English Standard Version
20 (A)Wine is a mocker, (B)strong drink a brawler,
and whoever (C)is led astray by it is not wise.[a]
2 The terror of a king is like (D)the growling of a lion;
whoever provokes him to anger (E)forfeits his life.
3 It is an honor for a man to (F)keep aloof from strife,
but every fool will be quarreling.
4 (G)The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
(H)he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
5 The purpose in a man's heart is like (I)deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out.
6 Many a man (J)proclaims his own steadfast love,
but (K)a faithful man who can find?
7 The righteous who (L)walks in his integrity—
(M)blessed are his children after him!
8 (N)A king who sits on the throne of judgment
(O)winnows all evil with his eyes.
9 (P)Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
I am clean from my sin”?
10 (Q)Unequal[b] weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
11 Even a child (R)makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.[c]
12 (S)The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
(T)the Lord has made them both.
13 (U)Love not sleep, lest you (V)come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have (W)plenty of bread.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15 There is gold and abundance of (X)costly stones,
(Y)but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 (Z)Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and (AA)hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.[d]
17 (AB)Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
but afterward his mouth will be full of (AC)gravel.
18 (AD)Plans are established by counsel;
by (AE)wise guidance (AF)wage war.
19 Whoever (AG)goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with (AH)a simple babbler.[e]
20 (AI)If one curses his father or his mother,
(AJ)his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
21 (AK)An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, (AL)“I will repay evil”;
(AM)wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
23 (AN)Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord,
and (AO)false scales are not good.
24 A man's (AP)steps are from the Lord;
how then can man understand his way?
25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
and to reflect only (AQ)after making vows.
26 A wise king (AR)winnows the wicked
and drives (AS)the wheel over them.
27 (AT)The spirit[f] of man is the lamp of the Lord,
(AU)searching all (AV)his innermost parts.
28 (AW)Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
and by steadfast love his (AX)throne is upheld.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
but (AY)the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30 (AZ)Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean (BA)the innermost parts.
21 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he (BB)turns it wherever he will.
2 (BC)Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord (BD)weighs the heart.
3 (BE)To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4 (BF)Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
(BG)the lamp[g] of the wicked, are sin.
5 The plans of (BH)the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is (BI)hasty comes (BJ)only to poverty.
6 (BK)The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a (BL)fleeting (BM)vapor and a (BN)snare of death.[h]
7 The violence of the wicked will (BO)sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
8 The way of the guilty (BP)is crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright.
9 It is (BQ)better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11 When (BR)a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12 The Righteous One (BS)observes the house of the wicked;
he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13 (BT)Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered.
14 (BU)A gift in secret averts anger,
and a concealed bribe,[i] strong wrath.
15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
(BV)but terror to evildoers.
16 One who wanders from the way of good sense
(BW)will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18 (BX)The wicked is a (BY)ransom for the righteous,
and the traitor for the upright.
19 It is (BZ)better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20 (CA)Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling,
but a foolish man (CB)devours it.
21 Whoever (CC)pursues righteousness and kindness
will find (CD)life, righteousness, and honor.
22 (CE)A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 (CF)Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
(CG)keeps himself out of (CH)trouble.
24 (CI)“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
who acts with arrogant pride.
25 The desire of (CJ)the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
26 All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous (CK)gives and does not hold back.
27 (CL)The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more (CM)when he brings it with evil intent.
28 (CN)A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29 A wicked man puts on a bold face,
but the upright (CO)gives thought to[j] his ways.
30 (CP)No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the Lord.
31 (CQ)The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but (CR)the victory belongs to the Lord.
22 (CS)A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
2 (CT)The rich and the poor meet together;
the Lord is (CU)the Maker of them all.
3 (CV)The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is (CW)riches and honor and life.[k]
5 (CX)Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
whoever (CY)guards his soul will keep far from them.
6 (CZ)Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 (DA)The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
8 Whoever (DB)sows injustice will reap calamity,
and (DC)the rod of his fury will fail.
9 (DD)Whoever has a bountiful[l] eye will be blessed,
for he (DE)shares his bread with the poor.
10 (DF)Drive out a scoffer, (DG)and strife will go out,
and (DH)quarreling and abuse will cease.
11 He who (DI)loves purity of heart,
and whose (DJ)speech is gracious, (DK)will have the king as his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he (DL)overthrows the words of the traitor.
13 (DM)The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of (DN)forbidden[m] women is (DO)a deep pit;
(DP)he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but (DQ)the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
16 Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,
or gives to the rich, (DR)will only come to poverty.
Words of the Wise
17 (DS)Incline your ear, and hear (DT)the words of the wise,
(DU)and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20 Have I not written for you (DV)thirty sayings
of counsel and knowledge,
21 to (DW)make you know what is right and true,
that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
22 (DX)Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
or (DY)crush the afflicted at (DZ)the gate,
23 for (EA)the Lord will plead their cause
and rob of life those who rob them.
24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
25 lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
26 Be not one of those who (EB)give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should (EC)your bed be taken from under you?
28 Do not move the ancient (ED)landmark
that your fathers have set.
29 Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will (EE)stand before kings;
he will not stand before obscure men.
23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what[n] is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
3 (EF)Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
4 (EG)Do not toil to acquire wealth;
(EH)be discerning enough to desist.
5 When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
(EI)for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
6 (EJ)Do not eat the bread of a man who is (EK)stingy;[o]
(EL)do not desire his delicacies,
7 for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.[p]
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his (EM)heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
and waste your pleasant words.
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.
10 (EN)Do not move an ancient landmark
or enter the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their (EO)Redeemer is strong;
he will (EP)plead their cause against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold (EQ)discipline from a child;
(ER)if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14 If you strike him with the rod,
you will (ES)save his soul from Sheol.
15 (ET)My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
16 My (EU)inmost being[q] will exult
when your lips speak (EV)what is right.
17 Let not your heart (EW)envy sinners,
but continue in (EX)the fear of the Lord all the day.
18 Surely (EY)there is a future,
and your (EZ)hope will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and (FA)be wise,
and (FB)direct your heart in the way.
20 Be not among (FC)drunkards[r]
or among (FD)gluttonous eaters of meat,
21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and (FE)slumber will clothe them with rags.
22 (FF)Listen to your father who gave you life,
(FG)and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 (FH)Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24 (FI)The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25 (FJ)Let your father and mother be glad;
let (FK)her who bore you rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe[s] my ways.
27 For a prostitute is (FL)a deep pit;
(FM)an adulteress[t] is a narrow (FN)well.
28 (FO)She lies in wait like a robber
and increases the traitors among mankind.
29 (FP)Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has (FQ)wounds without cause?
Who has (FR)redness of eyes?
30 Those who (FS)tarry long over wine;
those who go to try (FT)mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
32 In the end it (FU)bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utter (FV)perverse things.
34 You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.[u]
35 “They (FW)struck me,” you will say,[v] “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I (FX)must have another drink.”
24 Be not (FY)envious of evil men,
nor desire to be (FZ)with them,
2 for their hearts (GA)devise violence,
and their lips (GB)talk of trouble.
3 By (GC)wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
4 by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all (GD)precious and pleasant riches.
5 (GE)A wise man is full of strength,
and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
6 for by (GF)wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in (GG)abundance of counselors there is victory.
7 Wisdom is (GH)too high for a fool;
in (GI)the gate he does not open his mouth.
10 If you (GM)faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
11 (GN)Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
12 If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
(GO)does not he who (GP)weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who (GQ)keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man (GR)according to his work?
13 My son, (GS)eat honey, for it is good,
and (GT)the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be (GU)a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
15 (GV)Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
do no violence to his home;
16 (GW)for the righteous falls (GX)seven times and rises again,
but (GY)the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
17 (GZ)Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
18 lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.
21 My son, (HE)fear the Lord and the king,
and do not join with those who do otherwise,
22 for disaster will arise suddenly from them,
and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?
More Sayings of the Wise
23 These also are sayings of (HF)the wise.
(HG)Partiality in judging is not good.
24 Whoever (HH)says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
(HI)will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
25 but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
26 Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.
27 (HJ)Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that build your house.
28 (HK)Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, (HL)“I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will pay the man back for what he has done.”
30 (HM)I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man (HN)lacking sense,
31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone (HO)wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw and (HP)considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
33 (HQ)A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
More Proverbs of Solomon
25 These also are (HR)proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.
2 It is the glory of God to (HS)conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to (HT)search things out.
3 As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
so the heart of kings is (HU)unsearchable.
4 Take away (HV)the dross from the silver,
and (HW)the smith has material for a vessel;
5 take away (HX)the wicked from the presence of the king,
and his (HY)throne will be established in righteousness.
6 Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence
or stand in the place of the great,
7 for (HZ)it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
What your eyes have seen
8 (IA)do not hastily bring into court,[x]
for[y] what will you do in the end,
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 (IB)Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another's secret,
10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.
11 (IC)A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12 Like (ID)a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to (IE)a listening ear.
13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is (IF)a faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14 Like (IG)clouds and wind without rain
is a man who (IH)boasts of a gift he does not give.
15 With (II)patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
16 If you have (IJ)found honey, eat (IK)only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house,
lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
18 A man who (IL)bears false witness against his neighbor
is like a war club, or (IM)a sword, or a sharp arrow.
19 Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
20 Whoever (IN)sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.
21 (IO)If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22 for you will heap (IP)burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
23 The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24 (IQ)It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
25 Like cold water to (IR)a thirsty soul,
so is (IS)good news from a far country.
26 Like (IT)a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
27 It is (IU)not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to (IV)seek one's own glory.[z]
28 A man (IW)without self-control
is like (IX)a city broken into and left without walls.
26 Like snow in summer or (IY)rain in harvest,
so (IZ)honor is (JA)not fitting for a fool.
2 Like (JB)a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
(JC)a curse that is causeless does not alight.
3 (JD)A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and (JE)a rod for the back of fools.
4 (JF)Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
5 (JG)Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be (JH)wise in his own eyes.
6 Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and (JI)drinks violence.
7 Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless,
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8 Like one who binds the stone in the sling
is (JJ)one who gives honor to a fool.
9 Like (JK)a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 Like an archer who wounds everyone
is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.[aa]
11 Like (JL)a dog that returns to his vomit
is (JM)a fool who repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man who is (JN)wise in his own eyes?
(JO)There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 (JP)The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
15 (JQ)The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is (JR)wiser in his own eyes
(JS)than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17 Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws (JT)firebrands, arrows, and death
19 is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!”
20 For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no (JU)whisperer, (JV)quarreling ceases.
21 As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is (JW)a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 (JX)The words of (JY)a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23 (JZ)Like the (KA)glaze[ab] covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
25 (KB)when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are (KC)seven abominations in his heart;
26 though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 (KD)Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.
27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
(KE)for you do not know what a day may bring.
2 Let (KF)another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but (KG)a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before (KH)jealousy?
5 (KI)Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Faithful are (KJ)the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7 One who is full loathes (KK)honey,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8 Like (KL)a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.
9 (KM)Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.[ac]
10 Do not forsake your friend and (KN)your father's friend,
and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity.
(KO)Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
11 (KP)Be wise, (KQ)my son, and (KR)make my heart glad,
that I may (KS)answer him who reproaches me.
12 (KT)The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but (KU)the simple go on and suffer for it.
13 (KV)Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.[ad]
14 Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
15 (KW)A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp[ae] oil in one's right hand.
17 Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.[af]
18 (KX)Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who (KY)guards his master will be honored.
19 As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
20 (KZ)Sheol and Abaddon are (LA)never satisfied,
and (LB)never satisfied are the eyes of man.
21 (LC)The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise.
22 (LD)Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
yet his folly will not depart from him.
23 (LE)Know well the condition of your flocks,
and (LF)give attention to your herds,
24 for (LG)riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
25 (LH)When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26 (LI)the lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field.
27 (LJ)There will be enough goats' milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and maintenance for your girls.
28 (LK)The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but (LL)the righteous are bold as a lion.
2 When a land transgresses, (LM)it has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
3 (LN)A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
4 Those who forsake the law (LO)praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law (LP)strive against them.
5 Evil men (LQ)do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord (LR)understand it completely.
6 (LS)Better is a poor man who (LT)walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is (LU)crooked in his ways.
7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but (LV)a companion of gluttons shames his father.
8 Whoever multiplies his wealth (LW)by interest and profit[ag]
(LX)gathers it for him who is (LY)generous to the poor.
- Proverbs 20:1 Or will not become wise
- Proverbs 20:10 Or Two kinds of; also verse 23
- Proverbs 20:11 Or Even a child can dissemble in his actions, though his conduct seems pure and upright
- Proverbs 20:16 Or for an adulteress (compare 27:13)
- Proverbs 20:19 Hebrew with one who is simple in his lips
- Proverbs 20:27 Hebrew breath
- Proverbs 21:4 Or the plowing
- Proverbs 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
- Proverbs 21:14 Hebrew a bribe in the bosom
- Proverbs 21:29 Or establishes
- Proverbs 22:4 Or The reward for humility is the fear of the Lord, riches and honor and life
- Proverbs 22:9 Hebrew good
- Proverbs 22:14 Hebrew strange
- Proverbs 23:1 Or who
- Proverbs 23:6 Hebrew whose eye is evil
- Proverbs 23:7 Or for as he calculates in his soul, so is he
- Proverbs 23:16 Hebrew My kidneys
- Proverbs 23:20 Hebrew those who drink too much wine
- Proverbs 23:26 Or delight in
- Proverbs 23:27 Hebrew a foreign woman
- Proverbs 23:34 Or of the rigging
- Proverbs 23:35 Hebrew lacks you will say
- Proverbs 24:9 Or scheming
- Proverbs 25:8 Or presence of a noble, as your eyes have seen. 8Do not go hastily out to court
- Proverbs 25:8 Hebrew or else
- Proverbs 25:27 The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain
- Proverbs 26:10 Or hires a fool or passersby
- Proverbs 26:23 By revocalization; Hebrew silver of dross
- Proverbs 27:9 Or and so does the sweetness of a friend that comes from his earnest counsel
- Proverbs 27:13 Hebrew a foreign woman; a slight emendation yields (compare Vulgate; see also 20:16) foreigners
- Proverbs 27:16 Hebrew to meet with
- Proverbs 27:17 Hebrew sharpens the face of another
- Proverbs 28:8 That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor