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.
All the ways of a person are clean in his own sight,
But the (B)Lord examines the [a]motives.
[b](C)Commit your works to the Lord,
And your plans will be established.
The Lord (D)has made everything for [c]its own purpose,
Even the (E)wicked for the day of evil.
Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
[d]Be assured, he will not go unpunished.
By (F)mercy and truth atonement is made for wrongdoing,
And by [e]the (G)fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.
When a person’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
He (H)causes even his enemies to make peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness
Than great income with injustice.
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.


  1. Proverbs 16:2 Lit spirits
  2. Proverbs 16:3 Lit Roll
  3. Proverbs 16:4 Or His
  4. Proverbs 16:5 Lit Hand to hand, he
  5. Proverbs 16:6 Or reverence for
  6. Proverbs 16:10 Lit be unfaithful
  7. Proverbs 16:11 Lit stones
  8. Proverbs 16:11 Lit work
  9. Proverbs 16:15 Lit latter
  10. Proverbs 16:17 Lit soul
  11. Proverbs 16:21 Lit lips
  12. Proverbs 16:21 Or learning
  13. Proverbs 16:23 Or learning
  14. Proverbs 16:26 Lit mouth
  15. Proverbs 16:27 Lit on his lips
  16. Proverbs 16:28 Or gossip

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

All a person’s ways seem pure to them,(B)
    but motives are weighed(C) by the Lord.(D)

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

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

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

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

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

Better a little with righteousness
    than much gain(N) with injustice.(O)

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)

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

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

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,
    to get insight(Y) rather than silver!(Z)

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

18 Pride(AB) goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit(AC) before a fall.(AD)

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](AE)
    and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.(AF)

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

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

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

24 Gracious words are a honeycomb,(AK)
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.(AL)

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

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

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

28 A perverse person stirs up conflict,(AQ)
    and a gossip separates close friends.(AR)

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.

33 The lot is cast(AV) into the lap,
    but its every decision(AW) is from the Lord.(AX)


  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