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The Value of Righteousness

11 The Lord hates false scales,
but he delights in accurate weights.

When pride appears, disgrace accompanies it,
    but humility is present with wisdom.
The integrity of the righteous guides them,
    but the hypocrisy of the treacherous destroys them.
Wealth won’t help in the time of judgment,[a]
    but righteousness will deliver from death.

The righteousness of the innocent creates a level path,
    but the wicked fall by their wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
    but the treacherous are trapped by their evil desires.

When a wicked person dies, his hope vanishes;[b]
    and what he[c] expected from his scheming comes to nothing.
The righteous person is delivered from trouble;
    it comes upon the wicked instead.
By what he says, the godless person can destroy his neighbor,
    but through knowledge the righteous escape.

10 The city rejoices when the righteous prosper,
    and when the wicked perish there is jubilation.
11 Through the blessing of the righteous a city is built up,
    but what the wicked say tears it down.

12 Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
    but the discerning man controls his comments.
13 Whoever spreads gossip betrays secrets,
    but the trustworthy person[d] keeps a confidence.

14 A nation falls through a lack of guidance,
    but victory comes through the counsel of many.[e]

15 Securing a loan for a stranger will bring suffering,
    but by refusing to do so, one remains safe.

16 A gracious woman attains honor,[f]
    but[g] ruthless men attain[h] wealth.
17 A gracious man benefits himself,
    but the cruel person damages himself.

18 Evil people earn deceptive wages,
    but those who plant righteousness are truly rewarded.
19 Genuine righteousness leads to life,
    but whoever pursues evil will die.
20 Devious minds are abhorrent to the Lord,
    but those whose ways are innocent are his delight.
21 Be sure of this:[i] the wicked will not go unpunished,
    but the descendants of the righteous will go free.

22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful woman without discretion.

23 The desire of the righteous is to seek good,
    but the hope of the wicked results in wrath.

24 Those who give freely gain even more;
    others hold back what they owe, becoming even poorer.
25 A generous person will prosper,
    and anyone who gives water will receive a flood in return.
26 People will curse whoever withholds grain,
    but blessing will come to whoever is selling.

27 The person seeking good will find favor,
    but anyone who searches for evil—it will find him!

28 The person who trusts in his wealth will fall,
    but the righteous will flourish like green leaves.

29 Whoever troubles his household will inherit the wind,
    and the fool will be a servant to the wise.

30 The fruit of the righteous is[j] a tree of life,
    and the one who wins people is wise.[k]
31 If the righteous receive what they are due here on earth,
    how much more will the wicked and the sinner.


  1. Proverbs 11:4 Lit. the day of wrath
  2. Proverbs 11:7 So MT; LXX reads When a righteous man dies, his hope does not perish
  3. Proverbs 11:7 So MT; LXX reads what the ungodly
  4. Proverbs 11:13 Lit. trustworthy in spirit
  5. Proverbs 11:14 Or through much planning
  6. Proverbs 11:16 So MT; LXX reads honor for her husband
  7. Proverbs 11:16 So MT; LXX reads but a seat of dishonor is for the woman who hates justice
  8. Proverbs 11:16 So MT; LXX reads justice. The deficient shrink from wealth, but the diligent support themselves with
  9. Proverbs 11:21 Lit. Hand to hand
  10. Proverbs 11:30 So MT; LXX reads From the fruit of righteousness grows
  11. Proverbs 11:30 So MT; LXX reads life, but the souls of those who practice evil are cut off prematurely