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Proverbs 24 English Standard Version (ESV)

24 Be not envious of evil men,
    nor desire to be with them,
for their hearts devise violence,
    and their lips talk of trouble.

By wisdom a house is built,
    and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled
    with all precious and pleasant riches.
A wise man is full of strength,
    and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
    and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
Wisdom is too high for a fool;
    in the gate he does not open his mouth.

Whoever plans to do evil
    will be called a schemer.
The devising[a] of folly is sin,
    and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.

10 If you faint in the day of adversity,
    your strength is small.
11 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,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
    and will he not repay man according to his work?

13 My son, eat honey, for it is good,
    and 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 a future,
    and your hope will not be cut off.

15 Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
    do no violence to his home;
16 for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
    but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

17 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.

19 Fret not yourself because of evildoers,
    and be not envious of the wicked,
20 for the evil man has no future;
    the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

21 My son, 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 the wise.

Partiality in judging is not good.
24 Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
    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 Prepare your work outside;
    get everything ready for yourself in the field,
    and after that build your house.

28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
    and do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
    I will pay the man back for what he has done.”

30 I passed by the field of a sluggard,
    by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
    the ground was covered with nettles,
    and its stone wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw and considered it;
    I looked and received instruction.
33 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 24:9 Or scheming
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Proverbs 24 New Living Translation (NLT)

24 Don’t envy evil people
    or desire their company.
For their hearts plot violence,
    and their words always stir up trouble.

A house is built by wisdom
    and becomes strong through good sense.
Through knowledge its rooms are filled
    with all sorts of precious riches and valuables.

The wise are mightier than the strong,[a]
    and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger.
So don’t go to war without wise guidance;
    victory depends on having many advisers.

Wisdom is too lofty for fools.
    Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say.

A person who plans evil
    will get a reputation as a troublemaker.
The schemes of a fool are sinful;
    everyone detests a mocker.

10 If you fail under pressure,
    your strength is too small.

11 Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die;
    save them as they stagger to their death.
12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.”
    For God understands all hearts, and he sees you.
He who guards your soul knows you knew.
    He will repay all people as their actions deserve.

13 My child,[b] eat honey, for it is good,
    and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.
14 In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul.
    If you find it, you will have a bright future,
    and your hopes will not be cut short.

15 Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly,
    and don’t raid the house where the godly live.
16 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
    But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.

17 Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall;
    don’t be happy when they stumble.
18 For the Lord will be displeased with you
    and will turn his anger away from them.

19 Don’t fret because of evildoers;
    don’t envy the wicked.
20 For evil people have no future;
    the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.

21 My child, fear the Lord and the king.
Don’t associate with rebels,
22     for disaster will hit them suddenly.
Who knows what punishment will come
    from the Lord and the king?

More Sayings of the Wise

23 Here are some further sayings of the wise:

It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment.
24 A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,”
    will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations.
25 But it will go well for those who convict the guilty;
    rich blessings will be showered on them.

26 An honest answer
    is like a kiss of friendship.

27 Do your planning and prepare your fields
    before building your house.

28 Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause;
    don’t lie about them.
29 And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me!
    I’ll get even with them!”

30 I walked by the field of a lazy person,
    the vineyard of one with no common sense.
31 I saw that it was overgrown with nettles.
    It was covered with weeds,
    and its walls were broken down.
32 Then, as I looked and thought about it,
    I learned this lesson:
33 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
    scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

Footnotes:

  1. 24:5 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads A wise man is strength.
  2. 24:13 Hebrew My son; also in 24:21.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 24 New King James Version (NKJV)

Do Not Envy Evil Men

24 Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking.

Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

A wise man is strong,
Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;
For by wise counsel you will wage your own war,
And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.

Wisdom is too lofty for a fool;
He does not open his mouth in the gate.

He who plots to do evil
Will be called a [a]schemer.
The devising of foolishness is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.

10 If you faint in the day of adversity,
Your strength is small.

11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
12 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,”
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

13 My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;
14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;
If you have found it, there is a [b]prospect,
And your hope will not be cut off.

15 Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not plunder his resting place;
16 For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity.

17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Lest the Lord see it, and [c]it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him.

19 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the wicked;
20 For there will be no prospect for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.

21 My son, fear the Lord and the king;
Do not associate with those given to change;
22 For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin those two can bring?

Further Sayings of the Wise

23 These things also belong to the wise:

It is not good to [d]show partiality in judgment.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him.
25 But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.

26 He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.

27 Prepare your outside work,
Make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterward build your house.

28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
[e]For would you deceive with your lips?
29 Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”

30 I went by the field of the lazy man,
And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;
31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns;
Its surface was covered with nettles;
Its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw it, I considered it well;
I looked on it and received instruction:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest;
34 So shall your poverty come like [f]a prowler,
And your need like [g]an armed man.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 24:8 Lit. master of evil plots
  2. Proverbs 24:14 Lit. latter end
  3. Proverbs 24:18 Lit. it be evil in His eyes
  4. Proverbs 24:23 Lit. recognize faces
  5. Proverbs 24:28 LXX, Vg. Do not deceive
  6. Proverbs 24:34 Lit. one who walks about
  7. Proverbs 24:34 Lit. a man with a shield
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 24 The Message (MSG)

Intelligence Outranks Muscle

19

24 1-2 Don’t envy bad people;
    don’t even want to be around them.
All they think about is causing a disturbance;
    all they talk about is making trouble.

20

3-4 It takes wisdom to build a house,
    and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;
It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms
    with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.

21

5-6 It’s better to be wise than strong;
    intelligence outranks muscle any day.
Strategic planning is the key to warfare;
    to win, you need a lot of good counsel.

22

Wise conversation is way over the head of fools;
    in a serious discussion they haven’t a clue.

23

8-9 The person who’s always cooking up some evil
    soon gets a reputation as prince of rogues.
Fools incubate sin;
    cynics desecrate beauty.

Rescue the Perishing

24

10 If you fall to pieces in a crisis,
    there wasn’t much to you in the first place.

25

11-12 Rescue the perishing;
    don’t hesitate to step in and help.
If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,”
    will that get you off the hook?
Someone is watching you closely, you know—
    Someone not impressed with weak excuses.

26

13-14 Eat honey, dear child—it’s good for you—
    and delicacies that melt in your mouth.
Likewise knowledge,
    and wisdom for your soul—
Get that and your future’s secured,
    your hope is on solid rock.

27

15-16 Don’t interfere with good people’s lives;
    don’t try to get the best of them.
No matter how many times you trip them up,
    God-loyal people don’t stay down long;
Soon they’re up on their feet,
    while the wicked end up flat on their faces.

28

17-18 Don’t laugh when your enemy falls;
    don’t crow over his collapse.
God might see, and become very provoked,
    and then take pity on his plight.

29

19-20 Don’t bother your head with braggarts
    or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
Those people have no future at all;
    they’re headed down a dead-end street.

30

21-22 Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders;
    don’t be defiant or mutinous.
Without warning your life can turn upside down,
    and who knows how or when it might happen?

More Sayings of the Wise

An Honest Answer

23 It’s wrong, very wrong,
    to go along with injustice.

24-25 Whoever whitewashes the wicked
    gets a black mark in the history books,
But whoever exposes the wicked
    will be thanked and rewarded.

26 An honest answer
    is like a warm hug.

27 First plant your fields;
    then build your barn.

28-29 Don’t talk about your neighbors behind their backs—
    no slander or gossip, please.
Don’t say to anyone, “I’ll get back at you for what you did to me.
    I’ll make you pay for what you did!”

30-34 One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones,
    and then passed the vineyard of a lout;
They were overgrown with weeds,
    thick with thistles, all the fences broken down.
I took a long look and pondered what I saw;
    the fields preached me a sermon and I listened:
“A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
    sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
    with poverty as your permanent houseguest!”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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