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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.(A)
To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.(B)
Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
    the lamp of the wicked—are sin.(C)
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to want.(D)
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare[a] of death.(E)
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away
    because they refuse to do what is just.(F)
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.(G)
10 The souls of the wicked desire evil;
    their neighbors find no mercy in their eyes.(H)
11 When a scoffer is punished, the simple become wiser;
    when the wise are instructed, they increase in knowledge.(I)
12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
    he casts the wicked down to ruin.(J)
13 If you close your ear to the cry of the poor,
    you will cry out and not be heard.(K)
14 A gift in secret averts anger,
    and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.(L)
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.(M)
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.(N)
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.(O)
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
    will find life[c] and honor.(P)
22 One wise person went up against a city of warriors
    and brought down the stronghold in which they trusted.(Q)
23 To watch over mouth and tongue
    is to keep out of trouble.(R)
24 The proud, haughty person, named Scoffer,
    acts with arrogant pride.(S)
25 The craving of the lazy person is fatal,
    for lazy hands refuse to labor.(T)
26 All day long the wicked covet,[d]
    but the righteous give and do not hold back.(U)
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
    how much more when brought with evil intent.(V)
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.(W)
30 No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
    can avail against the Lord.(X)
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the Lord.(Y)

22 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
    and favor is better than silver or gold.(Z)
The rich and the poor have this in common:
    the Lord is the maker of them all.
The clever see danger and hide,
    but the simple go on and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
    is riches and honor and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
    the cautious will keep far from them.(AA)
Train children in the right way,
    and when old, they will not stray.(AB)
The rich rule over the poor,
    and the borrower is the slave of the lender.(AC)
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
    and the rod of anger will fail.(AD)
Those who are generous are blessed,
    for they share their bread with the poor.(AE)
10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife goes out;
    quarreling and abuse will cease.(AF)
11 Those who love a pure heart and are gracious in speech
    will have the king as a friend.(AG)
12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
    but he overthrows the words of the faithless.(AH)
13 The lazy person says, “There is a lion outside!
    I shall be killed in the streets!”(AI)
14 The mouth of a loose woman[f] is a deep pit;
    he with whom the Lord is angry falls into it.
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline drives it far away.(AJ)
16 Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself,
    and giving to the rich, will lead only to loss.

Sayings of the Wise

17     The words of the wise:

Incline your ear and hear my words[g]
    and apply your mind to my teaching,
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
    if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
    I have made them known to you today, yes, to you.(AK)
20 Have I not written for you thirty[h] sayings
    of admonition and knowledge,(AL)
21 to show you what is right and true,
    so that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?(AM)

22 Do not rob the poor because they are poor
    or crush the afflicted at the gate,(AN)
23 for the Lord pleads their cause
    and despoils of life those who despoil them.(AO)
24 Make no friends with those given to anger,
    and do not associate with hotheads,
25 lest you learn their ways
    and entangle yourself in a snare.
26 Do not be one of those who give pledges,
    who become surety for debts.(AP)
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
    why should your bed be taken from under you?
28 Do not remove the ancient landmark
    that your ancestors set up.(AQ)
29 Do you see those who are skillful in their work?
    They will serve kings;
    they will not serve common people.(AR)


  1. 21.6 Gk: Heb seekers
  2. 21.20 Gk: Heb and oil
  3. 21.21 Gk: Heb life and righteousness
  4. 21.26 Gk: Heb all day long one covets covetously
  5. 21.29 Or establish
  6. 22.14 Heb strange woman
  7. 22.17 Cn Compare Gk: Heb Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise
  8. 22.20 Cn: Heb in the past or noble