21 ·The Lord can control a king’s mind as he controls a river [L The heart of a king is a canal/stream in the hand of the Lord];
he can ·direct [turn; incline] it as he pleases.
2 ·You may believe you are doing right [L Every person’s path seems right/straight in their own eyes],
but the Lord ·judges your reasons [L weighs your heart].
4 Proud ·looks [L eyes], ·proud thoughts [L arrogant heart],
·and evil actions [L the lamp/or tillage of the wicked] are sin [Ps. 131:1].
5 The plans of hard-working people earn a profit,
but those who ·act too quickly [hurry] become poor.
6 ·Wealth [L Those who work for treasures] that comes from ·telling lies [L a lying tongue]
·vanishes like a mist [pursues vapor/meaninglessness/emptiness] and ·leads to [seeks] death.
7 The violence of the wicked will ·destroy them [sweep them away],
because they refuse to ·do what is right [act with justice].
8 Guilty people live dishonest lives,
but ·honest people do right [virtuous people are pure].
9 It is better to live in a corner on the roof [C living space in biblical times]
than inside the house with a ·quarreling [contentious] wife.
10 Evil people ·only want [desire] to harm others.
Their neighbors get no ·mercy [favor; grace] from them.
11 If you punish ·those who make fun of wisdom [mockers], a ·foolish [immature; naive; simpleminded] person may gain some wisdom.
But if you teach the wise, they will get knowledge.
12 The righteous [C either God or righteous people] watch the house of the wicked
and ·bring ruin on every evil person [turn the wicked toward trouble].
13 Whoever ·ignores [L closes their ears to] the poor when they cry for help
will also ·cry for help [call out] and not be answered.
15 When justice is done, ·good [righteous] people are happy,
but evil people are ruined.
16 ·Whoever does not use good sense [L People who wander from the path of insight]
will ·end up [rest] among the ·dead [departed; shades].
17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and ·perfume [oil] will never be rich.
18 Wicked people ·will suffer instead of [L are a ransom for] ·good [righteous] people,
and ·those who cannot be trusted [the unfaithful] will suffer instead of those ·who do right [with integrity/virtue].
19 It is better to live ·alone in the desert [in a desolate land]
than with a ·quarreling [contentious] and ·complaining [angry] wife.
20 Wise people’s houses are full of ·the best foods [or precious treasure] and olive oil,
but fools ·waste [consume; L swallow] everything they have.
21 Whoever ·tries to live right and be loyal [L pursues righteousness and loyalty]
finds life, ·success [righteousness], and honor.
22 A wise person ·can defeat [L went up against] a city full of warriors
and tear down the defenses they trust in [Eccl. 9:13–16].
23 Those who ·are careful about what they say [L guard their mouth and tongue]
·keep themselves out of [guard themselves from] trouble.
24 People who act with stubborn pride
are called “proud,” “bragger,” and “mocker.”
25 Lazy people’s ·desire for sleep [L longings] will kill them,
because ·they refuse to work [L their hands refuse to do anything; 2 Thess. 3:10].
26 All day long they wish for more,
but ·good [righteous] people give without holding back.
27 The Lord ·hates [detests] sacrifices brought by evil people,
particularly when they offer them for ·the wrong [scheming] reasons.
28 A lying witness will ·be forgotten [perish],
but a truthful witness will speak on.
29 Wicked people ·are stubborn [L put on a bold/impudent face],
but ·good people think carefully about what they do [L the virtuous establish their path].
30 There is no wisdom, understanding, or advice
that can succeed against the Lord.
31 You can get the horses ready for the day of battle,
but it is the Lord who gives the victory [Ps. 33:16–17].