21 In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
    that he channels toward all who please him.(A)

A person may think their own ways are right,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.(B)

To do what is right and just
    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.(C)

Haughty eyes(D) and a proud heart—
    the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.

The plans of the diligent lead to profit(E)
    as surely as haste leads to poverty.

A fortune made by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.[a](F)

The violence of the wicked will drag them away,(G)
    for they refuse to do what is right.

The way of the guilty is devious,(H)
    but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

Better to live on a corner of the roof
    than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.(I)

10 The wicked crave evil;
    their neighbors get no mercy from them.

11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
    by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.(J)

12 The Righteous One[b] takes note of the house of the wicked
    and brings the wicked to ruin.(K)

13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
    will also cry out(L) and not be answered.(M)

14 A gift given in secret soothes anger,
    and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.(N)

15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
    but terror to evildoers.(O)

16 Whoever strays from the path of prudence
    comes to rest in the company of the dead.(P)

17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
    whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.(Q)

18 The wicked become a ransom(R) for the righteous,
    and the unfaithful for the upright.

19 Better to live in a desert
    than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.(S)

20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
    but fools gulp theirs down.

21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
    finds life, prosperity[c](T) and honor.(U)

22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty(V)
    and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

23 Those who guard their mouths(W) and their tongues
    keep themselves from calamity.(X)

24 The proud and arrogant person(Y)—“Mocker” is his name—
    behaves with insolent fury.

25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,(Z)
    because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves for more,
    but the righteous(AA) give without sparing.(AB)

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable(AC)
    how much more so when brought with evil intent!(AD)

28 A false witness(AE) will perish,(AF)
    but a careful listener will testify successfully.

29 The wicked put up a bold front,
    but the upright give thought to their ways.(AG)

30 There is no wisdom,(AH) no insight, no plan
    that can succeed against the Lord.(AI)

31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but victory rests with the Lord.(AJ)

22 A good name is more desirable than great riches;
    to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.(AK)

Rich and poor have this in common:
    The Lord is the Maker of them all.(AL)

The prudent see danger and take refuge,(AM)
    but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.(AN)

Humility is the fear of the Lord;
    its wages are riches and honor(AO) and life.(AP)

In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,(AQ)
    but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.

Start(AR) children off on the way they should go,(AS)
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.(AT)

The rich rule over the poor,
    and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity,(AU)
    and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.(AV)

The generous will themselves be blessed,(AW)
    for they share their food with the poor.(AX)

10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
    quarrels and insults are ended.(AY)

11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
    will have the king for a friend.(AZ)

12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
    but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

13 The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!(BA)
    I’ll be killed in the public square!”

14 The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit;(BB)
    a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.(BC)

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.(BD)

16 One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth
    and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.

Thirty Sayings of the Wise

Saying 1

17 Pay attention(BE) and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;(BF)
    apply your heart to what I teach,(BG)
18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
    and have all of them ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
    I teach you today, even you.
20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
    sayings of counsel and knowledge,
21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,(BH)
    so that you bring back truthful reports
    to those you serve?

Saying 2

22 Do not exploit the poor(BI) because they are poor
    and do not crush the needy in court,(BJ)
23 for the Lord will take up their case(BK)
    and will exact life for life.(BL)

Saying 3

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
    do not associate with one easily angered,
25 or you may learn their ways
    and get yourself ensnared.(BM)

Saying 4

26 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge(BN)
    or puts up security for debts;
27 if you lack the means to pay,
    your very bed will be snatched from under you.(BO)

Saying 5

28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone(BP)
    set up by your ancestors.

Saying 6

29 Do you see someone skilled(BQ) in their work?
    They will serve(BR) before kings;(BS)
    they will not serve before officials of low rank.

Saying 7

23 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
    note well what[d] is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
    if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies,(BT)
    for that food is deceptive.

Saying 8

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
    do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,(BU)
    for they will surely sprout wings
    and fly off to the sky like an eagle.(BV)

Saying 9

Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
    do not crave his delicacies;(BW)
for he is the kind of person
    who is always thinking about the cost.[e]
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
    but his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the little you have eaten
    and will have wasted your compliments.

Saying 10

Do not speak to fools,
    for they will scorn your prudent words.(BX)

Saying 11

10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone(BY)
    or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender(BZ) is strong;(CA)
    he will take up their case against you.(CB)

Saying 12

12 Apply your heart to instruction(CC)
    and your ears to words of knowledge.

Saying 13

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Punish them with the rod
    and save them from death.(CD)

Saying 14

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
    then my heart will be glad indeed;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
    when your lips speak what is right.(CE)

Saying 15

17 Do not let your heart envy(CF) sinners,
    but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off.(CG)

Saying 16

19 Listen, my son,(CH) and be wise,
    and set your heart on the right path:
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine(CI)
    or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,(CJ)
    and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

Saying 17

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
    and do not despise your mother when she is old.(CK)
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—
    wisdom, instruction and insight as well.(CL)
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
    a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.(CM)
25 May your father and mother rejoice;
    may she who gave you birth be joyful!(CN)

Saying 18

26 My son,(CO) give me your heart
    and let your eyes delight in my ways,(CP)
27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,(CQ)
    and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait(CR)
    and multiplies the unfaithful among men.

Saying 19

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaints?
    Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,(CS)
    who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup,
    when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
    and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights,
    and your mind will imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
    lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
    They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
    so I can find another drink?”(CT)

Saying 20

24 Do not envy(CU) the wicked,
    do not desire their company;
for their hearts plot violence,(CV)
    and their lips talk about making trouble.(CW)

Saying 21

By wisdom a house is built,(CX)
    and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
    with rare and beautiful treasures.(CY)

Saying 22

The wise prevail through great power,
    and those who have knowledge muster their strength.
Surely you need guidance to wage war,
    and victory is won through many advisers.(CZ)

Saying 23

Wisdom is too high for fools;
    in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.

Saying 24

Whoever plots evil
    will be known as a schemer.
The schemes of folly are sin,
    and people detest a mocker.

Saying 25

10 If you falter in a time of trouble,
    how small is your strength!(DA)
11 Rescue those being led away to death;
    hold back those staggering toward slaughter.(DB)
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
    does not he who weighs(DC) the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
    Will he not repay(DD) everyone according to what they have done?(DE)

Saying 26

13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
    honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
14 Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
    If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off.(DF)

Saying 27

15 Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous,
    do not plunder their dwelling place;
16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
    but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.(DG)

Saying 28

17 Do not gloat(DH) when your enemy falls;
    when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,(DI)
18 or the Lord will see and disapprove
    and turn his wrath away from them.(DJ)

Saying 29

19 Do not fret(DK) because of evildoers
    or be envious of the wicked,
20 for the evildoer has no future hope,
    and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.(DL)

Saying 30

21 Fear the Lord and the king,(DM) my son,
    and do not join with rebellious officials,
22 for those two will send sudden destruction(DN) on them,
    and who knows what calamities they can bring?

Further Sayings of the Wise

23 These also are sayings of the wise:(DO)

To show partiality(DP) in judging is not good:(DQ)
24 Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,”(DR)
    will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations.
25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty,
    and rich blessing will come on them.

26 An honest answer
    is like a kiss on the lips.

27 Put your outdoor work in order
    and get your fields ready;
    after that, build your house.

28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause(DS)
    would you use your lips to mislead?
29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me;
    I’ll pay them back for what they did.”(DT)

30 I went past the field of a sluggard,(DU)
    past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
    the ground was covered with weeds,
    and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
    and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest(DV)
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.(DW)

More Proverbs of Solomon

25 These are more proverbs(DX) of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:(DY)

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
    to search out a matter is the glory of kings.(DZ)
As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
    so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

Remove the dross from the silver,
    and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,(EA)
    and his throne will be established(EB) through righteousness.(EC)

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
    and do not claim a place among his great men;
it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”(ED)
    than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.

What you have seen with your eyes
    do not bring[f] hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
    if your neighbor puts you to shame?(EE)

If you take your neighbor to court,
    do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
    and the charge against you will stand.

11 Like apples[g] of gold in settings of silver(EF)
    is a ruling rightly given.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
    is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.(EG)

13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
    is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
    he refreshes the spirit of his master.(EH)
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
    is one who boasts of gifts never given.

15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,(EI)
    and a gentle tongue can break a bone.(EJ)

16 If you find honey, eat just enough—
    too much of it, and you will vomit.(EK)
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
    too much of you, and they will hate you.

18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
    is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.(EL)
19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
    is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
    or like vinegar poured on a wound,
    is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
    if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals(EM) on his head,
    and the Lord will reward you.(EN)

23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
    is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
    than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.(EO)

25 Like cold water to a weary soul
    is good news from a distant land.(EP)
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
    are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

27 It is not good to eat too much honey,(EQ)
    nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.(ER)

28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
    is a person who lacks self-control.

26 Like snow in summer or rain(ES) in harvest,
    honor is not fitting for a fool.(ET)
Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
    an undeserved curse does not come to rest.(EU)
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,(EV)
    and a rod for the backs of fools!(EW)
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    or you yourself will be just like him.(EX)
Answer a fool according to his folly,
    or he will be wise in his own eyes.(EY)
Sending a message by the hands of a fool(EZ)
    is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.
Like the useless legs of one who is lame
    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.(FA)
Like tying a stone in a sling
    is the giving of honor to a fool.(FB)
Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand
    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.(FC)
10 Like an archer who wounds at random
    is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,(FD)
    so fools repeat their folly.(FE)
12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?(FF)
    There is more hope for a fool than for them.(FG)


  1. Proverbs 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
  2. Proverbs 21:12 Or The righteous person
  3. Proverbs 21:21 Or righteousness
  4. Proverbs 23:1 Or who
  5. Proverbs 23:7 Or for as he thinks within himself, / so he is; or for as he puts on a feast, / so he is
  6. Proverbs 25:8 Or nobles / on whom you had set your eyes. / Do not go
  7. Proverbs 25:11 Or possibly apricots

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