Proverbs 19-21 English Standard Version

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19 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

2  Desire[1] without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.

3  When a man's folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.

4  Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend.

5  A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.

6  Many seek the favor of a generous man,[2] and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts. 7  All 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.[3]

8  Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good.

9  A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.

10  It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury, much less for a slave to rule over princes.

11  Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

12  A king's wrath is like the growling of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.

13  A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.

14  House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

15  Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.

16  Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die.

17  Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

18  Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.

19  A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.

20  Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

21  Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

22  What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.

23  The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

24  The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.

25  Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.

26  He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach.

27  Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

28  A worthless witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.

29  Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools.

20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.[4]

2  The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.

3  It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.

4  The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.

5  The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.

6  Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?

7  The righteous who walks in his integrity-- blessed are his children after him!

8  A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes.

9  Who can say, "I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin"?

10  Unequal[5] weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord.

11  Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.[6]

12  The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.

13  Love 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.

15  There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

16  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.[7]

17  Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.

18  Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.

19  Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.[8]

20  If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.

21  An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.

22  Do not say, "I will repay evil"; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.

23  Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good.

24  A man's steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?

25  It is a snare to say rashly, "It is holy," and to reflect only after making vows.

26  A wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them.

27  The spirit[9] of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.

28  Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.

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

30  Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts.

21 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.

2  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.

3  To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

4  Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp[10] of the wicked, are sin.

5  The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

6  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.[11]

7  The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.

8  The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is upright.

9  It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

10  The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.

11  When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

12  The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; he throws the wicked down to ruin.

13  Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.

14  A gift in secret averts anger, and a concealed bribe,[12] strong wrath.

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

16  One who wanders from the way of good sense will rest in the assembly of the dead.

17  Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

18  The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the traitor for the upright.

19  It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.

20  Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.

21  Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.

22  A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

23  Whoever 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.

25  The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. 26  All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.

27  The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent.

28  A false witness will perish, but the word of a man who hears will endure.

29  A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to[13] his ways.

30  No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord. 31  The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.

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Footnotes

[1] 19:2 Or A soul

[2] 19:6 Or of a noble

[3] 19:7 The meaning of the Hebrew sentence is uncertain

[4] 20:1 Or will not become wise

[5] 20:10 Or Two kinds of; also verse 23

[6] 20:11 Or Even a child can dissemble in his actions, though his conduct seems pure and upright

[7] 20:16 Or for an adulteress (compare 27:13)

[8] 20:19 Hebrew with one who is simple in his lips

[9] 20:27 Hebrew breath

[10] 21:4 Or the plowing

[11] 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death

[12] 21:14 Hebrew a bribe in the bosom

[13] 21:29 Or establishes

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