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Proverbs 16 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

16 The reflections of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

All a man’s ways seem right to him,
but the Lord evaluates the motives.[a]

Commit your activities to the Lord,
and your plans will be achieved.

The Lord has prepared everything for His purpose—
even the wicked for the day of disaster.

Everyone with a proud heart is detestable to the Lord;
be assured,[b] he will not go unpunished.

Wickedness is atoned for by loyalty and faithfulness,
and one turns from evil by the fear of the Lord.

When a man’s ways please the Lord,
He[c] makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Better a little with righteousness
than great income with injustice.

A man’s heart plans his way,
but the Lord determines his steps.

10 God’s verdict is on the lips of a king;[d]
his mouth should not give an unfair judgment.

11 Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s;
all the weights in the bag[e] are His concern.

12 Wicked behavior[f] is detestable to kings,
since a throne is established through righteousness.

13 Righteous lips are a king’s delight,
and he loves one who speaks honestly.

14 A king’s fury is a messenger of death,
but a wise man appeases it.

15 When a king’s face lights up, there is life;
his favor is like a cloud with spring rain.

16 Get wisdom—
how much better it is than gold!
And get understanding—
it is preferable to silver.

17 The highway of the upright avoids evil;
the one who guards his way protects his life.

18 Pride comes before destruction,
and an arrogant spirit before a fall.

19 Better to be lowly of spirit with the humble[g]
than to divide plunder with the proud.

20 The one who understands a matter finds success,
and the one who trusts in the Lord will be happy.

21 Anyone with a wise heart is called discerning,
and pleasant speech[h] increases learning.

22 Insight is a fountain of life for its possessor,
but the discipline of fools is folly.

23 A wise heart instructs its mouth
and increases learning with its speech.[i]

24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb:
sweet to the taste[j] and health to the body.[k]

25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.

26 A worker’s appetite works for him
because his hunger[l] urges him on.

27 A worthless man digs up evil,
and his speech is like a scorching fire.

28 A contrary man spreads conflict,
and a gossip separates close friends.

29 A violent man lures his neighbor,
leading him in a way that is not good.

30 The one who narrows his eyes is planning deceptions;
the one who compresses his lips brings about evil.

31 Gray hair is a glorious crown;
it is found in the way of righteousness.

32 Patience is better than power,
and controlling one’s temper,[m] than capturing a city.

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

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 16:2 Lit weighs spirits
  2. Proverbs 16:5 Lit hand to hand
  3. Proverbs 16:7 Or he
  4. Proverbs 16:10 Or A divination is on the lips of a king
  5. Proverbs 16:11 Merchants kept the stones for their scales in a bag.
  6. Proverbs 16:12 Either the king’s or someone else’s behavior
  7. Proverbs 16:19 Alt Hb tradition reads afflicted
  8. Proverbs 16:21 Lit and sweetness of lips
  9. Proverbs 16:23 Lit learning upon his lips
  10. Proverbs 16:24 Lit throat
  11. Proverbs 16:24 Lit bones
  12. Proverbs 16:26 Lit mouth
  13. Proverbs 16:32 Lit and ruling over one’s spirit

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.

Footnotes:

  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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