Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB)


Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 1

Purpose of Proverbs

The proverbs of Solomon, King David’s son, from Israel:
Their purpose is to teach wisdom and discipline,
    to help one understand wise sayings.
They provide insightful instruction,
    which is righteous, just, and full of integrity.
They make the naive mature,
    the young knowledgeable and discreet.
The wise hear them and grow in wisdom;
    those with understanding gain guidance.
They help one understand proverbs and difficult sayings,
    the words of the wise, and their puzzles.
Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Avoid evil associations

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction;
    don’t neglect your mother’s teaching;
        for they are a graceful wreath on your head,
        and beads for your neck.
10 My son, don’t let sinners entice you.
    Don’t go
11     when they say:
        “Come with us.
        Let’s set up a deadly ambush.
        Let’s secretly wait for the innocent just for fun.
12         Let’s swallow up the living like the grave[a]
        whole, like those who go down into the pit.
13         We’ll find all sorts of precious wealth;
        we’ll fill our houses with plunder.
14         Throw in your lot with us;
        we’ll share our money.”
15 My son, don’t go on the path with them;
    keep your feet from their way,
16     because their feet run to evil;
            they hurry to spill blood.
17 It’s useless to cast a net
    in the sight of a bird.
18 But these sinners set up a deadly ambush;
    they lie in wait for their own lives.
19 These are the ways of all who seek unjust gain;
    it costs them their lives.

Listen to “Woman Wisdom”

20 Wisdom shouts in the street;
    in the public square she raises her voice.
21 Above the noisy crowd, she calls out.
    At the entrances of the city gates, she has her say:
22 “How long will you clueless people love your naïveté,
    mockers hold their mocking dear,
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 You should respond when I correct you.
    Look, I’ll pour out my spirit on you.
    I’ll reveal my words to you.
24 I invited you, but you rejected me;
    I stretched out my hand to you,
    but you paid no attention.
25 You ignored all my advice,
    and you didn’t want me to correct you.
26 So I’ll laugh at your disaster;
    I’ll make fun of you when dread comes over you,
27         when terror hits you like a hurricane,
        and your disaster comes in like a tornado,
        when distress and oppression overcome you.
28 Then they will call me, but I won’t answer;
    they will seek me, but won’t find me
29         because they hated knowledge
        and didn’t choose the fear of the Lord.
30 They didn’t want my advice;
    they rejected all my corrections.
31 They will eat from the fruit of their way,
    and they’ll be full of their own schemes.
32 The immature will die because they turn away;
    smugness will destroy fools.
33 Those who obey me will dwell securely,
    untroubled by the dread of harm.”


  1. Proverbs 1:12 Heb Sheol

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 2

Benefits of wisdom

My son, accept my words
    and store up my commands.
Turn your ear toward wisdom,
    and stretch your mind toward understanding.
Call out for insight,
    and cry aloud for understanding.
Seek it like silver;
    search for it like hidden treasure.
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
    and discover the knowledge of God.
The Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He reserves ability for those with integrity.
    He is a shield for those who live a blameless life.
He protects the paths of justice
    and guards the way of those who are loyal to him.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
    as well as integrity, every good course.
10 Wisdom will enter your mind,
    and knowledge will fill you with delight.
11 Discretion will guard you;
    understanding will protect you.
12 Wisdom will rescue you from the evil path,
    from people who twist their words.
13 They forsake the way of integrity
    and go on obscure paths.
14 They enjoy doing evil,
    rejoicing in their twisted evil.
15 Their paths are confused;
    they get lost on their way.
16 Wisdom will rescue you from the mysterious woman,
    from the foreign woman with her slick words.
17 She leaves behind the partner of her youth;
    she even forgets her covenant with God.
18 Her house sinks down to death,
    and her paths go down to the shadowy dead.
19 All those who go to her will never return;
    they will never again reach the ways of the living.
20 So you should stay on the path of good people,
    guarding the road of the righteous.
21 Those who have integrity will dwell in the land;
    the innocent will remain in it.
22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land,
    and the treacherous will be ripped up.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 3

Trust in the Lord

My son, don’t forget my instruction.
    Let your heart guard my commands,
    because they will help you live a long time
    and provide you with well-being.
Don’t let loyalty and faithfulness leave you.
    Bind them on your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will find favor and approval
    in the eyes of God and humanity.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    don’t rely on your own intelligence.
Know him in all your paths,
    and he will keep your ways straight.
Don’t consider yourself wise.
    Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then your body[a] will be healthy
    and your bones strengthened.
Honor the Lord with your wealth
    and with the first of all your crops.
10 Then your barns will be filled with plenty,
    and your vats will burst with wine.
11 Don’t reject the instruction of the Lord, my son;
    don’t despise his correction.
12 The Lord loves those he corrects,
    just like a father who treats his son with favor.

Value of wisdom

13 Happy are those who find wisdom
    and those who gain understanding.
14 Her profit is better than silver,
    and her gain better than gold.
15 Her value exceeds pearls;
    all you desire can’t compare with her.
16 In her right hand is a long life;
    in her left are wealth and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant;
    all her paths are peaceful.
18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
    those who hold her tight are happy.
19 The Lord laid the foundations of the earth with wisdom,
    establishing the heavens with understanding.
20 With his knowledge, the watery depths burst open,
    and the skies drop dew.

Integrity of wisdom

21 My son, don’t let them slip from your eyes;
    hold on to sound judgment and discretion.
22 They will be life for your whole being,
    and an ornament for your neck.
23 Then you will walk safely on your path,
    and your foot won’t stumble.
24 If you lie down, you won’t be terrified.
    When you lie down, your sleep will be pleasant.
25 Don’t fear sudden terror
    or the ruin that comes to the wicked.
26 The Lord will be your confidence;
    he will guard your feet from being snared.
27 Don’t withhold good from someone who deserves it,
    when it is in your power to do so.
28 Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go and come back;
    I’ll give it to you tomorrow,” when you have it.
29 Don’t plan to harm your neighbor
    who trusts and lives near you.
30 Don’t accuse anyone without reason,
    when they haven’t harmed you.
31 Don’t envy violent people
    or choose any of their ways.
32 Devious people are detestable to the Lord,
    but the virtuous are his close friends.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks mockers,
    but he shows favor to the humble.
35 The wise gain respect,
    but fools receive shame.


  1. Proverbs 3:8 Heb navel

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 4

Love wisdom

Hear, children, fatherly instruction;
    pay attention to gain understanding.
I’ll teach you well.
    Don’t abandon my instruction.
When I was a son to my father,
    tender and my mother’s favorite,
    he taught me and said to me:
“Let your heart hold on to my words:
    Keep my commands and live.
Get wisdom; get understanding.
    Don’t forget and don’t turn away from my words.
Don’t abandon her, and she will guard you.
    Love her, and she will protect you.
The beginning of wisdom:
Get wisdom!
    Get understanding before anything else.
Highly esteem her, and she will exalt you.
    She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place a graceful wreath on your head;
    she will give you a glorious crown.”

Stay on the path of wisdom

10 Listen, my son, and take in my speech,
    then the years of your life will be many.
11 I teach you the path of wisdom.
    I lead you in straight courses.
12 When you walk, you won’t be hindered;
    when you run, you won’t stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction; don’t slack off;
    protect it, for it is your life.
14 Don’t go on the way of the wicked;
    don’t walk on the path of evil people.
15 Avoid it! Don’t turn onto it;
    stay off of it and keep going!
16 They don’t sleep unless they do evil;
    they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of evil,
    and they drink the wine of violence.
18 The way of the righteous is like morning light
    that gets brighter and brighter till it is full day.
19 The path of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they don’t know where they will stumble.

Be careful about what you say

20 My son, pay attention to my words.
    Bend your ear to my speech.
21 Don’t let them slip from your sight.
    Guard them in your mind.
22 They are life to those who find them,
    and healing for their entire body.
23 More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it.
24 Have nothing to do with a corrupt mouth;
    keep devious lips far from you.
25 Focus your eyes straight ahead;
    keep your gaze on what is in front of you.
26 Watch your feet on the way,
    and all your paths will be secure.
27 Don’t deviate a bit to the right or the left;
    turn your feet away from evil.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 5

Avoid the mysterious woman

My son, pay attention to my wisdom.
    Bend your ear to what I know,
        so you might remain discreet,
        and your lips might guard knowledge.
The lips of a mysterious woman drip honey,
    and her tongue is smoother than oil,
    but in the end she is bitter as gall,
    sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead to the grave.[a]
She doesn’t stay on the way of life.
    Her paths wander, but she doesn’t know it.

Now sons, listen to me,
    and don’t deviate from the words of my mouth.
Stay on a path that is far from her;
    don’t approach the entrance to her house.
    Otherwise, you will give your strength to others,
        your years to a cruel person.
10     Otherwise, strangers will sap your strength,
        and your hard work will end up in a foreigner’s house.
11 You will groan at the end
    when your body and flesh are exhausted,
12     and you say, “How I hated instruction!
    How my heart despised correction!
13 I didn’t listen to the voice of my instructor.
    I didn’t obey my teacher.
14 I’m on the brink of utter ruin
    in the assembled community.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    gushing water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains flood outside,
    streams of water in the public squares?
17 They are yours alone,
    not for you as well as strangers.
18     May your spring be blessed.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19     She is a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts intoxicate you all the time;
    always be drunk on her love.

20 Why, my son, should you lose your senses with a mysterious woman
    and embrace the breasts of a foreign female?

21 The Lord’s eyes watch over every person’s path,
    observing all their ways.
22 The wicked will be caught by their own evil acts,
    grabbed by the ropes of their own sin.
23 Those without instruction will die,
    misled by their own stupidity.


  1. Proverbs 5:5 Heb Sheol

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 6

Wise advice

My son, if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor
    or shake hands in agreement with a stranger,
    you will be trapped by your words;
    you will be caught by your words.
Do this, my son, to get out of it,
    for you have come under the control of your neighbor.
    So go, humble yourself,[a] and pester your neighbor.
Don’t give sleep to your eyes
    or slumber to your eyelids.
Get yourself free like a gazelle from a hunter,
    like a bird from the hand of a fowler.
Go to the ant, you lazy person;
    observe its ways and grow wise.
The ant has no commander, officer, or ruler.
    Even so, it gets its food in summer;
    gathers its provisions at harvest.
How long, lazy person, will you lie down?
    When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the arms to lie down—
11     and poverty will come on you like a prowler,
        destitution like a warrior.
12 Worthless people and guilty people
    go around with crooked talk.
13 They wink their eyes, gesture with their feet,
    and point with their fingers.
14 Their hearts are corrupt and determined to do evil;
    they create controversies all the time.
15 Therefore, sudden disaster will come upon them;
    they will be quickly broken beyond healing.
16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
    seven things detestable to him:
17     snobbish eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that spill innocent blood,
18     a heart set on wicked plans,
    feet that run quickly to evil,
19     a false witness who breathes lies,
    and one who causes conflicts among relatives.

Danger of adultery

20 My son, keep your father’s command;
    don’t abandon your mother’s instruction.
21 Bind them on your heart for all time;
    fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk around, they will lead you;
    when you lie down, they will protect you;
    when you awake, they will occupy your attention.
23 The commandment is a lamp and instruction a light;
    corrective teaching is the path of life.
24 They guard you from the evil woman,
    from the flattering tongue of the foreign woman.
25 Don’t desire her beauty in secret;
    don’t let her take you in with her eyelashes,
26         for a prostitute costs a loaf of bread,[b]
        but a married woman hunts for a man’s very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
    and his clothes not get burned?
28 If a man walks on hot coals,
    don’t his feet get burned?
29 So is the man who approaches his neighbor’s wife;
    anyone who touches her will be punished.
30 People don’t despise a thief if he steals
    to fill his starving stomach.
31 But if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold;
    he must give all the riches of his house.
32 He who commits adultery is senseless.
    Doing so, he destroys himself.
33 He is wounded and disgraced.
    His shame will never be wiped away.
34 Jealousy makes a man rage;
    he’ll show no mercy on his day of revenge.
35 He won’t accept compensation;
    he’ll refuse even a large bribe.


  1. Proverbs 6:3 Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 6:26 Heb uncertain

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 7

Avoid loose women

My son, keep my words;
    store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and live,
    and my instruction like the pupil of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister”;
    call understanding “friend,”
    so she might guard you against the mysterious woman,
        from the foreign woman who flatters you.
When from the window of my house,
    from behind the screen, I gazed down,
I looked among the naive young men
    and noticed among the youth, one who had no sense.
He was crossing the street at her corner
    and walked down the path to her house
    in the early evening,
    at the onset of night and darkness.
10 All of a sudden a woman approaches him,
    dressed like a prostitute and with a cunning mind.
11 She is noisy and defiant;
    her feet don’t stay long in her own house.
12 She has one foot in the street, one foot in the public square.
    She lies in wait at every corner.
13 She grabs him and kisses him.
    Her face is brazen as she speaks to him:
14 “I’ve made a sacrifice of well-being;
    today I fulfilled my solemn promises.
15 So I’ve come out to meet you,
    seeking you, and I have found you.
16 I’ve spread my bed with luxurious covers,
    with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I’ve sprinkled my bed with myrrh,
    aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deep of love until morning;
    let’s savor our lovemaking.
19 For my husband isn’t home;
    he’s gone far away.
20 He took a pouch of money with him;
    he won’t come home till full moon.”
21 She seduces him with all her talk.
    She entices him with her flattery.
22 He goes headlong after her,
    like an ox to the slaughter,
    like a deer leaping into a trap,[a]
23         until an arrow pierces his liver,
    like a bird hurrying to the snare,
        not aware that it will cost him his life.

24 Now children, listen to me,
    and pay attention to my speech.
25 Don’t turn your heart to her ways;
    don’t wander down her paths.
26 She has caused many corpses to fall;
    she has killed many people.
27 Her house is a path to the grave,[b]
    going down to the chambers of death.


  1. Proverbs 7:22 Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 7:27 Heb Sheol

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 8

Wisdom’s autobiography

Doesn’t Wisdom cry out
    and Understanding shout?
Atop the heights along the path,
    at the crossroads she takes her stand.
By the gate before the city,
    at the entrances she shouts:

I cry out to you, people;
    my voice goes out to all of humanity.
Understand skill, you who are naive.
    Take this to heart, you fools.
Listen, for I speak things that are correct;
    from my lips comes what is right.
My mouth utters the truth;
    my lips despise wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    nothing in them is twisted or crooked.
All of them are straightforward to those who understand,
    and upright for the knowledgeable.
10 Take my instruction rather than silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 Wisdom is better than pearls;
    nothing is more delightful than she.

12 I, Wisdom, dwell with prudence;
    I have found knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil.
    I hate pride and arrogance,
        the path of evil and corrupt speech.
14 I have advice and ability,
    as well as understanding and strength.
15 By me kings rule,
    and princes issue righteous decrees.
16 By me rulers govern,
    and officials judge righteously.[a]
17 I love those who love me;
    those who seek me will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
    as well as enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold;
    my crops are better than choice silver.
20 I walk on the way of righteousness,
    on the paths of justice,
21     to provide for those who love me
        and to fill up their treasuries.

22 The Lord created me at the beginning of his way,
    before his deeds long in the past.
23 I was formed in ancient times,
    at the beginning, before the earth was.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs flowing with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled,
    before the hills, I was brought forth;
26     before God[b] made the earth and the fields
    or the first of the dry land.
27 I was there when he established the heavens,
    when he marked out the horizon on the deep sea,
28     when he thickened the clouds above,
    when he secured the fountains of the deep,
29     when he set a limit for the sea,
        so the water couldn’t go beyond his command,
    when he marked out the earth’s foundations.
30 I was beside him as a master of crafts.[c]
    I was having fun,
    smiling before him all the time,
31     frolicking with his inhabited earth
    and delighting in the human race.

32 Now children, listen to me:
    Happy are those who keep to my ways!
33 Listen to instruction, and be wise;
    don’t avoid it.
34 Happy are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorposts.
35 Those who find me find life;
    they gain favor from the Lord.
36 Those who offend me injure themselves;
all those who hate me love death.


  1. Proverbs 8:16 Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 8:26 Heb lacks God.
  3. Proverbs 8:30 Heb uncertain

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 9

“Woman Wisdom’s” invitation

Wisdom built her house;
    she has carved out her seven pillars.
She slaughtered her animals,
    mixed her wine,
    and set her table.
She sends out her female servants; she issues an invitation
    from the top of the city heights:
“Whoever is naive turn aside here,”
    she says to those who lack sense.
“Come, eat my food,
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
Abandon your simplistic ways and live;
    walk in the way of understanding.”

Wise advice

Whoever instructs the cynic gets insulted;
    whoever corrects the wicked gets hurt.
Don’t correct the impudent, or they will hate you;
    correct the wise, and they will love you.
Teach the wise, and they will become wiser;
    inform the righteous, and their learning will increase.
10 The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord;
    the knowledge of the holy one is understanding.
11 Through me your days will be many;
    years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, it is to your benefit;
    if you are cynical, you will bear it all alone.

“Woman Folly’s” invitation

13 Woman Folly is noisy;
    she’s stupid and doesn’t even know it.
14 She sits at the doorway of her house,
    on a seat at the city heights.
15 She invites those who pass by on the path,
    those going straight on their way.
16 “Whoever is naive, come in here,”
    she says to those who lack sense.
17 “Stolen water is sweet;
    food eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But they don’t know that the dead are there;
    her guests are in the depths of the grave.[a]


  1. Proverbs 9:18 Heb Sheol

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 10

Proverbs of Solomon

10 The proverbs of Solomon:
A wise child makes a father glad,
    but a foolish child brings sorrow to his mother.
The treasure of the wicked won’t profit them,
    but righteousness rescues people from death.
The Lord doesn’t let the righteous starve,
    but he rejects the desires of the wicked.
Laziness brings poverty;
    hard work makes one rich.
A wise son harvests in the summer;
    a disgraceful son sleeps right through the harvest.
Blessings cover the head of the righteous,
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
    but the name of the wicked rots.
The skilled mind accepts commands,
    but a foolish talker is ruined.
Those who walk in innocence walk with confidence,
    but those on crooked paths will be found out.
10 Those who wink an eye bring trouble;
    those who speak foolishly are ruined.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12 Hate stirs up conflict,
    but love covers all offenses.
13 Wisdom is found on the lips of those who have understanding,
    but there is a rod for the back of those with no sense.
14 The wise store up knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool brings on ruin.
15 The riches of the wealthy are their strong city;
    the ruin of the poor is their poverty.
16 The wages of the righteous lead to life;
    the earnings of the wicked lead to sin.
17 Those who heed instruction are on the way to life,
    but those who ignore correction lose their way.
18 Lying lips conceal hate,
    and those who spread slander are fools.
19 With lots of words comes wrongdoing,
    but the wise restrain their lips.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
    but the heart of the wicked lacks value.
21 The lips of the righteous nourish many people,
    but fools who lack sense will die.
22 The Lord’s blessing makes a person rich,
    and no trouble is added to it.
23 Fools enjoy vile deeds,
    but those with understanding take pleasure in wisdom.
24 What the wicked dread will come on them,
    but what the righteous desire will be given to them.
25 After a whirlwind passes by, the wicked are no more,
    but the righteous stand firm forever.
26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
    so are lazy people to those who authorize them.
27 The fear of the Lord increases one’s life,
    but the years of the wicked will be cut short.
28 The expectations of the righteous result in joy,
    but the hopes of the wicked will perish.
29 The path of the Lord is a refuge for the innocent
    and ruin for those who do evil.
30 The righteous will never be shaken,
    but the wicked won’t dwell in the land.
31 The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom,
    but the twisted tongue will be cut off.
32 The lips of the wise know what is acceptable,
    but the mouth of the wicked knows only what is perverse.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 11

11 The Lord detests dishonest scales,
    but delights in an accurate weight.
When pride comes, so does shame,
    but wisdom brings humility.
Integrity guides the virtuous,
    but dishonesty ruins the treacherous.
Riches don’t help in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness rescues from death.
The righteousness of the innocent makes their path straight,
    but the wicked fall in their wickedness.
Those who do right are saved by their righteousness,
    but the untrustworthy are caught by their own desires.
When the wicked die, their hope perishes.
    Yes, any hope based on money perishes.
The righteous are saved from distress,
    and the wicked take their place.
The godless destroy their neighbors by their words,
    but the righteous are saved by their knowledge.
10 When the righteous succeed, a city rejoices;
    when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.
11 A city is honored by the blessing of the virtuous;
    it is destroyed by the words of the wicked.
12 Whoever despises their neighbor lacks sense;
    a sensible person keeps quiet.
13 A slanderer walks around revealing secrets,
    but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.
14 Without guidance, a people will fall,
    but there is victory with many counselors.
15 Guaranteeing the debt of a stranger brings big trouble,
    but the one who refuses to shake hands will be secure.
16 A gracious woman gains honor;
    violent men gain only wealth.
17 Kind persons benefit themselves,
    but cruel people harm themselves.
18 The wicked earn false wages,
    but those who sow righteousness receive a true reward.
19 The righteous are headed toward life,
    but those who pursue evil, toward death.
20 The Lord detests a crooked heart,
    but he favors those whose path is innocent.
21 The evil person will surely not go unpunished,
    but the children of the righteous will escape.
22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s nose
    is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.
23 The desires of the righteous end up well,
    but the expectations of the wicked bring wrath.
24 Those who give generously receive more,
    but those who are stingy with what is appropriate will grow needy.
25 Generous persons will prosper;
    those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
26 People curse those who hoard grain,
    but they bless those[a] who sell it.
27 Those who look for good find favor,
    but those who seek evil—it will come to them.
28 Those who trust in their wealth will wither,
    but the righteous will thrive like leafy trees.
29 Those who trouble their family will inherit the wind.
    The fool will be servant to the wise.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and the wise gather lives.[b]
31 If the righteous receive their due on earth,
    how much more the wicked and sinners?


  1. Proverbs 11:26 Or the heads of those
  2. Proverbs 11:30 Or LXX, Syr violence takes lives away

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 12

12 Those who love discipline love knowledge,
    and those who hate correction are stupid.
The Lord favors good people,
    but he condemns schemers.
No one is established by wicked acts,
    but the roots of the righteous can’t be disturbed.
A strong woman is a crown to her husband,
    but a disgraceful woman is like rot in his bones.
The plans of the righteous are just,
    but the guidance of the wicked is deceptive.
The words of the wicked are a deathtrap,
    but the speech of those who do right rescues them.
The wicked are destroyed and are no more,
    but the family of the righteous will endure.
A person is praised for his insight,
    but a warped mind leads to contempt.
Better to be held in low regard and have a servant
    than to be conceited and lack food.
10 The righteous care about their livestock’s needs,
    but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
11 Those who work their land will have plenty to eat,
    but those who engage in empty pursuits have no sense.
12 Desiring evil is a trap for the wicked,
    but the root of the righteous endures.[a]
13 The wicked are trapped by the transgressions of their lips,
    but the righteous escape from distress.
14 From the fruit of their speech, people are well satisfied;
    their work results in reward.
15 Fools see their own way as right,
    but the wise listen to advice.
16 Fools reveal their anger right away,
    but the shrewd hide their contempt.
17 Those who state the truth speak justly,
    but a false witness deceives.
18 Some chatter on like a stabbing sword,
    but a wise tongue heals.
19 Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue lasts only for a moment.
20 Deceit is in the heart of those who plan evil,
    but there is joy for those who advise peace.
21 No harm happens to the righteous,
    but the wicked receive their fill of trouble.
22 The Lord detests false lips;
    he favors those who do what is true.
23 The shrewd conceal their knowledge,
    but the heart of fools proclaims their stupidity.
24 A hard worker is in charge,
    while a lazy one will be sentenced to hard labor.
25 Anxiety leads to depression,
    but a good word encourages.
26 The righteous offer guidance to their neighbors,[b]
    but the path of the wicked makes them wander.
27 The lazy don’t roast[c] their prey,
    but hard workers receive precious riches.
28 The way of the righteous leads to life,
    but the detestable[d] path leads to death.


  1. Proverbs 12:12 Or gives
  2. Proverbs 12:26 Heb uncertain
  3. Proverbs 12:27 Heb uncertain
  4. Proverbs 12:28 LXX; MT the path of the trail

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 13

13 A wise son listens to[a] the discipline of his father,
    but a mocker doesn’t listen to correction.
People eat well from the fruit of their words,
    but the treacherous have an appetite only for violence.
People who watch their mouths guard their lives,
    but those who open their lips are ruined.
The lazy have strong desires but receive nothing;
    the appetite of the diligent is satisfied.
The righteous hate false words,
    but the wicked create disgust and scorn.
Righteousness guards the innocent on the path,
    but wickedness misleads sinners.
Some pretend to be rich but have nothing,
    while others pretend to be poor, but have great riches.
Wealth can ransom a person’s life,
    but the poor don’t even receive threats.
The light of the righteous rejoices,
    but the lamp of the wicked goes out.
10 The empty-headed cause conflict out of pride;
    those who take advice are wise.
11 Riches gotten quickly[b] will dwindle,
    but those who acquire them gradually become wealthy.
12 Hope delayed makes the heart sick;
    longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
13 Trouble will come on those who despise a word,
    but those who respect the commandment will be rewarded.
14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    turning a person away from deathtraps.
15 Good insight brings favor,
    but the way of the faithless is their ruin.[c]
16 The prudent all act intelligently,
    but fools display their stupidity.
17 Wicked messengers fall into trouble,
    but a reliable one brings healing.
18 Poverty and shame come to those who don’t care about instruction;
    honor belongs to those who heed correction.
19 A desire fulfilled is pleasant,
    but fools find deviating from evil disgusting.
20 Walk with wise people and become wise;
    befriend fools and get in trouble.
21 Trouble pursues sinners,
    but good things reward the righteous.
22 Good people leave their grandchildren an inheritance,
    but the wealth of sinners is stored up for the righteous.
23 A poor person’s land might produce much food,
    but it is unjustly swept away.
24 Those who withhold the rod hate their children,
    but the one who loves them applies discipline.
25 The righteous eat their fill,
    but the wicked have empty stomachs.


  1. Proverbs 13:1 Heb lacks listens to.
  2. Proverbs 13:11 LXX; MT from meaninglessness
  3. Proverbs 13:15 LXX, Syr, Vulg; MT endures

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 14

14 A wise woman builds her house,
    while a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.
Those who walk with integrity fear the Lord,
    but those who take a crooked path despise him.
Pride sprouts in the mouth of a fool,[a]
    but the lips of the wise protect them.
When there are no oxen, the stall is clean,
    but when there is a strong bull, there is abundant produce.
A truthful witness doesn’t lie,
    but a false witness spews lies.
A mocker searches for wisdom and gets none,
    but knowledge comes quickly to the intelligent.
Stay away from fools,
    for you won’t learn wise speech there.
By their wisdom the prudent understand their way,
    but the stupidity of fools deceives them.
Fools mock a compensation offering,
    but favor is with those who do right.
10 The heart knows its own distress;
    another person can’t share its joy.
11 The house of the wicked is destroyed,
    but the tent flourishes for those who do right.
12 There is a path that may seem straight to someone,
    but in the end it is a path to death.
13 The heart feels pain even in laughter,
    and in the end, joy turns to sorrow.
14 Rebellious hearts receive satisfaction from their ways;
    the good receive the due reward for their deeds.
15 The naive believe anything,
    but the prudent give thought to their steps.
16 The wise are careful and avoid evil,
    but fools become excited and overconfident.
17 Short-tempered people make stupid mistakes,
    and schemers are hated.
18 Stupidity is the lot of the naive,
    but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19 Evil people will bow down before the good;
    wicked people are at the gates of the righteous.
20 Even their neighbors hate the poor,
    but many love the wealthy.
21 Those who despise their neighbors are sinners,
    but happy are those who are kind to the needy.
22 Don’t those who plan evil go astray?
    Those who plan good receive loyalty and faithfulness.
23 There is profit in hard work,
    but mere talk leads to poverty.
24 Wealth is the crown of the wise,
    and the folly of fools is folly.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
    but a deceiver proclaims lies.
26 In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence
    and refuge for one’s children.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
    turning people away from deathtraps.
28 A king’s glory is a large population,
    but a dwindling people is a ruler’s ruin.
29 Patience leads to abundant understanding,
    but impatience leads to stupid mistakes.
30 A peaceful mind gives life to the body,
    but jealousy rots the bones.
31 Those who exploit the powerless anger their maker,
    while those who are kind to the poor honor God.
32 The wicked are thrown down by their own evil,
    but the righteous find refuge even in death.
33 Wisdom resides in an understanding heart,
    but it’s not[b] known in fools.
34 Righteousness dignifies a nation,
    but sin disgraces a people.
35 The king favors an insightful servant,
    but is furious at a shameful one.


  1. Proverbs 14:3 Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 14:33 LXX; MT lacks not.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 15

15 A sensitive answer turns back wrath,
    but an offensive word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise enhances knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool gushes with stupidity.
The Lord’s eyes are everywhere,
    keeping watch on evil and good people.
Wholesome speech is a tree of life,
    but dishonest talk breaks the spirit.
A fool doesn’t like a father’s instruction,
    but those who heed correction are mature.
Great treasure is in the house of the righteous,
    but the gain of the wicked brings trouble.
The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
    but the hearts of fools have none.
The Lord detests the sacrifices of the wicked,
    but favors the prayers of those who do right.
The Lord detests the path of the wicked,
    but loves those who pursue righteousness.
10 Discipline is severe for those who abandon the way;
    those who hate correction will die.
11 The grave[a] and the underworld[b] lie open before the Lord;
    how much more the hearts of human beings!
12 Mockers don’t like those who correct them.
    They won’t go to the wise.
13 A joyful heart brightens one’s face,
    but a troubled heart breaks the spirit.
14 An understanding heart seeks knowledge;
    but fools feed on folly.
15 All the days of the needy are hard,
    but a happy heart has a continual feast.
16 Better a little with fear of the Lord
    than a great treasure with turmoil.
17 Better a meal of greens with love
    than a plump calf with hate.
18 Hotheads stir up conflict,
    but patient people calm down strife.
19 The path of the lazy is like a hedge of thorns,
    but the way of those who do right is a clear road.
20 A wise child brings joy to a father,
    but fools despise their mothers.
21 Folly is joy to those who lack sense,
    but those with understanding walk straight ahead.
22 Plans fail with no counsel,
    but with many counselors they succeed.
23 To give an appropriate answer is a joy;
    how good is a word at the right time!
24 For those with insight, life is an upward path,
    avoiding the grave [c] below.
25 The Lord snatches away the arrogant one’s house,
    but he preserves the widow’s boundaries.
26 The Lord detests evil plans,
    but gracious words are pure.
27 Those who acquire things unjustly gain trouble for their house,
    but those who hate bribes will live.
28 The righteous heart reflects before answering,
    but the wicked mouth blurts out evil.
29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
    but he listens to the prayers of the righteous.
30 Bright eyes give joy to the heart;
    good news strengthens the bones.
31 The ear that listens to life-giving correction
    dwells among the wise.
32 Those who refuse discipline despise themselves,
    but those who listen to correction gain understanding.
33 The fear of the Lord is wise instruction,
    and humility comes before respect.


  1. Proverbs 15:11 Heb Sheol
  2. Proverbs 15:11 Heb Abaddon
  3. Proverbs 15:24 Heb Sheol

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 16

16 To people belong the plans of the heart,
    but the answer of the tongue comes from the Lord.
All the ways of people
are pure in their eyes,
    but the Lord tests the motives.
Commit your work to the Lord,
    and your plans will succeed.
The Lord made everything for a purpose,
    even the wicked for an evil day.
The Lord detests all who are arrogant;
    they surely won’t go unpunished.
Love and faithfulness reconcile guilt;
    the fear of the Lord turns away evil.
When people draw favor from the Lord,
    even their enemies are at peace with them.
Better a little with righteousness
    than great profits without justice.
People plan their path,
    but the Lord secures their steps.
10 A king’s speech is like an oracle;
    in a judgment, one can’t go against his words.
11 Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s;
    all the weights in the bag are his doing.
12 Kings detest wicked deeds,
    for their thrones are founded on righteousness.
13 Kings favor those with righteous lips;
    they love words of integrity.
14 The king’s anger is a messenger of death;
    the wise will calm him.
15 There’s life in the light of the king’s face.
    His favor is like a cloud that brings spring rain.
16 Acquiring wisdom is much better than gold,
    and acquiring understanding is better than silver.
17 The road of those who do right turns away from evil;
    those who protect their path guard their lives.
18 Pride comes before disaster,
    and arrogance before a fall.
19 Better to be humble with the needy
    than to divide plunder with the proud.
20 Those with insight find prosperity;
    those who trust the Lord are blessed.
21 The skilled mind is called discerning,
    and pleasant speech enhances teaching.
22 One who has insight is a fountain of life,
    but the instruction of the foolish is folly.
23 The mind of the wise makes their speech insightful
    and enhances the teaching of their lips.
24 Pleasant words are flowing honey,
    sweet to the taste and healing to the bones.
25 There is a path that may seem straight to someone,
    but in the end it is the path of death.
26 The appetite of workers labors for them,
    for their hunger presses them on.
27 Worthless people dig up trouble;
    their lips are like a scorching fire.
28 Destructive people produce conflict;
    gossips alienate close friends.
29 Violent people entice their neighbors
    and walk them down a path that isn’t good.
30 Those who wink their eye plot destruction;
    those who purse their lips plan evil.
31 Gray hair is a crown of glory;
    it is found on the path of righteousness.
32 Better to be patient than a warrior,
    and better to have self-control than to capture a city.
33 The dice are cast into the lap;
    all decisions are from the Lord.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 17

17 Better a dry crust with quiet
    than a house full of feasting with quarrels.
An insightful servant rules over a disgraceful son
    and will divide an inheritance
    with the brothers.
A crucible is for silver and a furnace for gold,
    but the Lord tests the heart.
An evildoer pays attention to guilty lips;
    a liar listens to a destructive tongue.
Those who mock the poor insult their maker;
    those who rejoice in disaster won’t go unpunished.
Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly,
    and the glory of children is their parents.
Too much talking isn’t right for a fool;
    even less so false speech for an honorable person.
A bribe seems magical in the eyes of those who give it,
    granting success to all who use it.
One who seeks love conceals an offense,
    but one who repeats it divides friends.
10 A rebuke goes deeper to an understanding person
    than a hundred lashes to a fool.
11 Evil people seek only rebellion;
    a cruel messenger will be sent against them.
12 Safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
    than fools in their folly.
13 Evil will never depart from the house
    of those who return evil for good.
14 The start of a quarrel is like letting out water,
    so drop the dispute before it breaks out.
15 Judging the righteous wicked and the wicked righteous—
    the Lord detests both of these.
16 Why should a fool have money
    to pay for wisdom? He has no mind.
17 Friends love all the time,
    and kinsfolk are born for times of trouble.
18 One with no sense shakes hands on a deal,
    securing a loan for a friend.
19 Those who love an offense love a quarrel;
    those who build a high doorway invite a collapse.
20 Those with crooked hearts won’t prosper,
    and those with twisted tongues will fall into trouble.
21 Having a fool for a son brings grief;
    there’s no joy for a scoundrel’s father.
22 A joyful heart helps healing,
    but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
23 The wicked take secret bribes
    to twist the way of justice.
24 Wisdom is right in front of those with understanding,
    but the eyes of fools are off to the edges of the earth.
25 A foolish son is irritating to his father
    and bitter to her who gave birth to him.
26 It isn’t good to punish the righteous,
    to strike the honorable for their integrity.
27 Wise are those who restrain their talking;
    people with understanding are coolheaded.
28 Fools who keep quiet are deemed wise;
    those who shut their lips are smart.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 18

18 Unfriendly people look out for themselves;
    they bicker with sensible people.
Fools find no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing their opinion.
When the wicked arrive, so does contempt;
    with shame comes insult.
The words of a person’s mouth are deep waters,
    a bubbling stream, a fountain of wisdom.
Favoring the wicked isn’t good;
    it denies justice to the righteous.
The lips of fools make accusations;
    their mouths elicit beatings.
The mouth of fools is their ruin;
    their lips are a trap for their lives.
The words of gossips are like choice snacks;
    they go down to the inmost parts.
Those who are lazy in their work
    are brothers to thugs.
10 The Lord’s name is a strong tower;
    the righteous run to it and find refuge.
11 The riches of the wealthy are a strong city
    and like a high wall in their imagination.
12 Pride comes before a disaster,
    but humility comes before respect.
13 Those who answer before they listen
    are foolish and disgraceful.
14 The human spirit sustains a sick person,
    but who can bear a broken spirit?
15 An understanding mind gains knowledge;
    the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16 A gift opens the way
    for access to important people.
17 The first person to testify seems innocent,
    until the other comes and cross-examines him.
18 The dice settle conflicts
    and keep strong opponents apart.
19 An offended ally is more formidable than a city;
    such quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
20 The stomach is satisfied
by the fruit of the mouth;
    one’s lips can earn a satisfying income.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue;
    those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds what is good,
    gaining favor from the Lord.
23 The poor plead for help,
    but the wealthy answer harshly.
24 There are persons for companionship,
    but then there are friends who are more loyal than family.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 19

19 Better to be poor and walk in innocence
    than to have dishonest lips and be a fool.
Ignorant desire isn’t good;
    rushing feet make mistakes.
People’s own folly corrupts their way,
    but their hearts rage against the Lord.
Riches increase one’s friends,
    but the poor lose their friends.
A false witness won’t go unpunished,
    and a liar won’t escape.
Many seek favor from rulers;
    everyone befriends a gift giver.
All the relatives of the poor hate them;
    even more, their friends stay far from them.
    When they pursue them with words, they aren’t there.
Those who acquire good sense love themselves;
    those who keep understanding find success.
False witnesses won’t go unpunished,
    and liars will perish.
10 Luxury isn’t fitting for a fool;
    even less so for a servant to rule over princes.
11 Insightful people restrain their anger;
    their glory is to ignore an offense.
12 A raging king roars like a lion;
    his favor is like the dew on the grass.
13 A foolish son is a disaster to his father;
    a contentious wife is like constant dripping.
14 House and riches are an inheritance from one’s ancestors,
    but an insightful wife is from the Lord.
15 Laziness brings on deep sleep;
    a slacker goes hungry.
16 Those who keep the commandment preserve their lives;
    those who disregard their ways will die.
17 Those who are gracious to the poor lend to the Lord,
    and the Lord will fully repay them.
18 Discipline your children while there is hope,
    but don’t plan to kill them.
19 Angry people must pay the penalty;
    if you rescue them, then you will have to do it again.
20 Listen to advice and accept instruction,
    so you might grow wise in the future.
21 Many plans are in a person’s mind,
    but the Lord’s purpose will succeed.
22 People long for trustworthiness;
    it is better to be poor than a liar.
23 The fear of the Lord leads to life;
    then one rests content, untouched by harm.
24 Lazy people bury their hand in the bowl;
    they won’t even put it to their mouth.
25 Strike someone who scoffs, and a naive person will become clever;
    correct someone with understanding, and they will gain knowledge.
26 Those who assault their father and drive out their mother
    are disgraceful children, worthy of reproach.
27 If, my child, you stop listening to discipline,
    you will wander away from words of knowledge.
28 A worthless witness mocks justice;
    the wicked mouth gulps down trouble.
29 Punishments were made for mockers,
    and blows for the backs of fools.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 20

20 Wine is a mocker; beer a carouser.
    Those it leads astray won’t become wise.
A king is as terrifying as a lion’s growl.
    Those who anger him may lose their life.
It is honorable to back off from a fight,
    but fools jump right in.
The lazy don’t plow during winter;
    at harvest they look but find nothing.
Advice comes from the deep waters of the heart;
    those with understanding can draw it out.
Many people will say that they are loyal,
    but who can find a reliable person?
The righteous live with integrity;
    happy are their children who come after them.
A king who sits on his judgment throne
    sifts out all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, “I’m innocent to the core;
    I’m cleansed from my sin”?
10 False weights and measures—
    the Lord detests them both.
11 Even young people are known by their actions,
    whether their conduct is pure and upright.
12 Ears to hear and eyes to see—
    the Lord made them both.
13 Don’t love sleep or you will be poor;
    stay alert and you will have plenty to eat.
14 The buyer says, “Bad, bad,”
    but then goes away and brags.
15 Much gold and many pearls exist,
    but wise speech is the most precious jewel.
16 Take the garment of the person who secures a loan for a stranger;
    take his pledge for a foreigner.
17 Stolen bread is sweet,
    but afterward the mouth is full of gravel.
18 Plans are firmed up by advice;
    wage wars with good guidance.
19 Gossips reveal secrets;
    don’t associate with those who talk too much.
20 Those who curse their father or mother—
    their lamp will be snuffed out when it becomes dark.
21 Inheritance gained quickly at first
    won’t bless later on.
22 Don’t say, “I’ll repay the evildoer!”
    Wait for the Lord, and he will save you.
23 The Lord detests false weights;
    deceptive scales aren’t right.
24 A person’s steps are from the Lord;
    how then can people understand their path?
25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and only reflect after making the promise.
26 A wise king sifts out the wicked,
    and runs them over with a wheel.
27 The breath of a person is the lamp of the Lord,
    searching all the inmost parts.
28 Kindness and faithfulness protect the king;
    he supports his throne by kindness.
29 Strength is the glory of young men;
    gray hair is the splendor of old age.
30 Blows and bruises remove evil;
    beatings cleanse the inner parts.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 21

21 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
    he directs it wherever he wants.
Everyone’s path is straight in their own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.
Acting with righteousness and justice
    is more valued by the Lord than sacrifice.
Prideful eyes, an arrogant heart, and
    the lamp of the wicked are all sinful.
The plans of the diligent end up in profit,
    but those who hurry end up with loss.
Those who gain treasure with lies
    are like a drifting fog, leading to death.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    for they refuse to act with justice.
The ways of some people are twisted and strange,
    but the behavior of those who do right is pure.
Better to live on the edge of a roof
    than with a contentious woman in a large house.
10 Wicked people desire evil;
    their neighbors receive no mercy from them.
11 When a mocker is punished, the naive person gains wisdom;
    when insight comes to the wise, knowledge increases.
12 The righteous one observes the house of the wicked,
    turning the wicked toward trouble.
13 Those who close their ears to the cries of the poor
    will themselves call out but receive no answer.
14 A secret gift calms anger,
    and a hidden bribe removes[a] furious wrath.
15 Acting justly is a joy to the righteous,
    but dreaded by those who do evil.
16 People who wander from the path of insight
    will rest in the company of the dead.
17 Those who love pleasure end up poor;
    lovers of wine and oil won’t get rich.
18 The wicked are a ransom for the righteous;
    the treacherous will be punished[b] in the place of the virtuous.
19 Better to live in a wilderness
    than in a house with a contentious and angry woman.
20 Precious treasure and oil stay in the home of the wise,
    but fools swallow them up.
21 Those who pursue righteousness and kindness
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A wise person fought a city of warriors
    and brought down the stronghold in which they felt safe.
23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
    guard themselves from trouble.
24 Incredibly proud—mockers are their name!
    Their conduct involves excessive pride.
25 The desires of the lazy will kill them,
    because their hands refuse to do anything.
26 The lazy desire things constantly,
    but the righteous give without holding back.
27 The Lord detests the sacrifices of the wicked,
    especially when brought with devious motives.
28 A lying witness will perish,
    but one who listens will testify successfully.
29 The wicked person appears brash,
    but the virtuous think about the path ahead.
30 No wisdom, understanding,
    or advice can stand up against the Lord.
31 A horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but victory belongs to the Lord.


  1. Proverbs 21:14 Heb lacks removes.
  2. Proverbs 21:18 Heb lacks will be punished.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 22

22 A good reputation is better than much wealth;
    high esteem is better than silver and gold.
The rich and the poor have this in common:
    the Lord made them both.
Prudent people see trouble and hide,
    while the simpleminded go right to it and get punished.
The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
    is wealth, honor, and life.
Thorns and nets are in the path of the crooked;
    those who guard their lives keep their distance.
Train children in the way they should go;
    when they grow old, they won’t depart from it.
The wealthy rule over the poor;
    a borrower is a slave to a lender.
Those who sow injustice will harvest evil;
    the rod of their fury will come to an end.
Happy are generous people,
    because they give some of their food to the poor.
10 Remove the mocker and conflict disappears;
    judgment and shame also stop.
11 Those who love a pure heart—
    their speech is gracious, and the king is their friend.
12 The Lord’s eyes protect knowledge,
    but he frustrates the words of the treacherous.
13 A lazy person says, “There’s a lion in the street!
    I’ll be killed in the town square!”
14 The mouth of a mysterious woman is a deep pit;
    those under the Lord’s wrath will fall in it.
15 Folly is bound up in a child’s heart;
    the rod of discipline removes it.
16 Oppressing the poor to get rich
    and giving to the wealthy lead only to poverty.

Thirty sayings of the wise

17 Turn your ear and hear the words of the wise;
    focus your mind on my knowledge.
18     It will be pleasant if you keep the words in you,
    if you have them ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust will be in the Lord,
    I’m teaching you today—yes, you.
20 Haven’t I written for you thirty[a] sayings
    full of advice and knowledge?
21 Their purpose is to teach you true, reliable words,
    so you can report back reliably to those who sent you.

22 Don’t steal from the poor, because they are poor.
    Don’t oppress the needy in the gate.
23 The Lord will take up their case
    and press the life out of those who oppress them.[b]

24 Don’t befriend people controlled by anger;
    don’t associate with hot-tempered people;
25     otherwise, you will learn their ways
    and become trapped.

26 Don’t shake hands to guarantee a loan.
27 If you can’t repay,
    why should they be able to take your bed from you?

28 Don’t remove an ancient boundary marker
    that your ancestors established.

29 Do you see people who work skillfully?
    They will work for kings
        but not work for lowly people.


  1. Proverbs 22:20 Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 22:23 Heb uncertain

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 23

23 When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
    carefully consider what is in front of you.
Place a knife at your throat
    to control your appetite.
Don’t long for the ruler’s delicacies;
    the food misleads.

Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich;
    be smart enough to stop.
When your eyes fly to wealth
    it is gone; it grows wings
    like an eagle and flies heavenward.

Don’t eat food with stingy people;
    don’t long for their delicacies,
    because they are like a hair in the throat.[a]
They say to you, “Eat and drink!”
    but they don’t mean it.
You will eat scraps and vomit them out.
    You will waste your pleasant words.
Don’t speak in the ears of fools,
    for they will scorn your insightful words.

10 Don’t remove an ancient boundary marker;
    don’t invade the fields of orphans,
11     for their redeemer is strong.
    He will bring charges against you.

12 Bring your mind to instruction,
    your ear to knowledgeable sayings.

13 Don’t withhold instruction from children;
    if you strike them with a rod, they won’t die.
14 Strike them with a rod,
    and you will save their lives from the grave.[b]

15 My child, if your heart is wise,
    then my heart too will be happy.
16 My inner being will rejoice
    when your lips speak with integrity.

17 Don’t let your heart envy sinners,
    but fear the Lord constantly;
18         then you will have a future,
        and your hope won’t be cut off.

19 Listen, my child, and be wise!
    Keep your mind straight on the path.
20 Don’t hang out with those who get drunk on wine
    or those who eat too much meat,
21     because drunks and gluttons will be impoverished;
    their stupor will clothe them in rags.

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life;
    don’t despise your elderly mother.
23 Buy truth and don’t sell it;
    buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will be very happy;
    the one who gives life to the wise will rejoice.
25 Your father and your mother will rejoice;
    she who gave you birth will be happy.

26 My child, give your mind to me
    and let your eyes keep to my path.
27 A prostitute is a deep pit,
    and a foreign woman is a narrow well.
28 Indeed, she ambushes like a robber
    and increases the number of the faithless.

29 Who is suffering?
    Who is uneasy?
    Who has arguments?
    Who has complaints?
    Who has unnecessary wounds?
    Who has glazed eyes?—
30         those who linger over wine;
        those who go looking for mixed wine.
31 Don’t look at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup,
    going down smoothly.
32 In the end, it bites like a snake
    and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
    and your heart will speak distorted words.
34 You will be like one who lies down while out on the sea[c]
    or one who lies on top of a mast.
35 “Though hit, I feel no pain;
    though beaten up, I don’t know anything about it.
When I wake up,
    I’ll look for wine again!”


  1. Proverbs 23:7 LXX; Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 23:14 Heb Sheol
  3. Proverbs 23:34 Or in the heart of the sea

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 24

24 Don’t envy evil people,
    and don’t long to be with them.
Their hearts are focused on violence,
    and their lips speak of trouble.

By wisdom a house is built;
    by understanding it is established.
By knowledge rooms are filled
    with all precious and pleasant wealth.
A wise person is mightier than a strong one;[a]
    a knowledgeable person than a powerful one.
You should make war with guidance;
    victory comes with many counselors.

Wisdom is beyond foolish people.
    They don’t open their mouths in the gate.
Those who plot evil
    will be called master schemers.
The scheming of fools is sin;
    people detest mockers.

10 If you show yourself weak on a day of distress,
    your strength is too small.
11 Rescue those being taken off to death;
    and from those staggering to the slaughter, don’t hold back.
12 If you say, “Look, we didn’t know about it,”
    the one who weighs hearts—doesn’t he understand?
    The one who protects your life—he knows.
    He makes people pay for their actions.

13 My child, eat honey, for it is good.
    The honeycomb is sweet in your mouth.
14 Know that wisdom is like that for your whole being.
    If you find it, there is a future.
    Your hope won’t be cut off.

15 Wicked one, don’t wait secretly at the home of the righteous.
    Don’t destroy their dwelling.
16 The righteous may fall seven times but still get up,
    but the wicked will stumble into trouble.

17 When your enemies fall, don’t rejoice.
    When they stumble, don’t let your heart be glad,
18 or the Lord will see it and be displeased,
    and he will turn his anger from them.
19 Don’t get fighting mad at evil people;
    don’t be envious of the wicked.
20 Indeed, there is no future for the evil;
    the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

21 Fear the Lord, my child, as well as the king.
    Don’t associate with those who are rebellious.
22 Disaster comes suddenly from them.
    Who can know the ruin that both can bring?

More sayings of the wise

23 These are also the sayings of the wise:

Partiality in judgment isn’t good.

24 Those who say to the guilty, “You are innocent”—
    the people will curse them.
    Nations will condemn them.
25 But it will go well for those who rebuke them.
    A rich blessing will come to them.
26 Those who speak honestly
    are like those who kiss on the lips.

27 Get your outside work done;
    make preparations in the field;
    then you can build your house.

28 Don’t be a witness against your neighbor without reason;
    don’t deceive with your lips.
29 Don’t say, “I’ll do to them what they did to me.
    I’ll pay them back for their actions.”

30 I happened upon the field of a lazy person,
    by the vineyard of one with no sense.
31 Thorns grew all over it;
    weeds covered the ground,
    and the stone wall was falling down.
32 I observed this and took it to heart;
    I saw it and learned a lesson.
33 “A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little lying down with folded arms”—
34     and poverty will come on you like a prowler,
    deprivation like a man with a shield.


  1. Proverbs 24:5 LXX; MT A wise man is strong.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 25

More proverbs of Solomon

25 These are also proverbs of Solomon, copied by the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah:

It is the glory of God to hide something
    and the glory of kings to discover something.
Like the high heavens and the depths of the earth,
    so the mind of a king is unsearchable.

Remove the dross from the silver,
    and a vessel will come out for the refiner.
Remove the wicked from the king’s presence,
    and his throne will be established in righteousness.

Don’t exalt yourself in the presence of the king,
    or stand in the place of important people,
    because it is better that he say to you,
    “Come up here,”
    than to be demoted before a ruler.

What your eyes see, don’t be quick to quarrel over;
    what will you do in the future when your neighbor shames you?
Argue it out with your neighbor,
    and don’t give away someone’s secret.
10 Otherwise, the one who hears it will vilify you;
    the slander against you will never stop.

11 Words spoken at the right time
    are like gold apples in a silver setting.
12 Wise correction to an ear that listens
    is like a gold earring or jewelry of fine gold.

13 Like the coolness of snow on a harvest day
    are reliable messengers to those who send them;
    they restore the life of their master.
14 People who brag about a gift never given
    are like clouds and wind that produce no rain.
15 A commander can be persuaded with patience,
    and a tender tongue can break a bone.
16 If you find honey, eat just the right amount;
    otherwise, you’ll get full and vomit it up.
17 Don’t spend too much time in your neighbor’s house.
    Otherwise, they’ll get fed up with you and hate you.
18 People who testify falsely against their neighbors
    are like a club, sword, and sharpened arrow.
19 Trusting a treacherous person at a difficult time
    is like having a bad tooth or a wobbly foot.
20 Singing a song to a troubled heart
    is like taking off a garment on a cold day
    or putting vinegar on a wound.[a]
21 If your enemies are starving, feed them some bread;
    if they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
22 By doing this, you will heap burning coals on their heads,
    and the Lord will reward you.
23 The north wind stirs up rain,
    and a person who plots quietly provokes angry faces.
24 Better to live on the edge of a roof
    than to share a house with a contentious woman.
25 Good news from a distant land
    is like cold water for a weary person.
26 A righteous person giving in to the wicked
    is like a contaminated spring or a polluted fountain.
27 Eating too much honey isn’t good,
    nor is it appropriate to seek honor.
28 A person without self-control
    is like a breached city, one with no walls.


  1. Proverbs 25:20 LXX; MT vinegar on natron (a detergent)

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 26

26 Like snow in the summer or rain at harvest,
    so honor isn’t appropriate for a fool.
Like a darting sparrow, like a flying swallow,
    so an undeserved curse never arrives.
A whip for a horse, a bridle for a donkey,
    and a rod for the back of fools.
Don’t answer fools according to their folly,
    or you will become like them yourself.
Answer fools according to their folly,
    or they will deem themselves wise.
Sending messages with a fool
    is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking down violence.
As legs dangle from a disabled person,
    so does a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like tying a stone in a sling,
    so is giving respect to a fool.
Like a thorny bush in the hand of a drunk,
    so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 Like an archer who wounds someone randomly,
    so is one who hires a fool or a passerby.
11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit,
    so a fool repeats foolish mistakes.
12 Do you see people who consider themselves wise?
    There is more hope for a fool than for them.
13 A lazy person says, “There’s a lion in the path!
    A lion in the plazas!”
14 As a door turns on its hinge,
    so do lazy people in their beds.
15 Lazy people bury their hand into the bowl,
    too tired to return it to their mouth.
16 Lazy people think they are wiser
    than seven people who answer sensibly.

17     Like yanking the ears of a dog,
    so is one who passes by and gets involved in another person’s fight.
18 Like a crazy person shooting deadly flaming arrows
19     are those who deceive their neighbor and say, “Hey, I was only joking!”
20 Without wood a fire goes out;
    without gossips, conflict calms down.
21 Like adding charcoal to embers or wood to fire,
    quarrelsome people kindle strife.
22 The words of gossips are like choice snacks;
    they go down to the inmost parts.
23 Smooth[a] lips and an evil heart
    are like silver coating on clay.
24 Hateful people mislead with their lips,
    keeping their deception within.
25 Though they speak graciously, don’t believe them,
    for seven horrible things are in their heart.
26 They may cover their hatred with trickery,
    but their evil will be revealed in public.
27 Those who dig a pit will fall in it;
    those who roll a stone will have it turn back on them.
28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes;
    a flattering mouth causes destruction.


  1. Proverbs 26:23 LXX; Heb uncertain

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 27

27 Don’t brag about tomorrow,
    for you don’t know what a day will bring.
Let another person praise you, and not your own mouth;
    a stranger, and not your own lips.
A stone is heavy and sand weighs much,
    but the nuisance of fools is heavier than both.
Wrath is cruel and anger is a flood,
    but who can withstand jealousy?
A public correction is better than hidden love.
Trustworthy are the bruises of a friend;
    excessive are the kisses of an enemy.
Someone who is full refuses honey,
    but anything bitter tastes sweet to a hungry person.
Like a bird wandering from its nest,
    so is one who wanders from home.
Oil and incense make the heart glad,
    and the sweetness of friends comes from their advice.[a]
10 Don’t desert your friend or a friend of your family;
    don’t go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes.
    Better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.
11 Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad,
    so I can answer those who insult me.
12 Prudent people see evil and hide;
    the simpleminded go right to it and get punished.
13 Take the garment of the person who secures a loan for a stranger;
    take his pledge for a foreigner.
14 Greeting a neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning
    will be viewed as a curse.
15 The constant dripping on a rainy day
    and a contentious woman are alike;
16         anyone who can control her
        can control the wind
        or pick up oil in his hand.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens a friend.
18 Those who tend a fig tree will eat its fruit,
    and those who look after their master will be honored.
19 As water reflects the face,
    so the heart reflects one person to another.
20 The grave[b] and the underworld[c] are never satisfied;
    and people’s eyes are never satisfied.
21 A crucible is for silver and a furnace for gold;
    so are people in the presence of someone who praises them.
22 Even if you grind fools in a mortar,
    even grinding them along with the grain,
    their folly won’t be driven from them.
23 Know your flock well;
    pay attention to your herds,
24         for no treasure lasts forever,
        nor a crown generation after generation.
25 When the grass goes away, new growth appears,
    and the plants of the hills are gathered,
26         then the lambs will provide your clothes,
        and the goats will be the price of your fields.
27 There will be enough goat’s milk for your food,
    for the food of your house,
    and to nourish your young women.


  1. Proverbs 27:9 Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 27:20 Heb Sheol
  3. Proverbs 27:20 Heb Abaddon

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 28

28 The wicked run away even though no one pursues them,
    but the righteous are as confident as a lion.
When a land rebels, there are many leaders;
    but a person with understanding brings order.
Poor people who oppress the needy
    are rain that washes away food.
Those who abandon Instruction praise the wicked,
    but those who follow Instruction battle them.
Evil people don’t understand justice,
    but those who seek the Lord understand everything.
Better to be poor and walk in innocence
    than to be on crooked paths and wealthy.
Intelligent children follow Instruction,
    but those who befriend gluttons shame their parents.
Those who become rich through high interest rates
    gather money for those who are generous to the poor.
Those who turn their ears from hearing Instruction—
    even their prayers will be detested.
10 Whoever misleads those who do right onto an evil path
    will fall into their own pit,
    but the blameless will inherit good things.
11 Rich people think they are wise,
    but an insightful poor person sees through them.
12 When the righteous rejoice, there is great respect,
    but people hide when the wicked prosper.
13 Those who hide their sins won’t succeed,
    but those who confess and give them up will receive mercy.
14 Happy are those who are continually fearful,
    but those whose hearts are hard fall into trouble.
15 A wicked ruler over the poor
    is like a growling lion or a prowling bear.
16 A prince without understanding is a cruel oppressor,
    but one who hates unjust gain will live long.
17 If someone feels guilty about murder,
    don’t hold them back from fleeing to the pit.
18 Those who walk in innocence will be saved,
    but those who go on twisted paths will fall into the grave.
19 Those who work the land will have plenty to eat,
    but those with worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 Reliable people will have abundant blessings,
    but those with get-rich-quick schemes won’t go unpunished.
21 Those who show favoritism aren’t good;
    people do wrong for a crust of bread.
22 The stingy try to get rich fast,
    unaware that loss will come to them.
23 Those who correct someone will, in the end, find more favor
    than those with flattering tongues.
24 Those who steal from their father and mother,
    and say, “It’s not a crime,”
    are friends of vandals.
25 Greedy people stir up conflict,
    but those who trust the Lord become prosperous.
26 Those who trust in their own reasoning are fools,
    but those who walk in wisdom will be kept safe.
27 Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
    but those who turn a blind eye will be greatly cursed.
28 When the wicked rise up, people hide,
    but when they are destroyed, the righteous multiply.

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 29

29 One who stays stubborn after many corrections
    will be suddenly broken, beyond healing.
When the righteous become numerous, the people rejoice,
    but when the wicked dominate, the people moan.
A man who loves wisdom makes his father rejoice,
    but one who spends time with prostitutes destroys riches.
A king gives stability to the land by justice,
    but one who imposes heavy taxes tears it down.
People who flatter their friends
    spread out a net for their feet.
The wicked are snared by their own sin;[a]
    the righteous sing and rejoice.
The righteous know the rights of the poor,
    but the wicked don’t understand.
Mockers set a city on fire,
    but the wise turn back anger.
When the wise make a legal charge against the foolish,
    the fools shout, they laugh—there is no calm.
10 Murderous people hate the innocent,
    and they seek the lives of the virtuous.
11 Fools show all their anger,
    but the wise hold it back.
12 If a ruler listens to lies,
    those who serve him will be wicked.
13 The poor and their oppressors have a common bond—
    the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.
14 If a king judges the poor honestly,
    his throne will be established forever.
15 The rod and correction lead to wisdom,
    but children out of control shame their mothers.
16 When the wicked become numerous, so do crimes;
    the righteous will see their downfall.
17 Instruct your children; they will give you peace of mind
    and bring delight into your life.
18 When there’s no vision, the people get out of control,
    but whoever obeys instruction is happy.
19 Servants aren’t disciplined by words;
    they might understand, but they don’t respond.
20 Do you see people who are quick to speak?
    There is more hope for fools than for them.
21 Pamper servants from a young age,
    and later on there will be trouble.
22 Angry people stir up conflict;
    hotheads cause much offense.
23 Pride lays people low,
    but those of humble spirit gain honor.
24 Those who share plunder with thieves hate themselves;
    even under oath, they don’t testify.
25 People are trapped by their fear of others;
    those who trust the Lord are secure.
26 Many seek access to the ruler,
    but justice comes from the Lord.
27 The unjust person is disgusting to the righteous;
    the straight path is disgusting to the wicked.


  1. Proverbs 29:6 Tg, Syr; MT In the sin of an evil man is a snare

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 30

Words of Agur

30 The words of Agur, Jakeh’s son, from Massa.

The man declares: I’m tired, God;
    I’m tired, God, and I’m exhausted.
Actually, I’m too stupid to be human,
    a man without understanding.
I haven’t learned wisdom,
    nor do I have knowledge of the holy one.

Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
    Who has gathered the wind by the handful?
    Who has bound up the waters in a garment?
    Who has established all the ends of the earth?
    What is this person’s name and the name of this person’s child—
            if you know it?

All God’s words are tried and true;
    a shield for those who take refuge in him.
Don’t add to his words,
    or he will correct you and show you to be a liar.

Two things I ask of you;
    don’t keep them from me before I die:
Fraud and lies—
    keep far from me!
Don’t give me either poverty or wealth;
    give me just the food I need.
    Or I’ll be full and deny you,
    and say, “Who is the Lord?”
    Or I’ll be poor and steal,
    and dishonor my God’s name.

More sayings of the wise

10 Don’t slander a servant to his master;
    otherwise, the servant will curse you, and you will be guilty.

11 There are those who curse their father
    and don’t bless their mother.
12 There are those who think they are clean,
    but haven’t washed off their own excrement.
13 There are those—
    how arrogant are their eyes;
    how their eyebrows are raised!
14 There are those whose teeth are swords;
    their jaw is a butcher’s knife,
    ready to devour the needy from the earth,
    and the poor from humanity.

15 The leech has two daughters: “Give, give!”
    There are three things that are never satisfied,
    four that never say, “Enough!”:
16         the grave[a] and a barren womb,
        a land never filled with water,
        and fire that doesn’t say, “Enough!”

17 An eye that mocks a father
    and rejects obedience to a mother,
    may the ravens of the river valley peck it out,
    and the eagle’s young eat it.
18 Three things are too wonderful for me,
    four that I can’t figure out:
19         the way of an eagle in the sky,
        the way of a snake on the rock,
        the way of a ship out on the open sea,
        and the way of a man with a young woman.

20 This is the way of an adulterous woman:
    she eats and wipes her mouth,
    and she says, “I’ve done nothing wrong!”

21 At three things the earth trembles,
    at four it can’t bear up:
22         at a servant when he becomes king
        and fools when they are full of food;
23         at a detested woman when she gets married
        and a female servant when she replaces her mistress.

24 Four things are among the smallest on earth,
    but they are extremely wise:
25     Ants as creatures aren’t strong,
            but they store away their food in the summer.
26     Badgers as creatures aren’t powerful,
            but they make their homes in the rocks.
27     Locusts don’t have a king,
            but they march together in ranks.
28     You can catch lizards in your hand,
            but they are in kings’ palaces.

29 There are three things that are excellent in their stride,
    four that are excellent as they walk:
30     a lion, a warrior among beasts,
            which doesn’t back down at anything;
31     the strut of a rooster or a male goat;
    and a king with his army.

32 If you’ve been foolish and arrogant,
    if you’ve been scheming,
    put your hand to your mouth,
33         because churning milk makes curds,
        squeezing the nose brings blood,
        and stirring up anger produces strife.


  1. Proverbs 30:16 Heb Sheol

Proverbs Common English Bible (CEB) 31

Words of King Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel of Massa, which his mother taught him:
No, my son!
    No, son of my womb!
    No, son of my solemn promises!
Don’t give your strength to women,
    your ways to those who wipe out kings.
It isn’t for kings, Lemuel,
    it isn’t for kings to drink wine,
    for rulers to crave[a] strong drink.
Otherwise, they will drink and forget the law,
    and violate the rights of the needy.
Give strong drink to those who are perishing
    and wine to those whose hearts are bitter.
Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and no longer remember their toil.
Speak out on behalf of the voiceless,
    and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.[b]
Speak out in order to judge with righteousness
    and to defend the needy and the poor.

The competent wife

10 A competent wife, how does one find her?
    Her value is far above pearls.
11 Her husband entrusts his heart to her,
    and with her he will have all he needs.
12 She brings him good and not trouble
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks out wool and flax;
    she works joyfully with her hands.
14 She is like a fleet of merchant ships,
    bringing food from a distance.
15 She gets up while it is still night,
    providing food for her household,
    even some for her female servants.
16 She surveys a field and acquires it;
    from her own resources, she plants a vineyard.
17 She works energetically;
    her arms are powerful.
18 She realizes that her trading is successful;
    she doesn’t put out her lamp at night.
19 She puts her hands to the spindle;
    her palms grasp the whorl.
20 She reaches out to the needy;
    she stretches out her hands to the poor.
21 She doesn’t fear for her household when it snows,
    because they are all dressed in warm[c] clothes.
22 She makes bedspreads for herself;
    fine linen and purple are her clothing.
23 Her husband is known in the city gates
    when he sits with the elders of the land.
24 She makes garments and sells them;
    she supplies sashes to traders.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
    she is confident about the future.
26 Her mouth is full of wisdom;
    kindly teaching is on her tongue.
27 She is vigilant over the activities of her household;
    she doesn’t eat the food of laziness.
28 Her children bless her;
    her husband praises her:
29     “Many women act competently,
    but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Let her share in the results of her work;
    let her deeds praise her in the city gates.


  1. Proverbs 31:4 Or where or or
  2. Proverbs 31:8 Or all children who are passing away
  3. Proverbs 31:21 LXX; MT red

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