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Proverbs 20 New King James Version (NKJV)

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

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

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

The lazy man will not plow because of winter;
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 goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.

A king who sits on the throne of judgment
Scatters 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,
They are both alike, an abomination to the Lord.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18 Plans are established by counsel;
By wise counsel wage war.

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

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

21 An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning
Will not be blessed at the end.

22 Do not say, “I will recompense evil”;
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 A wise king sifts out the wicked,
And brings the threshing wheel over them.

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

28 Mercy and truth preserve the king,
And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.

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

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

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 20:2 Literally fear or terror which is produced by the king’s wrath
  2. Proverbs 20:14 Literally evil, evil
  3. Proverbs 20:27 Literally the rooms of the belly
  4. Proverbs 20:30 Literally the rooms of the belly
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

On Life and Conduct

20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
And whoever [a]is intoxicated by it is not wise.
The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
He who provokes him to anger [b]forfeits his own life.
[c]Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man,
But any fool will [d]quarrel.
The sluggard does not plow after the autumn,
So he [e]begs during the harvest and has nothing.
A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding draws it out.
Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?
A righteous man who walks in his integrity—
How blessed are his sons after him.
A king who sits on the throne of justice
[f]Disperses all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”?
10 [g]Differing weights and differing measures,
Both of them are abominable to the Lord.
11 It is by his deeds that a lad [h]distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The Lord has made both of them.
13 Do not love sleep, or you will become poor;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with [i]food.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
But when he goes his way, then he boasts.
15 There is gold, and an abundance of [j]jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.
16 Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger;
And for foreigners, hold him in pledge.
17 Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 Prepare plans by consultation,
And make war by wise guidance.
19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,
Therefore do not associate with [k]a gossip.
20 He who curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will go out in [l]time of darkness.
21 An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning
Will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.
23 [m]Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord,
And a [n]false scale is not good.
24 Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord,
How then can man understand his way?
25 It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!”
And after the vows to make inquiry.
26 A wise king winnows the wicked,
And [o]drives the threshing wheel over them.
27 The [p]spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the [q]innermost parts of his being.
28 [r]Loyalty and truth preserve the king,
And he upholds his throne by [s]righteousness.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
And the [t]honor of old men is their gray hair.
30 Stripes that wound scour away evil,
And strokes reach the [u]innermost parts.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 20:1 Lit errs
  2. Proverbs 20:2 Lit sins against
  3. Proverbs 20:3 Lit Ceasing
  4. Proverbs 20:3 Lit burst out
  5. Proverbs 20:4 Lit asks
  6. Proverbs 20:8 Or Sifts
  7. Proverbs 20:10 Lit A stone and a stone, an ephah and an ephah
  8. Proverbs 20:11 Or makes himself known
  9. Proverbs 20:13 Lit bread
  10. Proverbs 20:15 Or corals
  11. Proverbs 20:19 Lit one who opens his lips
  12. Proverbs 20:20 Lit pupil (of eye)
  13. Proverbs 20:23 Lit A stone and a stone
  14. Proverbs 20:23 Lit balance of deceit
  15. Proverbs 20:26 Lit turns
  16. Proverbs 20:27 Lit breath
  17. Proverbs 20:27 Lit chambers of the body
  18. Proverbs 20:28 Lit Covenant loyalty
  19. Proverbs 20:28 Lit Covenant loyalty
  20. Proverbs 20:29 Or splendor
  21. Proverbs 20:30 Lit chambers of the body
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Proverbs 20 Amplified Bible (AMP)

On Life and Conduct

20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a riotous brawler;
And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.

The terror of a king is like the roaring of a lion;
Whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.

It is an honor for a man to keep away from strife [by handling situations with thoughtful foresight],
But any fool will [start a] quarrel [without regard for the consequences].

The lazy man does not plow when the winter [planting] season arrives;
So he begs at the [next] harvest and has nothing [to reap].

A plan (motive, wise counsel) in the heart of a man is like water in a deep well,
But a man of understanding draws it out.

Many a man proclaims his own loyalty and goodness,
But who can find a faithful and trustworthy man?

The righteous man who walks in integrity and lives life in accord with his [godly] beliefs—
How blessed [happy and spiritually secure] are his children after him [who have his example to follow].

A [discerning] king who sits on the throne of judgment
Sifts all evil [like chaff] with his eyes [and cannot be easily fooled].

Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin?”
10 
Differing weights [one for buying and another for selling] and differing measures,
Both of them are detestable and offensive to the Lord.
11 
Even a boy is known and distinguished by his acts,
Whether his conduct is pure and right.
12 
The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The [omnipotent] Lord has made both of them.
13 
Do not love [excessive] sleep, or you will become poor;
Open your eyes [so that you can do your work] and you will be satisfied with bread.
14 
“It is [almost] worthless, it is [almost] worthless,” says the buyer [as he negotiates the price];
But when he goes his way, then he boasts [about his bargain].
15 
There is gold, and an abundance of pearls,
But the lips of knowledge are a vessel of preciousness [the most precious of all].
16 
[The judge tells the creditor], “Take the clothes of one who is surety for a stranger;
And hold him in pledge [when he guarantees a loan] for foreigners.”
17 
Food gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel [just as sin may be sweet at first, but later its consequences bring despair].
18 
Plans are established by counsel;
So make war [only] with wise guidance.
19 
He who goes about as a gossip reveals secrets;
Therefore do not associate with a gossip [who talks freely or flatters].
20 
Whoever curses his father or his mother,
His lamp [of life] will be extinguished in time of darkness.
21 
An inheritance hastily gained [by greedy, unjust means] at the beginning
Will not be blessed in the end.
22 
Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait [expectantly] for the Lord, and He will rescue and save you.
23 
Differing weights are detestable and offensive to the Lord,
And fraudulent scales are not good.
24 
Man’s steps are ordered and ordained by the Lord.
How then can a man [fully] understand his way?
25 
It is a trap for a man to [[a]speak a vow of consecration and] say rashly, “It is holy!”
And [not until] afterward consider [whether he can fulfill it].
26 
A wise king sifts out the wicked [from among the good]
And drives the [threshing] wheel over them [to separate the chaff from the grain].
27 
The [b]spirit (conscience) of man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching and examining all the innermost parts of his being.
28 
Loyalty and mercy, truth and faithfulness, protect the king,
And he upholds his throne by lovingkindness.
29 
The glory of young men is their [physical] strength,
And the honor of aged men is their gray head [representing wisdom and experience].
30 
Blows that wound cleanse away evil,
And strokes reach to the innermost parts.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 20:25 Such a vow would single out an item for sacrifice or for the use of the temple or the priests. The classic example of a careless vow was Jephthah’s promise to sacrifice to the Lord whatever came out of his house to meet him on his return from a successful battle (Judg 11:30-35).
  2. Proverbs 20:27 Lit breath.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 20 New International Version (NIV)

20 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
    whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion;
    those who anger him forfeit their lives.

It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
    but every fool is quick to quarrel.

Sluggards do not plow in season;
    so at harvest time they look but find nothing.

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
    but one who has insight draws them out.

Many claim to have unfailing love,
    but a faithful person who can find?

The righteous lead blameless lives;
    blessed are their children after them.

When a king sits on his throne to judge,
    he winnows out all evil with his eyes.

Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
    I am clean and without sin”?

10 Differing weights and differing measures—
    the Lord detests them both.

11 Even small children are known by their actions,
    so is their conduct really pure and upright?

12 Ears that hear and eyes that see—
    the Lord has made them both.

13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;
    stay awake and you will have food to spare.

14 “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer—
    then goes off and boasts about the purchase.

15 Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
    but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

16 Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
    hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.

17 Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
    but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.

18 Plans are established by seeking advice;
    so if you wage war, obtain guidance.

19 A gossip betrays a confidence;
    so avoid anyone who talks too much.

20 If someone curses their father or mother,
    their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.

21 An inheritance claimed too soon
    will not be blessed at the end.

22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
    Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.

23 The Lord detests differing weights,
    and dishonest scales do not please him.

24 A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.
    How then can anyone understand their own way?

25 It is a trap to dedicate something rashly
    and only later to consider one’s vows.

26 A wise king winnows out the wicked;
    he drives the threshing wheel over them.

27 The human spirit is[a] the lamp of the Lord
    that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

28 Love and faithfulness keep a king safe;
    through love his throne is made secure.

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

30 Blows and wounds scrub away evil,
    and beatings purge the inmost being.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 20:27 Or A person’s words are
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Proverbs 20 King James Version (KJV)

20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.

It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in 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 every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.

Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

10 Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord.

11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.

13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

14 It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

16 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.

21 An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.

22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.

23 Divers weights are an abomination unto the Lord; and a false balance is not good.

24 Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?

25 It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.

26 A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.

27 The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.

30 The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

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