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Highlights from the Book of Proverbs

Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible. It is filled with Godly wisdom that will improve your life. 

The “original self-improvement” is nourishing and useful for believers and non-believers alike. 

The Lessons in Proverbs contain the Biblical staples of wisdom, discipline, moderation, long-term thinking, hard work, and abstinence. 

Some of my favorite verses from the Book of Proverbs

(I am reading the ESV Bible)

Proverbs 2

16  So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,

from the adulteress with her smooth words,

17  who forsakes the companion of her youth

and forgets the covenant of her God;

18  for her house sinks down to death,

and her paths to the departed;

19  none who go to her come back,

nor do they regain the paths of life.

Proverbs 3

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,

but let your heart keep my commandments,

2  for length of days and years of life

and peace they will add to you.

 

7  Be not wise in your own eyes;

fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.

8  It will be healing to your fleshb

and refreshment to your bones.

9  Honor the LORD with your wealth

and with the firstfruits of all your produce;

10  then your barns will be filled with plenty,

and your vats will be bursting with wine.

11  My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline

or be weary of his reproof,

12  for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,

as a father the son in whom he delights.

 

13  Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,

and the one who gets understanding,

14for the gain from her is better than gain from silver

and her profit better than gold.

15  She is more precious than jewels,

and nothing you desire can compare with her.

16  Long life is in her right hand;

in her left hand are riches and honor.

17  Her ways are ways of pleasantness,

and all her paths are peace.

18  She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;

those who hold her fast are called blessed.

19  The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;

by understanding he established the heavens;

20  by his knowledge the deeps broke open,

and the clouds drop down the dew.

21  My son, do not lose sight of these—

keep sound wisdom and discretion,

22  and they will be life for your soul

and adornment for your neck.

23  Then you will walk on your way securely,

and your foot will not stumble.

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

when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

25  Do not be afraid of sudden terror

or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,

26  for the LORD will be your confidence

and will keep your foot from being caught.

27  Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,

when it is in your power to do it.

28  Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.

29  Do not plan evil against your neighbor,

who dwells trustingly beside you.

30  Do not contend with a man for no reason,

when he has done you no harm.

31  Do not envy a man of violence

and do not choose any of his ways,

32  for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD,

but the upright are in his confidence.

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

but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.

34  Toward the scorners he is scornful,

but to the humble he gives favor.f

35  The wise will inherit honor,

but fools get disgrace.

Proverbs 4

1  Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,

and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

2  for I give you good precepts;

do not forsake my teaching.

3  When I was a son with my father,

tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,

4  he taught me and said to me,

“Let your heart hold fast my words;

keep my commandments, and live.

5  Get wisdom; get insight;

do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.

6  Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;

love her, and she will guard you.

7  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,

and whatever you get, get insight.

8  Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;

she will honor you if you embrace her.

9  She will place on your head a graceful garland;

she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” 

 

14  Do not enter the path of the wicked,

and do not walk in the way of the evil.

15  Avoid it; do not go on it;

turn away from it and pass on.

16  For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;

they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.

17  For they eat the bread of wickedness

and drink the wine of violence.

18  But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,

which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

19  The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;

they do not know over what they stumble.

 

24  Put away from you crooked speech,

and put devious talk far from you.

25  Let your eyes look directly forward,

and your gaze be straight before you.

26  Ponder the path of your feet;

then all your ways will be sure.

Proverbs 5

1  My son, be attentive to my wisdom;

incline your ear to my understanding,

2  that you may keep discretion,

and your lips may guard knowledge.

3  For the lips of a forbiddena woman drip honey,

and her speech is smoother than oil,

4  but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,

sharp as a two-edged sword.

5  Her feet go down to death;

her steps follow the path toc Sheol;

6  she does not ponder the path of life;

her ways wander, and she does not know it.

7  And now, O sons, listen to me,

and do not depart from the words of my mouth.

8  Keep your way far from her,

and do not go near the door of her house,

9  lest you give your honor to others

and your years to the merciless,

10  lest strangers take their fill of your strength,

and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,

11  and at the end of your life you groan,

when your flesh and body are consumed,

12  and you say, “How I hated discipline,

and my heart despised reproof!

13  I did not listen to the voice of my teachers

or incline my ear to my instructors.

14  I am at the brink of utter ruin

in the assembled congregation.”

15  Drink water from your own cistern,

flowing water from your own well.

16  Should your springs be scattered abroad,

streams of water in the streets?

17  Let them be for yourself alone,

and not for strangers with you.

18  Let your fountain be blessed,

and rejoice in the wife of your youth,

19  a lovely deer, a graceful doe.

Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;

be intoxicated always in her love.

20  Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman

and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?e

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

and he pondersf all his paths.

22  The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,

and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.

23  He dies for lack of discipline,

and because of his great folly he is led astray.

Proverbs 6

6  Go to the ant, O sluggard;

consider her ways, and be wise.

7  Without having any chief,

officer, or ruler,

8  she prepares her bread in summer

and gathers her food in harvest.

9  How long will you lie there, O sluggard?

When will you arise from your sleep?

 

10  A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

11  and poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and want like an armed man.

12  A worthless person, a wicked man,

goes about with crooked speech,

13  winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,

points with his finger,

14  with perverted heart devises evil,

continually sowing discord;

15  therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;

in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.

16  There are six things that the LORD hates,

seven that are an abomination to him:

17  haughty eyes, a lying tongue,

and hands that shed innocent blood,

18  a heart that devises wicked plans,

feet that make haste to run to evil,

19  a false witness who breathes out lies,

and one who sows discord among brothers.

20  My son, keep your father’s commandment,

and forsake not your mother’s teaching.

21  Bind them on your heart always;

tie them around your neck.

22  When you walk, they will lead you;

when you lie down, they will watch over you;

and when you awake, they will talk with you.

23  For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,

and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,

24to preserve you from the evil woman,

from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.

25  Do not desire her beauty in your heart,

and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;

26  for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,

but a married woman hunts down a precious life.

27  Can a man carry fire next to his chest

and his clothes not be burned?

28  Or can one walk on hot coals

and his feet not be scorched?

29  So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;

none who touches her will go unpunished.

30  People do not despise a thief if he steals

to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,

31  but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;

he will give all the goods of his house.

32  He who commits adultery lacks sense;

he who does it destroys himself.

33  He will get wounds and dishonor,

and his disgrace will not be wiped away.

34  For jealousy makes a man furious,

and he will not spare when he takes revenge.

35  He will accept no compensation;

he will refuse though you multiply gifts.

 

Proverbs 7

10  And behold, the woman meets him,

dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.

11  She is loud and wayward;

her feet do not stay at home;

12  now in the street, now in the market,

and at every corner she lies in wait.

13  She seizes him and kisses him,

and with bold face she says to him,

14  “I had to offer sacrifices,

and today I have paid my vows;

15  so now I have come out to meet you,

to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.

16  I have spread my couch with coverings,

colored linens from Egyptian linen;

17  I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,

aloes, and cinnamon.

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

let us delight ourselves with love.

19  For my husband is not at home;

he has gone on a long journey;

20  he took a bag of money with him;

at full moon he will come home.”

21  With much seductive speech she persuades him;

with her smooth talk she compels him.

22  All at once he follows her,

as an ox goes to the slaughter,

or as a stag is caught fast

23  till an arrow pierces its liver;

as a bird rushes into a snare;

he does not know that it will cost him his life.

 

Proverbs 8 

11  for wisdom is better than jewels,

and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

 

18  Riches and honor are with me,

enduring wealth and righteousness.

19  My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,

and my yield than choice silver.

20  I walk in the way of righteousness,

in the paths of justice,

21  granting an inheritance to those who love me,

and filling their treasuries.

 

Proverbs 9

7  Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,

and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.

8  Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;

reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

9  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;

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

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

and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

11  For by me your days will be multiplied,

and years will be added to your life.

12  If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;

if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

 

Proverbs 10

1  The proverbs of Solomon.

A wise son makes a glad father,

but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

2  Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,

but righteousness delivers from death.

3  The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,

but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

4  A slack hand causes poverty,

but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

5  He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,

but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.

6  Blessings are on the head of the righteous,

but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.a

7  The memory of the righteous is a blessing,

but the name of the wicked will rot.

8  The wise of heart will receive commandments,

but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

9  Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,

but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.

10  Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,

and a babbling fool will come to ruin.

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

but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

12  Hatred stirs up strife,

but love covers all offenses.

13  On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,

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

14  The wise lay up knowledge,

but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.

15  A rich man’s wealth is his strong city;

the poverty of the poor is their ruin.

16  The wage of the righteous leads to life,

the gain of the wicked to sin.

17  Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,

but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.

18  The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,

and whoever utters slander is a fool.

19  When words are many, transgression is not lacking,

but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

20  The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;

the heart of the wicked is of little worth.

21  The lips of the righteous feed many,

but fools die for lack of sense.

22  The blessing of the LORD makes rich,

and he adds no sorrow with it.b

23  Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,

but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.

24  What the wicked dreads will come upon him,

but the desire of the righteous will be granted.

Proverbs 11

1  A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,

but a just weight is his delight.

2  When pride comes, then comes disgrace,

but with the humble is wisdom.

3  The integrity of the upright guides them,

but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

4  Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,

but righteousness delivers from death.

5  The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight,

but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.

6  The righteousness of the upright delivers them,

but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.

7  When the wicked dies, his hope will perish,

and the expectation of wealth perishes too.

8  The righteous is delivered from trouble,

and the wicked walks into it instead.

9  With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,

but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.

10  When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,

and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.

11  By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,

but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.

12  Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,

but a man of understanding remains silent.

13  Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,

but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

14  Where there is no guidance, a people falls,

but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

15  Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm,

but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.

16  A gracious woman gets honor,

and violent men get riches.

17  A man who is kind benefits himself,

but a cruel man hurts himself.

18  The wicked earns deceptive wages,

but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.

19  Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,

but he who pursues evil will die.

20  Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD,

but those of blameless ways are his delight.

21  Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,

but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.

22  Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout

is a beautiful woman without discretion.

23  The desire of the righteous ends only in good,

the expectation of the wicked in wrath.

24  One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;

another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.

25  Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,

and one who waters will himself be watered.

26  The people curse him who holds back grain,

but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.

27  Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor,b

but evil comes to him who searches for it.

28  Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,

but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.

29  Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,

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

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

and whoever captures souls is wise.

31  If the righteous is repaid on earth,

how much more the wicked and the sinner!

Proverbs 12

1  Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,

but he who hates reproof is stupid.

2  A good man obtains favor from the LORD,

but a man of evil devices he condemns.

3  No one is established by wickedness,

but the root of the righteous will never be moved.

4  An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,

but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.

5  The thoughts of the righteous are just;

the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.

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

but the mouth of the upright delivers them.

7  The wicked are overthrown and are no more,

but the house of the righteous will stand.

8  A man is commended according to his good sense,

but one of twisted mind is despised.

9  Better to be lowly and have a servant

than to play the great man and lack bread.

10  Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,

but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

11  Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,

but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.

12  Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,

but the root of the righteous bears fruit.

13  An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,a

but the righteous escapes from trouble.

14  From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,

and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.

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

but a wise man listens to advice.

16  The vexation of a fool is known at once,

but the prudent ignores an insult.

17  Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,

but a false witness utters deceit.

18  There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,

but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

19  Truthful lips endure forever,

but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

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

but those who plan peace have joy.

21  No ill befalls the righteous,

but the wicked are filled with trouble.

22  Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,

but those who act faithfully are his delight.

23  A prudent man conceals knowledge,

but the heart of fools proclaims folly.

24  The hand of the diligent will rule,

while the slothful will be put to forced labor.

25  Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,

but a good word makes him glad.

26  One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,

but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

27  Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,

but the diligent man will get precious wealth.

28  In the path of righteousness is life,

and in its pathway there is no death.

 

Proverbs 13

4  The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,

while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

5  The righteous hates falsehood,

but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.

6  Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,

but sin overthrows the wicked.

7  One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;

another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

8  The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth,

but a poor man hears no threat.

9  The light of the righteous rejoices,

but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

10  By insolence comes nothing but strife,

but with those who take advice is wisdom.

11  Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,

but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

12  Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. 

13  Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,

but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.

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

that one may turn away from the snares of death.

15  Good sense wins favor,

but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.g

16  Every prudent man acts with knowledge,

but a fool flaunts his folly.

17  A wicked messenger falls into trouble,

but a faithful envoy brings healing.

18  Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,

but whoever heeds reproof is honored.

19  A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,

but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.

20  Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,

but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

21  Disaster pursues sinners,

but the righteous are rewarded with good.

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

but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.

23  The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food,

but it is swept away through injustice.

24  Whoever spares the rod hates his son,

but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him

 

Proverbs 14

 

19  The evil bow down before the good,

the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20  The poor is disliked even by his neighbor,

but the rich has many friends.

21  Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner,

but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.

22  Do they not go astray who devise evil?

Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.

23  In all toil there is profit,

but mere talk tends only to poverty.

24  The crown of the wise is their wealth,

but the folly of fools brings folly.

25  A truthful witness saves lives,

but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.

26  In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence,

and his children will have a refuge.

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

that one may turn away from the snares of death.

28  In a multitude of people is the glory of a king,

but without people a prince is ruined.

29  Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,

but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

30  A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,

but envy makes the bones rot.

31  Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,

but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

32  The wicked is overthrown through his evildoing,

but the righteous finds refuge in his death.

 

Proverbs 15

 

6  In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,

but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.

 

20  A wise son makes a glad father,

but a foolish man despises his mother.

 

22  Without counsel plans fail,

but with many advisers they succeed.

 

Proverbs 16

 

1  The plans of the heart belong to man,

but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

2  All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,

but the LORD weighs the spirit. 

3  Commit your work to the LORD,

and your plans will be established.

 

21  The wise of heart is called discerning,

and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

Proverbs 17 

 

1  Better is a dry morsel with quiet

than a house full of feasting with strife.

 

17  A friend loves at all times,

and a brother is born for adversity.

 

21  He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow,

and the father of a fool has no joy.

Proverbs 18 

 

1  Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;

he breaks out against all sound judgment.

 

19  A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,

and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.

 

22  He who finds a wife finds a good thing

and obtains favor from the LORD.

23  The poor use entreaties,

but the rich answer roughly.

24  A man of many companions may come to ruin,

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

Proverbs 19

 

3  When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin,

his heart rages against the LORD.

4  Wealth brings many new friends,

but a poor man is deserted by his friend. 

5  A false witness will not go unpunished,

and he who breathes out lies will not escape.

6  Many seek the favor of a generous man,

and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.

7  All a poor man’s brothers hate him;

how much more do his friends go far from him!

He pursues them with words, but does not have them.c

8  Whoever gets sense loves his own soul;

he who keeps understanding will discover good.

9  A false witness will not go unpunished,

and he who breathes out lies will perish.

10  It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury,

much less for a slave to rule over princes.

11  Good sense makes one slow to anger,

and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

12  A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion,

but his favor is like dew on the grass.

13  A foolish son is ruin to his father,

and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.

14  House and wealth are inherited from fathers,

but a prudent wife is from the LORD.

15  Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep,

and an idle person will suffer hunger.

16  Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life;

he who despises his ways will die.

17  Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD,

and he will repay him for his deed.

18  Discipline your son, for there is hope;

do not set your heart on putting him to death.

19  A man of great wrath will pay the penalty,

for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.

20  Listen to advice and accept instruction,

that you may gain wisdom in the future.

21  Many are the plans in the mind of a man,

but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

22  What is desired in a man is steadfast love,

and a poor man is better than a liar.

Proverbs 20

1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,

and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

 

13  Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;

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

 

Proverbs 21

 

4  Haughty eyes and a proud heart,

the lamp of the wicked, are sin.

5  The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,

but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

 

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

than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

 

17  Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;

he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

 

19  It is better to live in a desert land

than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. 

 

25  The desire of the sluggard kills him,

for his hands refuse to labor.

26  All day long he craves and craves,

but the righteous gives and does not hold back. 

27  The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;

how much more when he brings it with evil intent.

28  A false witness will perish,

but the word of a man who hears will endure.

29  A wicked man puts on a bold face,

but the upright gives thought to his ways.

30  No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel

can avail against the LORD.

31  The horse is made ready for the day of battle,

but the victory belongs to the LORD.

Proverbs 22

 

1  A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,

and favor is better than silver or gold.

2  The rich and the poor meet together;

the LORD is the Maker of them all.

3  The prudent sees danger and hides himself,

but the simple go on and suffer for it.

4  The reward for humility and fear of the LORD

is riches and honor and life.a

5  Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;

whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.

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

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

7  The rich rules over the poor,

and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

8  Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,

and the rod of his fury will fail.

9  Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,

for he shares his bread with the poor.

10  Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,

and quarreling and abuse will cease.

11  He who loves purity of heart,

and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.

12  The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge,

but he overthrows the words of the traitor.

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

I shall be killed in the streets!”

14  The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit;

he with whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.

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

but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

16  Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,

or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

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

and apply your heart to my knowledge,

18  for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,

if all of them are ready on your lips.

19  That your trust may be in the LORD,

I have made them known to you today, even to you.

20  Have I not written for you thirty sayings

of counsel and knowledge,

21  to make you know what is right and true,

that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?

22  Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,

or crush the afflicted at the gate,

23  for the LORD will plead their cause

and rob of life those who rob them.

24  Make no friendship with a man given to anger,

nor go with a wrathful man,

25  lest you learn his ways

and entangle yourself in a snare.

26  Be not one of those who give pledges,

who put up security for debts.

27  If you have nothing with which to pay,

why should your bed be taken from under you?

28  Do not move the ancient landmark

that your fathers have set.

29  Do you see a man skillful in his work?

He will stand before kings;

he will not stand before obscure men.

Proverbs 23

 

1  When you sit down to eat with a ruler,

observe carefully what is before you,

2  and put a knife to your throat

if you are given to appetite.

3  Do not desire his delicacies,

for they are deceptive food.

4  Do not toil to acquire wealth;

be discerning enough to desist.

5  When your eyes light on it, it is gone,

for suddenly it sprouts wings,

flying like an eagle toward heaven.

6  Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;

do not desire his delicacies,

7  for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.c

“Eat and drink!” he says to you,

but his heart is not with you.

8  You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,

and waste your pleasant words.

9  Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,

for he will despise the good sense of your words.

10  Do not move an ancient landmark

or enter the fields of the fatherless,

11  for their Redeemer is strong;

he will plead their cause against you.

12  Apply your heart to instruction

and your ear to words of knowledge.

13  Do not withhold discipline from a child;

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

14  If you strike him with the rod,

you will save his soul from Sheol.

15  My son, if your heart is wise,

my heart too will be glad.

16  My inmost being will exult

when your lips speak what is right.

17  Let not your heart envy sinners,

but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.

18  Surely there is a future,

and your hope will not be cut off.

19  Hear, my son, and be wise,

and direct your heart in the way.

20  Be not among drunkards

or among gluttonous eaters of meat,

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

and slumber will clothe them with rags.

 

29  Who has woe? Who has sorrow?

Who has strife? Who has complaining?

Who has wounds without cause?

Who has redness of eyes?

30  Those who tarry long over wine;

those who go to try mixed wine.

31  Do not look at wine when it is red,

when it sparkles in the cup

and goes down smoothly.

32  In the end it bites like a serpent

and stings like an adder.

 

Proverbs 24

10  If you faint in the day of adversity,

your strength is small.

 

24  Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”

will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,

25  but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,

and a good blessing will come upon them.

26  Whoever gives an honest answer

kisses the lips.

27  Prepare your work outside;

get everything ready for yourself in the field,

and after that build your house.

Proverbs 27 

 

1  Do not boast about tomorrow,

for you do not know what a day may bring.

 

Proverbs 28 

 

19  Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,

but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.

20  A faithful man will abound with blessings,

but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

21  To show partiality is not good,

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

22  A stingy man hastens after wealth

and does not know that poverty will come upon him.

23  Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor

than he who flatters with his tongue.

24  Whoever robs his father or his mother

and says, “That is no transgression,”

is a companion to a man who destroys.

25  A greedy man stirs up strife,

but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.

26  Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,

but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

27  Whoever gives to the poor will not want,

but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.

28  When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,

but when they perish, the righteous increase.

Proverbs 29

 

2  When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,

but when the wicked rule, the people groan.

3  He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,

but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

4  By justice a king builds up the land,

but he who exacts gifts tears it down

 

15  The rod and reproof give wisdom,

but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Proverbs 30

 

16  Sheol, the barren womb,

the land never satisfied with water,

and the fire that never says, “Enough.”

17  The eye that mocks a father

and scorns to obey a mother

will be picked out by the ravens of the valley

and eaten by the vultures.

18  Three things are too wonderful for me;

four I do not understand:

19  the way of an eagle in the sky,

the way of a serpent on a rock,

the way of a ship on the high seas,

and the way of a man with a virgin.

 

21  Under three things the earth trembles;

under four it cannot bear up:

22  a slave when he becomes king,

and a fool when he is filled with food;

23  an unloved woman when she gets a husband,

and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.

24  Four things on earth are small,

but they are exceedingly wise:

25  the ants are a people not strong,

yet they provide their food in the summer;

26  the rock badgers are a people not mighty,

 

yet they make their homes in the cliffs;

27  the locusts have no king,

yet all of them march in rank;

28  the lizard you can take in your hands,

yet it is in kings’ palaces.

29  Three things are stately in their tread;

four are stately in their stride:

30  the lion, which is mightiest among beasts

and does not turn back before any;

31  the strutting rooster, the he-goat,

and a king whose army is with him.

Proverbs 31 

 

1  The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

2  What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?

What are you doing, son of my vows?

3  Do not give your strength to women,

your ways to those who destroy kings.

4  It is not for kings, O Lemuel,

it is not for kings to drink wine,

or for rulers to take strong drink,

5  lest they drink and forget what has been decreed

and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.

6  Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,

and wine to those in bitter distress;b

7  let them drink and forget their poverty

and remember their misery no more.

8  Open your mouth for the mute,

for the rights of all who are destitute.c

9  Open your mouth, judge righteously,

defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the LORD

10  An excellent wife who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels.

11  The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will have no lack of gain.

12  She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.

13  She seeks wool and flax,

and works with willing hands.

14  She is like the ships of the merchant;

she brings her food from afar.

15  She rises while it is yet night

and provides food for her household

and portions for her maidens.

16  She considers a field and buys it;

with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

17  She dresses herself with strength

and makes her arms strong.

18  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.

Her lamp does not go out at night.

19  She puts her hands to the distaff,

and her hands hold the spindle.

20  She opens her hand to the poor

and reaches out her hands to the needy.

21  She is not afraid of snow for her household,

for all her household are clothed in scarlet.f

22  She makes bed coverings for herself;

her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23  Her husband is known in the gates

when he sits among the elders of the land.

24  She makes linen garments and sells them;

she delivers sashes to the merchant.

25  Strength and dignity are her clothing,

and she laughs at the time to come.

26  She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27  She looks well to the ways of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

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