directed by Adonai.
How then can anyone understand his own way?

25 It is a trap for one to say rashly, “It is holy!”
and only afterward to consider his vows.

26 A wise king winnows out the wicked.
He turns a threshing wheel over them.
27 The spirit of man is the lamp of Adonai,
searching all his inmost being.

28 Lovingkindness and truth preserve the king,
but his throne is upheld by lovingkindness.

29 The glory of young men is their strength,
and the splendor of old men is gray hair.

30 Blows that wound scour away evil,
and beatings purge the innermost being.


  1. Proverbs 20:6 cf. Luke 18:8.
  2. Proverbs 20:9 cf. John 1:8.
  3. Proverbs 20:10 Lit. A stone and a stone, an ephah and an ephah.
  4. Proverbs 20:20 cf. Matt. 15:4.