English Standard Version
3 By (E)wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
4 by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all (F)precious and pleasant riches.
5 (G)A wise man is full of strength,
and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
6 for by (H)wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in (I)abundance of counselors there is victory.
7 Wisdom is (J)too high for a fool;
in (K)the gate he does not open his mouth.
10 If you (O)faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
11 (P)Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
12 If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
(Q)does not he who (R)weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who (S)keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man (T)according to his work?
13 My son, (U)eat honey, for it is good,
and (V)the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be (W)a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
15 (X)Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
do no violence to his home;
16 (Y)for the righteous falls (Z)seven times and rises again,
but (AA)the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
17 (AB)Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
18 lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.
21 My son, (AG)fear the Lord and the king,
and do not join with those who do otherwise,
22 for disaster will arise suddenly from them,
and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?
More Sayings of the Wise
23 These also are sayings of (AH)the wise.
(AI)Partiality in judging is not good.
24 Whoever (AJ)says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
(AK)will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
25 but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
26 Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.
27 (AL)Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that build your house.
28 (AM)Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, (AN)“I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will pay the man back for what he has done.”
30 (AO)I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man (AP)lacking sense,
31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone (AQ)wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw and (AR)considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
33 (AS)A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
More Proverbs of Solomon
25 These also are (AT)proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.
2 It is the glory of God to (AU)conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to (AV)search things out.
3 As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
so the heart of kings is (AW)unsearchable.
4 Take away (AX)the dross from the silver,
and (AY)the smith has material for a vessel;
5 take away (AZ)the wicked from the presence of the king,
and his (BA)throne will be established in righteousness.
6 Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence
or stand in the place of the great,
7 for (BB)it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
What your eyes have seen
8 (BC)do not hastily bring into court,[b]
for[c] what will you do in the end,
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 (BD)Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another's secret,
10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.
11 (BE)A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12 Like (BF)a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to (BG)a listening ear.
13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is (BH)a faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14 Like (BI)clouds and wind without rain
is a man who (BJ)boasts of a gift he does not give.
15 With (BK)patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
16 If you have (BL)found honey, eat (BM)only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house,
lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
18 A man who (BN)bears false witness against his neighbor
is like a war club, or (BO)a sword, or a sharp arrow.
19 Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
20 Whoever (BP)sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.
21 (BQ)If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22 for you will heap (BR)burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
23 The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24 (BS)It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
25 Like cold water to (BT)a thirsty soul,
so is (BU)good news from a far country.
26 Like (BV)a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
27 It is (BW)not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to (BX)seek one's own glory.[d]
28 A man (BY)without self-control
is like (BZ)a city broken into and left without walls.
26 Like snow in summer or (CA)rain in harvest,
so (CB)honor is (CC)not fitting for a fool.
2 Like (CD)a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
(CE)a curse that is causeless does not alight.
3 (CF)A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and (CG)a rod for the back of fools.
4 (CH)Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
5 (CI)Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be (CJ)wise in his own eyes.
6 Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and (CK)drinks violence.
7 Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless,
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8 Like one who binds the stone in the sling
is (CL)one who gives honor to a fool.
9 Like (CM)a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 Like an archer who wounds everyone
is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.[e]
11 Like (CN)a dog that returns to his vomit
is (CO)a fool who repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man who is (CP)wise in his own eyes?
(CQ)There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 (CR)The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
15 (CS)The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is (CT)wiser in his own eyes
(CU)than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17 Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws (CV)firebrands, arrows, and death
19 is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!”
20 For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no (CW)whisperer, (CX)quarreling ceases.
21 As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is (CY)a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 (CZ)The words of (DA)a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23 (DB)Like the (DC)glaze[f] covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
25 (DD)when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are (DE)seven abominations in his heart;
26 though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 (DF)Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.
27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
(DG)for you do not know what a day may bring.
2 Let (DH)another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but (DI)a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before (DJ)jealousy?
5 (DK)Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Faithful are (DL)the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7 One who is full loathes (DM)honey,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8 Like (DN)a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.
9 (DO)Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.[g]
10 Do not forsake your friend and (DP)your father's friend,
and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity.
(DQ)Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
11 (DR)Be wise, (DS)my son, and (DT)make my heart glad,
that I may (DU)answer him who reproaches me.
12 (DV)The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but (DW)the simple go on and suffer for it.
13 (DX)Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.[h]
14 Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
15 (DY)A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp[i] oil in one's right hand.
17 Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.[j]
18 (DZ)Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who (EA)guards his master will be honored.
19 As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
20 (EB)Sheol and Abaddon are (EC)never satisfied,
and (ED)never satisfied are the eyes of man.
21 (EE)The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise.
22 (EF)Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
yet his folly will not depart from him.
23 (EG)Know well the condition of your flocks,
and (EH)give attention to your herds,
24 for (EI)riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
25 (EJ)When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26 (EK)the lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field.
27 (EL)There will be enough goats' milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and maintenance for your girls.
28 (EM)The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but (EN)the righteous are bold as a lion.
2 When a land transgresses, (EO)it has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
3 (EP)A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
4 Those who forsake the law (EQ)praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law (ER)strive against them.
5 Evil men (ES)do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord (ET)understand it completely.
6 (EU)Better is a poor man who (EV)walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is (EW)crooked in his ways.
7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but (EX)a companion of gluttons shames his father.
8 Whoever multiplies his wealth (EY)by interest and profit[k]
(EZ)gathers it for him who is (FA)generous to the poor.
9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his (FB)prayer is an abomination.
10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
(FC)will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless (FD)will have a goodly inheritance.
11 A rich man is wise in his (FE)own eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding (FF)will find him out.
12 When (FG)the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when (FH)the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
13 Whoever (FI)conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who (FJ)confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
14 Blessed is the one who (FK)fears the Lord[l] always,
but whoever (FL)hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15 Like (FM)a roaring lion or (FN)a charging bear
is (FO)a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 A ruler who (FP)lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17 If one is burdened with (FQ)the blood of another,
he will be a fugitive until death;[m]
let no one help him.
18 (FR)Whoever (FS)walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
19 (FT)Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 A faithful man will abound with blessings,
but whoever hastens to be rich (FU)will not go unpunished.
21 To show (FV)partiality is not good,
but for (FW)a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
22 A (FX)stingy man[n] (FY)hastens after wealth
and does not know that (FZ)poverty will come upon him.
23 Whoever (GA)rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than (GB)he who flatters with his tongue.
24 Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, “That is no transgression,”
is (GC)a companion to a man who destroys.
25 A greedy man (GD)stirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the Lord will (GE)be enriched.
26 Whoever (GF)trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27 Whoever (GG)gives to the poor will not want,
but he who (GH)hides his eyes will get many a curse.
28 When (GI)the wicked rise, (GJ)people hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.
29 (GK)He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be (GL)broken (GM)beyond healing.
2 When (GN)the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when (GO)the wicked rule, the people groan.
3 He who (GP)loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but (GQ)a companion of prostitutes (GR)squanders his wealth.
4 By justice a king (GS)builds up the land,
but he who exacts gifts[o] tears it down.
5 (GT)A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads (GU)a net for his feet.
6 An evil man is (GV)ensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man (GW)sings and rejoices.
7 A righteous man (GX)knows the rights of the poor;
a wicked man does not (GY)understand such knowledge.
8 (GZ)Scoffers set a city aflame,
but the wise turn away wrath.
9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is (HA)no quiet.
10 Bloodthirsty men (HB)hate one who is blameless
and seek the life of the upright.[p]
11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
12 If a ruler listens to falsehood,
all his officials will be wicked.
13 The poor man and the oppressor (HC)meet together;
the Lord (HD)gives light to the eyes of both.
14 If a king (HE)faithfully judges the poor,
his throne will (HF)be established forever.
15 (HG)The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself (HH)brings shame to his mother.
16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but (HI)the righteous will look upon their downfall.
17 (HJ)Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.
18 Where (HK)there is no prophetic vision the people (HL)cast off restraint,[q]
but blessed is he who (HM)keeps the law.
19 By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.
20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
(HN)There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21 Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
will in the end find him his heir.[r]
22 (HO)A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
23 (HP)One's pride will bring him low,
(HQ)but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
24 The partner of a thief (HR)hates his own life;
(HS)he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25 (HT)The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
26 Many (HU)seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that a man (HV)gets justice.
27 (HW)An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.
The Words of Agur
30 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.[s]
The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.[t]
2 Surely I am too (HX)stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
3 I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of (HY)the Holy One.
4 Who has (HZ)ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has (IA)gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has (IB)wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all (IC)the ends of the earth?
(ID)What is his name, and what is his son's name?
Surely you know!
7 Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me (IH)before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is (II)needful for me,
9 lest I be (IJ)full and (IK)deny you
and say, (IL)“Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
(IM)and profane the name of my God.
11 There are those[u] who (IP)curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
12 There are those who are (IQ)clean in their own eyes
but are not washed of their filth.
13 There are those—how (IR)lofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
14 There are those whose teeth are (IS)swords,
whose (IT)fangs are knives,
to (IU)devour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mankind.
15 The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.[v]
(IV)Three things are never satisfied;
(IW)four never say, “Enough”:
16 (IX)Sheol, (IY)the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
18 (JD)Three things are (JE)too wonderful for me;
(JF)four I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.
20 This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, “I have done no wrong.”
21 Under (JG)three things (JH)the earth trembles;
under (JI)four it cannot bear up:
22 (JJ)a slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is (JK)filled with food;
23 (JL)an unloved woman when she (JM)gets a husband,
and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
24 (JN)Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 (JO)the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 (JP)the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no (JQ)king,
yet all of them march in (JR)rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings' palaces.
29 (JS)Three things are stately in their tread;
(JT)four are stately in their stride:
30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and (JU)does not turn back before any;
31 the (JV)strutting rooster,[w] the he-goat,
and a king whose army is with him.[x]
32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
(JW)put your hand on your mouth.
33 For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.
- Proverbs 24:9 Or scheming
- Proverbs 25:8 Or presence of a noble, as your eyes have seen. 8Do not go hastily out to court
- Proverbs 25:8 Hebrew or else
- Proverbs 25:27 The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain
- Proverbs 26:10 Or hires a fool or passersby
- Proverbs 26:23 By revocalization; Hebrew silver of dross
- Proverbs 27:9 Or and so does the sweetness of a friend that comes from his earnest counsel
- Proverbs 27:13 Hebrew a foreign woman; a slight emendation yields (compare Vulgate; see also 20:16) foreigners
- Proverbs 27:16 Hebrew to meet with
- Proverbs 27:17 Hebrew sharpens the face of another
- Proverbs 28:8 That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor
- Proverbs 28:14 Hebrew lacks the Lord
- Proverbs 28:17 Hebrew until the pit
- Proverbs 28:22 Hebrew A man whose eye is evil
- Proverbs 29:4 Or who taxes heavily
- Proverbs 29:10 Or but the upright seek his soul
- Proverbs 29:18 Or the people are discouraged
- Proverbs 29:21 The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered his heir is uncertain
- Proverbs 30:1 Or Jakeh, the man of Massa
- Proverbs 30:1 Revocalization; Hebrew The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal
- Proverbs 30:11 Hebrew There is a generation; also verses 12, 13, 14
- Proverbs 30:15 Or “Give, give,” they cry
- Proverbs 30:31 Or the magpie, or the greyhound; Hebrew girt-of-loins
- Proverbs 30:31 Or against whom there is no rising up