Add parallel Print Page Options

How Wise People Live

14 Every wise woman builds up her household,
but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

Someone whose conduct is upright fears the Lord,
    but whoever is devious in his ways despises him.

What a fool says brings[a] a rod to his back,
    but the words of the wise protect them.

Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is clean,
    but profits come through the strength of the ox.

A trustworthy witness does not deceive,
    but a false witness spews lies.

A mocker seeks wisdom and finds[b] none,
    but learning comes easily to someone who understands.

Stay away from a foolish man,
    for you will not find competent advice.

The wisdom of the prudent helps him know how to live,
    but a fool’s stupidity deceives him.

Fools make fun of guilt,
    but among the upright there are good intentions.

10 The heart knows its own bitterness—
    an outsider cannot share in its joy.

11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
    but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 There is a pathway that seems right to a man,
    but in the end it’s a road to death.

13 Even in laughter there may be heartache,
    and at the end of joy there may be grief.

14 The faithless one will pay for his behavior,[c]
    but a good man will be rewarded[d] for his.
15 An unthinking person believes everything,
    but the prudent one thinks before acting.[e]
16 The wise person fears and turns away from evil,
    but a fool is reckless and overconfident.
17 A quick tempered person does foolish things,
    and a devious man is hated.

18 The naïve inherit folly,
    but the careful are crowned with knowledge.

19 Evil men will bow down in the presence of good men
    and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20 The poor person is shunned by his neighbor,
    but many are the friends of the wealthy.
21 Whoever despises his neighbor sins,
    but whoever shows kindness to the poor will be happy.

22 Won’t those who plot evil go astray?
    But gracious love and truth are for those who plan what is good.
23 In hard work there is always profit,
    but too much chattering[f] leads to poverty.

24 The crown of the wise is their wealth,
    but the stupidity of fools is just that—stupidity!

25 A truthful witness saves lives,
    but the person who lies is deceitful.

26 Rock-solid security is found[g] in the fear of the Lord,
    and within it one’s children find refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
    enabling anyone to escape the snares of death.

28 A large population is a king’s glory,
    but a shortage of people is a ruler’s ruin.

29 Being slow to get angry compares to great understanding
    as being quick-tempered compares to stupidity.
30 A tranquil mind brings life to one’s body,
    but jealousy causes one’s bones to rot.

31 Whoever oppresses the poor defies their Creator,
    but whoever is kind to the needy honors them.
32 The wicked person is thrown down by his own wrongdoing,
    but the righteous person has a place of safety in death.[h]

33 Wisdom is at rest in the mind of the discerning—
    even fools know this.[i]

34 Righteousness makes a nation great,
    but sin diminishes[j] any people.

35 The king approves the wise servant,
    but he is angry at anyone who acts shamefully.


  1. Proverbs 14:3 Lit. The mouth of the fool
  2. Proverbs 14:6 The Heb. lacks finds
  3. Proverbs 14:14 Lit. ways
  4. Proverbs 14:14 The Heb. lacks will be rewarded
  5. Proverbs 14:15 Lit. one considers his steps
  6. Proverbs 14:23 Lit. word of lips
  7. Proverbs 14:26 The Heb. lacks is found
  8. Proverbs 14:32 So MT DSS 4QProvb; LXX reads in his own piety
  9. Proverbs 14:33 So MT; LXX reads but in the heart of fools it is not discerned
  10. Proverbs 14:34 So DSS 4QProb LXX; MT reads sin is a disgrace to