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13 A wise son or daughter desires a father’s discipline,

but the know-it-all never listens to correction.
The words of the wise are kind and easy to swallow,
but the unbeliever just wants to pick a fight and argue.
Guard your words and you’ll guard your life,
but if you don’t control your tongue,
it will ruin everything.
The slacker wants it all and ends up with nothing,
but the hard worker ends up with all that he longed for.
Lovers of God hate what is phony and false,
but the wicked are full of shame and behave shamefully.[a]
Righteousness is like a shield of protection,
guarding those who keep their integrity,
but sin is the downfall of the wicked.
One pretends to be rich but is poor.
Another pretends to be poor but is quite rich.[b]
The self-assurance of the rich is their money,[c]
but people don’t kidnap and extort the poor!
The virtues of God’s lovers shine brightly in the darkness,
but the flickering lamp of the ungodly will be extinguished.
10 Wisdom opens your heart to receive wise counsel,
but pride closes your ears to advice
and gives birth to only quarrels and strife.
11 Wealth quickly gained is quickly wasted—[d]
easy come, easy go!
But if you gradually gain wealth,
you will watch it grow.
12 When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on,
the delay can be depressing.
But when at last your dream comes true,
life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.[e]
13 Despise the word, will you?
Then you’ll pay the price and it won’t be pretty!
But the one who honors the Father’s holy instructions
will be rewarded.
14 When the lovers of God teach you truth,
a fountain of life opens up within you,
and their wise instruction will deliver you from the ways of death.
15 Everyone admires a wise, sensible person,
but the treacherous walk on the path of ruin.[f]
16 Everything a wise and shrewd man does
comes from a source of revelation-knowledge,[g]
but the behavior of a fool puts foolishness on parade![h]
17 An undependable messenger causes a lot of trouble,
but the trustworthy and wise messengers
release healing wherever they go.[i]
18 Poverty and disgrace come to the one
who refuses to hear criticism.[j]
But the one who is easy to correct is on the path of honor.
19 When God fulfills your longings,
sweetness fills your soul.
But the wicked refuse to turn from darkness
to see their desires come to pass.[k]
20 If you want to grow in wisdom,
spend time with the wise.
Walk with the wicked
and you’ll eventually become just like them.
21 Calamity chases the sin-chaser,
but prosperity pursues the God-lover.
22 The benevolent man leaves an inheritance
that endures to his children’s children,
but the wealth of the wicked is treasured up for the righteous.
23 The lovers of God will live a long life and get to enjoy their wealth,
but the ungodly will suddenly perish.[l]
24 If you withhold correction and punishment[m] from your children,
you demonstrate a lack of true love.
So prove your love and be prompt to punish them.[n]
25 The lovers of God will have more than enough,
but the wicked will always lack what they crave.


  1. Proverbs 13:5 The Hebrew word used here literally means “to cause a stink” or “to emit an odor.” This is a figure of speech for what is shameful.
  2. Proverbs 13:7 It is never godly to be a phony. It’s always better to be who you are and avoid pretense.
  3. Proverbs 13:8 The Aramaic is “The salvation of the soul is a man’s true wealth.”
  4. Proverbs 13:11 Or “Wealth gained by fraud will dwindle.”
  5. Proverbs 13:12 Or “It is a tree of life.”
  6. Proverbs 13:15 As translated from the Aramaic and the Septuagint. The Hebrew is uncertain.
  7. Proverbs 13:16 Or “A wise person thinks ahead.”
  8. Proverbs 13:16 The implication is that the fool is unable to finish anything he begins.
  9. Proverbs 13:17 God’s sons and daughters are peacemakers, healers, and faithful deliverers for others.
  10. Proverbs 13:18 As translated from the Hebrew. The Septuagint is “Instruction removes poverty and disgrace.”
  11. Proverbs 13:19 Implied by the Hebrew parallelism of the text.
  12. Proverbs 13:23 As translated from the Septuagint. The Hebrew is “In the fallow ground of the poor there is abundance of food, but injustice sweeps it away.” The Aramaic is “Those who don’t find the way of life destroy many years of wealth and some are utterly destroyed.” There is a vast difference in the three translations. This translation has chosen to follow the Septuagint.
  13. Proverbs 13:24 Or “sparing the rod.” Corporal punishment was common in premodern societies.
  14. Proverbs 13:24 Or “The one who spares the rod hates his child.”

13 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
    but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.(A)

From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,(B)
    but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.

Those who guard their lips(C) preserve their lives,(D)
    but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.(E)

A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,(F)
    but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

The righteous hate what is false,(G)
    but the wicked make themselves a stench
    and bring shame on themselves.

Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
    but wickedness overthrows the sinner.(H)

One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;(I)
    another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.(J)

A person’s riches may ransom their life,
    but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes.(K)

The light of the righteous shines brightly,
    but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.(L)

10 Where there is strife, there is pride,
    but wisdom is found in those who take advice.(M)

11 Dishonest money dwindles away,(N)
    but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.(O)

13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it,(P)
    but whoever respects(Q) a command is rewarded.(R)

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,(S)
    turning a person from the snares of death.(T)

15 Good judgment wins favor,
    but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.[a]

16 All who are prudent act with[b] knowledge,
    but fools expose(U) their folly.(V)

17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,(W)
    but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.(X)

18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,(Y)
    but whoever heeds correction is honored.(Z)

19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,(AA)
    but fools detest turning from evil.

20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
    for a companion of fools suffers harm.(AB)

21 Trouble pursues the sinner,(AC)
    but the righteous(AD) are rewarded with good things.(AE)

22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
    but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.(AF)

23 An unplowed field produces food for the poor,
    but injustice sweeps it away.

24 Whoever spares the rod(AG) hates their children,
    but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline(AH) them.(AI)

25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
    but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.(AJ)


  1. Proverbs 13:15 Septuagint and Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  2. Proverbs 13:16 Or prudent protect themselves through