New American Standard Bible
Contrast of the Upright and the Wicked
16 The (A)plans of the heart belong to a person,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a person are clean in his own sight,
But the (B)Lord examines the [a]motives.
3 [b](C)Commit your works to the Lord,
And your plans will be established.
4 The Lord (D)has made everything for [c]its own purpose,
Even the (E)wicked for the day of evil.
5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
[d]Be assured, he will not go unpunished.
6 By (F)mercy and truth atonement is made for wrongdoing,
And by [e]the (G)fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.
7 When a person’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
He (H)causes even his enemies to make peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness
Than great income with injustice.
9 The mind of a (I)person plans his way,
But (J)the Lord directs his steps.
10 A divine (K)verdict is on the lips of the king;
His mouth should not [f]err in judgment.
11 A (L)just balance and scales belong to the Lord;
All the [g]weights of the bag are His [h]concern.
12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts,
Because a (M)throne is established on righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And one who speaks right is loved.
14 The fury of a king is like messengers of death;
But a wise person will appease it.
15 In the light of a king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud with the [i](N)spring rain.
16 How much (O)better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
17 The (P)highway of the upright is to turn away from evil;
One who watches his way protects his [j]life.
18 (Q)Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
19 It is better to be (R)humble in spirit with the needy
Than to (S)divide the spoils with the proud.
20 One who pays attention to the word will (T)find good,
And (U)blessed is one who trusts in the Lord.
21 The (V)wise in heart will be called understanding,
And sweetness of [k]speech (W)increases [l]persuasiveness.
22 Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it,
But the discipline of fools is foolishness.
23 The (X)heart of the wise instructs his mouth
And adds [m]persuasiveness to his lips.
24 (Y)Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and (Z)healing to the bones.
25 (AA)There is a way which seems right to a person,
But its end is the way of death.
26 A worker’s appetite works for him,
For his [n]hunger urges him on.
27 A (AB)worthless person digs up evil,
While [o]his words are like (AC)scorching fire.
28 A perverse person spreads strife,
And a [p]slanderer separates close friends.
29 A person of violence (AD)entices his neighbor
And leads him in a way that is not good.
30 He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things;
He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass.
31 A (AE)gray head is a crown of glory;
It (AF)is found in the way of righteousness.
32 One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And one who rules his spirit, than one who captures a city.
33 The (AG)lot is cast into the lap,
But its every (AH)decision is from the Lord.
- Proverbs 16:2 Lit spirits
- Proverbs 16:3 Lit Roll
- Proverbs 16:4 Or His
- Proverbs 16:5 Lit Hand to hand, he
- Proverbs 16:6 Or reverence for
- Proverbs 16:10 Lit be unfaithful
- Proverbs 16:11 Lit stones
- Proverbs 16:11 Lit work
- Proverbs 16:15 Lit latter
- Proverbs 16:17 Lit soul
- Proverbs 16:21 Lit lips
- Proverbs 16:21 Or learning
- Proverbs 16:23 Or learning
- Proverbs 16:26 Lit mouth
- Proverbs 16:27 Lit on his lips
- Proverbs 16:28 Or gossip
Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
16 The plans and reflections of the heart belong to man,
But the [wise] answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are clean and innocent in his own eyes [and he may see nothing wrong with his actions],
But the Lord weighs and examines the motives and intents [of the heart and knows the truth].(A)
[a]Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him],
And your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance].
The Lord has made everything for its own purpose,
Even the wicked [according to their role] for the day of evil.
Everyone who is proud and arrogant in heart is disgusting and exceedingly offensive to the Lord;
Be assured he will not go unpunished.(B)
By mercy and lovingkindness and truth [not superficial ritual] wickedness is cleansed from the heart,
And by the fear of the Lord one avoids evil.
When a man’s ways please the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness
Than great income [gained] with injustice.(C)
A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life],
But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.(D)
A divine decision [given by God] is on the lips of the king [as His representative];
His mouth should not be unfaithful or unjust in judgment.(E)
A just balance and [honest] scales are the Lord’s;
All the weights of the bag are His concern [established by His eternal principles].
It is repulsive [to God and man] for kings to behave wickedly,
For a throne is established on righteousness (right standing with God).
Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And he who speaks right is loved.
The wrath of a king is like a messenger of death,
But a wise man will appease it.
In the light of the king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud bringing the spring rain.
How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.(F)
The highway of the upright turns away and departs from evil;
He who guards his way protects his life (soul).
Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud (haughty, arrogant).
He who pays attention to the word [of God] will find good,
And blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is he who trusts [confidently] in the Lord.
The wise in heart will be called understanding,
And sweet speech increases persuasiveness and learning [in both speaker and listener].
Understanding (spiritual insight) is a [refreshing and boundless] wellspring of life to those who have it,
But to give instruction and correction to fools is foolishness.
The heart of the wise instructs his mouth [in wisdom]
And adds persuasiveness to his lips.
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweet and delightful to the soul and healing to the body.
There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him,
But its end is the way of death.
The appetite of a worker works for him,
For his hunger urges him on.
A worthless man devises and digs up evil,
And the words on his lips are like a scorching fire.
A perverse man spreads strife,
And one who gossips separates intimate friends.(G)
A violent and exceedingly covetous man entices his neighbor [to sin],
And leads him in a way that is not good.
He who [slyly] winks his eyes does so to plot perverse things;
And he who compresses his lips [as if in a secret signal] brings evil to pass.
The silver-haired head is a crown of splendor and glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness.(H)
He who is slow to anger is better and more honorable than the mighty [soldier],
And he who rules and controls his own spirit, than he who captures a city.
The lot is cast into the lap,
[b]But its every decision is from the Lord.
- Proverbs 16:3 Lit Roll.
- Proverbs 16:33 This is the reason why the casting of lots was sanctioned in Israel for certain cases of decision-making (e.g. Lev 16:8; Josh 18:6, 8; 1 Chr 25:8, etc.). It was understood that the outcomes were controlled by God, and the seemingly random procedure eliminated human influence. The last time the ritual is mentioned in the Bible is in the choice of Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:26). Many believe that the filling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2 officially put an end to the ritual because it was then replaced by the direct guidance of the Spirit. It was never sanctioned or recommended as a way to determine God’s will in personal decision-making.
New International Version
16 To humans belong the plans of the heart,
but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.(A)
3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.(E)
9 In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.(P)
10 The lips of a king speak as an oracle,
and his mouth does not betray justice.(Q)
11 Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord;
all the weights in the bag are of his making.(R)
12 Kings detest wrongdoing,
for a throne is established through righteousness.(S)
13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips;
they value the one who speaks what is right.(T)
17 The highway of the upright avoids evil;
those who guard their ways preserve their lives.(AA)
19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud.
22 Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent,(AH)
but folly brings punishment to fools.
26 The appetite of laborers works for them;
their hunger drives them on.
29 A violent person entices their neighbor
and leads them down a path that is not good.(AS)
30 Whoever winks(AT) with their eye is plotting perversity;
whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.
31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor;(AU)
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.
King James Version
16 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.
3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
4 The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
7 When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
11 A just weight and balance are the Lord's: all the weights of the bag are his work.
12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.
14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.
15 In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.
16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.
21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.
23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.
27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.
28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.
30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.