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Proverbs 20-21 Common English Bible (CEB)

20 Wine is a mocker; beer a carouser.
    Those it leads astray won’t become wise.
A king is as terrifying as a lion’s growl.
    Those who anger him may lose their life.
It is honorable to back off from a fight,
    but fools jump right in.
The lazy don’t plow during winter;
    at harvest they look but find nothing.
Advice comes from the deep waters of the heart;
    those with understanding can draw it out.
Many people will say that they are loyal,
    but who can find a reliable person?
The righteous live with integrity;
    happy are their children who come after them.
A king who sits on his judgment throne
    sifts out all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, “I’m innocent to the core;
    I’m cleansed from my sin”?
10 False weights and measures—
    the Lord detests them both.
11 Even young people are known by their actions,
    whether their conduct is pure and upright.
12 Ears to hear and eyes to see—
    the Lord made them both.
13 Don’t love sleep or you will be poor;
    stay alert and you will have plenty to eat.
14 The buyer says, “Bad, bad,”
    but then goes away and brags.
15 Much gold and many pearls exist,
    but wise speech is the most precious jewel.
16 Take the garment of the person who secures a loan for a stranger;
    take his pledge for a foreigner.
17 Stolen bread is sweet,
    but afterward the mouth is full of gravel.
18 Plans are firmed up by advice;
    wage wars with good guidance.
19 Gossips reveal secrets;
    don’t associate with those who talk too much.
20 Those who curse their father or mother—
    their lamp will be snuffed out when it becomes dark.
21 Inheritance gained quickly at first
    won’t bless later on.
22 Don’t say, “I’ll repay the evildoer!”
    Wait for the Lord, and he will save you.
23 The Lord detests false weights;
    deceptive scales aren’t right.
24 A person’s steps are from the Lord;
    how then can people understand their path?
25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and only reflect after making the promise.
26 A wise king sifts out the wicked,
    and runs them over with a wheel.
27 The breath of a person is the lamp of the Lord,
    searching all the inmost parts.
28 Kindness and faithfulness protect the king;
    he supports his throne by kindness.
29 Strength is the glory of young men;
    gray hair is the splendor of old age.
30 Blows and bruises remove evil;
    beatings cleanse the inner parts.

21 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
    he directs it wherever he wants.
Everyone’s path is straight in their own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.
Acting with righteousness and justice
    is more valued by the Lord than sacrifice.
Prideful eyes, an arrogant heart, and
    the lamp of the wicked are all sinful.
The plans of the diligent end up in profit,
    but those who hurry end up with loss.
Those who gain treasure with lies
    are like a drifting fog, leading to death.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    for they refuse to act with justice.
The ways of some people are twisted and strange,
    but the behavior of those who do right is pure.
Better to live on the edge of a roof
    than with a contentious woman in a large house.
10 Wicked people desire evil;
    their neighbors receive no mercy from them.
11 When a mocker is punished, the naive person gains wisdom;
    when insight comes to the wise, knowledge increases.
12 The righteous one observes the house of the wicked,
    turning the wicked toward trouble.
13 Those who close their ears to the cries of the poor
    will themselves call out but receive no answer.
14 A secret gift calms anger,
    and a hidden bribe removes[a] furious wrath.
15 Acting justly is a joy to the righteous,
    but dreaded by those who do evil.
16 People who wander from the path of insight
    will rest in the company of the dead.
17 Those who love pleasure end up poor;
    lovers of wine and oil won’t get rich.
18 The wicked are a ransom for the righteous;
    the treacherous will be punished[b] in the place of the virtuous.
19 Better to live in a wilderness
    than in a house with a contentious and angry woman.
20 Precious treasure and oil stay in the home of the wise,
    but fools swallow them up.
21 Those who pursue righteousness and kindness
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A wise person fought a city of warriors
    and brought down the stronghold in which they felt safe.
23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
    guard themselves from trouble.
24 Incredibly proud—mockers are their name!
    Their conduct involves excessive pride.
25 The desires of the lazy will kill them,
    because their hands refuse to do anything.
26 The lazy desire things constantly,
    but the righteous give without holding back.
27 The Lord detests the sacrifices of the wicked,
    especially when brought with devious motives.
28 A lying witness will perish,
    but one who listens will testify successfully.
29 The wicked person appears brash,
    but the virtuous think about the path ahead.
30 No wisdom, understanding,
    or advice can stand up against the Lord.
31 A horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but victory belongs to the Lord.


  1. Proverbs 21:14 Heb lacks removes.
  2. Proverbs 21:18 Heb lacks will be punished.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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