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Proverbs 20 The Passion Translation (TPT)

20 A drunkard is obnoxious, loud, and argumentative;

you’re a fool to get intoxicated with strong drink.
The rage of a king is like the roar of a lion.
Do you really want to go and make him angry?
A person of honor[a] will put an argument to rest.
Only the stupid want to pick a fight.
If you’re too lazy to plant seed,
it’s too bad when you have no harvest on which to feed.[b]
A man of deep understanding will give good advice,
drawing it out from the well within.
Many will tell you they’re your loyal friends,
but who can find one who is truly trustworthy?[c]
The lovers of God will walk in integrity,
and their children are fortunate
to have godly parents as their examples.
A righteous king sits on his judgment seat.
He scatters evil away from his kingdom
by his wise discernment.
Which one of us can truly say,
“I am free from sin in my life,
for my heart is clean and pure”?[d]
10 Mark it down:
God hates it when you demonstrate a double standard—
one for “them” and one for “you.”
11 All children show what they’re really like by how they act.
You can discern their character,
whether they are pure or perverse.
12 Lovers of God have been given eyes to see
with spiritual discernment
and ears to hear from God.
13 If you spend all your time sleeping, you’ll grow poor.[e]
So wake up, sleepyhead! Don’t sleep on the job.
And then there will be plenty of food on your table.
14 The buyer says, as he haggles over the price,
“That’s junk. It’s worthless!”
Then he goes out and brags,
“Look at the great bargain I got!”
15 You may have an abundance of wealth,
piles of gold and jewels,
but there is something of far greater worth:
speaking revelation words of knowledge.
16 Anyone stupid enough to guarantee a loan for a stranger[f]
deserves to have his property held as security.
17 What you obtain dishonestly may seem sweet at first,
but sooner or later you’ll live to regret it.[g]
18 If you solicit good advice, then your plans will succeed.
So don’t charge into battle without wisdom,
for wars are won by skillful strategy.
19 A blabbermouth will reveal your secrets,
so stay away from people who can’t keep their mouths shut.[h]
20 If you despise your father or mother,
your life will flicker out like a lamp,
extinguished into the deepest darkness.
21 If an inheritance is gained too early in life,
it will not be blessed in the end.
22 Don’t ever say, “I’m going to get even with them
if it’s the last thing I do!”
Wrap God’s grace around your heart
and he will be the one to vindicate you.
23 The Lord hates double standards—
that’s hypocrisy at its worst![i]
24 It is the Lord who directs your life,
for each step you take is ordained by God
to bring you closer to your destiny.
So much of your life, then, remains a mystery![j]
25 Be careful in making a rash promise before God,
or you may be trapped by your vow and live to regret it.
26 A wise king is able to discern corruption
and remove wickedness from his kingdom.[k]
27 The spirit God breathed into man[l] is like a living lamp,
a shining light
searching into the innermost chamber of our being.
28 Good leadership[m] is built on love and truth,
for kindness and integrity
are what keep leaders in their position of trust.
29 We admire the young for their strength and beauty,
but the dignity of the old is their wisdom.[n]
30 When you are punished severely, you learn your lesson well—
for painful experiences do wonders to change your life.


  1. Proverbs 20:3 Or “It is the glory of a man.” It’s better to keep a friend than to win a fight.
  2. Proverbs 20:4 The Aramaic and the Septuagint read “Rebuke a lazy man and he still has no shame, yet watch him go beg at harvest time.”
  3. Proverbs 20:6 Or “A compassionate man is hard to find, but it’s even harder to find one who is faithful.”
  4. Proverbs 20:9 The Hebrew word translated “clean” can also mean “perfect” or “holy.” The word translated “pure” can also mean “clear, bright, shining, unmixed.” Through God’s grace, by the blood of Jesus, believers have been purified, made holy, and set free from our sins.
  5. Proverbs 20:13 The Septuagint reads “Don’t love speaking evil.”
  6. Proverbs 20:16 Some manuscripts have “a promiscuous woman.”
  7. Proverbs 20:17 Or “The bread of falsehood may taste sweet at first, but afterward you’ll have a mouth full of gravel.”
  8. Proverbs 20:19 The Aramaic adds a line: “One who is faithful in spirit hides a matter.”
  9. Proverbs 20:23 Or “The Lord hates differing weights, and dishonest scales are wicked.”
  10. Proverbs 20:24 The Aramaic reads “So what man is capable of ordering his way?”
  11. Proverbs 20:26 Or “A wise king winnows the wicked and turns his chariot wheel over them.”
  12. Proverbs 20:27 Implied by the Hebrew word nishmat, used in Gen. 2:7.
  13. Proverbs 20:28 Or “a king’s throne.”
  14. Proverbs 20:29 Or “their gray hair.”
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

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