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Proverbs  English Standard Version (ESV)

Chapter 1


The Beginning of Knowledge

1The
proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in
righteousness, justice, and equity;
4to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth--
5Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6to
understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and the
ir riddles.
7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The Enticement of Sinners

8Hear, my
son, your father's instruction,
and forsake not
your mother's teaching,
9for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.
10My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.
11If they say, "
Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush
the innocent without reason;
12like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with plunder;
14throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse"--
15my son, do not walk in the way with them;
hold back your
foot from their paths,
16for their feet run to evil,
and
they make haste to shed blood.
17For in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird,
18but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
they set an ambush for their own lives.
19Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.

The Call of Wisdom

20Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
21at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22"How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
23If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
27when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
28Then they will
call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29Because they hated knowledge
and did
not choose the fear of the LORD,
30would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
31therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
32For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster."

Chapter 2


The Value of Wisdom

1My son, if you
receive my words
and treasure up
my commandments with you,
2making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your
heart to understanding;
3yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
4if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5then you will
understand the fear of the LORD
and
find the knowledge of God.
6For the LORD gives wisdom;
from
his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8guarding the paths of justice
and watching over
the way of his saints.
9Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and
equity, every good path;
10for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you,
12delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
13who forsake the paths of uprightness
to
walk in the ways of darkness,
14who rejoice in doing evil
and
delight in the perverseness of evil,
15men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways.
16So you will
be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
17who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets
the covenant of her God;
18for her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the departed;
19none who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life.
20So you will walk in the way of the good
and keep to
the paths of the righteous.
21For the upright will inhabit the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it,
22but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the treacherous will
be rooted out of it.

Chapter 3


Trust in the LORD with All Your Heart

1My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your
heart keep my commandments,
2for length of days and years of life
and
peace they will add to you.
3Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4So you will find favor and good success
in
the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
8It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
9Honor the LORD with your wealth
and
with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.

Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom

13Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14for the gain from her
is better than gain from silver
and her
profit better than gold.
15She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16Long life is in her right hand;
in
her left hand are riches and honor.
17Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and
all her paths are peace.
18She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.
19The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
by
understanding he established the heavens;
20by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
and the clouds drop down the dew.
21My son, do not lose sight of these--
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
23Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
24If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25Do
not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
26for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.
27Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
28Do not say to your neighbor, "Go,
and come again,
tomorrow I will give
it"--when you have it with you.
29Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
who dwells trustingly beside you.
30Do not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
31Do not envy a man of violence
and do not choose any of his ways,
32for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD,
but the upright are in his confidence.
33The LORD's curse is on
the house of the wicked,
but he blesse
s the dwelling of the righteous.
34Toward the scorners he is scornful,
but to the humble he gives favor.
35The wise will inherit honor,
but fools get disgrace.

Chapter 4


A Father's Wise Instruction

1Hear, O sons, a father's instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
2for I give you good precepts;
do
not forsake my teaching.
3When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
4he taught me and said to me,
"Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.
5Get wisdom; get insight;
do not
forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
6Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
7The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
8Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
9She will place on your head a graceful garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown."
10Hear
, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of
your life may be many.
11I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
13Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
14Do not enter
the path of the wicked,
and
do not walk in the way of the evil.
15Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it
and pass on.
16For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness
and
drink the wine of violence.
18But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know over what they stumble.
20My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
21Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.
22For
they are life to those who find them,
and
healing to all their flesh.
23Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for
from it flow the springs of life.
24Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
25Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be
straight before you.
26Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
27Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.

Chapter 5


Warning Against Adultery

1My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my understanding,
2that you may keep discretion,
and your lips may guard knowledge.
3For
the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil,
4but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two
-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death;
her steps follow the path to Sheol;
6she does not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
7And now, O sons, listen to me,
and do not depart
from the words of my mouth.
8Keep your way far from her,
and
do not go near the door of her house,
9lest you give your honor to others
and your
years to the merciless,
10lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11and at the end of your life you groan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
12and you say, "How I hated discipline,
and
my heart despised reproof!
13I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
14I am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation."
15Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams
of water in the streets?
17Let them be for yourself alone,
and not
for strangers with you.
18Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.
20Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
and
embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
and he ponders all his paths.
22The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is led astray.

Chapter 6


Practical Warnings

1My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
have given your pledge for a stranger,
2if you are snared in the words of your mouth,
caught in the words of your mouth,
3then do this, my son, and save yourself,
for you have come into the hand of your neighbor:
go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor.
4Give your eyes no sleep
and your eyelids no slumber;
5save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like
a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
7Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
8she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
9How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
11and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
12A worthless
person, a wicked man,
goes about
with crooked speech,
13winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,
points with his finger,
14with perverted heart devises evil,
continually sowing discord;
15therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
16There are six things that the LORD hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
17haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and
hands that shed innocent blood,
18a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one
who sows discord among brothers.

Warnings Against Adultery

20My son, keep your father's commandment,
and forsake not your mother's teaching.
21Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
22When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23For
the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24to preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
25Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life.
27Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and
his clothes not be burned?
28Or can one walk on hot coals
and
his feet not be scorched?
29So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife;
none who
touches her will go unpunished.
30People do not despise a thief if he steals
to
satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
31but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give
all the goods of his house.
32He who commits adultery lacks sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
33Wounds and dishonor will he get,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34For jealousy makes a man furious,
and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
35He will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts.

Chapter 7


Warning Against the Adulteress

1My
son, keep my words
and treasure
up my commandments with you;
2keep my commandments and live;
keep
my teaching as the apple of your eye;
3bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Say to wisdom, "You are my sister,"
and call insight your intimate friend,
5to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words.
6For at
the window of my house
I have looked out through my lattice,
7and I have seen among the simple,
I have perceived among the youths,
a young man lacking sense,
8passing along the street near her corner,
taking the road to her house
9in the twilight, in the evening,
at the time of night and darkness.
10And behold, the woman meets him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
11She is loud and wayward;
her feet do not stay at home;
12now
in the street, now in the market,
and at every corner she lies in wait.
13She seizes him and kisses him,
and with bold face she says to him,
14"I had to offer sacrifices,
and today I have paid my vows;
15so now I have come out to meet you,
to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16I have spread my couch with coverings,
colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
aloes, and cinnamon.
18Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
let us delight ourselves with love.
19For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey;
20he took a
bag of money with him;
at full moon he will come home."
21With much seductive speech she persuades him;
with her smooth talk she compels him.
22All at once he follows her,
as an ox goes
to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast
23till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24And now, O sons, listen to me,
and be attentive to
the words of my mouth.
25Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths,
26for many a victim has she laid low,
and all her slain are a mighty throng.
27Her house is the way to Sheol,
going down to
the chambers of death.

Chapter 8


The Blessings of Wisdom

1Does
not wisdom call?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2On the heights beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4"To you, O men, I call,
and my cry is to the children of man.
5O simple ones, learn prudence;
O fools, learn sense.
6Hear
, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right,
7for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8All
the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9They are all straight to him who understands,
and right to those who
find knowledge.
10Take my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11for wisdom is better than jewels,
and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and I find knowledge and discretion.
13The
fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
and perverted speech I hate.
14I have counsel and sound wisdom;
I have insight;
I have strength.
15By me kings reign,
and rulers decree what is just;
16by me princes rule,
and nobles, all who govern justly.
17I love those who love me,
and those who seek me diligently find me.
18Riches
and honor are with me,
enduring wealth and righteousness.
19My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
and
my yield than choice silver.
20I walk in the way of righteousness,
in the
paths of justice,
21granting an inheritance to those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.
22"The LORD possessed me at
the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
23Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
25Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
26before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
27When he established
the heavens, I was there;
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
29when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so
that the waters might not transgress his command,
when
he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
31rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in
the children of man.
32"And now, O sons, listen to me:
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
34Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
35For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the LORD,
36but he who fails to find me injures himself;
all who hate me love death."

Chapter 9


The Way of Wisdom

1Wisdom has built her house;
she has hewn her seven pillars.
2She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
3She has sent out her young women to call
from
the highest places in the town,
4"Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
To him who lacks sense she says,
5"Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6Leave your simple ways, and live,
and walk in the way of insight."
7Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
8Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove
a wise man, and he will love you.
9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of
the Holy One is insight.
11For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
12If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

The Way of Folly

13The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing.
14She sits at the door of her house;
she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
15calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
16"Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
And to him who lacks sense she says,
17"Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."
18But he does not know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

Chapter 10


The Proverbs of Solomon

1The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
2Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
3The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
4A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
6Blessings are on the head
of the righteous,
but the mouth of the
wicked conceals violence.
7The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.
8The wise of heart will receive commandments,
but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
9Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
10Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
11The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.
13On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,
but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
14The wise lay up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
15A rich man's wealth is his strong city;
the poverty of the poor is their ruin.
16The wage of the righteous leads to life,
the gain of the wicked to sin.
17Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
18The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters
slander is a fool.
19When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
21The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die
for lack of sense.
22The blessing of the LORD makes rich,
and he adds no sorrow with it.
23Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
24What the wicked dreads will come upon him,
but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more,
but the righteous is established forever.
26Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
so is the sluggard to those who send him.
27The
fear of the LORD prolongs life,
but the years of the
wicked will be short.
28The hope of the righteous brings joy,
but the
expectation of the wicked will perish.
29The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless,
but destruction to evildoers.
30The righteous will never be removed,
but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
31The
mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
32The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the
wicked, what is perverse.

Chapter 11

1A
false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
but a
just weight is his delight.
2When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.
3The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
4Riches do not profit
in the day of wrath,
but righteousness
delivers from death.
5The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight,
but the
wicked falls by his own wickedness.
6The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.
7When the wicked dies, his hope will perish,
and the expectation of wealth perishes too.
8The righteous is delivered from trouble,
and the wicked walks into it instead.
9With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
10When it goes
well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.
11By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
12Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent.
13Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
14Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
15Whoever puts up security
for a stranger will surely suffer harm,
but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.
16A gracious woman gets honor,
and violent men get riches.
17A man who is kind benefits himself,
but a cruel man hurts himself.
18The wicked earns deceptive wages,
but one who sows
righteousness gets a sure reward.
19Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
but he who pursues evil will die.
20Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD,
but those of blameless ways are his delight.
21Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
but the offspring
of the righteous will be delivered.
22Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
is a beautiful
woman without discretion.
23The desire of the righteous ends only in good;
the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
24One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
25Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.
26The people curse him who holds back grain,
but a blessing is on
the head of him who sells it.
27Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor,
but evil comes to him who searches for it.
28Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
29Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
and the fool will
be servant to the wise of heart.
30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and whoever captures souls is wise.
31If the righteous is repaid on earth,
how much more
the wicked and the sinner!

Chapter 12

1Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.
2A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
but a man of evil devices he condemns.
3No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
4An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
5The
thoughts of the righteous are just;
the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the mouth of the
upright delivers them.
7The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
but the house of the righteous will stand.
8A man is commended according to his good sense,
but one of twisted mind is despised.
9Better to be lowly and have a servant
than to play the great man and lack bread.
10Whoever is righteous has regard for
the life of his beast,
but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
11Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
12Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
but the righteous escapes from trouble.
14From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.
15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.
16The vexation of a fool is known at once,
but the prudent ignores an insult.
17Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.
18There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
but those who plan peace have joy.
21No ill befalls the righteous,
but the wicked are filled with trouble.
22Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
24The hand of the diligent will rule,
while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
25Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.
26One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
but the way of the
wicked leads them astray.
27Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
but the diligent man will get precious wealth.
28In the path
of righteousness is life,
and in its pathway there is no death.

Chapter 13

1A wise son hears his father's instruction,
but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2From
the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good,
but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
3Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
4The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
while
the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
5The righteous hates falsehood,
but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.
6Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,
but sin overthrows the wicked.
7One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8The ransom of a man's life is his wealth,
but a poor man hears no threat.
9The
light of the righteous rejoices,
but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
10By insolence comes nothing but strife,
but with those who take advice is wisdom.
11Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
12Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled
is a tree of life.
13Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,
but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
14The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away
from the snares of death.
15Good sense wins favor,
but the way of the
treacherous is their ruin.
16In everything the prudent acts with knowledge,
but a fool flaunts his folly.
17A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
19A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
20Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the
companion of fools will suffer harm.
21Disaster pursues sinners,
but the righteous
are rewarded with good.
22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,
but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.
23The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food,
but it is swept away through injustice.
24Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
25The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite,
but the belly of the wicked suffers want.

Chapter 14

1The wisest of women builds her house,
but folly with her own hands tears it down.
2Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD,
but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
3By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
4Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
5A
faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.
6A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
7Leave the presence of a fool,
for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
8The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
but the folly of fools is deceiving.
9Fools mock at the guilt offering,
but the upright enjoy acceptance.
10The heart knows its own bitterness,
and no stranger shares its joy.
11The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
13Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and the end of joy may be grief.
14The backslider in heart will
be filled with the fruit of his ways,
and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
15The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
16One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
but a fool is reckless and careless.
17A man of quick temper acts foolishly,
and a man of evil devices is hated.
18The simple inherit folly,
but the prudent
are crowned with knowledge.
19The evil bow down before the good,
the
wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20The poor is disliked even by his neighbor,
but the rich ha
s many friends.
21Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner,
but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.
22Do they not go astray who devise evil?
Those who devise good meet steadfast love
and faithfulness.
23In all toil there is profit,
but mere talk tends only to poverty.
24The crown of the wise is their wealth,
but the folly of fools brings folly.
25A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.
26In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.
27The
fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from
the snares of death.
28In a multitude of people is the glory of a king,
but without people a prince is ruined.
29Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
30A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.
31Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,
but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
32The wicked is overthrown through his evildoing,
but the righteous finds refuge in his death.
33Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding,
but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.
34Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a reproach to any people.
35A servant who deals wisely has the king's favor,
but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

Chapter 15

1A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
3The
eyes of the LORD are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
5A fool despises his father's instruction,
but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
6In
the house of the righteous there is much treasure,
but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.
7The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the hearts of fools.
8The
sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
but the prayer of the
upright is acceptable to him.
9The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
10There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
whoever hates reproof will die.
11Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD;
how much more the hearts of the children of man!
12A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
he will not go to the wise.
13A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
14The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
15All
the days of the afflicted are evil,
but
the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
16Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
than
great treasure and trouble with it.
17Better is a dinner of herbs where love is
than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
19The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,
but the path of the upright is a level highway.
20A wise son makes a glad father,
but a foolish man despises his mother.
21Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense,
but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
22Without counsel plans fail,
but with many advisers they succeed.
23To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
and a word in season, how good it is!
24The path of life leads upward for the prudent,
that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.
25The LORD tears
down the house of the proud
but maintains the widow's boundaries.
26The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD,
but gracious words are pure.
27Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household,
but he who hates bribes will live.
28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
29The LORD
is far from the wicked,
but he
hears the prayer of the righteous.
30The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
and good news refreshes the bones.
31The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
will
dwell among the wise.
32Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
33The
fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.

Chapter 16

1The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
2All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the spirit.
3Commit your work to the LORD,
and your plans will be established.
4The LORD has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked
for the day of trouble.
5Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
be assured, he will not go unpunished.
6By steadfast love
and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.
7When a man's ways please the LORD,
he
makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8Better is a little with righteousness
than
great revenues with injustice.
9The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.
10An oracle is on the lips of a king;
his mouth does not sin in judgment.
11A just balance and scales are the LORD's;
all the weights in the bag are his work.
12It is an abomination to kings to do evil,
for the throne is established by righteousness.
13Righteous
lips are the delight of a king,
and he loves him who speaks what is right.
14A king's wrath is a messenger of death,
and a wise man will appease it.
15In the light of a king's face there is life,
and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.
16How much better to get wisdom than gold!
To
get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
17The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;
whoever guards his way preserves his life.
18Pride goes
before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor
than
to divide the spoil with the proud.
20Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,
and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
21The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
22Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.
23The
heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
25There
is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
26A worker's appetite works for him;
his mouth urges him on.
27A worthless man plots evil,
and his speech is like a scorching fire.
28A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
29A man of violence entices his neighbor
and leads him in a
way that is not good.
30Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things;
he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.
31Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained in a righteous life.
32Whoever is slow to anger
is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33The lot is cast into the lap,
but
its every decision is from the LORD.

Chapter 17

1Better
is a dry morsel with quiet
than
a house full of feasting with strife.
2A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
3The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and the LORD tests hearts.
4An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
5Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker;
he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
6Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their fathers.
7Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
still less is false speech to a prince.
8A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
wherever he turns he prospers.
9Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
10A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool.
11An evil man seeks only rebellion,
and
a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
rather than
a fool in his folly.
13If anyone returns evil for good,
evil will not depart from his house.
14The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
15He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
16Why should a fool have
money in his hand to buy wisdom
when he has no sense?
17A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.
18One who lacks sense gives a pledge
and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
19Whoever loves transgression loves strife;
he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
20A man of crooked heart does not discover good,
and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
21He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow,
and the father of a fool has no joy.
22A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
23The wicked accepts a bribe in secret
to pervert the ways of justice.
24The discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25A foolish son is a grief to his father
and bitterness to her who bore him.
26To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
27Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit
is a man of understanding.
28Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Chapter 18

1Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.
2A fool takes no pleasure
in understanding,
but only in
expressing his opinion.
3When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
and with dishonor comes disgrace.
4The
words of a man's mouth are deep waters;
the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
5It is not good to be partial to the wicked
or to deprive the righteous of justice.
6A fool's lips walk into a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
7A fool's mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
8The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
9Whoever is slack in his work
is a brother to him who destroys.
10The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
11A rich man's wealth is his strong city,
and like a high wall in his imagination.
12Before destruction a man's heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.
13If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.
14A man's spirit will endure sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?
15An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16A man's gift makes room for him
and brings him before the great.
17The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him.
18The lot puts an end to quarrels
and decides between powerful contenders.
19A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
20From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
21Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
22He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the LORD.
23The poor use entreaties,
but the rich answer roughly.
24A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Chapter 19

1Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity
than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
2Desire without knowledge is not good,
and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
3When a man's folly brings his way to ruin,
his heart rages against the LORD.
4Wealth brings many new friends,
but a poor man is deserted by his friend.
5A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
6Many seek the favor of a generous man,
and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.
7All a poor man's brothers hate him;
how much more do his friends go far from him!
He pursues them with words, but does not have them.
8Whoever gets sense loves his own soul;
he who keeps understanding will discover good.
9A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will perish.
10It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury,
much less for a slave to rule over princes.
11Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
12A king's wrath is like the growling of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13A foolish son is ruin to his father,
and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
14House and wealth are inherited from fathers,
but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
15Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep,
and an idle person will suffer hunger.
16Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life;
he who despises his ways will die.
17Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will repay him for his deed.
18Discipline your son, for there is hope;
do not set your heart on putting him to death.
19A man of great wrath will pay the penalty,
for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.
20Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
21Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
22What is desired in a man is steadfast love,
and a poor man is better than a liar.
23The fear of the LORD leads to life,
and whoever has it rests satisfied;
he will not be visited by harm.
24The sluggard buries his hand in the dish
and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
25Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
26He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother
is a son who brings shame and reproach.
27Cease to hear instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28A worthless witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
29Condemnation is ready for scoffers,
and beating for the backs of fools.

Chapter 20

1Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
2The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
3It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
but every fool will be quarreling.
4The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
5The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out.
6Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
but a faithful man who can find?
7The righteous who walks in his integrity--
blessed are his children after him!
8A king who sits on the throne of judgment
winnows all evil with his eyes.
9Who can say, "I have made my heart pure;
I am clean from my sin"?
10Unequal weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
11Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
12The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
the LORD has made them both.
13Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14"Bad, Bad," says the buyer,
but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.
17Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
18Plans are established by counsel;
by wise guidance wage war.
19Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
20If one curses his father or his mother,
his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
21An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
22Do not say, "I will repay evil";
wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.
23Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD,
and false scales are not good.
24A man's steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?
25It is a snare to say rashly, "It is holy,"
and to reflect only after making vows.
26A wise king winnows the wicked
and drives the wheel over them.
27The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,
searching all his innermost parts.
28Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
29The glory of young men is their strength,
but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean
the innermost parts.

Chapter 21

1The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will.
2Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the heart.
3To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
5The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
6The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
7The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
8The way of the guilty is crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright.
9It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10The soul of the wicked desires evil;
his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered.
14A gift in secret averts anger,
and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
15When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
16One who wanders from the way of good sense
will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
and the traitor for the upright.
19It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling,
but a foolish man devours it.
21Whoever pursues
righteousness and kindness
will find
life, righteousness, and honor.
22A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.
24"Scoffer" is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
who acts with arrogant pride.
25The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
26All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
27The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more when he brings it with evil intent
.
28A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29A wicked man puts on a bold face,
but the upright gives thought to his ways.
30No wisdom,
no understanding, no counsel
can avail
against the LORD.
31The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the
victory belongs to the LORD.

Chapter 22

1A good name is to be chosen rather
than great riches,
and favor is better than silver
or gold.
2The rich and the poor meet together;
the LORD is the maker of them all.
3The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
4The reward for humility and fear of the LORD
is riches and honor and life.
5Thorns
and snares are in the way of the crooked;
whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
6Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
7The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
8Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his
fury will fail.
9Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.
10Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.
11He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
12The
eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge,
but
he overthrows the words of the traitor.
13The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!"
14The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit;
he with whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.
15Folly is bound up
in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
16Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,
or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Words of the Wise

17Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
19That your trust may be in the LORD,
I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20Have I not written for you thirty sayings
of counsel and knowledge,
21to make you know what is right and true,
that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
22Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate,
23for the LORD will plead their cause
and rob of life those who rob them.
24Make
no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful
man,
25lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
26Be not one of those who give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
27If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?
28Do not move the ancient landmark
that your fathers have set.
29Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will
stand before kings;
he will not stand before obscure men.

Chapter 23

1When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
2and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
3Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
4Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.
5When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
6Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;
do not desire his delicacies,
7for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.
"Eat and drink!" he says to you,
but
his heart is not with you.
8You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
and waste your pleasant words.
9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.
10Do not move an ancient landmark
or enter the fields
of the fatherless,
11for their Redeemer is strong;
he will plead their cause against you.
12Apply your heart to instruction
and your
ear to words of knowledge.
13Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14If you strike him with the rod,
you will save his soul from Sheol.
15My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
16My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right.
17Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue
in the fear of the LORD all the day.
18Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19Hear, my son, and be wise,
and direct your heart in the way.
20Be not among drunkards
or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
21for the drunkard and the glutton will
come to poverty,
and slumber will clothe them with rags.
22Listen to your father who gave you life,
and do not despise your
mother when she is old.
23Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy
wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25Let your father and mother be glad;
let her who bore you rejoice.
26My
son, give me your heart,
and let
your eyes observe my ways.
27For a prostitute is a deep pit;
an adulteress is a narrow well.
28She lies in wait like a robber
and increases the traitors among mankind.
29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has
wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30Those who tarry long over wine;
those who go to try mixed wine.
31Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
32In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
33Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utter perverse things.
34You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.
35"They struck me," you will say, "but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I must have another drink."

Chapter 24

1Be not envious of evil men,
nor desire to be with them,
2for their hearts devise violence,
and their lips talk of trouble.
3By wisdom a house is built,
and
by understanding it is established;
4by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious
and pleasant riches.
5A wise man is full of strength,
and a man of
knowledge enhances his might,
6for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
7Wisdom is too high for a fool;
in the gate he does
not open his mouth.
8Whoever plans to do evil
will be called a schemer.
9The devising of folly is sin,
and the scoffer
is an abomination to mankind.
10If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
11Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
12If you say, "Behold, we did not know this,"
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?
13My son, eat honey, for it is good,
and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
15Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
do no violence to his home;
16for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
17Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
18lest the LORD see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.
19Fret not yourself because of evildoers,
and be not envious of the wicked,
20for the evil man has no future;
the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21My son, fear the LORD and the king,
and do not join with those who do otherwise,
22for disaster from them will rise suddenly,
and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

More Sayings of the Wise

23These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good.
24Whoever says to the wicked, "You are in the right,"
will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
25but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
26Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.
27Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that build your house.
28Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
29Do not say, "I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will pay the man back for what he has done."
30I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
31and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
32Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
33A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
34and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

Chapter 25


More Proverbs of Solomon

1These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.
2It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out.
3As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
4Take away the dross from the silver,
and the smith has material for a vessel;
5take away the wicked from the presence of the king,
and his throne will be established in righteousness.
6Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence
or stand in the place of the great,
7for it is better to be told, "Come up here,"
than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.What your eyes have seen
8do not hastily bring into court,
for what will you do in the end,
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
9Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another's secret,
10lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.
11A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
13Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14Like clouds and wind without rain
is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
15With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
16If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
17Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house,
lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
18A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
19Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
20Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.
21If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.
23The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
25Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
so is good news from a far country.
26Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
27It is not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.
28A man without self-control
is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Chapter 26

1Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool.
2Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
a curse that is causeless does not alight.
3A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the back of fools.
4Answer not a fool
according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
5Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless,
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8Like one who binds the stone in the sling
is one who gives honor to a fool.
9Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10Like an archer who wounds everyone
is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.
11Like a dog that returns to his vomit
is a fool who repeats his folly.
12Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!"
14As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
15The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
19is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, "I am only joking!"
20For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
25when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Chapter 27

1Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
2Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
3A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
4Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?
5Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7One who is full loathes honey,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.
9Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
10Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend,
and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
11Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
that I may answer him who reproaches me.
12The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
13Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.
14Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
15A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in one's right hand.
17Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
18Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who guards his master will be honored.
19As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
20Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
21The crucible is for
silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise.
22Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
yet his folly will not depart from him.
23Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds,
24for riches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
25When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26the lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field.
27There will be enough goats' milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and maintenance for your girls.

Chapter 28

1The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.
2When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
3A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law strive against them.
5Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
6Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
7The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
8Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit
gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
9If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
10Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
11A rich man is
wise in his own eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
13Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
14Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17If one is burdened with the blood of another,
he will be a fugitive until death;
let no one help him.
18Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
19Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20A faithful man will abound with blessings,
but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
21To show partiality is not good,
but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
22A stingy man hastens after wealth
and does not know that poverty will come upon him.
23Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue.
24Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, "That is no transgression,"
is a companion to a man who destroys.
25A greedy man stirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.
26Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
28When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.

Chapter 29

1He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
2When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
3He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
4By justice a king builds up the land,
but he who exacts gifts tears it down.
5A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.
6An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
7A righteous man knows the rights of the poor;
a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
8Scoffers set a city aflame,
but the wise turn away wrath.
9If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
10Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
and seek the life of the upright.
11A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
12If a ruler listens to falsehood,
all his officials will be wicked.
13The poor man and the oppressor meet together;
the LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
14If a king faithfully judges the poor,
his throne will be established forever.
15The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
16When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
17Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.
18Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
19By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.
20Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There
is more hope for a fool than for him.
21Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
will in the end find him his heir.
22A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
23One's pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
24The partner of a thief hates his own life;
he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.
26Many seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.
27An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.

Chapter 30


The Words of Agur

1The
words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle. The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
2Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
3I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
4Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up
the waters in a garment?
Who
has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name,
and what is his son's name?
Surely you know!
5Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you
be found a liar.
7Two things I ask of you;
deny them
not to me before I die:
8Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9lest I be full and deny you
and say, "Who is the LORD?"
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane
the name of my God.
10Do not slander a servant to his master,
lest he
curse you and you be held guilty.
11There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
12There are those who are clean in their own eyes
but are not washed of their filth.
13There are those--how lofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
14There are those whose
teeth are swords,
whose fangs are knives,
to devour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mankind.
15The leech has two daughters;
"Give" and "Give," they cry.
Three things
are never satisfied;
four never say, "Enough":
16Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, "Enough."
17The eye that mocks a father
and scorns to obey a mother
will be picked out by the ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.
18Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
19the
way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent
on a rock,
the way of a ship
on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a
virgin.
20This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, "I have done no wrong."
21Under three things the earth trembles;
under four it cannot bear up:
22a slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is filled with food;
23an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
24Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
28the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings' palaces.
29Three things are stately in their tread;
four are stately in their stride:
30the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and does not turn back before any;
31the strutting rooster, the he-goat,
and a king whose army is with him.
32If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.
33For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.

Chapter 31


The Words of King Lemuel

1The
words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
2What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?
What are you doing, son of my vows?
3Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.
4It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink,
5lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
7let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
8Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights
of the poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the LORD

10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The
heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14She
is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15She rises while it is yet night
and provides food
for her household
and portions
for her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens
her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates
when
he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to
the merchant.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and
the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does
not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29"Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all."
30Charm
is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.