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Wise People Live Righteously

14 The wisest of women builds up her home,
    but a stupid one tears it down with her own hands.
Whoever lives right fears Yahweh,
    but a person who is devious in his ways despises him.
Because of a stubborn fool’s words a whip is lifted against him,
    but wise people are protected by their speech.

Where there are no cattle, the feeding trough is empty,
    but the strength of an ox produces plentiful harvests.
A trustworthy witness does not lie,
    but a dishonest witness breathes lies.
A mocker searches for wisdom without finding it,
    but knowledge comes easily to a person who has understanding.

Stay away from a fool,
    because you will not receive knowledge from his lips.
The wisdom of a sensible person guides his way of life,
    but the stupidity of fools misleads them.
Stubborn fools make fun of guilt,
    but there is forgiveness among decent people.

10 The heart knows its own bitterness,
    and no stranger can share its joy.
11 The houses of wicked people will be destroyed,
    but the tents of decent people will continue to expand.
12 There is a way that seems right to a person,
    but eventually it ends in death.
13 Even while laughing a heart can ache,
    and joy can end in grief.

14 A heart that turns from God becomes bored with its own ways,
    but a good person is satisfied with Yahweh’s ways.
15 A gullible person believes anything,
    but a sensible person watches his step.
16 A wise person is cautious and turns away from evil,
    but a fool is careless[a] and overconfident.
17 A short-tempered person acts stupidly,
    and a person who plots evil is hated.
18 Gullible people are gifted with stupidity,
    but sensible people are crowned with knowledge.
19 Evil people will bow to good people.
    Wicked people will bow at the gates of a righteous person.

20 A poor person is hated even by his neighbor,
    but a rich person is loved by many.
21 Whoever despises his neighbor sins,
    but blessed is the one who is kind to humble people.

22 Don’t those who stray plan what is evil,
    while those who are merciful and faithful plan what is good?
23 In hard work there is always something gained,
    but idle talk leads only to poverty.
24 The crown of wise people is their wealth.
    The stupidity of fools is just that—stupidity!
25 An honest witness saves lives,
    but one who tells lies is dangerous.
26 In the fear of Yahweh there is strong confidence,
    and his children will have a place of refuge.
27 The fear of Yahweh is a fountain of life
    to turn one away from the grasp of death.
28 A large population is an honor for a king,
    but without people a ruler is ruined.

29 A person of great understanding is patient,
    but a short temper is the height of stupidity.
30 A tranquil heart makes for a healthy body,
    but jealousy is like bone cancer.
31 Whoever oppresses the poor insults his maker,
    but whoever is kind to the needy honors him.
32 A wicked person is thrown down by his own wrongdoing,
    but even in his death a righteous person has a refuge.
33 Wisdom finds rest in the heart of an understanding person.
    Even fools recognize this.[b]

Wise Ways to Live

34 Righteousness lifts up a nation,
    but sin is a disgrace in any society.
35 A king is delighted with a servant who acts wisely,
    but he is furious with one who acts shamefully.


  1. Proverbs 14:16 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
  2. Proverbs 14:33 Hebrew meaning of this line uncertain.