Wisdom Is Better Than Gold

16 The (A)preparations[a] of the heart belong to man,
(B)But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own (C)eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits.

(D)Commit[b] your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.

The (E)Lord has made all for Himself,
(F)Yes, even the wicked for the day of [c]doom.

(G)Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Though they join [d]forces, none will go unpunished.

(H)In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And (I)by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.

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

(J)Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice.

(K)A man’s heart plans his way,
(L)But the Lord directs his steps.

10 Divination is on the lips of the king;
His mouth must not transgress in judgment.
11 (M)Honest weights and scales are the Lord’s;
All the weights in the bag are His [e]work.
12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness,
For (N)a throne is established by righteousness.
13 (O)Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And they love him who speaks what is right.
14 As messengers of death is the king’s wrath,
But a wise man will (P)appease it.
15 In the light of the king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a (Q)cloud of the latter rain.

16 (R)How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before [f]a fall.
19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the [g]spoil with the proud.

20 He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever (S)trusts in the Lord, happy is he.

21 The wise in heart will be called prudent,
And sweetness of the lips increases learning.

22 Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it.
But the correction of fools is folly.

23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth,
And adds learning to his lips.

24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of (T)death.

26 The person who labors, labors for himself,
For his hungry mouth drives (U)him on.

27 [h]An ungodly man digs up evil,
And it is on his lips like a burning (V)fire.
28 A perverse man sows strife,
And (W)a whisperer separates the best of friends.
29 A violent man entices his neighbor,
And leads him in a way that is not good.
30 He winks his eye to devise perverse things;
He [i]purses his lips and brings about evil.

31 (X)The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness.

32 (Y)He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

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

The Lord Tests Hearts

17 Better is (Z)a dry morsel with quietness,
Than a house full of [j]feasting with strife.

A wise servant will rule over (AA)a son who causes shame,
And will share an inheritance among the brothers.

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
(AB)But the Lord tests the hearts.

An evildoer gives heed to false lips;
A liar listens eagerly to a [k]spiteful tongue.

(AC)He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker;
(AD)He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

(AE)Children’s children are the crown of old men,
And the glory of children is their father.

Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool,
Much less lying lips to a prince.

A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor;
Wherever he turns, he prospers.

(AF)He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But (AG)he who repeats a matter separates friends.

10 (AH)Rebuke is more effective for a wise man
Than a hundred blows on a fool.

11 An evil man seeks only rebellion;
Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

12 Let a man meet (AI)a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly.

13 Whoever (AJ)rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.

14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore (AK)stop contention before a quarrel starts.

15 (AL)He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.

16 Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it?

17 (AM)A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.

18 (AN)A man devoid of [l]understanding [m]shakes hands in a pledge,
And becomes [n]surety for his friend.

19 He who loves transgression loves strife,
And (AO)he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.

20 He who has a [o]deceitful heart finds no good,
And he who has (AP)a perverse tongue falls into evil.

21 He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy.

22 A (AQ)merry heart [p]does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

23 A wicked man accepts a bribe [q]behind the back
To pervert the ways of justice.

24 (AR)Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding,
But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

25 A (AS)foolish son is a grief to his father,
And bitterness to her who bore him.

26 Also, to punish the righteous is not good,
Nor to strike princes for their uprightness.

27 (AT)He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
28 (AU)Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.

The Name of the Lord Is a Strong Tower

18 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all [r]wise judgment.

A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his (AV)own heart.

When the wicked comes, contempt comes also;
And with dishonor comes reproach.

(AW)The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
(AX)The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.

It is not good to show partiality to the wicked,
Or to overthrow the righteous in (AY)judgment.

A fool’s lips enter into contention,
And his mouth calls for blows.
(AZ)A fool’s mouth is his destruction,
And his lips are the snare of his (BA)soul.
(BB)The words of a [s]talebearer are like [t]tasty trifles,
And they go down into the [u]inmost body.

He who is slothful in his work
Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.

10 The name of the Lord is a strong (BC)tower;
The righteous run to it and are [v]safe.
11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own esteem.

12 (BD)Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty,
And before honor is humility.

13 He who answers a matter before he hears it,
It is folly and shame to him.

14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness,
But who can bear a broken spirit?

15 The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

16 (BE)A man’s gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.

17 The first one to plead his cause seems right,
Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

18 Casting (BF)lots causes contentions to cease,
And keeps the mighty apart.

19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city,
And contentions are like the bars of a castle.

20 (BG)A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.

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

22 (BI)He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.

23 The poor man uses entreaties,
But the rich answers (BJ)roughly.

24 A man who has friends [w]must himself be friendly,
(BK)But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


  1. Proverbs 16:1 plans
  2. Proverbs 16:3 Lit. Roll
  3. Proverbs 16:4 Lit. evil
  4. Proverbs 16:5 Lit. hand to hand
  5. Proverbs 16:11 concern
  6. Proverbs 16:18 stumbling
  7. Proverbs 16:19 plunder
  8. Proverbs 16:27 Lit. A man of Belial
  9. Proverbs 16:30 Lit. compresses
  10. Proverbs 17:1 Or sacrificial meals
  11. Proverbs 17:4 Lit. destructive
  12. Proverbs 17:18 Lit. heart
  13. Proverbs 17:18 Lit. strikes the hands
  14. Proverbs 17:18 guaranty or collateral
  15. Proverbs 17:20 crooked
  16. Proverbs 17:22 Or makes medicine even better
  17. Proverbs 17:23 Under cover, lit. from the bosom
  18. Proverbs 18:1 sound wisdom
  19. Proverbs 18:8 gossip or slanderer
  20. Proverbs 18:8 A Jewish tradition wounds
  21. Proverbs 18:8 Lit. rooms of the belly
  22. Proverbs 18:10 secure, lit. set on high
  23. Proverbs 18:24 So with Gr. mss., Syr., Tg., Vg.; MT may come to ruin

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