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21 The king’s heart is in the hand of Jehovah as the watercourses:
He turneth it whithersoever he will.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes;
But Jehovah weigheth the hearts.
To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to Jehovah than sacrifice.
A high look, and a proud heart,
[a]Even the lamp of the wicked, is sin.
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness;
But every one that is hasty hasteth only to want.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
Is a vapor driven to and fro by them that seek death.
The violence of the wicked shall sweep them away,
Because they refuse to do justice.
The way of him that is laden with guilt is exceeding crooked;
But as for the pure, his work is [b]right.
It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop,
Than with a contentious woman in [c]a wide house.
10 The soul of the wicked desireth evil:
His neighbor findeth no favor in his eyes.
11 When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise;
And [d]when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
12 [e]The righteous man considereth the house of the wicked,
How the wicked are overthrown to their ruin.
13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor,
He also shall cry, but shall not be heard.
14 A gift in secret [f]pacifieth anger;
And a present in the bosom, strong wrath.
15 It is joy to the righteous to do justice;
[g]But it is a destruction to the workers of iniquity.
16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding
Shall rest in the assembly of [h]the dead.
17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man:
He that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous;
And the treacherous cometh in the stead of the upright.
19 It is better to dwell in a desert land,
Than with [i]a contentious and fretful woman.
20 There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise;
But a foolish man swalloweth it up.
21 He that followeth after righteousness and kindness
Findeth life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty,
And bringeth down the strength of the confidence thereof.
23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue
Keepeth his soul from troubles.
24 The proud and haughty man, scoffer is his name;
He worketh in the arrogance of pride.
25 The desire of the sluggard killeth him;
For his hands refuse to labor.
26 There is that coveteth greedily all the day long;
But the righteous giveth and withholdeth not.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
How much more, when he bringeth it [j]with a wicked mind!
28 A false witness shall perish;
But the man that heareth shall speak so as to endure.
29 A wicked man hardeneth his face;
But as for the upright, [k]he establisheth his ways.
30 There is no wisdom nor understanding
Nor counsel against Jehovah.
31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle;
But [l]victory is of Jehovah.


  1. Proverbs 21:4 Or, And the tillage
  2. Proverbs 21:8 Or, straight
  3. Proverbs 21:9 Or, a house in common. Hebrew a house of society.
  4. Proverbs 21:11 Or, when one considereth the wise
  5. Proverbs 21:12 Or, One that is righteous . . . he overthroweth the wicked etc.
  6. Proverbs 21:14 Hebrew bendeth.
  7. Proverbs 21:15 Or, But destruction shall be to etc.
  8. Proverbs 21:16 Or, the shades. Hebrew Rephaim.
  9. Proverbs 21:19 Or, a contentious woman and vexation
  10. Proverbs 21:27 Or, to atone for wickedness
  11. Proverbs 21:29 Another reading is, he considereth his way.
  12. Proverbs 21:31 Or, deliverance

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)


  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