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Proverbs 16 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

16 A person is responsible to prepare his heart,
    but how the tongue speaks is from Adonai.

All a man’s ways are pure in his own view,
    but Adonai weighs the spirit.

If you entrust all you do to Adonai,
    your plans will achieve success.

Adonai made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of disaster.

Adonai detests all those with proud hearts;
    be assured that they will not go unpunished.

Grace and truth atone for iniquity,
    and people turn from evil through fear of Adonai.

When a man’s ways please Adonai,
    he makes even the man’s enemies be at peace with him.

Better a little with righteousness
    than a huge income with injustice.

A person may plan his path,
    but Adonai directs his steps.

10 Divine inspiration is on the lips of the king,
    so his mouth must be faithful when he judges.
11 The balance and scales of justice have their origin in Adonai;
    all the weights in the bag are his doing.
12 It is an abomination for a king to do evil,
    for the throne is made secure by righteousness.
13 The king should delight in righteous lips,
    and he should love someone who speaks what is right.
14 The king’s anger is a herald of death,
    and one who is wise will appease it.
15 When the king’s face brightens, it means life;
    his favor is like the clouds that bring spring rain.

16 How much better than gold it is to gain wisdom!
    Yes, rather than money, choose to gain understanding.

17 Avoiding evil is the highway of the upright;
    he who watches his step preserves his life.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
    and arrogance before failure.

19 Better to be humble among the poor
    than share the spoil with the proud.

20 He who has skill in a matter will succeed;
    he who trusts in Adonai will be happy.

21 A wise-hearted person is said to have discernment,
    and sweetness of speech adds to learning.

22 Common sense is a fountain of life to one who has it,
    whereas fools are punished by their own folly.

23 The wise man’s heart teaches his mouth,
    and to his lips it adds learning.
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
    sweet to the taste and healing for the body.

25 There can be a way which seems right to a person,
    but at its end are the ways of death.

26 A working man’s appetite acts on his behalf,
    because his hunger presses him on.

27 A worthless person digs up evil [gossip] —
    it is like scorching fire on his lips.
28 A deceitful person stirs up strife,
    and a slanderer can separate even close friends.

29 A violent man lures his neighbor astray
    and leads him into evil ways.
30 One who winks knowingly is planning deceit;
    one who pinches his lips together has already done wrong.

31 White hair is a crown of honor
    obtained by righteous living.

32 He who controls his temper is better than a war hero,
    he who rules his spirit better than he who captures a city.

33 One can cast lots into one’s lap,
    but the decision comes from Adonai.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 16 New International Version (NIV)

16 To humans belong the plans of the heart,
    but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.

All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
    but motives are weighed by the Lord.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

The Lord works out everything to its proper end
    even the wicked for a day of disaster.

The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
    Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
    through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.

When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
    he causes their enemies to make peace with them.

Better a little with righteousness
    than much gain with injustice.

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.

10 The lips of a king speak as an oracle,
    and his mouth does not betray justice.

11 Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord;
    all the weights in the bag are of his making.

12 Kings detest wrongdoing,
    for a throne is established through righteousness.

13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips;
    they value the one who speaks what is right.

14 A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
    but the wise will appease it.

15 When a king’s face brightens, it means life;
    his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,
    to get insight rather than silver!

17 The highway of the upright avoids evil;
    those who guard their ways preserve their lives.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.

19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
    than to share plunder with the proud.

20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,[a]
    and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

21 The wise in heart are called discerning,
    and gracious words promote instruction.[b]

22 Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent,
    but folly brings punishment to fools.

23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,
    and their lips promote instruction.[c]

24 Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

25 There is a way that appears to be right,
    but in the end it leads to death.

26 The appetite of laborers works for them;
    their hunger drives them on.

27 A scoundrel plots evil,
    and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.

28 A perverse person stirs up conflict,
    and a gossip separates close friends.

29 A violent person entices their neighbor
    and leads them down a path that is not good.

30 Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity;
    whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.

31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor;
    it is attained in the way of righteousness.

32 Better a patient person than a warrior,
    one with self-control than one who takes a city.

33 The lot is cast into the lap,
    but its every decision is from the Lord.


  1. Proverbs 16:20 Or whoever speaks prudently finds what is good
  2. Proverbs 16:21 Or words make a person persuasive
  3. Proverbs 16:23 Or prudent / and make their lips persuasive
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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