Add parallel Print Page Options

Adonai Weighs the Heart

21 A king’s heart is like a stream of water in the hand of Adonai;
he directs it wherever He wants.[a]
All a man’s ways seem right in his own eyes,
but Adonai weighs the heart.
To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to Adonai than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
the lamp of the wicked is sin.

Plans of the diligent surely lead to gain,
but all who are hasty come only to loss.
Getting treasures by a lying tongue
is like a fleeting vapor for those who seek death.

Violence and Ruin of the Wicked

The violence of the wicked sweeps them away,
because they refuse to act justly.
The way of the guilty is crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright.
It is better to live on a corner of a roof
than in a house shared
with a quarrelsome wife.

10 A wicked soul craves evil—
his neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
11 When a mocker is punished, the naïve become wise.
When a wise person is instructed, he gains knowledge.

12 The righteous one considers the house of the wicked,
throwing the wicked down to their ruin.

13 Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor,
will also cry out but not be answered.

14 A gift in secret soothes anger,
and a bribe given secretly, fierce rage.

15 Doing justice brings joy to the righteous,
and terror to those who do evil.

16 Whoever strays from the path of wisdom
ends up in the congregation of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure becomes poor.
Whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous
and the faithless for the upright.
19 It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome, worrisome wife.

20 Precious treasure and oil are in a wise person’s dwelling,
but a foolish person devours all he has.

21 Whoever pursues righteousness and mercy
finds life, prosperity and honor.

22 A wise person scales the city of warriors
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
keeps his soul out of troubles.

24 A proud and haughty man
—Mocker is his name—
acts with overbearing pride.

25 A slacker’s craving will kill him,
because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves greedily,
yet the righteous one gives and does not hold back.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination—
how much more when he brings it with evil intent?
28 A false witness will perish,
but a man who hears will speak forever.
29 A wicked man puts on a bold face,
but the upright man considers his ways.

30 There is no wisdom,
there is no understanding,
there is no counsel—
against Adonai.

31 A horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but victory comes from Adonai.


  1. Proverbs 21:1 cf. Luke 16:15.