On Life and Conduct

21 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He (A)turns it wherever He wishes.
(B)Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord (C)weighs the hearts.
To do (D)righteousness and justice
Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
The (E)lamp of the wicked, is sin.
The plans of the (F)diligent lead surely to advantage,
But everyone (G)who is hasty comes surely to poverty.
The (H)acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue
Is a fleeting vapor, the [a]pursuit of (I)death.
The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
Because they (J)refuse to act with justice.
The way of a guilty man is (K)crooked,
But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.
It is better to live in a corner of a roof
Than [b]in a house shared with a contentious woman.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His (L)neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
11 When the (M)scoffer is punished, the [c]naive becomes wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12 The righteous one considers the house of the wicked,
Turning the (N)wicked to ruin.
13 He who (O)shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be (P)answered.
14 A (Q)gift in secret subdues anger,
And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.
15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous,
But is (R)terror to the workers of iniquity.
16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will (S)rest in the assembly of the [d]dead.
17 He who (T)loves pleasure will become a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
18 The wicked is a (U)ransom for the righteous,
And the (V)treacherous is in the place of the upright.
19 (W)It is better to live in a desert land
Than with a contentious and vexing woman.
20 There is precious (X)treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man (Y)swallows it up.
21 He who (Z)pursues righteousness and loyalty
Finds life, righteousness and honor.
22 A (AA)wise man scales the city of the mighty
And brings down the [e]stronghold in which they trust.
23 He who (AB)guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles.
24 “Proud,” “Haughty,” “(AC)Scoffer,” are his names,
Who acts with (AD)insolent pride.
25 The (AE)desire of the sluggard puts him to death,
For his hands refuse to work;
26 All day long he [f]is craving,
While the righteous (AF)gives and does not hold back.
27 The (AG)sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,
How much more when he brings it with evil intent!
28 A (AH)false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.
29 A wicked man [g](AI)displays a bold face,
But as for the (AJ)upright, he makes his way sure.
30 There is (AK)no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the Lord.
31 The (AL)horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But (AM)victory belongs to the Lord.


  1. Proverbs 21:6 Lit seekers
  2. Proverbs 21:9 Lit with a woman of contentions and a house of association
  3. Proverbs 21:11 Lit simple
  4. Proverbs 21:16 Lit departed spirits
  5. Proverbs 21:22 Lit strength of trust
  6. Proverbs 21:26 Lit desires desire
  7. Proverbs 21:29 Lit makes firm with his face