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21 The Lord can control a king’s mind as he controls a river;
    he can direct it as he pleases.

You may believe you are doing right,
    but the Lord judges your reasons.

Doing what is right and fair
    is more important to the Lord than sacrifices.

Proud looks, proud thoughts,
    and evil actions are sin.

The plans of hard-working people earn a profit,
    but those who act too quickly become poor.

Wealth that comes from telling lies
    vanishes like a mist and leads to death.

The violence of the wicked will destroy them,
    because they refuse to do what is right.

Guilty people live dishonest lives,
    but honest people do right.

It is better to live in a corner on the roof[a]
    than inside the house with a quarreling wife.

10 Evil people only want to harm others.
    Their neighbors get no mercy from them.

11 If you punish those who make fun of wisdom, a foolish person may gain some wisdom.
    But if you teach the wise, they will get knowledge.

12 God, who is always right, watches the house of the wicked
    and brings ruin on every evil person.

13 Whoever ignores the poor when they cry for help
    will also cry for help and not be answered.

14 A secret gift will calm an angry person;
    a present given in secrecy will quiet great anger.

15 When justice is done, good people are happy,
    but evil people are ruined.

16 Whoever does not use good sense
    will end up among the dead.

17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
    whoever loves wine and perfume will never be rich.

18 Wicked people will suffer instead of good people,
    and those who cannot be trusted will suffer instead of those who do right.

19 It is better to live alone in the desert
    than with a quarreling and complaining wife.

20 Wise people’s houses are full of the best foods and olive oil,
    but fools waste everything they have.

21 Whoever tries to live right and be loyal
    finds life, success, and honor.

22 A wise person can defeat a city full of warriors
    and tear down the defenses they trust in.

23 Those who are careful about what they say
    keep themselves out of trouble.

24 People who act with stubborn pride
    are called “proud,” “bragger,” and “mocker.”

25 Lazy people’s desire for sleep will kill them,
    because they refuse to work.
26 All day long they wish for more,
    but good people give without holding back.

27 The Lord hates sacrifices brought by evil people,
    particularly when they offer them for the wrong reasons.

28 A lying witness will be forgotten,
    but a truthful witness will speak on.

29 Wicked people are stubborn,
    but good people think carefully about what they do.

30 There is no wisdom, understanding, or advice
    that can succeed against the Lord.

31 You can get the horses ready for battle,
    but it is the Lord who gives the victory.

Footnotes

  1. 21:9 roof In Bible times houses were built with flat roofs. The roof was used for drying things such as flax and fruit. And it was used as an extra room, as a place for worship, and as a cool place to sleep in the summer.

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