Proverbs 21
New American Standard Bible►► 

On Life and Conduct

1The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;

He turns it wherever He pleases.

2Every person’s way is right in his own eyes,

But the LORD examines the hearts.

3To do righteousness and justice

Is preferred by the LORD more than sacrifice.

4Haughty eyes and a proud heart,

The lamp of the wicked, is sin.

5The plans of the diligent certainly lead to advantage,

But everyone who is in a hurry certainly comes to poverty.

6The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue

Is a fleeting vapor, the [a]pursuit of death.

7The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,

Because they refuse to act with justice.

8The way of a guilty person is crooked,

But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

9It is better to live on a corner of a roof

Than [b]in a house shared with a contentious woman.

10The soul of the wicked desires evil;

His neighbor is shown no compassion in his eyes.

11When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise;

But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.

12The [c]righteous one considers the house of the wicked,

Bringing the wicked to ruin.

13One who shuts his ear to the outcry of the poor

Will also call out himself, and not be answered.

14A gift in secret subdues anger,

And a bribe [d]in an inside pocket, strong wrath.

15The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous,

But terror to those who practice injustice.

16A person who wanders from the way of understanding

Will rest in the assembly of the [e]dead.

17One who loves pleasure will become a poor person;

One who loves wine and oil will not become rich.

18The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,

And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.

19It is better to live in a desert land

Than with a contentious and irritating woman.

20There is precious treasure and oil in the home of the wise,

But a foolish person swallows it up.

21One who pursues righteousness and loyalty

Finds life, righteousness, and honor.

22A wise person scales the city of the mighty

And brings down the [f]stronghold in which they trust.

23One who guards his mouth and his tongue,

Guards his soul from troubles.

24“Proud,” “Arrogant,” “Scoffer,” are his names,

One who acts with insolent pride.

25The desire of the [g]lazy one puts him to death,

For his hands refuse to work;

26All day long he [h]is craving,

While the righteous gives and does not hold back.

27The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,

How much more when he brings it with evil intent!

28A false witness will perish,

But a person who listens will speak forever.

29A wicked person [i]displays a bold face,

But as for the upright, he makes his way sure.

30There is no wisdom, no understanding,

And no [j]plan against the LORD.

31The horse is prepared for the day of battle,

But the victory belongs to the LORD.

[a] 6 Lit seekers
[b] 9 Lit with a woman of contentions and a house of association
[c] 12 Or Righteous One
[d] 14 Lit a fold in a robe; i.e., secretly
[e] 16 Lit departed spirits
[f] 22 Lit strength of trust
[g] 25 Lit idle
[h] 26 Lit desires desire
[i] 29 Lit makes firm with his face
[j] 30 Or advice

New American Standard Bible
Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020
by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.
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