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Proverbs 14 Good News Translation (GNT)

14 Homes are made by the wisdom of women, but are destroyed by foolishness.

Be honest and you show that you have reverence for the Lord; be dishonest and you show that you do not.

Proud fools talk too much; the words of the wise protect them.

Without any oxen to pull the plow your barn will be empty, but with them it will be full of grain.[a]

A reliable witness always tells the truth, but an unreliable one tells nothing but lies.

Conceited people can never become wise, but intelligent people learn easily.

Stay away from foolish people; they have nothing to teach you.

Why is a clever person wise? Because he knows what to do. Why is a stupid person foolish? Because he only thinks he knows.

Foolish people don't care if they sin, but good people want to be forgiven.[b]

10 Your joy is your own; your bitterness is your own. No one can share them with you.

11 A good person's house will still be standing after an evildoer's house has been destroyed.

12 What you think is the right road may lead to death.

13 Laughter may hide sadness. When happiness is gone, sorrow is always there.

14 Bad people will get what they deserve. Good people will be rewarded for their deeds.[c]

15 A fool will believe anything; smart people watch their step.

16 Sensible people are careful to stay out of trouble, but stupid people are careless and act too quickly.

17 People with a hot temper do foolish things; wiser people remain calm.[d]

18 Ignorant people get what their foolishness deserves, but the clever are rewarded with knowledge.

19 Evil people will have to bow down to the righteous and humbly beg their favor.

20 No one likes the poor, not even their neighbors, but the rich have many friends.

21 If you want to be happy, be kind to the poor; it is a sin to despise anyone.

22 You will earn the trust and respect of others if you work for good; if you work for evil, you are making a mistake.

23 Work and you will earn a living; if you sit around talking you will be poor.

24 Wise people are rewarded with wealth, but fools are known by[e] their foolishness.

25 A witness saves lives when he tells the truth; when he tells lies, he betrays people.

26 Reverence for the Lord gives confidence and security to a man and his family.

27 Do you want to avoid death? Reverence for the Lord is a fountain of life.

28 A king's greatness depends on how many people he rules; without them he is nothing.

29 If you stay calm, you are wise, but if you have a hot temper, you only show how stupid you are.

30 Peace of mind makes the body healthy, but jealousy is like a cancer.

31 If you oppress poor people, you insult the God who made them; but kindness shown to the poor is an act of worship.

32 Wicked people bring about their own downfall by their evil deeds, but good people are protected by their integrity.[f]

33 Wisdom is in every thought of intelligent people; fools know nothing[g] about wisdom.

34 Righteousness makes a nation great; sin is a disgrace to any nation.

35 Kings are pleased with competent officials, but they punish those who fail them.


  1. Proverbs 14:4 your barn will be … grain; or you may grow a little grain, but with them you can grow much more.
  2. Proverbs 14:9 Verse 9 in Hebrew is unclear.
  3. Proverbs 14:14 Probable text for their deeds; Hebrew from upon them.
  4. Proverbs 14:17 One ancient translation remain calm; Hebrew are hated.
  5. Proverbs 14:24 Probable text are known by; Hebrew unclear.
  6. Proverbs 14:32 Some ancient translations integrity; Hebrew death.
  7. Proverbs 14:33 One ancient translation nothing; Hebrew does not have this word.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Proverbs 14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

14 The wise woman[a] builds her house,
    but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
Those who walk uprightly fear the Lord,
    but one who is devious in conduct despises him.
The talk of fools is a rod for their backs,[b]
    but the lips of the wise preserve them.
Where there are no oxen, there is no grain;
    abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
A faithful witness does not lie,
    but a false witness breathes out lies.
A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
    but knowledge is easy for one who understands.
Leave the presence of a fool,
    for there you do not find words of knowledge.
It is the wisdom of the clever to understand where they go,
    but the folly of fools misleads.
Fools mock at the guilt offering,[c]
    but the upright enjoy God’s favor.
10 The heart knows its own bitterness,
    and no stranger shares its joy.
11 The house of the wicked is destroyed,
    but the tent of the upright flourishes.
12 There is a way that seems right to a person,
    but its end is the way to death.[d]
13 Even in laughter the heart is sad,
    and the end of joy is grief.
14 The perverse get what their ways deserve,
    and the good, what their deeds deserve.[e]
15 The simple believe everything,
    but the clever consider their steps.
16 The wise are cautious and turn away from evil,
    but the fool throws off restraint and is careless.
17 One who is quick-tempered acts foolishly,
    and the schemer is hated.
18 The simple are adorned with[f] folly,
    but the clever are crowned with knowledge.
19 The evil bow down before the good,
    the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 The poor are disliked even by their neighbors,
    but the rich have many friends.
21 Those who despise their neighbors are sinners,
    but happy are those who are kind to the poor.
22 Do they not err that plan evil?
    Those who plan good find loyalty and faithfulness.
23 In all toil there is profit,
    but mere talk leads only to poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their wisdom,[g]
    but folly is the garland[h] of fools.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
    but one who utters lies is a betrayer.
26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
    and one’s children will have a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
    so that one may avoid the snares of death.
28 The glory of a king is a multitude of people;
    without people a prince is ruined.
29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
    but one who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
30 A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh,
    but passion makes the bones rot.
31 Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker,
    but those who are kind to the needy honor him.
32 The wicked are overthrown by their evildoing,
    but the righteous find a refuge in their integrity.[i]
33 Wisdom is at home in the mind of one who has understanding,
    but it is not[j] known in the heart of fools.
34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
    but sin is a reproach to any people.
35 A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor,
    but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.


  1. Proverbs 14:1 Heb Wisdom of women
  2. Proverbs 14:3 Cn: Heb a rod of pride
  3. Proverbs 14:9 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Proverbs 14:12 Heb ways of death
  5. Proverbs 14:14 Cn: Heb from upon him
  6. Proverbs 14:18 Or inherit
  7. Proverbs 14:24 Cn Compare Gk: Heb riches
  8. Proverbs 14:24 Cn: Heb is the folly
  9. Proverbs 14:32 Gk Syr: Heb in their death
  10. Proverbs 14:33 Gk Syr: Heb lacks not
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 14 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

14 Every wise woman builds up her home,
    but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

A person with upright conduct fears Adonai,
    but a person who is devious scorns him.

From the mouth of a fool sprouts pride,
    but the lips of the wise protect them.

Where there are no oxen, the stalls are clean;
    but much is produced by the strength of an ox.

An honest witness will not lie,
    but a false witness lies with every breath.

A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
    but knowledge comes easily to someone with discernment.

Keep clear of a fool,
    for you won’t hear a sensible word from him.
The wisdom of the cautious makes him know where he is going,
    but the folly of fools misleads them.
Guilt offerings make a mockery of fools;
    but among the upright there is good will.

10 The heart knows its own bitterness,
    and no stranger can share its joy.

11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
    but the tent of the upright will flourish.

12 There can be a way which seems right to a person,
    but at its end are the ways of death.

13 Even in laughter the heart can be sad,
    and joy may end in sorrow.
14 A backslider is filled up with his own ways,
    but a good person gets satisfaction from himself.

15 One who doesn’t think believes every word,
    but the cautious understands his steps.

16 A wise person fears and turns away from evil,
    but a fool is reckless and overconfident.

17 He who is quick-tempered does stupid things,
    and one who does vile things is hated.

18 Thoughtless people inherit folly,
    but the cautious are crowned with knowledge.

19 The evil bow down before the good,
    and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20 The poor are disliked even by their peers,
    but the rich have many friends.

21 He who despises his fellow sins,
    but he who shows compassion to the humble is happy.

22 Won’t those who plot evil go astray?
    But grace and truth are for those who plan good.

23 In all work there is profit,
    but mere talk produces only poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their riches,
    but the folly of fools is just that — folly.

25 A truthful witness saves lives,
    but a liar misdirects [judgment].

26 In the fear of Adonai is powerful security;
    for his children there will be a place of refuge.
27 The fear of Adonai is a fountain of life
    enabling one to avoid deadly traps.

28 A king’s glory lies in having many subjects;
    if the prince’s people are few, it is his ruin.

29 Being slow to anger goes with great understanding,
    being quick-tempered makes folly still worse.

30 A tranquil mind gives health to the body,
    but envy rots the bones.
31 The oppressor of the poor insults his maker,
    but he who is kind to the needy honors him.

32 The wicked are brought down by their wrongdoing,
    but the righteous can be confident even at death.

33 Wisdom is at rest in a person with discernment,
    but in fools it has to call attention to itself.

34 Righteousness makes a nation great,
    but sin degrades any people.

35 A king shows favor to a servant with good sense,
    but his wrath strikes one who shames [him].

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 14 The Message (MSG)

A Way That Leads to Hell

14 Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home;
    Sir Fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick.

An honest life shows respect for God;
    a degenerate life is a slap in his face.

Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile;
    wise speech evokes nothing but respect.

No cattle, no crops;
    a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow.

A true witness never lies;
    a false witness makes a business of it.

Cynics look high and low for wisdom—and never find it;
    the open-minded find it right on their doorstep!

Escape quickly from the company of fools;
    they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words.

The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track;
    the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch.

The stupid ridicule right and wrong,
    but a moral life is a favored life.

10 The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends
    will be an outsider at their celebrations.

11 Lives of careless wrongdoing are tumbledown shacks;
    holy living builds soaring cathedrals.

12-13 There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough;
    look again—it leads straight to hell.
Sure, those people appear to be having a good time,
    but all that laughter will end in heartbreak.

Sift and Weigh Every Word

14 A mean person gets paid back in meanness,
    a gracious person in grace.

15 The gullible believe anything they’re told;
    the prudent sift and weigh every word.

16 The wise watch their steps and avoid evil;
    fools are headstrong and reckless.

17 The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret;
    the coldhearted get the cold shoulder.

18 Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion;
    wise realists plant their feet on the ground.

19 Eventually, evil will pay tribute to good;
    the wicked will respect God-loyal people.

20 An unlucky loser is shunned by all,
    but everyone loves a winner.

21 It’s criminal to ignore a neighbor in need,
    but compassion for the poor—what a blessing!

22 Isn’t it obvious that conspirators lose out,
    while the thoughtful win love and trust?

23 Hard work always pays off;
    mere talk puts no bread on the table.

24 The wise accumulate wisdom;
    fools get stupider by the day.

25 Souls are saved by truthful witness
    and betrayed by the spread of lies.

26 The Fear-of-God builds up confidence,
    and makes a world safe for your children.

27 The Fear-of-God is a spring of living water
    so you won’t go off drinking from poisoned wells.

28 The mark of a good leader is loyal followers;
    leadership is nothing without a following.

29 Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding;
    a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.

30 A sound mind makes for a robust body,
    but runaway emotions corrode the bones.

31 You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless;
    when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God.

32 The evil of bad people leaves them out in the cold;
    the integrity of good people creates a safe place for living.

33 Lady Wisdom is at home in an understanding heart—
    fools never even get to say hello.

34 God-devotion makes a country strong;
    God-avoidance leaves people weak.

35 Diligent work gets a warm commendation;
    shiftless work earns an angry rebuke.

The Message (MSG)

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

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