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Proverbs 16-18 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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

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

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

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.

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

When a person’s ways please the Lord,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Better a little with righteousness
than great income with injustice.

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

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

11 Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s;
all the weights in the bag are his concern.

12 Wicked behavior 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 person 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[d]
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[e] increases learning.

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

23 The heart of a wise person instructs his mouth;
it adds learning to his speech.[f]

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

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

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

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

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

29 A violent person lures his neighbor,
leading him on a path 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 ways of righteousness.

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

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

17 Better a dry crust with peace
than a house full of feasting with strife.

A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son
and share an inheritance among brothers.

A crucible for silver, and a smelter for gold,
and the Lord is the tester of hearts.

A wicked person listens to malicious talk;[k]
a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

The one who mocks the poor insults his Maker,
and one who rejoices over calamity
will not go unpunished.

Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly,
and the pride of children is their fathers.

Eloquent words are not appropriate on a fool’s lips;
how much worse are lies for a ruler.

A bribe seems like a magic stone to its owner;
wherever he turns, he succeeds.

Whoever conceals an offense promotes love,
but whoever gossips about it separates friends.

10 A rebuke cuts into a perceptive person
more than a hundred lashes into a fool.

11 An evil person desires only rebellion;
a cruel messenger[l] will be sent against him.

12 Better for a person to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
than a fool in his foolishness.

13 If anyone returns evil for good,
evil will never depart from his house.

14 To start a conflict is to release a flood;
stop the dispute before it breaks out.

15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the just
both are detestable to the Lord.

16 Why does a fool have money in his hand
with no intention of buying wisdom?

17 A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a difficult time.

18 One without sense enters an agreement[m]
and puts up security for his friend.

19 One who loves to offend loves strife;
one who builds a high threshold invites injury.

20 One with a twisted mind will not succeed,
and one with deceitful speech will fall into ruin.

21 A man fathers a fool to his own sorrow;
the father of a fool has no joy.

22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

23 A wicked person secretly takes a bribe
to subvert the course of justice.

24 Wisdom is the focus of the perceptive,
but a fool’s eyes roam to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son is grief to his father
and bitterness to the one who bore him.

26 It is certainly not good to fine an innocent person
or to beat a noble for his honesty.[n]

27 The one who has knowledge restrains his words,
and one who keeps a cool head[o]
is a person of understanding.

28 Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps silent—
discerning, when he seals his lips.

18 One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires;
he rebels against all sound wisdom.

A fool does not delight in understanding,
but only wants to show off his opinions.[p]

When a wicked person comes, contempt also comes,
and along with dishonor, derision.

The words of a person’s mouth are deep waters,
a flowing river, a fountain of wisdom.[q]

It is not good to show partiality to the guilty,
denying an innocent person justice.

A fool’s lips lead to strife,
and his mouth provokes a beating.

A fool’s mouth is his devastation,
and his lips are a trap for his life.

A gossip’s words are like choice food
that goes down to one’s innermost being.[r]

The one who is lazy in his work
is brother to a vandal.[s]

10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are protected.[t]

11 The wealth of the rich is his fortified city;
in his imagination it is like a high wall.

12 Before his downfall a person’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.

13 The one who gives an answer before he listens—
this is foolishness and disgrace for him.

14 A person’s spirit can endure sickness,
but who can survive a broken spirit?

15 The mind of the discerning acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks it.

16 A person’s gift opens doors[u] for him
and brings him before the great.

17 The first to state his case seems right
until another comes and cross-examines him.

18 Casting the lot ends quarrels
and separates powerful opponents.

19 An offended brother is harder to reach[v]
than a fortified city,
and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.

20 From the fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is filled with the product of his lips.

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.

22 A man who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.

23 The poor person pleads,
but the rich one answers roughly.

24 One with many friends may be harmed,[w]
but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.

Footnotes:

  1. 16:2 Lit spirits
  2. 16:5 Lit hand to hand
  3. 16:10 Or A divination is on the lips of a king
  4. 16:19 Alt Hb tradition reads afflicted
  5. 16:21 Lit and sweetness of lips
  6. 16:23 Lit learning upon his lips
  7. 16:24 Lit throat
  8. 16:24 Lit bones
  9. 16:26 Lit mouth
  10. 16:32 Lit and ruling over one’s spirit
  11. 17:4 Lit to lips of iniquity
  12. 17:11 Or a merciless angel
  13. 17:18 Lit sense slaps hands
  14. 17:26 Or noble unfairly
  15. 17:27 Lit spirit
  16. 18:2 Lit to uncover his heart
  17. 18:4 Or waters; a fountain of wisdom is a flowing river
  18. 18:8 Lit to the chambers of the belly
  19. 18:9 Lit master of destruction
  20. 18:10 Lit raised high
  21. 18:16 Lit gift makes room
  22. 18:19 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg read is stronger
  23. 18:24 Some LXX mss, Syr, Tg, Vg read friends must be friendly
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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