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Proverbs 20 English Standard Version (ESV)

20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.[a]
The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
    whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
    but every fool will be quarreling.
The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
    he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water,
    but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
    but a faithful man who can find?
The righteous who walks in his integrity—
    blessed are his children after him!
A king who sits on the throne of judgment
    winnows all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
    I am clean from my sin”?
10 Unequal[b] weights and unequal measures
    are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
11 Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
    by whether his conduct is pure and upright.[c]
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
    the Lord has made them both.
13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
    open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
    but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15 There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
    but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
    and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.[d]
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
    but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
18 Plans are established by counsel;
    by wise guidance wage war.
19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
    therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.[e]
20 If one curses his father or his mother,
    his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
21 An inheritance gained hastily 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 deliver you.
23 Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord,
    and false scales are not good.
24 A man's steps are from the Lord;
    how then can man understand his way?
25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and to reflect only after making vows.
26 A wise king winnows the wicked
    and drives the wheel over them.
27 The spirit[f] of man is the lamp of the Lord,
    searching all his innermost parts.
28 Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
    and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
    but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
    strokes make clean the innermost parts.


  1. Proverbs 20:1 Or will not become wise
  2. Proverbs 20:10 Or Two kinds of; also verse 23
  3. Proverbs 20:11 Or Even a child can dissemble in his actions, though his conduct seems pure and upright
  4. Proverbs 20:16 Or for an adulteress (compare 27:13)
  5. Proverbs 20:19 Hebrew with one who is simple in his lips
  6. Proverbs 20:27 Hebrew breath
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Mishle 20 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

20 The yayin is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; and whosoever is seduced to be led astray thereby is not wise.

The wrath of a melech is as the roaring of a lion; he who provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own nefesh.

It is kavod for an ish to cease from strife, but any fool can start a quarrel.

The atzel (sluggard, lazy one) will not plow by reason of choref (winter, cold); therefore shall he beg at katzir (harvest), and have nothing.

Etzah (purpose; see Yn 2:24-25 ) in the lev ish is like deep mayim, but an ish tevunah will draw it out.

Rav adam will proclaim every one his own chesed, but an ish emunim (faithful man, loyal man) who can find one?

The tzaddik walketh in his tohm (integrity, guilelessness); his banim after him are blessed.

A melech that sitteth in the kisse din (throne of judgment) winnows out all rah with his eynayim.

Who can say, I have made my lev pure, I am tahor from my chattat?

10 Differing weights, and differing measures, both of them are alike to’evah to Hashem.

11 Even a na’ar (child) is known by his ways, whether his conduct be pure, and whether it be yashar (right).

12 The hearing ozen, and the seeing ayin, Hashem hath made even both of them.

13 Love not sheynah (sleep), lest thou come to poverty; open thine eynayim, and thou shalt have enough lechem.

14 It is good for nothing, it is naught, saith the koneh (buyer), but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

15 There is zahav, and a multitude of rubies, but the sfatayim (lips) of da’as are a precious jewel.

16 Take his garment that is guaranty for a zar (stranger), and hold it as his pledge for a nokhriyah (foreign woman, strange woman, seductress).

17 Lechem from sheker (deceit) is sweet to an ish, but afterwards his peh (mouth) shall be filled with gravel.

18 Every plan is established by etzah, and with tachbulot (guidance) wage milchamah.

19 He that goeth about as a rakhil (gossip, slanderer, talebearer) revealeth secrets; therefore associate not with the babbler.

20 He who curseth aviv or immo, his ner (lamp) shall be put out in deep choshech.

21 A nachalah (inheritance) may be gotten hastily at the rishonah (beginning); but the acharit (latter end) thereof shall not have a bracha.

22 Say not thou, I will pay back rah; but wait on Hashem, and He shall save thee.

23 Differing weights are a to’evah unto Hashem, and scales of mirmah (deceit) are not tov.

24 The steps of a gever are from Hashem; how can an adam then understand his own derech (way, life’s course)?

25 It is a mokesh adam to devote rashly as kodesh, and after nedarim (vows) to reconsider his consecration.

26 A melech chacham winnows out the resha’im and bringeth the ofan (threshing wheel) over them.

27 The neshamah of adam is the ner (light) of Hashem, searching all the innermost beten.

28 Chesed and emes guard the Melech, and his kisse is upheld by chesed.

29 The tiferet (glory) of bochurim is their ko’ach (strength), and the hadar (splendor) of zekenim is the silvery head.

30 Blows that wound cleanseth away rah; so do beatings the innermost beten.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International

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