The Fear of the Lord Leads to Life

19 Better (A)is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge,
And he sins who hastens with his feet.

The foolishness of a man twists his way,
And his heart frets against the Lord.

(B)Wealth makes many friends,
But the poor is separated from his friend.

A (C)false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies will not escape.

Many entreat the favor of the nobility,
And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.
(D)All the brothers of the poor hate him;
How much more do his friends go (E)far from him!
He may pursue them with words, yet they [a]abandon him.

He who gets [b]wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding (F)will find good.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies shall perish.

10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool,
Much less (G)for a servant to rule over princes.

11 (H)The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger,
(I)And his glory is to overlook a transgression.

12 (J)The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is (K)like dew on the grass.

13 (L)A foolish son is the ruin of his father,
(M)And the contentions of a wife are a continual [c]dripping.

14 (N)Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But (O)a prudent wife is from the Lord.

15 (P)Laziness casts one into a deep sleep,
And an idle person will (Q)suffer hunger.

16 (R)He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who [d]is careless of his ways will die.

17 (S)He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord,
And He will pay back what he has given.

18 (T)Chasten your son while there is hope,
And do not set your heart [e]on his destruction.

19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment;
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.

20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise (U)in your latter days.

21 There are many plans in a man’s heart,
(V)Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

22 What is desired in a man is [f]kindness,
And a poor man is better than a liar.

23 (W)The fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.

24 (X)A lazy man buries his hand in the [g]bowl,
And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.

25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple (Y)will become wary;
(Z)Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.

26 He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother
Is (AA)a son who causes shame and brings reproach.

27 Cease listening to instruction, my son,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.

28 A [h]disreputable witness scorns justice,
And (AB)the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.

29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
(AC)And beatings for the backs of fools.

Wine Is a Mocker

20 Wine (AD)is a mocker,
Strong drink is a brawler,
And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

The [i]wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion;
Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life.

(AE)It is honorable for a man to stop striving,
Since any fool can start a quarrel.

(AF)The lazy man will not plow because of winter;
(AG)He will beg during harvest and have nothing.

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding will draw it out.

Most men will proclaim each his own [j]goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?

(AH)The righteous man walks in his integrity;
(AI)His children are blessed after him.

A king who sits on the throne of judgment
Scatters all evil with his eyes.

(AJ)Who can say, “I have made my heart clean,
I am pure from my sin”?

10 (AK)Diverse weights and diverse measures,
They are both alike, an abomination to the Lord.

11 Even a child is (AL)known by his deeds,
Whether what he does is pure and right.

12 (AM)The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The Lord has made them both.

13 (AN)Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.

14 It is [k]good for nothing,” cries the buyer;
But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.

15 There is gold and a multitude of rubies,
But (AO)the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

16 (AP)Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress.

17 (AQ)Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

18 (AR)Plans are established by counsel;
(AS)By wise counsel wage war.

19 (AT)He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets;
Therefore do not associate with one (AU)who flatters with his lips.

20 (AV)Whoever curses his father or his mother,
(AW)His lamp will be put out in deep darkness.

21 (AX)An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning
(AY)Will not be blessed at the end.

22 (AZ)Do not say, “I will [l]recompense evil”;
(BA)Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.

23 Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord,
And dishonest scales are not good.

24 A man’s steps are of the Lord;
How then can a man understand his own way?

25 It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy,
And afterward to reconsider his vows.

26 (BB)A wise king sifts out the wicked,
And brings the threshing wheel over them.

27 (BC)The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the [m]inner depths of his heart.

28 (BD)Mercy and truth preserve the king,
And by [n]lovingkindness he upholds his throne.

29 The glory of young men is their strength,
And (BE)the splendor of old men is their gray head.

30 Blows that hurt cleanse away evil,
As do stripes the [o]inner depths of the heart.

The Lord Considers the Heart

21 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the [p]rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes.

(BF)Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
(BG)But the Lord weighs the hearts.

(BH)To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

(BI)A haughty look, a proud heart,
And the [q]plowing of the wicked are sin.

(BJ)The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

(BK)Getting treasures by a lying tongue
[r]Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.

The violence of the wicked will [s]destroy them,
Because they refuse to do justice.

The way of [t]a guilty man is perverse;
But as for the pure, his work is right.

Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with (BL)a contentious woman.

10 (BM)The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

11 When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise;
But when the (BN)wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.

12 The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked,
Overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness.

13 (BO)Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be heard.

14 A gift in secret pacifies anger,
And a bribe [u]behind the back, strong wrath.

15 It is a joy for the just to do justice,
But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.

16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the (BP)dead.

17 He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous,
And the unfaithful for the upright.

19 Better to dwell [v]in the wilderness,
Than with a contentious and angry woman.

20 (BQ)There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it.

21 (BR)He who follows righteousness and mercy
Finds life, righteousness, and honor.

22 A (BS)wise man [w]scales the city of the mighty,
And brings down the trusted stronghold.

23 (BT)Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles.

24 A proud and haughty man—“Scoffer” is his name;
He acts with arrogant pride.

25 The (BU)desire of the lazy man kills him,
For his hands refuse to labor.
26 He covets greedily all day long,
But the righteous (BV)gives and does not spare.

27 (BW)The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
How much more when he brings it with wicked intent!

28 A false witness shall perish,
But the man who hears him will speak endlessly.

29 A wicked man hardens his face,
But as for the upright, he [x]establishes his way.

30 (BX)There is no wisdom or understanding
Or counsel against the Lord.

31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But (BY)deliverance is of the Lord.


  1. Proverbs 19:7 Lit. are not
  2. Proverbs 19:8 Lit. heart
  3. Proverbs 19:13 Irritation
  4. Proverbs 19:16 Is reckless, lit. despises
  5. Proverbs 19:18 Lit. to put him to death; a Jewish tradition on his crying
  6. Proverbs 19:22 Lit. lovingkindness
  7. Proverbs 19:24 LXX, Syr. bosom; Tg., Vg. armpit
  8. Proverbs 19:28 Lit. witness of Belial, worthless witness
  9. Proverbs 20:2 Lit. fear or terror, produced by the king’s wrath
  10. Proverbs 20:6 Lit. mercy
  11. Proverbs 20:14 Lit. evil, evil
  12. Proverbs 20:22 repay
  13. Proverbs 20:27 Lit. rooms of the belly
  14. Proverbs 20:28 mercy
  15. Proverbs 20:30 Lit. rooms of the belly
  16. Proverbs 21:1 channels
  17. Proverbs 21:4 Or lamp
  18. Proverbs 21:6 LXX Pursue vanity on the snares of death; Vg. Is vain and foolish, and shall stumble on the snares of death; Tg. They shall be destroyed, and they shall fall who seek death
  19. Proverbs 21:7 Lit. drag them away
  20. Proverbs 21:8 Or The way of a man is perverse and strange;
  21. Proverbs 21:14 Under cover, lit. in the bosom
  22. Proverbs 21:19 Lit. in the land of the desert
  23. Proverbs 21:22 Climbs over the walls of
  24. Proverbs 21:29 Qr., LXX understands

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