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16 We may make our plans, but God has the last word.[a]

You may think everything you do is right, but the Lord judges your motives.

Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.

Everything the Lord has made has its destiny; and the destiny of the wicked is destruction.

The Lord hates everyone who is arrogant; he will never let them escape punishment.

(A)Be loyal and faithful, and God will forgive your sin. Obey the Lord and nothing evil will happen to you.

When you please the Lord, you can make[b] your enemies into friends.

(B)It is better to have a little, honestly earned, than to have a large income, dishonestly gained.

You may make your plans, but God directs your actions.

10 The king speaks with divine authority; his decisions are always right.

11 The Lord wants weights and measures to be honest and every sale to be fair.

12 Kings cannot tolerate evil,[c] because justice is what makes a government strong.

13 A king wants to hear the truth and will favor those who speak it.

14 A wise person will try to keep the king happy; if the king becomes angry, someone may die.

15 The king's favor is like the clouds that bring rain in the springtime—life is there.

16 It is better—much better—to have wisdom and knowledge than gold and silver.

17 Those who are good travel a road that avoids evil; so watch where you are going—it may save your life.

18 Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall.

19 It is better to be humble and stay poor than to be one of the arrogant and get a share of their loot.

20 Pay attention to what you are taught, and you will be successful; trust in the Lord and you will be happy.

21 A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.

22 Wisdom is a fountain of life to the wise, but trying to educate stupid people is a waste of time.

23 Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive.

24 Kind words are like honey—sweet to the taste and good for your health.

25 (C)What you think is the right road may lead to death.

26 A laborer's appetite makes him work harder, because he wants to satisfy his hunger.

27 Evil people look for ways to harm others; even their words burn with evil.

28 (D)Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.

29 Violent people deceive their friends and lead them to disaster.

30 Watch out for people who grin and wink at you; they have thought of something evil.

31 Long life is the reward of the righteous; gray hair is a glorious crown.

32 It is better to be patient than powerful. It is better to win control over yourself than over whole cities.

33 People cast lots to learn God's will, but God himself determines the answer.


  1. Proverbs 16:1 God … word; or God inspires our words.
  2. Proverbs 16:7 you can make; or he will make.
  3. Proverbs 16:12 Kings … evil; or It is intolerable for kings to do evil.

16 The plans of the mind belong to mortals,
    but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All one’s ways may be pure in one’s own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord,
    and your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of trouble.
All those who are arrogant are an abomination to the Lord;
    be assured, they will not go unpunished.
By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
    and by the fear of the Lord one avoids evil.
When the ways of people please the Lord,
    he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them.
Better is a little with righteousness
    than large income with injustice.
The human mind plans the way,
    but the Lord directs the steps.
10 Inspired decisions are on the lips of a king;
    his mouth does not sin in judgment.
11 Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s;
    all the weights in the bag are his work.
12 It is an abomination to kings to do evil,
    for the throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
    and he loves those who speak what is right.
14 A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
    and whoever is wise will appease it.
15 In the light of a king’s face there is life,
    and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold!
    To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
17 The highway of the upright avoids evil;
    those who guard their way preserve their lives.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
    and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit among the poor
    than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 Those who are attentive to a matter will prosper,
    and happy are those who trust in the Lord.
21 The wise of heart is called perceptive,
    and pleasant speech increases persuasiveness.
22 Wisdom is a fountain of life to one who has it,
    but folly is the punishment of fools.
23 The mind of the wise makes their speech judicious,
    and adds persuasiveness to their lips.
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
    sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
25 Sometimes there is a way that seems to be right,
    but in the end it is the way to death.
26 The appetite of workers works for them;
    their hunger urges them on.
27 Scoundrels concoct evil,
    and their speech is like a scorching fire.
28 A perverse person spreads strife,
    and a whisperer separates close friends.
29 The violent entice their neighbors,
    and lead them in a way that is not good.
30 One who winks the eyes plans[a] perverse things;
    one who compresses the lips brings evil to pass.
31 Gray hair is a crown of glory;
    it is gained in a righteous life.
32 One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
    and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap,
    but the decision is the Lord’s alone.


  1. Proverbs 16:30 Gk Syr Vg Tg: Heb to plan

16 A person is responsible to prepare his heart,
    but how the tongue speaks is from Adonai.

All a man’s ways are pure in his own view,
    but Adonai weighs the spirit.

If you entrust all you do to Adonai,
    your plans will achieve success.

Adonai made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of disaster.

Adonai detests all those with proud hearts;
    be assured that they will not go unpunished.

Grace and truth atone for iniquity,
    and people turn from evil through fear of Adonai.

When a man’s ways please Adonai,
    he makes even the man’s enemies be at peace with him.

Better a little with righteousness
    than a huge income with injustice.

A person may plan his path,
    but Adonai directs his steps.

10 Divine inspiration is on the lips of the king,
    so his mouth must be faithful when he judges.
11 The balance and scales of justice have their origin in Adonai;
    all the weights in the bag are his doing.
12 It is an abomination for a king to do evil,
    for the throne is made secure by righteousness.
13 The king should delight in righteous lips,
    and he should love someone who speaks what is right.
14 The king’s anger is a herald of death,
    and one who is wise will appease it.
15 When the king’s face brightens, it means life;
    his favor is like the clouds that bring spring rain.

16 How much better than gold it is to gain wisdom!
    Yes, rather than money, choose to gain understanding.

17 Avoiding evil is the highway of the upright;
    he who watches his step preserves his life.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
    and arrogance before failure.

19 Better to be humble among the poor
    than share the spoil with the proud.

20 He who has skill in a matter will succeed;
    he who trusts in Adonai will be happy.

21 A wise-hearted person is said to have discernment,
    and sweetness of speech adds to learning.

22 Common sense is a fountain of life to one who has it,
    whereas fools are punished by their own folly.

23 The wise man’s heart teaches his mouth,
    and to his lips it adds learning.
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
    sweet to the taste and healing for the body.

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

26 A working man’s appetite acts on his behalf,
    because his hunger presses him on.

27 A worthless person digs up evil [gossip] —
    it is like scorching fire on his lips.
28 A deceitful person stirs up strife,
    and a slanderer can separate even close friends.

29 A violent man lures his neighbor astray
    and leads him into evil ways.
30 One who winks knowingly is planning deceit;
    one who pinches his lips together has already done wrong.

31 White hair is a crown of honor
    obtained by righteous living.

32 He who controls his temper is better than a war hero,
    he who rules his spirit better than he who captures a city.

33 One can cast lots into one’s lap,
    but the decision comes from Adonai.

Everything with a Place and a Purpose

16 Mortals make elaborate plans,
    but God has the last word.

Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
    God probes for what is good.

Put God in charge of your work,
    then what you’ve planned will take place.

God made everything with a place and purpose;
    even the wicked are included—but for judgment.

God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense;
    believe me, he’ll put those braggarts in their place.

Guilt is banished through love and truth;
    Fear-of-God deflects evil.

When God approves of your life,
    even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

Far better to be right and poor
    than to be wrong and rich.

We plan the way we want to live,
    but only God makes us able to live it.

It Pays to Take Life Seriously

10 A good leader motivates,
    doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.

11 God cares about honesty in the workplace;
    your business is his business.

12 Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds;
    sound leadership has a moral foundation.

13 Good leaders cultivate honest speech;
    they love advisors who tell them the truth.

14 An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives;
    you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that.

15 Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives;
    they’re like spring rain and sunshine.

16 Get wisdom—it’s worth more than money;
    choose insight over income every time.

17 The road of right living bypasses evil;
    watch your step and save your life.

18 First pride, then the crash—
    the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

19 It’s better to live humbly among the poor
    than to live it up among the rich and famous.

20 It pays to take life seriously;
    things work out when you trust in God.

21 A wise person gets known for insight;
    gracious words add to one’s reputation.

22 True intelligence is a spring of fresh water,
    while fools sweat it out the hard way.

23 They make a lot of sense, these wise folks;
    whenever they speak, their reputation increases.

24 Gracious speech is like clover honey—
    good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.

25 There’s a way that looks harmless enough;
    look again—it leads straight to hell.

26 Appetite is an incentive to work;
    hunger makes you work all the harder.

27 Mean people spread mean gossip;
    their words smart and burn.

28 Troublemakers start fights;
    gossips break up friendships.

29 Calloused climbers betray their very own friends;
    they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.

30 A shifty eye betrays an evil intention;
    a clenched jaw signals trouble ahead.

31 Gray hair is a mark of distinction,
    the award for a God-loyal life.

32 Moderation is better than muscle,
    self-control better than political power.

33 Make your motions and cast your votes,
    but God has the final say.