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21 Streams of water are the heart[a] of a king in the hand of Yahweh;
    wherever[b] he will desire, he will turn.
Every way of a man is upright in his own eyes,
    but Yahweh weighs hearts.[c]
Doing righteousness and justice is more acceptable
    to Yahweh than sacrifice.
Haughtiness of the eyes and pride of heart,
    the lamp of the wicked are sin.
The plans of the diligent only lead to abundance,
    but all who are hasty, only to want.
He who makes treasure by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and seeker[d] of death.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    for they refuse to do justice.
Crooked is the way of a man and a foreigner,
    but the pure is upright in his conduct.
Better to dwell on the corner of a roof
    than to share a house with a woman[e] of contention.
10 The soul[f] of the wicked desires evil;
    his neighbor will not find mercy in his eyes.
11 With the punishment of a scoffer, the simple will become wise,
    and with the instruction of the wise, he will obtain knowledge.
12 The righteous observes the house of the wicked;
    he throws the wicked to ruin.
13 He who closes his ear from the cry of the poor,
    he also will cry out and not be heard.
14 A gift in secret[g] will avert anger,[h]
    and a concealed bribe,[i] strong wrath.
15 It is a joy to the righteous to do justice,
    but dismay to those who do evil.
16 Whoever wanders from the way of understanding,
    in the assembly of the dead[j] he will rest.
17 A man of want is he who loves pleasure;
    he who loves wine and oil[k] will not become rich.
18 A ransom for the righteous is the wicked,
    and the faithless instead of the upright.
19 Better to live in a land of wilderness
    than with a wife of quarrels and provocation.
20 Precious treasure and oil are in the house of the wise,
    but the foolish person[l] will devour them.[m]
21 He who pursues righteousness and kindness
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 To a city of warriors, the wise ascends,
    and he will bring down the stronghold—its object of trust.
23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue,
    he guards his life[n] from danger.
24 The proud, haughty one: “scoffer” is his name;
    he acts with arrogance of pride.
25 The craving of a lazy person will kill him,
    for his hands refuse to work.[o]
26 All day[p] he craves a craving,
    but the righteous will give and not hold back.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
    how much more when he brings it in divisiveness!
28 A false witness will perish,
    but a man who listens will testify with[q] success.
29 A wicked man is strong in his countenance,[r]
    but the upright will appoint his paths.
30 There is no wisdom, nor understanding,
    nor counsel to oppose Yahweh.
31 A horse is prepared for the day of battle,
    but to Yahweh belongs the victory.


  1. Proverbs 21:1 Or “mind”
  2. Proverbs 21:1 Literally “upon all that”
  3. Proverbs 21:2 Or “minds”
  4. Proverbs 21:6 Hebrew “seekers”
  5. Proverbs 21:9 Or “wife”
  6. Proverbs 21:10 Or “soul, life, throat”
  7. Proverbs 21:14 Hebrew “the secret”
  8. Proverbs 21:14 Literally “nostril”
  9. Proverbs 21:14 Literally “bribe in the bosom”
  10. Proverbs 21:16 Or “Rephaim”
  11. Proverbs 21:17 Or “fat”
  12. Proverbs 21:20 Or “foolish of mankind”
  13. Proverbs 21:20 Literally “it”
  14. Proverbs 21:23 Or “soul,” or “inner self”
  15. Proverbs 21:25 Or “make”
  16. Proverbs 21:26 Literally “All the day”
  17. Proverbs 21:28 Hebrew “to the”
  18. Proverbs 21:29 Literally “his face”