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Proverbs 28 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

28 The wicked are afraid of everything, but those who live right are as brave as lions.

A lawless nation will have many bad leaders. But a smart leader will rule for a long time in a land where people obey the law.

A leader who takes advantage of the poor is like a hard rain that destroys the crops.[a]

Those who refuse to obey the law promote evil. Those who obey the law oppose evil.

The wicked don’t understand justice, but those who love the Lord understand it completely.

It is better to be poor and honest than rich and evil.

A smart son obeys the laws, but a son who spends time with worthless people brings shame to his father.

If you get rich by charging high interest rates, your wealth will go to someone who is kind to the poor.

When people do not listen to God’s teachings, he does not listen to their prayers.

10 Those who plan to hurt good people will fall into their own traps, but good things will happen to those who are good.

11 The rich always think they are wise, but a poor person who is wise can see the truth.

12 When good people become leaders, everything is great, but when the wicked rise to power, everyone hides.

13 Whoever hides their sins will not be successful, but whoever confesses their sins and stops doing wrong will receive mercy.

14 People who respect others will be blessed, but stubborn people will have plenty of troubles.

15 An evil ruler over those who are helpless is like an angry lion or a charging bear.

16 A foolish ruler hurts the people under him, but a ruler who hates wrong will rule for a long time.

17 A murderer will never have peace. Don’t support such a person.

18 Honest people will be safe, but dishonest people will be ruined.

19 Whoever works hard will have plenty to eat, but whoever wastes their time with dreams will always be poor.

20 People who can be trusted will have many blessings, but those who are just trying to get rich in a hurry will be punished.

21 It is wrong for a judge to support someone simply because he knows them. But some judges will change their decisions for the price of a loaf of bread.

22 Selfish people only want to get rich. They do not realize that they are very close to being poor.

23 Correct someone, and later they will thank you. That is much better than just saying something to be nice.

24 Someone might steal from their parents and say, “I did nothing wrong.” But that person is as bad as an enemy who smashes everything in the house.

25 Greedy people might sue you in court, but those who trust the Lord are rewarded.

26 It is foolish to be too confident. Those who ask for advice are wise and will escape disaster.

27 Whoever gives to the poor will have plenty. Whoever refuses to help them will get nothing but curses.

28 When the wicked rise to power, everyone hides. When they are defeated, good people multiply.


  1. Proverbs 28:3 Or “A poor person who takes advantage of beggars is like a hard rain and no food.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Proverbs 28 New International Version (NIV)

28 The wicked flee though no one pursues,
    but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
    but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.

A ruler[a] who oppresses the poor
    is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.

Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
    but those who heed it resist them.

Evildoers do not understand what is right,
    but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.

Better the poor whose walk is blameless
    than the rich whose ways are perverse.

A discerning son heeds instruction,
    but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.

Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor
    amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction,
    even their prayers are detestable.

10 Whoever leads the upright along an evil path
    will fall into their own trap,
    but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.

11 The rich are wise in their own eyes;
    one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.

12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation;
    but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.

13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
    but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
    but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.

15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
    is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.

16 A tyrannical ruler practices extortion,
    but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign.

17 Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder
    will seek refuge in the grave;
    let no one hold them back.

18 The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe,
    but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit.[b]

19 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
    but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.

20 A faithful person will be richly blessed,
    but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

21 To show partiality is not good
    yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread.

22 The stingy are eager to get rich
    and are unaware that poverty awaits them.

23 Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor
    rather than one who has a flattering tongue.

24 Whoever robs their father or mother
    and says, “It’s not wrong,”
    is partner to one who destroys.

25 The greedy stir up conflict,
    but those who trust in the Lord will prosper.

26 Those who trust in themselves are fools,
    but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.

27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
    but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.

28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding;
    but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.


  1. Proverbs 28:3 Or A poor person
  2. Proverbs 28:18 Syriac (see Septuagint); Hebrew into one
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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