Proverbs 21 Good News Translation (GNT)
21 The Lord controls the mind of a king as easily as he directs the course of a stream.
2 You may think that everything you do is right, but remember that the Lord judges your motives.
3 Do what is right and fair; that pleases the Lord more than bringing him sacrifices.
4 Wicked people are controlled by their conceit and arrogance, and this is sinful.
5 Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough.
6 The riches you get by dishonesty soon disappear, but not before they lead you into the jaws of death.
7 The wicked are doomed by their own violence; they refuse to do what is right.
8 Guilty people walk a crooked path; the innocent do what is right.
9 Better to live on the roof than share the house with a nagging wife.
10 Wicked people are always hungry for evil; they have no mercy on anyone.
11 When someone who is conceited gets his punishment, even an unthinking person learns a lesson. One who is wise will learn from what he is taught.
12 God, the righteous one, knows what goes on in the homes of the wicked, and he will bring the wicked down to ruin.
13 If you refuse to listen to the cry of the poor, your own cry for help will not be heard.
14 If someone is angry with you, a gift given secretly will calm him down.
15 When justice is done, good people are happy, but evil people are brought to despair.
16 Death is waiting for anyone who wanders away from good sense.
17 Indulging in luxuries, wine, and rich food will never make you wealthy.
18 The wicked bring on themselves the suffering they try to cause good people.
19 Better to live out in the desert than with a nagging, complaining wife.
20 Wise people live in wealth and luxury, but stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it.
21 Be kind and honest and you will live a long life; others will respect you and treat you fairly.
22 A shrewd general can take a city defended by strong men, and destroy the walls they relied on.
23 If you want to stay out of trouble, be careful what you say.
24 Show me a conceited person and I will show you someone who is arrogant, proud, and inconsiderate.
25 Lazy people who refuse to work are only killing themselves; 26 all they do is think about what they would like to have. The righteous, however, can give, and give generously.
27 The Lord hates it when wicked people offer him sacrifices, especially if they do it from evil motives.
28 The testimony of a liar is not believed, but the word of someone who thinks matters through is accepted.
29 Righteous people are sure of themselves; the wicked have to pretend as best they can.
30 Human wisdom, brilliance, insight—they are of no help if the Lord is against you.
31 You can get horses ready for battle, but it is the Lord who gives victory.
Proverbs 21 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
21 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
Proverbs 21 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
21 The king’s heart in Adonai’s hand is like streams of water —
2 All a person’s ways are right in his own view,
3 To do what is right and just
4 Haughty looks, a proud heart —
5 The plans of the diligent lead only to abundance;
6 A fortune gained by a lying tongue
7 The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
8 A criminal’s conduct is crooked,
9 It is better to live on a corner of the roof
10 The wicked is set on evil;
11 When a scorner is punished, the simple become wiser;
12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
14 A secret gift allays anger,
15 Acting justly is a joy for the righteous
16 The person who strays from the way of common sense
17 Pleasure-lovers will suffer want;
18 The wicked serve as a ransom for the righteous,
19 It is better to live in the desert
20 In the home of the wise are fine treasures and oil,
21 He who pursues righteousness and kindness
22 A wise man can go up into a city of warriors
23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
24 “Scoffer” is what you call a proud, insolent person
25 A lazy man’s craving will kill him,
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
28 A lying witness is doomed,
30 No wisdom, discernment or counsel
31 A horse may be prepared for the day of battle,
Proverbs 21 The Message (MSG)
God Examines Our Motives
21 Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God;
2 We justify our actions by appearances;
3 Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors
4 Arrogance and pride—distinguishing marks in the wicked—
5 Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run;
6 Make it to the top by lying and cheating;
7 The wicked get buried alive by their loot
8 Mixed motives twist life into tangles;
Do Your Best, Prepare for the Worst
9 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack
10 Wicked souls love to make trouble;
11 Simpletons only learn the hard way,
12 A God-loyal person will see right through the wicked
13 If you stop your ears to the cries of the poor,
14 A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person;
15 Good people celebrate when justice triumphs,
16 Whoever wanders off the straight and narrow
17 You’re addicted to thrills? What an empty life!
18 What a bad person plots against the good, boomerangs;
19 Better to live in a tent in the wild
20 Valuables are safe in a wise person’s home;
21 Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind
22 One sage entered a whole city of armed soldiers—
23 Watch your words and hold your tongue;
24 You know their names—Brash, Impudent, Blasphemer—
25 Lazy people finally die of hunger
26 Sinners are always wanting what they don’t have;
27 Religious performance by the wicked stinks;
28 A lying witness is unconvincing;
29 Unscrupulous people fake it a lot;
30 Nothing clever, nothing conceived, nothing contrived,
31 Do your best, prepare for the worst—