Proverbs 21
New American Bible Revised Edition

1A king’s heart is channeled water in the hand of the Lord;

God directs it where he pleases.*

2All your ways may be straight in your own eyes,

but it is the Lord who weighs hearts.a

3To do what is right and justb

is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.*

4Haughty eyes and a proud heart—

the lamp of the wicked will fail.*

5The plans of the diligent end in profit,

but those of the hasty end in loss.*

6Trying to get rich by lying

is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.

7The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,

because they refuse to do what is right.

8One’s path may be winding and unfamiliar,

but one’s conduct is blameless and right.*

9It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop

than in a mansion with a quarrelsome woman.* c

10The soul of the wicked desires evil;

their neighbor finds no pity in their eyes.

11When scoffers are punished the naive become wise;

when the wise succeed, they gain knowledge.d

12The Righteous One appraises the house of the wicked,

bringing down the wicked to ruin.*

13Those who shut their ears to the cry of the poor

will themselves call out and not be answered.

14A secret gift allays anger,

and a present concealed, violent wrath.*

15When justice is done it is a joy for the just,

downfall for evildoers.* e

16Whoever strays from the way of good sense

will abide in the assembly of the shades.*

17The lover of pleasure will suffer want;

the lover of wine and perfume will never be rich.

18The wicked serve as ransom for the just,

and the faithless for the upright.* f

19It is better to dwell in a wilderness

than with a quarrelsome wife and trouble.

20Precious treasure and oil are in the house of the wise,

but the fool consumes them.

21Whoever pursues justice and kindness

will find life and honor.*

22The wise person storms the city of the mighty,

and overthrows the stronghold in which they trust.

23Those who guard mouth and tongue

guard themselves* from trouble.g

24Proud, boastful—scoffer is the name:

those who act with overbearing pride.

25The desire of sluggards will slay them,

for their hands refuse to work.*

26Some are consumed with avarice all the day,

but the just give unsparingly.

27The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,

the more so when they offer it with bad intent.h

28The false witness will perish,i

but one who listens will give lasting testimony.

29The face of the wicked hardens,

but the upright maintains a straight course.*

30No wisdom, no understanding,

no counsel prevail against the Lord.

31The horse is equipped for the day of battle,

but victory is the Lord’s.

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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