Proverbs 20
New American Bible Revised Edition

1Wine is arrogant, strong drink is riotous;

none who are intoxicated by them are wise.* a

2The terror of a king is like the roar of a lion;b

those who incur his anger forfeit their lives.

3A person gains honor by avoiding strife,

while every fool starts a quarrel.*

4In seedtime sluggards do not plow;

when they look for the harvest, it is not there.

5The intention of the human heart is deep water,

but the intelligent draw it forth.* c

6Many say, “My loyal friend,”

but who can find someone worthy of trust?

7The just walk in integrity;

happy are their children after them!

8A king seated on the throne of judgment

dispels all evil with his glance.*

9Who can say, “I have made my heart clean,d

I am cleansed of my sin”?*

10Varying weights, varying measures,

are both an abomination to the Lord.e

11In their actions even children can playact

though their deeds be blameless and right.*

12The ear that hears, the eye that sees—

the Lord has made them both.*

13Do not love sleep lest you be reduced to poverty;

keep your eyes open, have your fill of food.

14“Bad, bad!” says the buyer,

then goes away only to boast.*

15One can put on gold and abundant jewels,

but wise lips are the most precious ornament.*

16Take the garment of the one who became surety for a stranger;f

if for foreigners, exact the pledge!*

17Bread earned by deceit is sweet,

but afterward the mouth is filled with gravel.

18Plans made with advice succeed;

with wise direction wage your war.

19A slanderer reveals secrets;

so have nothing to do with a babbler!

20Those who curse father or mother—

their lamp will go out* in the dead of night.g

21Possessions greedily guarded at the outset

will not be blessed in the end.*

22Do not say, “I will repay evil!”

Wait for the Lord, who will help you.* h

23Varying weights are an abomination to the Lord,

and false scales are not good.i

24Our steps are from the Lord;j

how, then, can mortals understand their way?*

25It is a trap to pledge rashly a sacred gift,

and after a vow, then to reflect.*

26A wise king winnows the wicked,

and threshes them under the cartwheel.*

27A lamp from the Lord is human life-breath;

it searches through the inmost being.*

28His steadfast loyalty safeguards the king,

and he upholds his throne by justice.k

29The glory of the young is their strength,

and the dignity of the old is gray hair.l

30Evil is cleansed away by bloody lashes,

and a scourging to the inmost being.

Book Introduction


Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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