Proverbs 16 New International Version

Proverbs concerning Life and Conduct

16 1  To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

8  Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.

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

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

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

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

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

14  A king's wrath is a messenger of death, but the wise will appease it. 15  When a king's face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.

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

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

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

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

20  Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,[1]and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

21  The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.[2]

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

23  The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.[3]

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

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

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

27  A scoundrel plots evil, and on their lips it is like a scorching fire. 28  A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.

29  A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good. 30  Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity; whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.

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

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

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


[1] 16:20 Or "whoever speaks prudently finds what is good"

[2] 16:21 Or "words make a person persuasive"

[3] 16:23 Or "prudent" / "and make their lips persuasive"

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