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20 Wine makes people mock,
    liquor makes them noisy,
        and everyone under their influence is unwise.
The rage of a king is like the roar of a lion.
    Whoever makes him angry forfeits his life.
Avoiding a quarrel is honorable.
    After all, any stubborn fool can start a fight.

A lazy person does not plow in the fall.[a]
    He looks for something in the harvest but finds nothing.
A motive in the human heart is like deep water,
    and a person who has understanding draws it out.
Many people declare themselves loyal,
    but who can find someone who is really trustworthy?
A righteous person lives on the basis of his integrity.
    Blessed are his children after he is gone.
A king who sits on his throne to judge sifts out every evil with his eyes.

Who can say,
    “I’ve made my heart pure.
    I’m cleansed from my sin”?
10 A double standard of weights and measures—
    both are disgusting to Yahweh.
11 Even a child makes himself known by his actions,
    whether his deeds are pure or right.
12 The ear that hears,
    the eye that sees—
        Yahweh made them both.
13 Do not love sleep or you will end up poor.
    Keep your eyes open, and you will have plenty to eat.

14 “Bad! Bad!” says the buyer.
    Then, as he goes away, he brags about his bargain.
15 There are gold and plenty of jewels,
    but the lips of knowledge are precious gems.
16 Hold on to the garment of one who guarantees a stranger’s loan,
    and hold responsible the person who makes a loan on behalf of a foreigner.
17 Food gained dishonestly tastes sweet to a person,
    but afterwards his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 Plans are confirmed by getting advice,
    and with guidance one wages war.
19 Whoever goes around as a gossip tells secrets.
    Do not associate with a person whose mouth is always open.

20 The lamp of the person who curses his father and mother
    will be snuffed out in total darkness.[b]
21 An inheritance quickly obtained in the beginning
    will never be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, “I’ll get even with you!”
    Wait for Yahweh, and he will save you.
23 A double standard of weights is disgusting to Yahweh,
    and dishonest scales are no good.
24 Yahweh is the one who directs a person’s steps.
    How then can anyone understand his own way?
25 It is a trap for a person to say impulsively, “This is a holy offering!”
    and later to have second thoughts about those vows.

26 A wise king scatters the wicked
    and then runs them over.
27 A person’s soul is Yahweh’s lamp.
    It searches his entire innermost being.
28 Mercy and truth protect a king,
    and with mercy he maintains his throne.
29 While the glory of young men is their strength,
    the splendor of older people is their silver hair.
30 Brutal beatings cleanse away wickedness.
    Such beatings cleanse the innermost being.


  1. Proverbs 20:4 Fall was the start of the planting season in Palestine.
  2. Proverbs 20:20 Or “snuffed out as darkness approaches.”