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Proverbs 20 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

20 Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler;
whoever goes astray[a] because of them is not wise.

A king’s terrible wrath is like the roaring of a lion;
anyone who provokes him endangers himself.

Honor belongs to the person who ends a dispute,
but any fool can get himself into a quarrel.

The slacker does not plow during planting season;[b]
at harvest time he looks,[c] and there is nothing.

Counsel in a person’s heart is deep water;
but a person of understanding draws it out.

Many a person proclaims his own loyalty,
but who can find a trustworthy person?

A righteous person acts with integrity;
his children who come after him will be happy.

A king sitting on a throne to judge
separates out all evil with his eyes.

Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
I am cleansed from my sin”?

10 Differing weights and varying measures[d]
both are detestable to the Lord.

11 Even a young man is known by his actions—
by whether his behavior is pure and upright.

12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye—
the Lord made them both.

13 Don’t love sleep, or you will become poor;
open your eyes, and you’ll have enough to eat.

14 “It’s worthless, it’s worthless!” the buyer says,
but after he is on his way, he gloats.

15 There is gold and a multitude of jewels,
but knowledgeable lips are a rare treasure.

16 Take his garment,
for he has put up security for a stranger;
get collateral if it is for foreigners.

17 Food gained by fraud is sweet to a person,
but afterward his mouth is full of gravel.

18 Finalize plans with counsel,
and wage war with sound guidance.

19 The one who reveals secrets is a constant gossip;
avoid someone with a big mouth.

20 Whoever curses his father or mother
his lamp will go out in deep darkness.

21 An inheritance gained prematurely
will not be blessed ultimately.

22 Don’t say, “I will avenge this evil!”
Wait on the Lord, and he will rescue you.

23 Differing weights[e] are detestable to the Lord,
and dishonest scales are unfair.

24 Even a courageous person’s steps are determined by the Lord,
so how can anyone understand his own way?

25 It is a trap for anyone to dedicate something rashly
and later to reconsider his vows.

26 A wise king separates out the wicked
and drives the threshing wheel over them.

27 The Lord’s lamp sheds light on a person’s life,[f]
searching the innermost parts.[g]

28 Loyalty and faithfulness guard a king;
through loyalty he maintains his throne.

29 The glory of young men is their strength,
and the splendor of old men is gray hair.

30 Lashes and wounds purge away evil,
and beatings cleanse the innermost parts.[h]


  1. 20:1 Or whoever staggers
  2. 20:4 Lit plow in winter
  3. 20:4 Litinquires
  4. 20:10 Lit Stone and stone, measure and measure
  5. 20:23 Lit A stone and a stone
  6. 20:27 Lit breath
  7. 20:27 Lit the chambers of the belly
  8. 20:30 Lit beatings the chambers of the belly
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.

Proverbs 20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
The dread anger of a king is like the growling of a lion;
    anyone who provokes him to anger forfeits life itself.
It is honorable to refrain from strife,
    but every fool is quick to quarrel.
The lazy person does not plow in season;
    harvest comes, and there is nothing to be found.
The purposes in the human mind are like deep water,
    but the intelligent will draw them out.
Many proclaim themselves loyal,
    but who can find one worthy of trust?
The righteous walk in integrity—
    happy are the children who follow them!
A king who sits on the throne of judgment
    winnows all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, “I have made my heart clean;
    I am pure from my sin”?
10 Diverse weights and diverse measures
    are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
11 Even children make themselves known by their acts,
    by whether what they do is pure and right.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye—
    the Lord has made them both.
13 Do not love sleep, or else you will come to poverty;
    open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
    then goes away and boasts.
15 There is gold, and abundance of costly stones;
    but the lips informed by knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 Take the garment of one who has given surety for a stranger;
    seize the pledge given as surety for foreigners.
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet,
    but afterward the mouth will be full of gravel.
18 Plans are established by taking advice;
    wage war by following wise guidance.
19 A gossip reveals secrets;
    therefore do not associate with a babbler.
20 If you curse father or mother,
    your lamp will go out in utter darkness.
21 An estate quickly acquired in the beginning
    will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
    wait for the Lord, and he will help you.
23 Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord,
    and false scales are not good.
24 All our steps are ordered by the Lord;
    how then can we understand our own ways?
25 It is a snare for one to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and begin to reflect only after making a vow.
26 A wise king winnows the wicked,
    and drives the wheel over them.
27 The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord,
    searching every inmost part.
28 Loyalty and faithfulness preserve the king,
    and his throne is upheld by righteousness.[a]
29 The glory of youths is their strength,
    but the beauty of the aged is their gray hair.
30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
    beatings make clean the innermost parts.


  1. Proverbs 20:28 Gk: Heb loyalty
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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