21 In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.
2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.
3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart— the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.
5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
6 A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.[a]
7 The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right.
8 The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the innocent is upright.
9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
10 The wicked crave evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.
11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom; by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.
12 The Righteous One[b] takes note of the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin.
13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.
14 A gift given in secret soothes anger, and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.
15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
16 Whoever strays from the path of prudence comes to rest in the company of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.
18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright.
19 Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity[c] and honor.
22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.
24 The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name— behaves with insolent fury.
25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. 26 All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable— how much more so when brought with evil intent!
28 A false witness will perish, but a careful listener will testify successfully.
29 The wicked put up a bold front, but the upright give thought to their ways.
30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.
22 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
2 Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.
3 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
4 Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.
5 In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.
6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.
8 Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.
9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.
11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.
13 The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!”
14 The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit; a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.
16 One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.
Thirty Sayings of the Wise
17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, 18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. 19 So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you. 20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge, 21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve?
22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, 23 for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.
24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
26 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; 27 if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.
28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors.
29 Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.
23 When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what[d] is before you, 2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. 3 Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.
4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. 5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
6 Do not eat the food of a begrudging host, do not crave his delicacies; 7 for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost.[e] “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. 8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten and will have wasted your compliments.
9 Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.
10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, 11 for their Defender is strong; he will take up their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. 14 Punish them with the rod and save them from death.
15 My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad indeed; 16 my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. 18 There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path: 20 Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, 21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23 Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction and insight as well. 24 The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. 25 May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!
26 My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways, 27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit, and a wayward wife is a narrow well. 28 Like a bandit she lies in wait and multiplies the unfaithful among men.
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? 30 Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. 31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! 32 In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will imagine confusing things. 34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. 35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?”
Proverbs 21:6Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the Believer's Bible Commentary and the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (NIV and NRSV) - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.