Proverbs 20-22 (Listen)
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
but every fool will be quarreling.
The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
but a faithful man who can find?
The righteous who walks in his integrity—
blessed are his children after him!
A king who sits on the throne of judgment
winnows all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
I am clean from my sin”?
Unequal weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
the Lord has made them both.
Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
“Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
but when he goes away, then he boasts.
There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
Take 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.
Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
Plans are established by counsel;
by wise guidance wage war.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
If one curses his father or his mother,
his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord,
and false scales are not good.
A man's steps are from the Lord;
how then can man understand his way?
It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
and to reflect only after making vows.
A wise king winnows the wicked
and drives the wheel over them.
The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord,
searching all his innermost parts.
Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
The glory of young men is their strength,
but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean the innermost parts.
The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
The way of the guilty is crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright.
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
The soul of the wicked desires evil;
his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
he throws the wicked down to ruin.
Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered.
A gift in secret averts anger,
and a concealed bribe, strong wrath.
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
One who wanders from the way of good sense
will rest in the assembly of the dead.
Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
and the traitor for the upright.
It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling,
but a foolish man devours it.
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.
“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
who acts with arrogant pride.
The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.
A wicked man puts on a bold face,
but the upright gives thought to his ways.
No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the Lord.
The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord.
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
The rich and the poor meet together;
the Lord is the maker of them all.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his fury will fail.
Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.
Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.
He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he overthrows the words of the traitor.
The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!”
The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit;
he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,
or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
Words of the Wise
Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my knowledge,
for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
That your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today, even to you.
Have I not written for you thirty sayings
of counsel and knowledge,
to make you know what is right and true,
that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate,
for the Lord will plead their cause
and rob of life those who rob them.
Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
Be not one of those who give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?
Do not move the ancient landmark
that your fathers have set.
Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will stand before kings;
he will not stand before obscure men.