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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.”

20 Wine(A) is a mocker(B) and beer a brawler;
    whoever is led astray(C) by them is not wise.(D)

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

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

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

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

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

The righteous lead blameless lives;(M)
    blessed are their children after them.(N)

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

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

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

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

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

13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;(V)
    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(W) if it is done for an outsider.(X)

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

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

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

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

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!”(AE)
    Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.(AF)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Blows and wounds scrub(AR) away evil,
    and beatings(AS) purge the inmost being.


  1. Proverbs 20:27 Or A person’s words are

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