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The Lord Controls Wise and Foolish People

21 The king’s heart is like streams of water.
    Both are under Yahweh’s control.
        He turns them in any direction he chooses.
A person thinks everything he does is right,
    but Yahweh weighs hearts.
Doing what is right and fair
    is more acceptable to Yahweh than offering a sacrifice.
A conceited look and an arrogant attitude,
    which are the lamps of wicked people, are sins.

The plans of a hard-working person lead to prosperity,
    but everyone who is always in a hurry ends up in poverty.
Those who gather wealth by lying are wasting time.
    They are looking for death.
The violence of wicked people will drag them away
    since they refuse to do what is just.
The way of a guilty person is crooked,
    but the behavior of those who are pure is moral.[a]

Better to live on a corner of a roof
    than to share a home with a quarreling woman.
10 The mind of a wicked person desires evil
    and has no consideration for his neighbor.
11 When a mocker is punished, a gullible person becomes wise,
    and when a wise person is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12 A righteous person wisely considers the house of a wicked person.
    He throws wicked people into disasters.

13 Whoever shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will call and not be answered.
14 A gift given in secret calms anger,
    and a secret bribe calms great fury.
15 When justice is done, a righteous person is delighted,
    but troublemakers are terrified.
16 A person who wanders from the way of wise behavior
    will rest in the assembly of the dead.

17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor.
    Whoever loves wine and expensive food will not become rich.
18 Wicked people become a ransom for righteous people,
    and treacherous people will take the place of decent people.
19 Better to live in a desert
    than with a quarreling and angry woman.
20 Costly treasure and wealth are in the home of a wise person,
    but a fool devours them.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and mercy
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.

22 A wise man attacks a city of warriors
    and pulls down the strong defenses in which they trust.
23 Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
24 An arrogant, conceited person is called a mocker.
    His arrogance knows no limits.

25 The desire of a lazy person will kill him
    because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he feels greedy,
    but a righteous person gives and does not hold back.

27 The sacrifice of wicked people is disgusting,
    especially if they bring it with evil intent.
28 A lying witness will die,
    but a person who listens to advice will continue to speak.
29 A wicked person puts up a bold front,
    but a decent person’s way of life is his own security.

30 No wisdom, no understanding, and no advice
    can stand up against Yahweh.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to Yahweh.


  1. Proverbs 21:8 Hebrew meaning of this verse uncertain.