Proverbs 1

The Beginning of Knowledge
(Proverbs 9:1–12)

1These are the proverbs of Solomon son of David,

king of Israel,

2for gaining wisdom and discipline,

for comprehending words of insight,

3and for receiving instruction in wise living

and in righteousness, justice, and equity.

4To impart prudence to the simplea

and knowledge and discretion to the young,

5let the wise listen and gain instruction,

and the discerning acquire wise counsel

6by understanding the proverbs and parables,

the sayings and riddles of the wise.

7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,

but foolsb despise wisdom and discipline.

The Enticement of Sin

8Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,

and do not forsake the teaching of your mother.

9For they are a garland of grace on your head

and a pendant around your neck.

10My son, if sinners entice you,

do not yield to them.

11If they say, “Come along, let us lie in wait for blood,

let us ambush the innocent without cause,

12let us swallow them alive like Sheol,

and whole like those descending into the Pit.

13We will find all manner of precious goods;

we will fill our houses with plunder.

14Throw in your lot with us;

let us all share one purse”—

15my son, do not walk the road with them

or set foot upon their path.

16For their feet run to evil,

and they are swift to shed blood.

17How futile it is to spread the net

where any bird can see it!

18But they lie in wait for their own blood;

they ambush their own lives.

19Such is the fate of all who are greedy,

whose unjust gain takes the lives of its possessors.

Wisdom Calls Aloud

20Wisdom calls out in the street,

she lifts her voice in the square;

21in the main concoursec she cries aloud,

at the city gates she makes her speech:

22“How long, O simple ones, will you love your simple ways?

How long will scoffers delight in their scorn

and fools hate knowledge?

23If you had repented at my rebuke,

then surely I would have poured out my spirit on you;

I would have made my words known to you.

24Because you refused my call,

and no one took my outstretched hand,

25because you neglected all my counsel,

and wanted none of my correction,

26in turn I will mock your calamity;

I will sneer when terror strikes you,

27when your dread comes like a storm,

and your destruction like a whirlwind,

when distress and anguish overwhelm you.

28Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;

they will earnestly seek me, but will not find me.

29For they hated knowledge

and chose not to fear the LORD.

30They accepted none of my counsel;

they despised all my reproof.

31So they will eat the fruit of their own way,

and be filled with their own devices.

32For the waywardness of the simple will slay them,

and the complacency of fools will destroy them.

33But whoever listens to me will dwell in safety,

secure from the fear of evil.”


4 a The Hebrew word rendered simple in Proverbs refers to one who is naive, without moral direction, or inclined to evil.
7 b The Hebrew words rendered as fool in Proverbs denote one who is morally deficient.
21 c Or from the top of the wall

Proverbs 2
Proverbs 2

The Benefits of Wisdom

1My son, if you accept my words

and hide my commandments within you,

2if you incline your ear to wisdom

and direct your heart to understanding,

3if you truly call out to insight

and lift your voice to understanding,

4if you seek it like silver

and search it out like hidden treasure,

5then you will discern the fear of the LORD

and discover the knowledge of God.

6For the LORD gives wisdom;

from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

7He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

He is a shield to those who walk with integrity,

8to guard the paths of justice

and protect the way of His saints.

9Then you will discern righteousness

and justice and equity—every good path.

10For wisdom will enter your heart,

and knowledge will delight your soul.

11Discretion will watch over you,

and understanding will guard you,

12to deliver you from the way of evil,

from the man who speaks perversity,

13from those who leave the straight paths

to walk in the ways of darkness,

14from those who enjoy doing evil

and rejoice in the twistedness of evil,

15whose paths are crooked

and whose ways are devious.

16It will rescue you from the forbidden woman,a

from the strangerb with seductive words

17who abandons the partner of her youth

and forgets the covenant of her God.

18For her house sinks down to death,

and her tracks to the departed spirits.c

19None who go to her return

or negotiate the paths of life.

20So you will follow in the ways of the good,

and keep to the paths of the righteous.

21For the upright will inhabit the land,

and the blameless will remain in it;

22but the wicked will be cut off from the land,

and the unfaithful will be uprooted.


16 a Or wayward wife
16 b Or adulteress
18 c Hebrew to the Rephaim

Proverbs 3
Proverbs 3

Trust in the LORD with All Your Heart

1My son, do not forget my teaching,

but let your heart keep my commandments;

2for they will add length to your days,

years and peace to your life.

3Never let loving devotiona or faithfulness leave you;

bind them around your neck,

write them on the tablet of your heart.

4Then you will find favor and high regard

in the sight of God and man.

5Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

and lean not on your own understanding;

6in all your ways acknowledge Him,

and He will make your paths straight.

7Be not wise in your own eyes;

fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

8This will bring healing to your bodyb

and refreshmentc to your bones.

9Honor the LORD with your wealth

and with the firstfruits of all your harvest;

10then your barns will be filled with plenty,

and your vats will overflow with new wine.

11My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD,

and do not loathe His rebuke;d

12for the LORD disciplines the one He loves,

as does a father the son in whom he delights.e

The Blessings of Wisdom

13Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,

the man who acquires understanding,

14for she is more profitable than silver,

and her gain is better than fine gold.

15She is more precious than rubies;

nothing you desire compares with her.

16Long life is in her right hand;

in her left hand are riches and honor.

17All her ways are pleasant,

and all her paths are peaceful.

18She is a tree of life to those who embrace her,

and those who lay hold of her are blessed.

19The LORD founded the earth by wisdom

and established the heavens by understanding.

20By His knowledge the watery depths were broken open,

and the clouds dripped with dew.

21My son, do not lose sight of this:

Preserve sound judgment and discernment.

22They will be life to your soul

and adornment to your neck.

23Then you will go on your way in safety,

and your foot will not stumble.

24When you lie down, you will not be afraid;

when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.

25Do not fear sudden danger

or the ruin that overtakes the wicked,

26for the LORD will be your confidence

and will keep your foot from the snare.

27Do not withhold good from the deservingf

when it is within your power to act.

28Do not tell your neighbor,

“Come back tomorrow and I will provide”—

when you already have the means.

29Do not devise evil against your neighbor,

for he trustfully dwells beside you.

30Do not accuse a man without cause,

when he has done you no harm.

31Do not envy a violent man

or choose any of his ways;

32for the LORD detests the perverse,

but He is a friend to the upright.

33The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,

but He blesses the home of the righteous.

34He mocks the mockers,

but gives grace to the humble.g

35The wise will inherit honor,

but fools are held up to shame.


3 a Forms of the Hebrew chesed are translated here and in most cases throughout the Scriptures as loving devotion; the range of meaning includes love, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and mercy, as well as loyalty to a covenant.
8 b Hebrew navel
8 c Or medicine
11 d LXX and do not lose heart when He rebukes; cited in Hebrews 12:5
12 e LXX and He flogs every son He receives; cited in Hebrews 12:6
27 f Or from its owners
34 g LXX The Lord opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble; cited in James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5

Proverbs 4
Proverbs 4

A Father’s Instruction

1Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;

pay attention and gain understanding.

2For I give you sound teaching;

do not abandon my directive.

3When I was a son to my father,

tender and the only child of my mother,

4he taught me and said,

“Let your heart lay hold of my words;

keep my commands and you will live.

5Get wisdom, get understanding;

do not forget my words or turn from them.

6Do not forsake wisdom, and she will preserve you;

love her, and she will guard you.

7Wisdom is supreme; so acquire wisdom.

And whatever you may acquire,a gain understanding.

8Prize her, and she will exalt you;

if you embrace her, she will honor you.

9She will set a garland of grace on your head;

she will present you with a crown of beauty.”

10Listen, my son, and receive my words,

and the years of your life will be many.

11I will guide you in the way of wisdom;

I will lead you on straight paths.

12When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;

when you run, you will not stumble.

13Hold on to instruction; do not let go.

Guard it, for it is your life.

14Do not set foot on the path of the wicked

or walk in the way of evildoers.

15Avoid it; do not travel on it.

Turn from it and pass on by.

16For they cannot sleep

unless they do evil;

they are deprived of slumber

until they make someone fall.

17For they eat the bread of wickedness

and drink the wine of violence.

18The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,

shining brighter and brighter until midday.

19But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom;

they do not know what makes them stumble.

20My son, pay attention to my words;

incline your ear to my sayings.

21Do not lose sight of them;

keep them within your heart.

22For they are life to those who find them,

and health to the whole body.

23Guard your heart with all diligence,

for from it flow springs of life.

24Put away deception from your mouth;

keep your lips from perverse speech.

25Let your eyes look forward;

fix your gaze straight ahead.

26Make a level path for your feet,b

and all your ways will be sure.

27Do not swerve to the right or to the left;

turn your feet away from evil.


7 a Or And whatever else you acquire
26 b Or Ponder the path for your feet; LXX Make straight paths for your feet; cited in Hebrews 12:13

Proverbs 5
Proverbs 5

Avoiding Immorality
(Leviticus 20:10–21; 1 Corinthians 5:1–8)

1My son, pay attention to my wisdom;

incline your ear to my insight,

2that you may maintain discretion

and your lips may preserve knowledge.

3Though the lips of the forbidden womana drip honey

and her speechb is smoother than oil,

4in the end she is bitter as wormwood,

sharp as a double-edged sword.

5Her feet go down to death;

her steps lead straight to Sheol.c

6She does not consider the path of life;

she does not know that her ways are unstable.

7So now, my sons, listen to me,

and do not turn aside from the words of my mouth.

8Keep your path far from her;

do not go near the door of her house,

9lest you concede your vigor to others,

and your years to one who is cruel;

10lest strangers feast on your wealth,

and your labors enrich the house of a foreigner.

11At the end of your life you will groan

when your flesh and your body are spent,

12and you will say, “How I hated discipline,

and my heart despised reproof!

13I did not listen to the voice of my teachers

or incline my ear to my mentors.

14I am on the brink of utter ruin

in the midst of the whole assembly.”

15Drink water from your own cistern,

and running water from your own well.

16Why should your springs flow in the streets,

your streams of water in the public squares?

17Let them be yours alone,

never to be shared with strangers.

18May your fountain be blessed,

and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth:

19A loving doe, a graceful fawn—

may her breasts satisfy you always;

may you be captivatedd by her love forever.

20Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress,

or embrace the bosom of a stranger?e

21For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD,

and the LORD examinesf all his paths.

22The iniquities of a wicked man entrap him;

the cords of his sin entangle him.

23He dies for lack of discipline,

led astray by his own great folly.


3 a Or the adulteress
3 b Or her palate
5 c Or lay hold of Sheol
19 d Or be led astray; also in verse 20
20 e Or a foreign woman or another man’s wife
21 f Or ponders or makes level

Proverbs 6
Proverbs 6

Warnings against Foolishness

1My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,

if you have struck hands in pledge with a stranger,

2if you have been trapped by the words of your lips,

ensnared by the words of your mouth,

3then do this, my son, to free yourself,

for you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:

Go, humble yourself,a

and press your plea with your neighbor.

4Allow no sleep to your eyes

or slumber to your eyelids.

5Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,b

like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

6Walk in the manner of the ant, O slacker;

observe its ways and become wise.

7Without a commander,

without an overseer or ruler,

8it prepares its provisions in summer;

it gathers its food at harvest.

9How long will you lie there, O slacker?

When will you get up from your sleep?

10A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

11and poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and need like a bandit.

12A worthless person, a wicked man,

walks with a perverse mouth,

13winking his eyes, speaking with his feet,

and pointing with his fingers.

14With deceit in his heart he devises evil;

he continually sows discord.

15Therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;

in an instant he will be shattered beyond recovery.

16There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to Him:

17haughty eyes,

a lying tongue,

hands that shed innocent blood,

18a heart that devises wicked schemes,

feet that run swiftly to evil,

19a false witness who gives false testimony,

and one who stirs up discord among brothers.

Warnings against Adultery

20My son, keep your father’s commandment,

and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

21Bind them always upon your heart;

tie them around your neck.

22When you walk, they will guide you;

when you lie down, they will watch over you;

when you awake, they will speak to you.

23For this commandment is a lamp, this teaching is a light,

and the reproofs of discipline are the way to life,

24to keep you from the evil woman,

from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.c

25Do not lust in your heart for her beauty

or let her captivate you with her eyes.d

26For the levy of the prostitute is poverty,e

and the adulteress preys upon your very life.

27Can a man embrace fire

and his clothes not be burned?

28Can a man walk on hot coals

without scorching his feet?

29So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;

no one who touches her will go unpunished.

30Men do not despise the thief

if he steals to satisfy his hunger.

31Yet if caught, he must pay sevenfold;

he must give up all the wealth of his house.

32He who commits adultery lacks judgment;

whoever does so destroys himself.

33Wounds and dishonor will befall him,

and his reproach will never be wiped away.

34For jealousy enrages a husband,

and he will show no mercy in the day of vengeance.

35He will not be appeased by any ransom,

or persuaded by lavish gifts.


3 a Or hasten
5 b Hebrew does not include of the hunter.
24 c Or the stranger
25 d Or eyelids or eyelashes
26 e Literally a crust of bread

Proverbs 7
Proverbs 7

Warnings about the Adulteress

1My son, keep my words

and treasure my commandments within you.

2Keep my commandments and live;

guard my teachings as the applea of your eye.

3Tie them to your fingers;

write them on the tablet of your heart.

4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”

and call understanding your kinsman,

5that they may keep you from the adulteress,

from the stranger with seductive words.

6For at the window of my house

I looked through the lattice.

7I saw among the simple,

I noticed among the youths,

a young man lacking judgment,

8crossing the street near her corner,

strolling down the road to her house,

9at twilight, as the day was fading

into the dark of the night.

10Then a woman came out to meet him,

with the attire of a harlot and cunning of heart.

11She is loud and defiant;

her feet do not remain at home.

12Now in the street, now in the squares,

she lurks at every corner.

13She seizes him and kisses him;

she brazenly says to him:

14“I have made my peace offerings;

today I have paid my vows.

15So I came out to meet you;

I sought you, and I have found you.

16I have decked my bed with coverings,

with colored linen from Egypt.

17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,

with aloes, and with cinnamon.

18Come, let us take our fill of love till morning.

Let us delight in loving caresses!

19For my husband is not at home;

he has gone on a long journey.

20He took with him a bag of money

and will not return till the moon is full.”

21With her great persuasion she entices him;

with her flattering lips she lures him.

22He follows her on impulse,

like an ox going to the slaughter,

like a deer bounding into a trap,b

23until an arrow pierces his liver,

like a bird darting into a snare—

not knowing it will cost him his life.

24Now, my sons, listen to me,

and attend to the words of my mouth.

25Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways;

do not stray into her paths.

26For she has brought many down to death;

her slain are many in number.

27Her house is the road to Sheol,

descending to the chambers of death.


2 a Literally the pupil
22 b Probable reading (see LXX, Vulgate, Syriac); Hebrew like fetters to discipline a fool

Proverbs 8
Proverbs 8

The Excellence of Wisdom

1Does not wisdom call out,

and understanding raise her voice?

2On the heights overlooking the road,

at the crossroads she takes her stand.

3Beside the gates to the city,

at the entrances she cries out:

4“To you, O men, I call out,

and my cry is to the sons of men.

5O simple ones, learn to be shrewd;

O fools, gain understanding.a

6Listen, for I speak of noble things,

and the opening of my lips will reveal right.

7For my mouth will speak the truth,

and wickedness is detestable to my lips.

8All the words of my mouth are righteous;

none are crooked or perverse.

9They are all plain to the discerning,

and upright to those who find knowledge.

10Receive my instruction instead of silver,

and knowledge rather than pure gold.

11For wisdom is more precious than rubies,

and nothing you desire compares with her.

12I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence,

and I find knowledge and discretion.

13To fear the LORD is to hate evil;

I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.

14Counsel and sound judgment are mine;

I have insight and strength.

15By me kings reign,

and rulers enact just laws;

16By me princes rule,

and all nobles who govern justly.b

17I love those who love me,

and those who seek me early shall find me.

18With me are riches and honor,

enduring wealth and righteousness.

19My fruit is better than gold, pure gold,

and my harvest surpasses choice silver.

20I walk in the way of righteousness,

along the paths of justice,

21bestowing wealth on those who love me

and making their treasuries full.

22The LORD created me as His first course,c

before His works of old.

23From everlasting I was established,

from the beginning, before the earth began.

24When there were no watery depths, I was brought forth,

when no springs were overflowing with water.

25Before the mountains were settled,

before the hills, I was brought forth,

26before He made the land or fields,

or any of the dust of the earth.

27I was there when He established the heavens,

when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,

28when He established the clouds above,

when the fountains of the deep gushed forth,

29when He set a boundary for the sea,

so that the waters would not surpass His command,

when He marked out the foundations of the earth.

30Then I was a skilled craftsman at His side,

and His delightd day by day,

rejoicing always in His presence.

31I was rejoicing in His whole world,

delighting together in the sons of men.

32Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,

for blessed are those who keep my ways.

33Listen to instruction and be wise;

do not ignore it.

34Blessed is the man who listens to me,

watching daily at my doors,

waiting at the posts of my doorway.

35For whoever finds me finds life

and obtains the favor of the LORD.

36But he who fails to find me harms himself;

all who hate me love death.”


5 a Or instruct your minds
16 b Some Hebrew manuscripts and LXX who govern the earth
22 c Or The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way
30 d Or filled with His delight

Proverbs 9
Proverbs 9

The Way of Wisdom
(Proverbs 1:1–7)

1Wisdom has built her house;

she has carved outa her seven pillars.

2She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;

she has also set her table.

3She has sent out her maidservants;

she calls out from the heights of the city.

4“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”

she says to him who lacks judgment.

5“Come, eat my bread

and drink the wine I have mixed.

6Leave your folly behind, and you will live;

walk in the way of understanding.”

7He who corrects a mocker brings shame on himself;

he who rebukes a wicked man taints himself.

8Do not rebuke a mocker, or he will hate you;

rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

9Instruct a wise man, and he will be wiser still;

teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning.

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,

and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

11For through wisdomb your days will be multiplied,

and years will be added to your life.

12If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage;

but if you scoff, you alone will bear the consequences.

The Way of Folly

13The woman named Folly is loud;

she is naive and knows nothing.

14She sits at the door of her house,

on a seat in the heights of the city,

15calling out to those who pass by,

who make their paths straight.

16“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”

she says to him who lacks judgment.

17“Stolen water is sweet,

and bread eaten in secret is tasty!”

18But they do not know that the deadc are there,

that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.


1 a Hebrew; LXX, Syriac, and Aramaic Targum has set up
11 b LXX, Syriac, and Aramaic Targum; Hebrew through me
18 c Hebrew the Rephaim

Proverbs 10
Proverbs 10

Solomon’s Proverbs: The Wise Son

1The proverbs of Solomon:

A wise son brings joy to his father,

but a foolish son grief to his mother.

2Ill-gotten treasures profit nothing,

but righteousness brings deliverance from death.

3The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,

but He denies the craving of the wicked.

4Idle hands make one poor,

but diligent hands bring wealth.

5He who gathers in summer is a wise son,

but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

6Blessings are on the head of the righteous,

but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.a

7The memory of the righteous is a blessing,

but the name of the wicked will rot.

8A wise heart will receive commandments,

but foolish lips will come to ruin.

9He who walks in integrity walks securely,

but he who perverts his ways will be found out.

10He who winks the eye causes grief,

and foolish lips will come to ruin.b

11The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,

but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

12Hatred stirs up dissension,

but love covers all transgressions.c

13Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,

but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment.

14The wise store up knowledge,

but the mouth of the fool invites destruction.

15The wealth of the rich man is his fortified city,

but poverty is the ruin of the poor.

16The labor of the righteous leads to life,

but the gain of the wicked brings punishment.

17Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,

but he who ignores reproof goes astray.

18The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,

and whoever spreads slander is a fool.

19When words are many, sin is unavoidable,

but he who restrains his lips is wise.

20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,

but the heart of the wicked has little worth.

21The lips of the righteous feed many,

but fools die for lack of judgment.

22The blessing of the LORD enriches,

and He adds no sorrow to it.

23The fool delights in shameful conduct,

but a man of understanding has wisdom.

24What the wicked man dreads will overtake him,

but the desire of the righteous will be granted.

25When the whirlwind passes, the wicked are no more,

but the righteous are secure forever.

26Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,

so is the slacker to those who send him.

27The fear of the LORD prolongs life,

but the years of the wicked will be cut short.

28The hope of the righteous is joy,

but the expectations of the wicked will perish.

29The way of the LORD is a refuge to the upright,

but destruction awaits those who do evil.

30The righteous will never be shaken,

but the wicked will not inhabit the land.

31The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,

but a perverse tongue will be cut out.

32The lips of the righteous know what is fitting,

but the mouth of the wicked is perverse.


6 a Or but violence covers the mouth of the wicked; also in verse 11
10 b Or babbling fools will fall
12 c See 1 Peter 4:8

Proverbs 11
Proverbs 11

Dishonest Scales
(Deuteronomy 25:13–16; Ezekiel 45:10–12)

1Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD,

but an accurate weight is His delight.

2When pride comes, disgrace follows,

but with humility comes wisdom.

3The integrity of the upright guides them,

but the perversity of the faithless destroys them.

4Riches are worthless in the day of wrath,

but righteousness brings deliverance from death.

5The righteousness of the blameless directs their path,

but the wicked fall by their own wickedness.

6The righteousness of the upright delivers them,

but the faithless are trapped by their own desires.

7When the wicked man dies, his hope perishes,

and the hope of his strength vanishes.

8The righteous man is delivered from trouble;

in his place the wicked man goes in.

9With his mouth the ungodly man destroys his neighbor,

but through knowledge the righteous are rescued.

10When the righteous thrive, the city rejoices,

and when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

11By the blessing of the upright a city is built up,

but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.

12Whoever shows contempt for his neighbor lacks judgment,

but a man of understanding remains silent.

13A gossip reveals a secret,

but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.

14For lack of guidance, a nation falls,

but with many counselors comes deliverance.

15He who puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,

but the one who hates indebtedness is secure.

16A gracious woman attains honor,

but ruthless men gain only wealth.

17A kind man benefits himself,

but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.

18The wicked man earns an empty wage,

but he who sows righteousness reaps a true reward.

19Genuine righteousness leads to life,

but the pursuit of evil brings death.

20The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD,

but the blameless in their walk are His delight.

21Be assured that the wicked will not go unpunished,

but the offspring of the righteous will escape.

22Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout

is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.

23The desire of the righteous leads only to good,

but the hope of the wicked brings wrath.

24One gives freely, yet gains even more;

another withholds what is right, only to become poor.

25A generous soul will prosper,

and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

26The people will curse the hoarder of grain,

but blessing will crown the one who sells it.

27He who searches out good finds favor,

but evil will come to him who seeks it.

28He who trusts in his riches will fall,

but the righteous will thrive like foliage.

29He who brings trouble on his house will inherit the wind,

and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,

and he who wins souls is wise.

31If the righteous receive their due on earth,

how much more the ungodly and the sinner!a


31 a LXX If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? Cited in 1 Peter 4:18

Proverbs 12
Proverbs 12

Loving Discipline and Knowledge

1Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,

but he who hates correction is stupid.

2The good man obtains favor from the LORD,

but the LORD condemns a man who devises evil.

3A man cannot be established through wickedness,

but the righteous cannot be uprooted.

4A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,

but she who causes shame is like decay in his bones.

5The plans of the righteous are just,

but the counsel of the wicked leads to deceit.

6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,

but the speech of the upright rescues them.

7The wicked are overthrown and perish,

but the house of the righteous will stand.

8A man is praised according to his wisdom,

but a twisted mind is despised.

9Better to be lightly esteemed yet have a servant,

than to be self-important but lack food.

10A righteous man regards the life of his animal,

but the tender mercies of the wicked are only cruelty.

11The one who works his land will have plenty of food,

but whoever chases fantasies lacks judgment.

12The wicked desire the plunder of evil men,

but the root of the righteous flourishes.

13An evil man is trapped by his rebellious speech,

but a righteous man escapes from trouble.

14By fruitful speech a man is filled with good things,

and the work of his hands returns to him.

15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,

but a wise man listens to counsel.

16A fool’s anger is known at once,

but a prudent man overlooks an insult.

17He who speaks the truth declares what is right,

but a false witness speaks deceit.

18Speaking rashly is like a piercing sword,

but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

19Truthful lips endure forever,

but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

20Deceit is in the hearts of those who devise evil,

but the counselors of peace have joy.

21No harm befalls the righteous,

but the wicked are filled with trouble.

22Lying lips are detestable to the LORD,

but those who deal faithfully are His delight.

23A shrewd man keeps his knowledge to himself,

but a foolish heart proclaims its folly.

24The hand of the diligent will rule,

but laziness ends in forced labor.

25Anxiety weighs down the heart of a man,

but a good word cheers it up.

26A righteous man is cautious in friendship,

but the ways of the wicked lead them astray.

27A lazy man does not roast his game,

but a diligent man prizes his possession.

28There is life in the path of righteousness,

but another path leads to death.

Proverbs 13
Proverbs 13

A Father’s Discipline

1A wise son heeds his father’s discipline,

but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.

2From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things,

but the desire of the faithless is violence.

3He who guards his mouth protects his life,

but the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.

4The slacker craves yet has nothing,

but the soul of the diligent is fully satisfied.

5The righteous hate falsehood,

but the wicked bring shame and disgrace.

6Righteousness guards the man of integrity,

but wickedness undermines the sinner.

7One pretends to be rich, but has nothing;

another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

8Riches may ransom a man’s life,

but a poor man hears no threat.

9The light of the righteous shines brightly,

but the lamp of the wicked is extinguished.

10Arrogance leads only to strife,

but wisdom is with the well-advised.

11Dishonest wealth will dwindle,

but what is earned through hard work will be multiplied.

12Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

13He who despises instruction will pay the penalty,

but the one who respects a command will be rewarded.

14The teachinga of the wise is a fountain of life,

turning one from the snares of death.

15Good understanding wins favor,

but the way of the faithless is difficult.

16Every prudent man acts with knowledge,

but a fool displays his folly.

17A wicked messenger falls into trouble,

but a faithful envoy brings healing.

18Poverty and shame come to him who ignores discipline,

but whoever heeds correction is honored.

19Desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,

but turning from evil is detestable to fools.

20He who walks with the wise will become wise,

but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

21Disaster pursues sinners,

but prosperity is the reward of the righteous.

22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,

but the sinner’s wealth is passed to the righteous.

23Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor,

but without justice it is swept away.

24He who spares the rod hates his son,

but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

25A righteous man eats to his heart’s content,

but the stomach of the wicked is empty.

14 a Or law

Proverbs 14
Proverbs 14

The Wise Woman

1Every wise woman builds her house,

but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

2He who walks in uprightness fears the LORD,

but the one who is devious in his ways despises Him.

3The proud speech of a fool brings a rod to his back,

but the lips of the wise protect them.

4Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,

but an abundant harvest comes through the strength of the ox.

5An honest witness does not deceive,

but a dishonest witness pours forth lies.

6A mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,

but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.

7Stay away from a foolish man;

you will gain no knowledge from his speech.

8The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,

but the folly of fools deceives them.

9Fools mock the making of amends,

but goodwill is found among the upright.

10The heart knows its own bitterness,

and no stranger shares in its joy.

11The house of the wicked will be destroyed,

but the tent of the upright will flourish.

12There is a way that seems right to a man,

but its end is the way of death.

13Even in laughter the heart may ache,

and joy may end in sorrow.

14The backslider in heart receives the fill of his own ways,

but a good man is rewarded for his ways.

15The simple man believes every word,

but the prudent man watches his steps.

16A wise man fearsa and turns from evil,

but a fool is careless and reckless.

17A quick-tempered man acts foolishly,

and a devious man is hated.

18The simple inherit folly,

but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19The evil bow before the good,

and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20The poor man is hated even by his neighbor,

but many are those who love the rich.

21He who despises his neighbor sins,

but blessed is he who shows kindness to the poor.

22Do not those who contrive evil go astray?

But those who plan goodness findb loving devotion and faithfulness.

23There is profit in all labor,

but mere talk leads only to poverty.

24The crown of the wise is their wealth,

but the effort of fools is folly.

25A truthful witness saves lives,

but one who utters lies is deceitful.

26He who fears the LORD is secure in confidence,

and his children shall have a place of refuge.

27The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,

turning a man from the snares of death.

28A large population is a king’s splendor,

but a lack of subjects is a prince’s ruin.

29A patient man has great understanding,

but a quick-tempered man promotes folly.

30A tranquil heart is life to the body,

but envy rots the bones.

31Whoever oppresses the poor taunts their Maker,

but whoever is kind to the needy honors Him.

32The wicked man is thrown down by his own sin,

but the righteous man has a refuge even in death.

33Wisdom rests in the heart of the discerning;

even among fools she is known.c

34Righteousness exalts a nation,

but sin is a disgrace to any people.

35A king delights in a wise servant,

but his anger falls on the shameful.


16 a Or fears the LORD
22 b Or show
33 c Hebrew; LXX and Syriac but among fools she is not known

Proverbs 15
Proverbs 15

A Gentle Answer Turns Away Wrath

1A gentle answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.

2The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,

but the mouth of the fool spouts folly.

3The eyes of the LORD are in every place,

observing the evil and the good.

4A soothing tongue is a tree of life,

but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

5A fool rejects his father’s discipline,

but whoever heeds correction is prudent.

6The house of the righteous has great treasure,

but the income of the wicked is trouble.

7The lips of the wise spread knowledge,

but not so the hearts of fools.

8The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable to the LORD,

but the prayer of the upright is His delight.

9The LORD detests the way of the wicked,

but He loves those who pursue righteousness.

10Discipline is harsh for him who leaves the path;

he who hates correction will die.

11Sheol and Abaddona lie open before the LORD—

how much more the hearts of men!

12A mocker does not love to be reproved,

nor will he consult the wise.

13A joyful heart makes a cheerful countenance,

but sorrow of the heart crushes the spirit.

14A discerning heart seeks knowledge,

but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

15All the days of the oppressed are bad,

but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

16Better a little with the fear of the LORD

than great treasure with turmoil.

17Better a dish of vegetables where there is love

than a fattened ox with hatred.

18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,

but he who is slow to anger calms dispute.

19The way of the slacker is like a hedge of thorns,

but the path of the upright is a highway.

20A wise son brings joy to his father,

but a foolish man despises his mother.

21Folly is joy to one who lacks judgment,

but a man of understanding walks a straight path.

22Plans fail for lack of counsel,

but with many advisers they succeed.

23A man takes joy in a fitting reply—

and how good is a timely word!

24The path of life leads upward for the wise,

that he may avoid going down to Sheol.

25The LORD tears down the house of the proud,

but He protects the boundaries of the widow.

26The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked,

but the words of the pure are pleasant to Him.

27He who is greedy for unjust gain brings trouble on his household,

but he who hates bribes will live.

28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,

but the mouth of the wicked blurts out evil.

29The LORD is far from the wicked,

but He hears the prayer of the righteous.

30The light of the eyes cheers the heart,

and good news nourishes the bones.

31He who listens to life-giving reproof

will dwell among the wise.

32He who ignores discipline despises himself,

but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.

33The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom,

and humility comes before honor.


11 a Or Death and Destruction

Proverbs 16
Proverbs 16

The Reply of the Tongue Is from the LORD

1The plans of the heart belong to man,

but the reply of the tongue is from the LORD.

2All a man’s ways are pure in his own eyes,

but his motives are weighed out by the LORD.

3Commit your works to the LORD

and your plans will be achieved.

4The LORD has made everything for His purpose—

even the wicked for the day of disaster.

5Everyone who is proud in heart is detestable to the LORD;

be assured that he will not go unpunished.

6By loving devotion and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,

and by the fear of the LORD one turns aside from evil.

7When a man’s ways please the LORD,

He makes even the man’s enemies live at peace with him.

8Better a little with righteousness

than great gain with injustice.

9A man’s heart plans his course,

but the LORD determines his steps.

10A divine verdict is on the lips of a king;

his mouth must not betray justice.

11Honest scales and balances are from the LORD;

all the weights in the bag are His concern.

12Wicked behavior is detestable to kings,

for a throne is established through righteousness.

13Righteous lips are a king’s delight,

and he who speaks honestly is beloved.

14The wrath of a king is a messenger of death,

but a wise man will pacify it.

15When a king’s face brightens, there is life;

his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.

16How much better to acquire wisdom than gold!

To gain understanding is more desirable than silver.

17The highway of the upright leads away from evil;

he who guards his way protects his life.

18Pride goes before destruction,

and a haughty spirit before a fall.

19It is better to be lowly in spirit among the humble

than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20Whoever heeds instruction will find success,a

and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

21The wise in heart are called discerning,

and pleasant speech promotes instruction.

22Understanding is a fountain of life to its possessor,

but the discipline of fools is folly.

23The heart of the wise man instructs his mouth

and adds persuasiveness to his lips.

24Pleasant words are a honeycomb,

sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

25There is a way that seems right to a man,

but its end is the way of death.

26A worker’s appetite works for him

because his hunger drives him onward.

27A worthless man digs up evil,

and his speechb is like a scorching fire.

28A perverse man spreads dissension,

and a gossip divides close friends.

29A violent man entices his neighbor

and leads him down a path that is not good.

30He who winks his eye devises perversity;

he who purses his lips is bent on evil.

31Gray hair is a crown of glory;

it is attained along the path of righteousness.

32He who is slow to anger is better than a warrior,

and he who controls his temper is greater than one who captures a city.

33The lot is cast into the lap,

but its every decision is from the LORD.


20 a Or Whoever speaks prudently will find what is good
27 b Or and what is on his lips

Proverbs 17
Proverbs 17

Better a Dry Morsel in Quietness

1Better a dry morsel in quietness

than a house full of feastinga with strife.

2A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son

and share his inheritance as one of the brothers.

3A crucible for silver and a furnace for gold,

but the LORD is the tester of hearts.

4A wicked man listens to evil lips;

a liar gives ear to a destructive tongue.

5He who mocks the poor insults their Maker;

whoever gloats over calamity will not go unpunished.

6Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,

and the glory of a son is his father.

7Eloquent words are unfit for a fool;

how much worse are lying lips to a ruler!

8A bribe is a charm to its giver;

wherever he turns, he succeeds.

9Whoever conceals an offense promotes love,

but he who brings it up separates friends.

10A rebuke cuts into a man of discernment

deeper than a hundred lashes cut into a fool.

11An evil man seeks only rebellion;

a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

12It is better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs

than a fool in his folly.

13If anyone returns evil for good,

evil will never leave his house.

14To start a quarrel is to release a flood;

so abandon the dispute before it breaks out.

15Acquitting the guilty and condemning the righteous—

both are detestable to the LORD.

16Why should the fool have money in his hand

with no intention of buying wisdom?

17A friend loves at all times,

and a brother is born for adversity.

18A man lacking judgment strikes hands in pledge

and puts up security for his neighbor.

19He who loves transgression loves strife;

he who builds his gate high invites destruction.

20The one with a perverse heart finds no good,

and he whose tongue is deceitful falls into trouble.

21A man fathers a fool to his own grief;

the father of a fool has no joy.

22A joyful heart is good medicine,

but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

23A wicked man takes a covert bribeb

to subvert the course of justice.

24Wisdom is the focus of the discerning,

but the eyes of a fool wander to the ends of the earth.

25A foolish son brings grief to his father

and bitterness to her who bore him.

26It is surely not good to punish the innocent

or to flog a noble for his honesty.

27A man of knowledge restrains his words,

and a man of understanding maintains a calm spirit.

28Even a fool is considered wise if he keeps silent,

and discerning when he holds his tongue.


1 a Or sacrifices
23 b Hebrew a bribe from the bosom

Proverbs 18
Proverbs 18

The Selfishness of the Unfriendly

1He who isolates himself pursues selfish desires;

he rebels against all sound judgment.

2A fool does not delight in understanding,

but only in airing his opinions.

3With a wicked man comes contempt as well,

and shame is accompanied by disgrace.

4The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;

the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

5Showing partialitya to the wicked is not good,

nor is depriving the innocent of justice.

6A fool’s lips bring him strife,

and his mouth invites a beating.

7A fool’s mouth is his ruin,

and his lips are a snare to his soul.

8The words of a gossip are like choice morsels

that go down into the inmost being.

9Whoever is slothful in his work

is brother to him who destroys.

10The name of the LORD is a strong tower;

the righteous run to itb and are safe.

11A rich man’s wealth is his fortified city;

it is like a high wall in his imagination.

12Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud,

but humility comes before honor.

13He who answers a matter before he hears it—

this is folly and disgrace to him.

14The spirit of a man can endure his sickness,

but who can survive a broken spirit?

15The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,

and the ear of the wise seeks it out.

16A man’s gift opens doors for him,

and brings him before great men.

17The first to state his case seems right

until another comes and cross-examines him.

18Casting the lot ends quarrels

and separates strong opponents.

19An offended brother is harder to win than a fortified city,

and disputes are like the bars of a castle.

20From the fruit of his mouth a man’s belly is filled;

with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.

21Life and death are in the power of the tongue,

and those who love it will eat its fruit.

22He who finds a wife finds a good thing

and obtains favor from the LORD.

23The poor man pleads for mercy,

but the rich man answers harshly.

24A man of many companions may come to ruin,

but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.


5 a Hebrew Lifting the face
10 b Or to Him

Proverbs 19
Proverbs 19

The Man of Integrity

1Better a poor man who walks with integrity

than a fool whose lips are perverse.

2Even zeal is no good without knowledge,

and he who hurries his footsteps misses the mark.

3A man’s own folly subverts his way,

yet his heart rages against the LORD.

4Wealth attracts many friends,

but a poor man is deserted by his friend.

5A false witness will not go unpunished,

and one who utters lies will not escape.

6Many seek the favor of the prince,

and everyone is a friend of the gift giver.

7All the brothers of a poor man hate him—

how much more do his friends avoid him!

He may pursue them with pleading,

but they are nowhere to be found.

8He who acquires wisdom loves himself;

one who safeguards understanding will find success.

9A false witness will not go unpunished,

and one who pours out lies will perish.

10Luxury is unseemly for a fool—

how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!

11A man’s insight gives him patience,

and his virtue is to overlook an offense.

12A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion,

but his favor is like dew on the grass.

13A foolish son is his father’s ruin,

and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.

14Houses and wealth are inherited from fathers,

but a prudent wife is from the LORD.

15Laziness brings on deep sleep,

and an idle soul will suffer hunger.

16He who keeps a commandment preserves his soul,

but he who is careless in his ways will die.

17Kindness to the poor is a loan to the LORD,

and He will repay the lender.

18Discipline your son, for in that there is hope;

do not be party to his death.

19A man of great anger must pay the penalty;

if you rescue him, you will have to do so again.

20Listen to counsel and accept discipline,

that you may be wise the rest of your days.

21Many plans are in a man’s heart,

but the purpose of the LORD will prevail.

22The desire of a man is loving devotion;

better to be poor than a liar.

23The fear of the LORD leads to life,

that one may rest content, without visitation from harm.

24The slacker buries his hand in the dish;

he will not even bring it back to his mouth.

25Strike a mocker, and the simple will beware;

rebuke the discerning man, and he will gain knowledge.

26He who assaults his father or evicts his mother

is a son who brings shame and disgrace.

27If you cease to hear instruction, my son,

you will stray from the words of knowledge.

28A corrupt witness mocks justice,

and a wicked mouth swallows iniquity.

29Judgments are prepared for mockers,

and beatings for the backs of fools.

Proverbs 20
Proverbs 20

Wine Is a Mocker

1Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler,

and whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

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

whoever provokes him forfeits his own life.a

3It is honorable for a man to resolve a dispute,

but any fool will quarrel.

4The slacker does not plow in season;

at harvest time he looks, but nothing is there.

5The intentions of a man’s heart are deep waters,

but a man of understanding draws them out.

6Many a man proclaims his loving devotion,

but who can find a trustworthy man?

7The righteous man walks with integrity;

blessed are his children after him.

8A king who sits on a throne to judge

sifts out all evil with his eyes.

9Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;

I am cleansed from my sin”?

10Differing weights and unequal measuresb

both are detestable to the LORD.

11Even a young man is known by his actions—

whether his conduct is pure and upright.

12Ears that hear and eyes that see—

the LORD has made them both.

13Do not love sleep, or you will grow poor;

open your eyes, and you will have plenty of food.

14“Worthless, worthless!” says the buyer,

but on the way out, he gloats.

15There is an abundance of gold and rubies,

but lips of knowledge are a rare treasure.

16Take the garment of the one who posts security for a stranger;

get collateral if it is for a foreigner.c

17Food gained by fraud is sweet to a man,

but later his mouth is full of gravel.

18Set plans by consultation,

and wage war under sound guidance.

19He who reveals secrets is a constant gossip;

avoid the one who babblesd with his lips.

20Whoever curses his father or mother,

his lamp will be extinguished in deepest darkness.

21An inheritance gained quickly

will not be blessed in the end.

22Do not say, “I will avenge this evil!”

Wait on the LORD, and He will save you.

23Unequal weights are detestable to the LORD,

and dishonest scales are no good.

24A man’s steps are from the LORD,

so how can anyone understand his own way?

25It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly,

only later to reconsider his vows.

26A wise king separates out the wicked

and drives the threshing wheel over them.

27The spirite of a man is the lamp of the LORD,

searching out his inmost being.

28Loving devotion and faithfulness preserve a king;

by these he maintains his throne.

29The glory of young men is their strength,

and gray hair is the splendor of the old.

30Lashes and wounds scour evil,

and beatings cleanse the inmost parts.


2 a Literally sins against his own soul
10 b Hebrew A stone and a stone, an ephah and an ephah
16 c Or a wayward woman
19 d Or the one who is simple
27 e Or breath or speech

Proverbs 21
Proverbs 21

The King’s Heart
(Psalm 21:1–13)

1The king’s heart is a waterway in the hand of the LORD;

He directs it where He pleases.

2All a man’s ways seem right to him,

but the LORD weighs the heart.

3To do righteousness and justice

is more desirable to the LORD than sacrifice.

4Haughty eyes and a proud heart—

the guides of the wicked—are sin.

5The plans of the diligent bring plenty,

as surely as haste leads to poverty.

6Making a fortune by a lying tongue

is a vanishing mist, a deadly pursuit.

7The violence of the wicked will sweep them away

because they refuse to do what is just.

8The way of a guilty man is crooked,

but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

9Better to live on a corner of the roof

than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

10The soul of the wicked man craves evil;

his neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

11When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;

and when a wise man is instructed, he acquires knowledge.

12The Righteous Onea considers the house of the wicked

and brings the wicked to ruin.

13Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor,

he too shall cry out and receive no answer.

14A gift in secret soothes anger,

and a covert bribeb pacifies great wrath.

15Justice executed is a joy to the righteous,

but a terror to the workers of iniquity.

16The man who strays from the path of understanding

will rest in the assembly of the dead.

17He who loves pleasure will become poor;

the one who loves wine and oil will never be rich.

18The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,

and the faithless for the upright.

19Better to live in the desert

than with a contentious and ill-tempered wife.

20Precious treasures and oil are in the dwelling of the wise,

but a foolish man consumes them.

21He who pursues righteousness and loving devotion

finds life, righteousness, and honor.

22A wise man scales the city of the mighty

and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.

23He who guards his mouth and tongue

keeps his soul from distress.

24Mocker is the name of the proud and arrogant man—

of him who acts with excessive pride.

25The craving of the slacker kills him

because his hands refuse to work.

26All day long he covets more,

but the righteous give without restraint.

27The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—

how much more so when brought with ill intent!

28A lying witness will perish,

but the man who listens to truth will speak forever.

29A wicked man hardens his face,c

but the upright man makes his way sure.

30There is no wisdom, no understanding, no counsel

that can prevail against the LORD.

31A horse is prepared for the day of battle,

but victory is of the LORD.


12 a Or The righteous one
14 b Hebrew a bribe in the bosom
29 c Or puts up a bold front

Proverbs 22
Proverbs 22

A Good Name

1A good name is more desirable than great riches;

favor is better than silver and gold.

2The rich and the poor have this in common:

The LORD is Maker of them all.

3The prudent see danger and take cover,

but the simple keep going and suffer the consequences.

4The rewards of humility and the fear of the LORD

are wealth and honor and life.

5Thorns and snares lie on the path of the perverse;

he who guards his soul stays far from them.

6Train up a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not depart from it.

7The rich rule over the poor,

and the borrower is slave to the lender.

8He who sows injustice will reap disaster,

and the rod of his fury will be destroyed.a

9A generous manb will be blessed,

for he shares his bread with the poor.

10Drive out the mocker, and conflict will depart;

even quarreling and insults will cease.

11He who loves a pure heart and gracious lips

will have the king for a friend.

12The LORD’s eyes keep watch over knowledge,

but He frustrates the words of the faithless.

13The slacker says, “There is a lion outside!

I will be slain in the streets!”

14The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;

he who is under the wrath of the LORD will fall into it.

15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child,

but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

16Oppressing the poor to enrich oneself or giving gifts to the rich

will surely lead to poverty.

Thirty Sayings of the Wise

Saying 1

17Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise—

apply your mind to my knowledge—

18for it is pleasing when you keep them within you

and they are constantly on your lips.

19So that your trust may be in the LORD,

I instruct you today—yes, you.

20Have I not written for you thirty sayingsc

about counsel and knowledge,

21to show you true and reliable words,

that you may soundly answer those who sent you?

Saying 2

22Do not rob a poor man because he is poor,

and do not crush the afflicted at the gate,

23for the LORD will take up their case

and will plunder those who rob them.

Saying 3

24Do not make friends with an angry man,

and do not associate with a hot-tempered man,

25or you may learn his ways

and entangle yourself in a snare.

Saying 4

26Do not be one who gives pledges,

who puts up security for debts.

27If you have nothing with which to pay,

why should your bed be taken from under you?

Saying 5

28Do not move an ancient boundary stone

which your fathers have placed.

Saying 6

29Do you see a man skilled in his work?

He will be stationed in the presence of kings;

he will not stand before obscure men.

8 a LXX includes God blesses a cheerful and generous man, but foolish works will come to an end; see also 2 Corinthians 9:7.
9 b Literally He whose eye is good
20 c Or written for you excellent sayings or written for you three times

Proverbs 23
Proverbs 23

True Riches
(1 Timothy 6:17–19; James 5:1–6)

Saying 7

1When you sit down to dine with a ruler,

consider carefully what is set before you,a

2and put a knife to your throat

if you possess a great appetite.

3Do not crave his delicacies,

for that food is deceptive.

Saying 8

4Do not wear yourself out to get rich;

be wise enough to restrain yourself.

5When you glance at wealth, it disappears,

for it makes wings for itself

and flies like an eagle to the sky.

Saying 9

6Do not eat the bread of a stingy man,b

and do not crave his delicacies;

7for he is keeping track,

inwardly counting the cost.c

“Eat and drink,” he says to you,

but his heart is not with you.

8You will vomit up what little you have eaten

and waste your pleasant words.

Saying 10

9Do not speak to a fool,

for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

Saying 11

10Do not move an ancient boundary stone

or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,

11for their Redeemer is strong;

He will take up their case against you.

Saying 12

12Apply your heart to instruction

and your ears to words of knowledge.

Saying 13

13Do not withhold discipline from a child;

although you strike him with a rod, he will not die.

14Strike him with a rod,

and you will deliver his soul from Sheol.

Saying 14

15My son, if your heart is wise,

my own heart will indeed rejoice.

16My inmost beingd will rejoice

when your lips speak what is right.

Saying 15

17Do not let your heart envy sinners,

but always continue in the fear of the LORD.

18For surely there is a future,

and your hope will not be cut off.

Saying 16

19Listen, my son, and be wise,

and guide your heart on the right course.

20Do not join those who drink too much wine

or gorge themselves on meat.

21For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,

and drowsiness will clothe them in rags.

Saying 17

22Listen to your father who gave you life,

and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23Invest in truth and never sell it—

in wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24The father of a righteous man will greatly rejoice,

and he who fathers a wise son will delight in him.

25May your father and mother be glad,

and may she who gave you birth rejoice!

Saying 18

26My son, give me your heart,

and let your eyes delight in my ways.

27For a prostitute is a deep pit,

and an adulteresse is a narrow well.

28Like a robber she lies in wait

and multiplies the faithless among men.

Saying 19

29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?

Who has contentions? Who has complaints?

Who has needless wounds? Who has bloodshot eyes?

30Those who linger over wine,

who go to taste mixed drinks.

31Do not gaze at wine while it is red,

when it sparkles in the cup

and goes down smoothly.

32In the end it bites like a snake

and stings like a viper.

33Your eyes will see strange things,

and your mind will utter perversities.

34You will be like one sleeping on the high seas

or lying on the top of a mast:

35“They struck me, but I feel no pain!

They beat me, but I did not know it!

When can I wake up

to search for another drink?”


1 a Or who is before you
6 b Literally of him whose eye is evil
7 c Or for as he calculates in his soul, so is he
16 d Hebrew My kidneys
27 e Or a foreign woman or a wayward wife

Proverbs 24
Proverbs 24

Do Not Envy

Saying 20

1Do not envy wicked men

or desire their company;

2for their hearts devise violence,

and their lips declare trouble.

Saying 21

3By wisdom a house is built

and by understanding it is established;

4through knowledge its rooms are filled

with every precious and beautiful treasure.

Saying 22

5A wise man is strong,a

and a man of knowledge enhances his strength.

6Only with sound guidance should you wage war,

and victory lies in a multitude of counselors.

Saying 23

7Wisdom is too high for a fool;

he does not open his mouth in the meeting place.

Saying 24

8He who plots evil

will be called a schemer.

9A foolish scheme is sin,

and a mocker is detestable to men.

Saying 25

10If you faint in the day of distress,

how small is your strength!

11Rescue those being led away to death,

and restrain those stumbling toward the slaughter.

12If you say, “Behold, we did not know about this,”

does not He who weighs hearts consider it?

Does not the One who guards your life know?

Will He not repay a man according to his deeds?

Saying 26

13Eat honey, my son, for it is good,

and the honeycomb is sweet to your taste.

14Know therefore that wisdom is sweet to your soul.

If you find it, there is a future for you,

and your hope will never be cut off.

Saying 27

15Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, near the dwelling of the righteous;

do not destroy his resting place.

16For though a righteous man may fall seven times, he still gets up;

but the wicked stumble in bad times.

Saying 28

17Do not gloat when your enemy falls,

and do not let your heart rejoice when he stumbles,

18or the LORD will see and disapprove,

and turn His wrath away from him.

Saying 29

19Do not fret over evildoers,

and do not be envious of the wicked.

20For the evil man has no future;

the lamp of the wicked will be extinguished.

Saying 30

21My son, fear the LORD and the king,

and do not associate with the rebellious.

22For they will bring sudden destruction.

Who knows what ruin they can bring?

Further Sayings of the Wise

23These also are sayings of the wise:

To show partiality in judgment

is not good.

24Whoever tells the guilty, “You are innocent”—

peoples will curse him, and nations will denounce him;

25but it will go well with those who convict the guilty,

and rich blessing will come upon them.

26An honest answer given

is like a kiss on the lips.

27Complete your outdoor work and prepare your field;

after that, you may build your house.

28Do not testify against your neighbor without cause,

and do not deceive with your lips.

29Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;

I will repay the man according to his work.”

30I went past the field of a slacker

and by the vineyard of a man lacking judgment.

31Thorns had grown up everywhere,

thistles had covered the ground,

and the stone wall was broken down.

32I observed and took it to heart;

I looked and received instruction:

33A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

34and poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and need like a bandit.

5 a LXX The wise are mightier than the strong

Proverbs 25
Proverbs 25

More Proverbs of Solomon

1These are additional proverbs of Solomon, which were copied by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:

2It is the glory of God to conceal a matter

and the glory of kings to search it out.

3As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,

so the hearts of kings cannot be searched.

4Remove the dross from the silver,

and a vessel for a silversmith will come forth.

5Remove the wicked from the king’s presence,

and his throne will be established in righteousness.

6Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king,

and do not stand in the place of great men;

7for it is better that he says to you, “Come up here!”

than that you should be demoted in the presence of the prince.

Even whata you have seen with your own eyes,

8do not bring hastily to court.

Otherwise, what will you do in the end

when your neighbor puts you to shame?

9Argue your case with your neighbor

without betraying another’s confidence,

10lest the one who hears may disgrace you,

and your infamy never go away.

11A word fitly spoken

is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

12Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold

is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.

13Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest

is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him;

he refreshes the soul of his masters.

14Like clouds and wind without rain

is the man who boasts of gifts never given.

15Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,

and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

16If you find honey, eat just what you need,

lest you have too much and vomit it up.

17Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house,

lest he grow weary and hate you.

18Like a club or sword or sharp arrow

is a man who bears false witness against his neighbor.

19Like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint

is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.

20Like one who removes a garment on a cold day

or vinegar poured on a woundb

is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat,

and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

22For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head,c

and the LORD will reward you.

23As the north wind brings forth rain,

so a backbiting tongue brings angry looks.

24Better to live on a corner of the roof

than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

25Like cold water to a weary soul

is good news from a distant land.

26Like a muddied spring or a polluted well

is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.

27It is not good to eat too much honey

or to search out one’s own glory.

28Like a city whose walls are broken down

is a man who does not control his temper.


7 a Or Even the one
20 b Or on soda
22 c LXX; Hebrew For you will heap burning coals on his head; cited in Romans 12:20

Proverbs 26
Proverbs 26

Similitudes and Instructions

1Like snow in summer and rain at harvest,

honor does not befit a fool.

2Like a fluttering sparrow or darting swallow,

an undeserved curse does not come to rest.

3A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,

and a rod for the backs of fools!

4Do not answer a fool according to his folly,

or you yourself will be like him.

5Answer a fool according to his folly,

lest he become wise in his own eyes.

6Like cutting off one’s own feet or drinking violence

is the sending of a message by the hand of a fool.

7Like lame legs hanging limp

is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

8Like binding a stone into a sling

is the giving of honor to a fool.

9Like a thorn that falls into the hand of a drunkard

is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

10Like an archer who wounds at random

is he who hires a fool or passerby.

11As a dog returns to its vomit,a

so a fool repeats his folly.

12Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?

There is more hope for a fool than for him.

13The slacker says, “A lion is in the road!

A fierce lion roams the public square!”

14As a door turns on its hinges,

so the slacker turns on his bed.

15The slacker buries his hand in the dish;

it wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.

16The slacker is wiser in his own eyes

than seven men who answer discreetly.

17Like one who grabs a dog by the ears

is a passerby who meddles in a quarrel not his own.

18Like a madman shooting firebrands

and deadly arrows,

19so is the man who deceives his neighbor

and says, “I was only joking!”

20Without wood, a fire goes out;

without gossip, a conflict ceases.

21Like charcoal for embers and wood for fire,

so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.

22The words of a gossip are like choice morsels

that go down into the inmost being.

23Like glaze covering an earthen vessel

are burningb lips and a wicked heart.

24A hateful man disguises himself with his speech,

but he lays up deceit in his heart.

25When he speaks graciously, do not believe him,

for seven abominations fill his heart.

26Though his hatred is concealed by deception,

his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

27He who digs a pit will fall into it,

and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.

28A lying tongue hates those it crushes,

and a flattering mouth causes ruin.


11 a Cited in 2 Peter 2:22
23 b Hebrew; LXX smooth

Proverbs 27
Proverbs 27

Do Not Boast about Tomorrow
(James 4:13–17)

1Do not boast about tomorrow,

for you do not know what a day may bring.

2Let another praise you, and not your own mouth—

a stranger, and not your own lips.

3A stone is heavy and sand is a burden,

but aggravation from a fool outweighs them both.

4Wrath is cruel and anger is like a flood,

but who can withstand jealousy?

5Better an open rebuke

than love that is concealed.

6The wounds of a friend are faithful,

but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

7The soul that is full loathes honey,

but to a hungry soul, any bitter thing is sweet.

8Like a bird that strays from its nest

is a man who wanders from his home.

9Oil and incense bring joy to the heart,

and the sweetness of a friend is counsel to the soul.

10Do not forsake your friend or your father’s friend,

and do not go to your brother’s house

in the day of your calamity;

better a neighbor nearby

than a brother far away.

11Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart,

so that I can answer him who taunts me.

12The prudent see danger and take cover;

but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

13Take the garment of him who posts security for a stranger;

get collateral if it is for a foreigner.a

14If one blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning,

it will be counted to him as a curse.

15A constant dripping on a rainy day

and a contentious woman are alike—

16restraining her is like holding back the wind

or grasping oil with one’s right hand.

17As iron sharpens iron,

so one man sharpens another.b

18Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,

and he who looks after his master will be honored.

19As water reflects the face,

so the heart reflects the true man.

20Sheol and Abaddonc are never satisfied;

so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

21A crucible for silver and a furnace for gold,

but a man is tested by the praise accorded him.

22Though you grind a fool like grain with mortar and a pestle,

yet his folly will not depart from him.

23Be sure to know the state of your flocks,

and pay close attention to your herds;

24for riches are not forever,

nor does a crown endure to every generation.

25When hay is removed and new growth appears

and the grain from the hills is gathered,

26the lambs will provide you with clothing,

and the goats with the price of a field.

27You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed you—

food for your household

and nourishment for your maidservants.


13 a Or a wayward woman
17 b Hebrew sharpens the face of another or sharpens the countenance of a friend
20 c Or Death and Destruction

Proverbs 28
Proverbs 28

The Boldness of the Righteous

1The wicked flee when no one pursues,

but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

2A land in rebellion has many rulers,

but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.

3A destitute leader who oppresses the poor

is like a driving rain that leaves no food.

4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,

but those who keep the law resist them.

5Evil men do not understand justice,

but those who seek the LORD comprehend fully.

6Better a poor man who walks with integrity

than a rich man whose ways are perverse.

7A discerning son keeps the law,

but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.

8He who increases his wealth by interest and usury

lays it up for one who is kind to the poor.

9Whoever turns his ear away from hearing the law,

even his prayer is detestable.

10He who leads the upright along the path of evil will fall into his own pit,

but the blameless will inherit what is good.

11A rich man is wise in his own eyes,

but a poor man with discernment sees through him.

12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,

but when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.

13He who conceals his sins will not prosper,

but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.

14Blessed is the man who is always reverent,a

but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.

15Like a roaring lion or a charging bear

is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.

16A leader who lacks judgment is also a great oppressor,

but he who hates dishonest profit will prolong his days.

17A man burdened by bloodguilt will flee into the Pit;b

let no one support him.

18He who walks with integrity will be kept safe,

but whoever is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.

19The one who works his land will have plenty of food,

but whoever chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.

20A faithful man will abound with blessings,

but one eager to be rich will not go unpunished.

21To show partiality is not good,

yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread.

22A stingy manc hastens after wealth

and does not know that poverty awaits him.

23He who rebukes a man will later find more favor

than one who flatters with his tongue.

24He who robs his father or mother, saying, “It is not wrong,”

is a companion to the man who destroys.

25A greedy man stirs up strife,

but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

26He who trusts in himself is a fool,

but one who walks in wisdom will be safe.

27Whoever gives to the poor will not be in need,

but he who hides his eyes will receive many curses.

28When the wicked come to power, people hide themselves;

but when they perish, the righteous flourish.


14 a Or always fears the LORD; Hebrew does not include the LORD.
17 b Or will be a fugitive until death
22 c Hebrew A man whose eye is evil

Proverbs 29
Proverbs 29

The Flourishing of the Righteous

1A man who remains stiff-necked after much reproof

will suddenly be shattered beyond recovery.

2When the righteous flourish, the people rejoice,

but when the wicked rule, the people groan.

3A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,

but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

4By justice a king brings stability to the land,

but a man who exacts tributea demolishes it.

5A man who flatters his neighbor

spreads a net for his feet.

6An evil man is caught by his own sin,

but a righteous one sings and rejoices.

7The righteous consider the cause of the poor,

but the wicked have no regard for such concerns.

8Mockers inflame a city,

but the wise turn away anger.

9If a wise man goes to court with a fool,

there will be raving and laughing with no resolution.

10Men of bloodshed hate a blameless man,

but the upright care for his life.b

11A fool vents all his anger,

but a wise man holds it back.

12If a ruler listens to lies,

all his officials will be wicked.

13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:

The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.

14A king who judges the poor with fairness—

his throne will be established forever.

15A rod of correction imparts wisdom,

but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.

16When the wicked thrive, rebellion increases;

but the righteous will see their downfall.

17Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;

he will bring delight to your soul.

18Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint;

but blessed is he who keeps the Law.

19A servant cannot be corrected by words alone;

though he understands, he will not respond.

20Do you see a man who speaks in haste?

There is more hope for a fool than for him.

21A servant pampered from his youth

will bring grief in the end.

22An angry man stirs up dissension,

and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.

23A man’s pride will bring him low,

but a humble spirit will obtain honor.

24A partner to a thief hates his own soul;

he receives the oath, but does not testify.

25The fear of man is a snare,

but whoever trusts in the LORD is set securely on high.

26Many seek the ruler’s favor,

but a man receives justice from the LORD.

27An unjust man is detestable to the righteous,

and one whose way is upright is detestable to the wicked.


4 a Or who taxes heavily or who takes bribes
10 b Or but the upright seek his soul

Proverbs 30
Proverbs 30

The Words of Agur

1These are the words of Agur son of Jakeh—the burden that this man declared to Ithiel:

“I am weary, O God,

and worn out.a

2Surely I am the most ignorant of men,

and I lack the understanding of a man.

3I have not learned wisdom,

and I have no knowledge of the Holy One.

4Who has ascended to heaven and come down?

Who has gathered the wind in His hands?

Who has bound up the waters in His cloak?

Who has established all the ends of the earth?

What is His name, and what is the name of His Son—

surely you know!

5Every word of God is flawless;

He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.

6Do not add to His words,

lest He rebuke you and prove you a liar.

7Two things I ask of You—

do not refuse me before I die:

8Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me.

Give me neither poverty nor riches;

feed me with the bread that is my portion.

9Otherwise, I may have too much

and deny You, saying, ‘Who is the LORD?’

Or I may become poor and steal,

profaning the name of my God.

10Do not slander a servant to his master,

or he will curse you, and you will bear the guilt.

11There is a generation of those who curse their fathers

and do not bless their mothers.

12There is a generation of those who are pure in their own eyes

and yet unwashed of their filth.

13There is a generation—how haughty are their eyes

and pretentious are their glances—

14there is a generation whose teeth are swords

and whose jaws are knives,

devouring the oppressed from the earth

and the needy from among men.

15The leech has two daughters:

Give and Give.

There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:


the barren womb,

land never satisfied with water,

and fire that never says, ‘Enough!’

17As for the eye that mocks a father

and scorns obedience to a mother,

may the ravens of the valley pluck it out

and young vultures devour it.

18There are three things too wonderful for me, four that I cannot understand:

19the way of an eagle in the sky,

the way of a snake on a rock,

the way of a ship at sea,

and the way of a man with a maiden.

20This is the way of an adulteress:

She eats and wipes her mouth

and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong.’

21Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up:

22a servant who becomes king,

a fool who is filled with food,

23an unloved woman who marries,

and a maidservant who supplants her mistress.

24Four things on earth are small, yet they are exceedingly wise:

25The ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;

26the rock badgersb are creatures of little power, yet they make their homes in the rocks;

27the locusts have no king, yet they all advance in formation;

28and the lizard can be caught in one’s hands, yet it is found in the palaces of kings.

29There are three things that are stately in their stride, and four that are impressive in their walk:

30a lion, mighty among beasts, refusing to retreat before anything;

31a strutting rooster;

a he-goat;

and a king with his army around him.c

32If you have foolishly exalted yourself

or if you have plotted evil,

put your hand over your mouth.

33For as the churning of milk yields butter,

and the twisting of the nose draws blood,

so the stirring of anger brings forth strife.”


1 a Or declared to Ithiel: “I am weary, O God, but I can prevail. (revocalizations); Hebrew declared to Ithiel—to Ithiel and Ucal:
26 b Or the coneys or the hyraxes
31 c Or a king against whom there is no rising up

Proverbs 31
Proverbs 31

The Sayings for King Lemuel

1These are the words of King Lemuel—the burden that his mother taught him:

2What shall I say,a O my son?

What, O son of my womb?

What, O son of my vows?

3Do not spend your strength on women

or your vigor on those who ruin kings.

4It is not for kings, O Lemuel,

it is not for kings to drink wine,

or for rulers to crave strong drink,

5lest they drink and forget what is decreed,

depriving all the oppressed of justice.

6Give strong drink to one who is perishing,

and wine to the bitter in soul.

7Let him drink and forget his poverty,

and remember his misery no more.

8Open your mouth for those with no voice,

for the cause of all the dispossessed.

9Open your mouth, judge righteously,

and defend the cause of the poor and needy.

The Virtues of a Noble Woman

10A wifeb of noble character, who can find?

She is far more precious than rubies.

11The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he lacks nothing of value.

12She brings him good and not harm

all the days of her life.

13She selects wool and flax

and works with eager hands.

14She is like the merchant ships,

bringing her food from afar.

15She rises while it is still night

to provide food for her household

and portions for her maidservants.

16She appraises a field and buys it;

from her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17She girds herselfc with strength

and shows that her arms are strong.

18She sees that her gain is good,

and her lamp is not extinguished at night.

19She stretches out her hands to the distaff

and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20She opens her arms to the poor

and reaches out her hands to the needy.

21When it snows, she has no fear for her household,

for they are all clothed in scarlet.d

22She makes coverings for her bed;

her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23Her husband is known at the city gate,

where he sits among the elders of the land.

24She makes linen garments and sells them;

she delivers sashes to the merchants.

25Strength and honor are her clothing,

and she can laugh at the days to come.

26She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27She watches over the affairs of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband praises her as well:

29“Many daughters have done noble things,

but you surpass them all!”

30Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting,

but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31Give her the fruit of her hands,

and let her works praise her at the gates.


2 a Or What or What are you doing
10 b Verses 10–31 are an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
17 c Hebrew She girds her loins
21 d Or doubly clothed

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