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Proverbs 16

1

1

To humans belong the plans of the heart,
but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.

1

2

All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
but motives are weighed by the Lord.

2

3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.

3

4

The Lord works out everything to its proper end—
even the wicked for a day of disaster.

4

5

The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

5

6

Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.

6

7

When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
he causes their enemies to make peace with them.

7

8

Better a little with righteousness
than much gain with injustice.

8

9

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.

9

10

The lips of a king speak as an oracle,
and his mouth does not betray justice.

10

11

Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord;
all the weights in the bag are of his making.

11

12

Kings detest wrongdoing,
for a throne is established through righteousness.

12

13

Kings take pleasure in honest lips;
they value the one who speaks what is right.

13

14

A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
but the wise will appease it.

14

15

When a king’s face brightens, it means life;
his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.

15

16

How much better to get wisdom than gold,
to get insight rather than silver!

16

17

The highway of the upright avoids evil;
those who guard their ways preserve their lives.

17

18

Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.

18

19

Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud.

19

20

Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,[a]
and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

20

21

The wise in heart are called discerning,
and gracious words promote instruction.[b]

21

22

Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent,
but folly brings punishment to fools.

22

23

The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,
and their lips promote instruction.[c]

23

24

Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

24

25

There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death.

25

26

The appetite of laborers works for them;
their hunger drives them on.

26

27

A scoundrel plots evil,
and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.

27

28

A perverse person stirs up conflict,
and a gossip separates close friends.

28

29

A violent person entices their neighbor
and leads them down a path that is not good.

29

30

Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity;
whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.

30

31

Gray hair is a crown of splendor;
it is attained in the way of righteousness.

31

32

Better a patient person than a warrior,
one with self-control than one who takes a city.

32

33

The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord.

Footnotes:

a. Proverbs 16:20 Or whoever speaks prudently finds what is good
b. Proverbs 16:21 Or words make a person persuasive
c. Proverbs 16:23 Or prudentand make their lips persuasive
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