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Proverbs 21 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

21 A king’s heart is like channeled water in the Lord’s hand:
He directs it wherever he chooses.

All a person’s ways seem right to him,
but the Lord weighs hearts.

Doing what is righteous and just
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

The lamp that guides the wicked—
haughty eyes and an arrogant heart—is sin.

The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit,
but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor.

Making a fortune through a lying tongue
is a vanishing mist,[a] a pursuit of death.[b][c]

The violence of the wicked sweeps them away
because they refuse to act justly.

A guilty one’s conduct is crooked,
but the behavior of the innocent is upright.

Better to live on the corner of a roof
than to share a house with a nagging wife.

10 A wicked person desires evil;
he has no consideration[d] for his neighbor.

11 When a mocker is punished,
the inexperienced become wiser;
when one teaches a wise man,
he acquires knowledge.

12 The Righteous One[e] considers the house of the wicked;
he brings the wicked to ruin.

13 The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor
will himself also call out and not be answered.

14 A secret gift soothes anger,
and a covert bribe, fierce rage.

15 Justice executed is a joy to the righteous
but a terror to those who practice iniquity.

16 The person who strays from the way of prudence
will come to rest in the assembly of the departed spirits.

17 The one who loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and oil will not get rich.

18 The wicked are a ransom for the righteous,
and the treacherous, for[f] the upright.

19 Better to live in a wilderness
than with a nagging and hot-tempered wife.

20 Precious treasure and oil are in the dwelling of a wise person,
but a fool consumes them.[g]

21 The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love
will find life, righteousness, and honor.

22 A wise person went up against a city of warriors
and brought down its secure fortress.

23 The one who guards his mouth and tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.

24 The arrogant and proud person, named “Mocker,”
acts with excessive arrogance.

25 A slacker’s craving will kill him
because his hands refuse to work.
26 He is filled with craving[h] all day long,
but the righteous give and don’t hold back.

27 The sacrifice of a wicked person is detestable—
how much more so
when he brings it with ulterior motives!

28 A lying witness will perish,
but the one who listens will speak successfully.

29 A wicked person puts on a bold face,
but the upright one considers his way.

30 No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel
will prevail against the Lord.

31 A horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but victory comes from the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:6 Or a breath blown away
  2. 21:6 Some Hb mss, LXX, Vg read a snare of death
  3. 21:6 Lit is vanity, ones seeking death
  4. 21:10 Orfavor
  5. 21:12 Or righteous one
  6. 21:18 Or in place of
  7. 21:20 Lit it
  8. 21:26 Lit He craves a craving
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Proverbs 21 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

21 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
    he turns it wherever he will.
All deeds are right in the sight of the doer,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.
To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
    the lamp of the wicked—are sin.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to want.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare[a] of death.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.
The way of the guilty is crooked,
    but the conduct of the pure is right.
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a contentious wife.
10 The souls of the wicked desire evil;
    their neighbors find no mercy in their eyes.
11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple become wiser;
    when the wise are instructed, they increase in knowledge.
12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
    he casts the wicked down to ruin.
13 If you close your ear to the cry of the poor,
    you will cry out and not be heard.
14 A gift in secret averts anger;
    and a concealed bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.
15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous,
    but dismay to evildoers.
16 Whoever wanders from the way of understanding
    will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will suffer want;
    whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
    and the faithless for the upright.
19 It is better to live in a desert land
    than with a contentious and fretful wife.
20 Precious treasure remains[b] in the house of the wise,
    but the fool devours it.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
    will find life[c] and honor.
22 One wise person went up against a city of warriors
    and brought down the stronghold in which they trusted.
23 To watch over mouth and tongue
    is to keep out of trouble.
24 The proud, haughty person, named “Scoffer,”
    acts with arrogant pride.
25 The craving of the lazy person is fatal,
    for lazy hands refuse to labor.
26 All day long the wicked covet,[d]
    but the righteous give and do not hold back.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
    how much more when brought with evil intent.
28 A false witness will perish,
    but a good listener will testify successfully.
29 The wicked put on a bold face,
    but the upright give thought to[e] their ways.
30 No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel,
    can avail against the Lord.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 21:6 Gk: Heb seekers
  2. Proverbs 21:20 Gk: Heb and oil
  3. Proverbs 21:21 Gk: Heb life and righteousness
  4. Proverbs 21:26 Gk: Heb all day long one covets covetously
  5. Proverbs 21:29 Another reading is establish
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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