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Proverbs 21 English Standard Version (ESV)

21 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
    he turns it wherever he will.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    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[a] of the wicked, are sin.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.[b]
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 upright.
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
    his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
    when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
    he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13 Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
    will himself call out and not be answered.
14 A gift in secret averts anger,
    and a concealed bribe,[c] strong wrath.
15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
    but terror to evildoers.
16 One who wanders from the way of good sense
    will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
    he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
    and the traitor for the upright.
19 It is better to live in a desert land
    than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20 Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling,
    but a foolish man devours it.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty
    and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
    keeps himself out of trouble.
24 “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
    who acts with arrogant pride.
25 The desire of the sluggard kills him,
    for his hands refuse to labor.
26 All day long he craves and craves,
    but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
    how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
28 A false witness will perish,
    but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29 A wicked man puts on a bold face,
    but the upright gives thought to[d] his 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.


  1. Proverbs 21:4 Or the plowing
  2. Proverbs 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
  3. Proverbs 21:14 Hebrew a bribe in the bosom
  4. Proverbs 21:29 Or establishes
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Mishle 21 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

21 The lev melech is in the yad Hashem, as the channels of mayim; He directeth it wherever He will.

Every derech ish is yashar (right) in his own eynayim, but Hashem weigheth the hearts.

To do tzedakah and mishpat is more acceptable to Hashem than zevach.

A high and haughty eye, and a proud lev—ner resha’im (the lamp of the wicked ones)—are chattat (sin).

The plans of the kharutz (diligent) lead surely to profit; but of every one that is hasty surely to machsor (poverty, want).

The getting of otzarot by a lashon sheker is hevel (vain, empty, meaningless) and fleeting for them that seek mavet.

The violence of the resha’im shall drag them away; because they refuse to do mishpat (justice).

The derech of the guilty ish is hafachpach (crooked, tortuous), but as for the pure, his conduct is yashar (right).

It is better to dwell in a corner of the gag (roof), than with a quarrelsome isha in a shared bais.

10 The nefesh of the rashah desireth rah; his re’a findeth no mercy in his eynayim.

11 When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise, and when insight is disclosed to the chacham, he receiveth da’as.

12 The tzaddik (righteous one) wisely considereth the bais of the rashah, and hurleth the resha’im to rah.

13 He who stoppeth his ozen at the cry of the dal (poor), he also shall cry out himself, but shall not be heard.

14 A mattan (gift) in secret pacifieth af (anger), and a shochad (bribe) in the kheyk (bosom, i.e., a concealed bribe) strong wrath.

15 It is simchah to the tzaddik to do mishpat, but terror for the po’alei aven (workers of iniquity).

16 The adam that wandereth astray from the derech haseichel (road of understanding) shall rest in the kahal of the refa’im (congregation of the dead).

17 The ohev simchah (lover of pleasure) shall be an ish machsor (man of poverty, want, shortage); he that loveth yayin and shemen shall not be rich.

18 The reshah shall be a kofer (ransom) for the tzaddik, and the boged (the unfaithful) for the yesharim.

19 It is better to dwell in eretz midbar, than with a quarrelsome and an angry isha.

20 There is otzar to be desired and shemen in the naveh (dwelling) of the chacham; but a kesil adam squanders it.

21 He that pursueth tzedakah and chesed findeth chayyim, tzedakah, and kavod.

22 A chacham scaleth the city of the gibborim (mighty ones), and casteth down the trusted stronghold thereof.

23 He who is shomer over his peh (mouth) and his lashon (tongue) is shomer over his nefesh from tzoros.

24 Proud and haughty scoffer is shmo, who acteth in superfluity of zadon (pride).

25 The ta’avah (desire, craving) of the atzel (sluggard, lazy one) killeth him, for his yadayim refuse to work.

26 He craveth greedily kol hayom, but the tzaddik giveth and spareth not.

27 The zevach of the resha’im is to’evah (detestable, abomination); how much more, when he bringeth it with zimmah (evil intent).

28 An ed kezavim (lying witness) shall perish, but the ish that heareth [emes] speaketh lanetzach (unto eternity).

29 An ish rasha defiantly hardeneth his face, but as for the yashar (upright) he maketh his derech (road) sure.

30 There is no chochmah nor tevunah (understanding) nor etzah against Hashem.

31 The sus is prepared against the yom milchamah, but teshuah (victory, deliverance) is from Hashem.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International

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