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Proverbs 20 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

20 Wine and beer make people lose control; they get loud and stumble around. And that is foolish.

An angry king is like a roaring lion. If you make him angry, you could lose your life.

People who refuse to argue deserve respect. Any fool can start an argument.

Some people are too lazy to plant seeds. So at harvest time, they look for food and find nothing.

Getting information from someone can be like getting water from a deep well. If you are smart, you will draw it out.

You might call many people your “friends,” but it is hard to find someone who can really be trusted.

When people live good, honest lives, their children are blessed.

When the king sits and judges people, he must look carefully to separate the evil from the good.

Can anyone say their heart is pure? Who can say, “I am free from sin”?

10 The Lord hates for people to use the wrong weights and measures to cheat others.

11 Even children show what they are like by the things they do. You can see if their actions are pure and right.

12 It was the Lord who gave us eyes for seeing and ears for hearing.

13 If you love to sleep, you will become poor. Use your time working and you will have plenty to eat.

14 When buying something, people always say, “It’s no good. It costs too much.” Then they go away and tell others what a good deal they got.

15 The right knowledge can bring you gold, pearls, and other expensive things.

16 If someone promises to pay the debt of a stranger, get a coat or something from him to keep until the debt is paid.

17 It may seem to be a good thing to get something by cheating, but in the end, it will be worth nothing.

18 Get good advice when you make your plans. Before you start a war, find good advisors.

19 You cannot trust someone who would talk about things told in private. So don’t be friends with someone who talks too much.

20 Those who would curse their father or mother are like a lamp that goes out on the darkest night.

21 If your wealth was easy to get, it will not be worth much to you.[a]

22 Don’t ever say, “I’ll pay them back for what they did to me!” Wait for the Lord. He will make things right.

23 The Lord hates for people to use the wrong weights to cheat others. It is wrong to use scales that are not accurate.

24 The Lord guides our steps, and we never know where he will lead us.[b]

25 Think carefully before you promise to give something to God. Later, you might wish you had not made that promise.

26 Like a farmer who separates wheat from the chaff, a wise king will decide who is wrong and crush them.

27 Your spirit is like a lamp to the Lord. He is able to see into your deepest parts.[c]

28 A king who is loyal and true will keep his power. Loyalty will keep his kingdom strong.

29 We admire a young man for his strength, but we respect an old man for his gray hair.

30 A beating can remove evil and make you completely clean.[d]


  1. Proverbs 20:21 Or “An inheritance greedily guarded in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.”
  2. Proverbs 20:24 Or “A man’s steps are from the Lord, and people don’t understand his way.”
  3. Proverbs 20:27 Or “The Lord examines your breath and searches your deepest thoughts.”
  4. Proverbs 20:30 The Hebrew text here is hard to understand.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International


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