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Proverbs 21 New Life Version (NLV)

21 The heart of the king is like rivers of water in the hand of the Lord. He turns it where He wishes.

Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord knows the hearts.

To do what is right and good and fair is more pleasing to the Lord than gifts given on the altar in worship.

Eyes lifted high and a proud heart is sin and is the lamp of the sinful.

The plans of those who do their best lead only to having all they need, but all who are in a hurry come only to want.

Getting riches by a lying tongue is like a passing cloud, and leads to death.

The way the sinful hurt others will draw them away, because they will not do what is right and fair.

The way of a guilty man is sinful, but the actions of the pure man are right.

It is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with an arguing woman.

10 The soul of the sinful has a desire for what is bad. His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

11 When the man who laughs at the truth is punished, the fool becomes wise. When a wise man is taught, he gets much learning.

12 The One Who is right and good thinks about the house of the sinful, and the sinful are thrown down to be destroyed.

13 He who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.

14 A gift in secret quiets anger. A gift from the heart quiets strong anger.

15 When what is right and fair is done, it is a joy for those who are right with God. But it fills the sinful with fear.

16 A man who goes away from the way of understanding will rest in the gathering of the dead.

17 He who loves only fun will become a poor man. He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.

18 The sinful man is the price given for the man who is right with God, the man who is not faithful for the faithful man.

19 It is better to live in a desert land than with a woman who argues and causes trouble.

20 There are riches and oil of great worth in the house of the wise, but a foolish man swallows them up.

21 He who follows what is right and loving and kind finds life, right-standing with God and honor.

22 A wise man goes over the city walls of the powerful, and brings down the strong-place in which they trust.

23 He who watches over his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.

24 “Proud,” “Self-important” and “One who laughs at the truth” are the names of the man who acts without respect and is proud.

25 The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands will not work.

26 He is filled with desire all day long, but the man who is right with God gives all he can.

27 The gift given on an altar in worship by the sinful is a hated thing. How much more when he brings it for the wrong reason!

28 A person who tells a lie about someone else will be lost, but the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

29 A sinful man’s face shows he is pretending, but a good man is sure of himself.

30 There is no wisdom and no understanding and no words that can stand against the Lord.

31 The horse is made ready for war, but winning the fight belongs to the Lord.

New Life Version (NLV)

Copyright © 1969 by Christian Literature International

Proverbs 21 New International Version (NIV)

21 In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
    that he channels toward all who please him.

A person may think their own ways are right,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.

To do what is right and just
    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
    the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.

The plans of the diligent lead to profit
    as surely as haste leads to poverty.

A fortune made by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.[a]

The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
    for they refuse to do what is right.

The way of the guilty is devious,
    but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

Better to live on a corner of the roof
    than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

10 The wicked crave evil;
    their neighbors get no mercy from them.

11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
    by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.

12 The Righteous One[b] takes note of the house of the wicked
    and brings the wicked to ruin.

13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
    will also cry out and not be answered.

14 A gift given in secret soothes anger,
    and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.

15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
    but terror to evildoers.

16 Whoever strays from the path of prudence
    comes to rest in the company of the dead.

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

18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
    and the unfaithful for the upright.

19 Better to live in a desert
    than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.

20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
    but fools gulp theirs down.

21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
    finds life, prosperity[c] and honor.

22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
    and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
    keep themselves from calamity.

24 The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—
    behaves with insolent fury.

25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
    because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves for more,
    but the righteous give without sparing.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable
    how much more so when brought with evil intent!

28 A false witness will perish,
    but a careful listener will testify successfully.

29 The wicked put up a bold front,
    but the upright give thought to their ways.

30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
    that can succeed against the Lord.

31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but victory rests with the Lord.


  1. Proverbs 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
  2. Proverbs 21:12 Or The righteous person
  3. Proverbs 21:21 Or righteousness
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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