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Proverbs 19

1

1

Better the poor whose walk is blameless
than a fool whose lips are perverse.

1

2

Desire without knowledge is not good—
how much more will hasty feet miss the way!

2

3

A person’s own folly leads to their ruin,
yet their heart rages against the Lord.

3

4

Wealth attracts many friends,
but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.

4

5

A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will not go free.

5

6

Many curry favor with a ruler,
and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.

6

7

The poor are shunned by all their relatives—
how much more do their friends avoid them!
Though the poor pursue them with pleading,
they are nowhere to be found.[a]

7

8

The one who gets wisdom loves life;
the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.

8

9

A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will perish.

9

10

It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury—
how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!

10

11

A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

11

12

A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.

12

13

A foolish child is a father’s ruin,
and a quarrelsome wife is like
the constant dripping of a leaky roof.

13

14

Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

14

15

Laziness brings on deep sleep,
and the shiftless go hungry.

15

16

Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life,
but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.

16

17

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will reward them for what they have done.

17

18

Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
do not be a willing party to their death.

18

19

A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
rescue them, and you will have to do it again.

19

20

Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

20

21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

21

22

What a person desires is unfailing love[b] ;
better to be poor than a liar.

22

23

The fear of the Lord leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

23

24

A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he will not even bring it back to his mouth!

24

25

Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence;
rebuke the discerning, and they will gain knowledge.

25

26

Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother
is a child who brings shame and disgrace.

26

27

Stop listening to instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

27

28

A corrupt witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.

28

29

Penalties are prepared for mockers,
and beatings for the backs of fools.
Proverbs 20

1

1

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

1

2

A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion;
those who anger him forfeit their lives.

2

3

It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.

3

4

Sluggards do not plow in season;
so at harvest time they look but find nothing.

4

5

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out.

5

6

Many claim to have unfailing love,
but a faithful person who can find?

6

7

The righteous lead blameless lives;
blessed are their children after them.

7

8

When a king sits on his throne to judge,
he winnows out all evil with his eyes.

8

9

Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
I am clean and without sin”?

9

10

Differing weights and differing measures—
the Lord detests them both.

10

11

Even small children are known by their actions,
so is their conduct really pure and upright?

11

12

Ears that hear and eyes that see—
the Lord has made them both.

12

13

Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;
stay awake and you will have food to spare.

13

14

“It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer—
then goes off and boasts about the purchase.

14

15

Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

15

16

Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.

16

17

Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.

17

18

Plans are established by seeking advice;
so if you wage war, obtain guidance.

18

19

A gossip betrays a confidence;
so avoid anyone who talks too much.

19

20

If someone curses their father or mother,
their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.

20

21

An inheritance claimed too soon
will not be blessed at the end.

21

22

Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.

22

23

The Lord detests differing weights,
and dishonest scales do not please him.

23

24

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.
How then can anyone understand their own way?

24

25

It is a trap to dedicate something rashly
and only later to consider one’s vows.

25

26

A wise king winnows out the wicked;
he drives the threshing wheel over them.

26

27

The human spirit is[c] the lamp of the Lord
that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

27

28

Love and faithfulness keep a king safe;
through love his throne is made secure.

28

29

The glory of young men is their strength,
gray hair the splendor of the old.

29

30

Blows and wounds scrub away evil,
and beatings purge the inmost being.
Proverbs 21

1

1

In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
that he channels toward all who please him.

1

2

A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.

2

3

To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

3

4

Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.

4

5

The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.

5

6

A fortune made by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.[d]

6

7

The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
for they refuse to do what is right.

7

8

The way of the guilty is devious,
but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

8

9

Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

9

10

The wicked crave evil;
their neighbors get no mercy from them.

10

11

When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.

11

12

The Righteous One[e] takes note of the house of the wicked
and brings the wicked to ruin.

12

13

Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
will also cry out and not be answered.

13

14

A gift given in secret soothes anger,
and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.

14

15

When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.

15

16

Whoever strays from the path of prudence
comes to rest in the company of the dead.

16

17

Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.

17

18

The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
and the unfaithful for the upright.

18

19

Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.

19

20

The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
but fools gulp theirs down.

20

21

Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity[f] and honor.

21

22

One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

22

23

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
keep themselves from calamity.

23

24

The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—
behaves with insolent fury.

24

25

The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
because his hands refuse to work.

26 All day long he craves for more,
but the righteous give without sparing.

26

27

The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—
how much more so when brought with evil intent!

27

28

A false witness will perish,
but a careful listener will testify successfully.

28

29

The wicked put up a bold front,
but the upright give thought to their ways.

29

30

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the Lord.

30

31

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the Lord.
Proverbs 22

1

1

A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

1

2

Rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord is the Maker of them all.

2

3

The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

3

4

Humility is the fear of the Lord;
its wages are riches and honor and life.

4

5

In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,
but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.

5

6

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

6

7

The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is slave to the lender.

7

8

Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity,
and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.

8

9

The generous will themselves be blessed,
for they share their food with the poor.

9

10

Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
quarrels and insults are ended.

10

11

One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
will have the king for a friend.

11

12

The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

12

13

The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!
I’ll be killed in the public square!”

13

14

The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit;
a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.

14

15

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

15

16

One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth
and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.

16

16

Saying 1

17

Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
apply your heart to what I teach,

18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
and have all of them ready on your lips.

19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I teach you today, even you.

20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
sayings of counsel and knowledge,

21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,
so that you bring back truthful reports
to those you serve?

21

21

Saying 2

22

Do not exploit the poor because they are poor
and do not crush the needy in court,

23 for the Lord will take up their case
and will exact life for life.

23

23

Saying 3

24

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
do not associate with one easily angered,

25 or you may learn their ways
and get yourself ensnared.

25

25

Saying 4

26

Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge
or puts up security for debts;

27 if you lack the means to pay,
your very bed will be snatched from under you.

27

27

Saying 5

28

Do not move an ancient boundary stone
set up by your ancestors.

28

28

Saying 6

29

Do you see someone skilled in their work?
They will serve before kings;
they will not serve before officials of low rank.
Proverbs 23

1

1

Saying 7

1

When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what[g] is before you,

2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.

3 Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.

3

3

Saying 8

4

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.

5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

5

5

Saying 9

6

Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
do not crave his delicacies;

7 for he is the kind of person
who is always thinking about the cost.[h]
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.

8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten
and will have wasted your compliments.

8

8

Saying 10

9

Do not speak to fools,
for they will scorn your prudent words.

9

9

Saying 11

10

Do not move an ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,

11 for their Defender is strong;
he will take up their case against you.

11

11

Saying 12

12

Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.

12

12

Saying 13

13

Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.

14 Punish them with the rod
and save them from death.

14

14

Saying 14

15

My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad indeed;

16 my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.

16

16

Saying 15

17

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.

18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.

18

18

Saying 16

19

Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:

20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,

21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

21

21

Saying 17

22

Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, instruction and insight as well.

24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.

25 May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!

25

25

Saying 18

26

My son, give me your heart
and let your eyes delight in my ways,

27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.

28 Like a bandit she lies in wait
and multiplies the unfaithful among men.

28

28

Saying 19

29

Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?

30 Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.

31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!

32 In the end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.

33 Your eyes will see strange sights,
and your mind will imagine confusing things.

34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.

35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
so I can find another drink?”

Proverbs 24

1

1

Saying 20

1

Do not envy the wicked,
do not desire their company;

2 for their hearts plot violence,
and their lips talk about making trouble.

2

2

Saying 21

3

By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;

4 through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.

4

4

Saying 22

5

The wise prevail through great power,
and those who have knowledge muster their strength.

6 Surely you need guidance to wage war,
and victory is won through many advisers.

6

6

Saying 23

7

Wisdom is too high for fools;
in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.

7

7

Saying 24

8

Whoever plots evil
will be known as a schemer.

9 The schemes of folly are sin,
and people detest a mocker.

9

9

Saying 25

10

If you falter in a time of trouble,
how small is your strength!

11 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

12

12

Saying 26

13

Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

14 Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.

14

14

Saying 27

15

Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous,
do not plunder their dwelling place;

16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

16

16

Saying 28

17

Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,

18 or the Lord will see and disapprove
and turn his wrath away from them.

18

18

Saying 29

19

Do not fret because of evildoers
or be envious of the wicked,

20 for the evildoer has no future hope,
and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.

20

20

Saying 30

21

Fear the Lord and the king, my son,
and do not join with rebellious officials,

22 for those two will send sudden destruction on them,
and who knows what calamities they can bring?

22

23 These also are sayings of the wise:

To show partiality in judging is not good:

24 Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,”
will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations.

25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty,
and rich blessing will come on them.

25

26

An honest answer
is like a kiss on the lips.

26

27

Put your outdoor work in order
and get your fields ready;
after that, build your house.

27

28

Do not testify against your neighbor without cause—
would you use your lips to mislead?

29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me;
I’ll pay them back for what they did.”

29

30

I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;

31 thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.

32 I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:

33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—

34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.

Proverbs 25

1 1

More Proverbs of Solomon

1 These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:

2

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

3

4

Remove the dross from the silver,
and a silversmith can produce a vessel;

5 remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,
and his throne will be established through righteousness.

5

6

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
and do not claim a place among his great men;

7 it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.

What you have seen with your eyes

8 do not bring[i] hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
if your neighbor puts you to shame?

8

9

If you take your neighbor to court,
do not betray another’s confidence,

10 or the one who hears it may shame you
and the charge against you will stand.

10

11

Like apples[j] of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given.

12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.

12

13

Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
he refreshes the spirit of his master.

14 Like clouds and wind without rain
is one who boasts of gifts never given.

14

15

Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

15

16

If you find honey, eat just enough—
too much of it, and you will vomit.

17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
too much of you, and they will hate you.

17

18

Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.

19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.

20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
or like vinegar poured on a wound,
is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

20

21

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.

22

23

Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

23

24

Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

24

25

Like cold water to a weary soul
is good news from a distant land.

26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

26

27

It is not good to eat too much honey,
nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.

27

28

Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control.
Proverbs 26

1

1

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
honor is not fitting for a fool.

2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
an undeserved curse does not come to rest.

3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the backs of fools!

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you yourself will be just like him.

5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.

6 Sending a message by the hands of a fool
is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.

7 Like the useless legs of one who is lame
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

8 Like tying a stone in a sling
is the giving of honor to a fool.

9 Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

10 Like an archer who wounds at random
is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.

11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so fools repeat their folly.

12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for them.

12

13

A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road,
a fierce lion roaming the streets!”

14 As a door turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on his bed.

15 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.

16 A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven people who answer discreetly.

16

17

Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears
is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

17

18

Like a maniac shooting
flaming arrows of death

19 is one who deceives their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”

19

20

Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.

21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.

22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.

22

23

Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
are fervent[k] lips with an evil heart.

24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,
but in their hearts they harbor deceit.

25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them,
for seven abominations fill their hearts.

26 Their malice may be concealed by deception,
but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;
if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.

28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 27

1

1

Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.

1

2

Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth;
an outsider, and not your own lips.

2

3

Stone is heavy and sand a burden,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.

3

4

Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?

4

5

Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.

5

6

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.

6

7

One who is full loathes honey from the comb,
but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

7

8

Like a bird that flees its nest
is anyone who flees from home.

8

9

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.

9

10

Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family,
and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you—
better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.

10

11

Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart;
then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.

11

12

The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

12

13

Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.

13

14

If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning,
it will be taken as a curse.

14

15

A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping
of a leaky roof in a rainstorm;

16 restraining her is like restraining the wind
or grasping oil with the hand.

16

17

As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.

17

18

The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and whoever protects their master will be honored.

18

19

As water reflects the face,
so one’s life reflects the heart.[l]

20 Death and Destruction[m] are never satisfied,
and neither are human eyes.

20

21

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but people are tested by their praise.

21

22

Though you grind a fool in a mortar,
grinding them like grain with a pestle,
you will not remove their folly from them.

22

23

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
give careful attention to your herds;

24 for riches do not endure forever,
and a crown is not secure for all generations.

25 When the hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grass from the hills is gathered in,

26 the lambs will provide you with clothing,
and the goats with the price of a field.

27 You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
and to nourish your female servants.

Proverbs 28

1

1

The wicked flee though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

Footnotes:

a. Proverbs 19:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
b. Proverbs 19:22 Or Greed is a person’s shame
c. Proverbs 20:27 Or A person’s words are
d. Proverbs 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
e. Proverbs 21:12 Or The righteous person
f. Proverbs 21:21 Or righteousness
g. Proverbs 23:1 Or who
h. Proverbs 23:7 Or for as he thinks within himself,so he is; or for as he puts on a feast,so he is
i. Proverbs 25:8 Or nobles on whom you had set your eyes. Do not go
j. Proverbs 25:11 Or possibly apricots
k. Proverbs 26:23 Hebrew; Septuagint smooth
l. Proverbs 27:19 Or so others reflect your heart back to you
m. Proverbs 27:20 Hebrew Abaddon
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