- 1 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 1
- 2 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 2
- 3 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 3
- 4 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 4
- 5 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 5
- 6 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 6
- 7 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 7
- 8 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 8
- 9 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 9
- 10 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 10
- 11 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 11
- 12 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 12
- 13 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 13
- 14 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 14
- 15 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 15
- 16 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 16
- 17 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 17
- 18 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 18
- 19 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 19
- 20 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 20
- 21 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 21
- 22 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 22
- 23 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 23
- 24 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 24
- 25 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 25
- 26 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 26
- 27 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 27
- 28 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 28
- 29 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 29
- 30 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 30
- 31 Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 31
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 1
1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel.
The Purpose of Proverbs
2 To learn wisdom and discipline,
to understand sayings[a] that give insight,[b]
3 to acquire discipline to act sensibly,
to acquire righteousness, justice, and fairness,
4 to give good judgment[c] to the inexperienced,
to give a young man knowledge and foresight.
5 A wise person should listen, and he will increase learning.
A person with understanding should obtain guidance
6 so he will understand proverbs, puzzling statements,[d]
and the thought-provoking words of the wise.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of[e] knowledge,
but stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Solomon’s Speeches About Wisdom
First Address to a Son:
Avoid the Company of Sinners
8 Listen, my son, to your father’s discipline,
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching,
9 because they are a garland of grace for your head.
They are jewelry for your neck.
10 My son, if sinners lure you,
do not go along with them.
11 If they say,
“Come with us.
Let’s lie in wait to shed blood.
Let’s hide and ambush an innocent person for no reason.
12 We will swallow them alive like the grave.
We will swallow them whole
like those who go down to the pit.
13 We will find all kinds of wealth and treasure.
We will fill our houses with loot.
14 Cast your lot with us.
We will all share one bag of money.”
15 My son, do not walk along the road with them.
Do not set foot on their path,
16 because their feet run to do evil,
and they hurry to shed blood.
17 How useless to spread a net in the sight of any bird!
18 Yet they set up an ambush for their own blood.
They hide in ambush to take their own lives.
19 This is where the path leads for everyone
who is greedy for stolen property:
It takes away the life of those who possess it.
First Poem About Wisdom: Wisdom Calls but Many Refuse
20 Wisdom calls out loudly in the street.
In the public squares she raises her voice.
21 At the noisy street corners she calls out.
At the entrances to the city gates she speaks her words:
22 “How long will you gullible[f] people love being gullible?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing?
How long will fools hate knowledge?
23 If you respond to my warning,
I will pour out my spirit for you.
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I called, but you refused to listen,
because I stretched out my hand, but no one paid attention,
25 because you ignored all my advice,
and you did not accept my warning,
26 therefore I will laugh at your calamity.
I will jeer when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a violent storm,
when calamity strikes you like a windstorm,
when trouble and distress come upon you.
28 Then they will call to me, but I will not answer.
They will look for me, but they will not find me,
29 because they hated knowledge,
and they did not choose the fear of the Lord.
30 They would not accept my advice,
and they despised all my warnings.
31 So they will eat the fruit of their own way,
and they will be stuffed with their own schemes.
32 Therefore the wandering ways[g] of the gullible kill them,
and the complacency of fools destroys them.
33 But whoever listens to me will live in safety.
He will be secure, without fear of evil.”
- Proverbs 1:2 Or axioms
- Proverbs 1:2 Or discernment
- Proverbs 1:4 Or prudence
- Proverbs 1:6 Or enigmas
- Proverbs 1:7 Or prerequisite for or most important part of
- Proverbs 1:22 Or naïve
- Proverbs 1:32 Or apostasy
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 2
Second Address to a Son: Wisdom Provides Protection
2 My son, if you accept my words,
if you store up my commands within you,
2 by paying attention[a] to wisdom with your ear,
by reaching out for understanding with your heart,
3 if indeed you call out for intelligence,
if you raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you search for it like silver,
if you hunt for it like hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
then you will find the knowledge of God,
6 because the Lord gives wisdom.
Knowledge and understanding come from his mouth.
7 He stores up sound judgment for upright people.
He is a shield for those who walk in integrity.
8 He protects those who walk on paths of justice.
He guards the way of his favored ones.[b]
9 Then you will understand righteousness, justice,
and fairness—every good path,
10 because wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant for your soul.
11 Foresight will stand guard over you.
Understanding will protect you.
12 It will save you from the evil way,
from the man who speaks perverse things,
13 from those who abandon upright paths
in order to walk in the ways of darkness.
14 It will save you from those who enjoy doing evil,
from those who celebrate the twisted ways of evil,
15 from those whose paths are crooked,
and from those whose ways are devious.
Wisdom Protects You From the Adulterous Woman
16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman,[c]
from the unfaithful woman[d] with her seductive words,
17 who abandons the husband of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God.
18 So she sinks down to death, which becomes her house.[e]
Her way of life leads down to the spirits of the dead.
19 All who enter her house never return.
They never reach the paths of life.
Admonition to Live Righteously
20 This is how to walk in the way of good people,
how to stay on the paths of the righteous.
21 Yes, the upright will live in the land,
and people with integrity will remain in it,
22 but wicked people will be cut off from the land,
and treacherous people will be torn out of it.
- Proverbs 2:2 Or so you can pay attention
- Proverbs 2:8 Or those who are merciful or those who have received his mercy
- Proverbs 2:16 Literally from the strange woman, that is, one who is married to another man
- Proverbs 2:16 Literally from the foreign woman, that is, one who is married to another man
- Proverbs 2:18 The line is difficult and the translation is uncertain.
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 3
Third Address to a Son:
Wisdom Leads to the Lord’s Blessing
3 My son, do not forget my teaching.
Let your heart keep my commands,
2 because they will add long days and many years to your life,
and peace and prosperity[a] will come to you.
3 Do not allow mercy and truth to leave you.
Fasten them around your neck.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will find favor and approval[b]
in the eyes of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not consider yourself wise.
Fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 Then your body[c] will be healed,
and your bones will be refreshed.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits from your entire harvest.
10 Then your barns will be filled to capacity,
and your wine vats will overflow with fresh wine.
11 Do not reject the Lord’s discipline, my son,
and do not despise his warning,
12 because the Lord warns[d] the one he loves
as a father warns a son with whom he is pleased.
13 How blessed is the person who finds wisdom,[e]
the person who acquires understanding,
14 because the profit it gives is better than the profit from silver,
and its yield is better than gold!
15 It is more valuable than gems,[f]
and nothing you desire can equal it.
16 In its right hand are the days of a long life.
In its left hand are riches and honor.
17 Its ways are pleasant ways,
and all its paths are peace.
18 It is a tree of life for those who hold on to it.
Those who cling to it are blessed.
19 The Lord founded the earth by wisdom.
He established the heavens by understanding.
20 By his knowledge the deep waters were divided,
and the clouds drip dew.
21 My son, do not take your eyes off these things.
Guard sound judgment and insight.
22 They will be life for your soul
and grace to adorn your neck.
23 Then you will walk safely on your way,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid.
When you lie down, your sleep will be pleasant.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
nor of the destruction of the wicked when it comes,
26 because the Lord will be your confidence.
He will keep your foot from being caught.
Fourth Address to a Son:
Practice Wisdom Toward Your Neighbor
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due
when it is within your power to give it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go away! Come back some other time.
I will give something to you tomorrow,”
when in fact it is already with you right now.
29 Do not plan harm against your neighbor
when he is living with you peacefully.
30 Do not quarrel with a person for no good reason
when he has done nothing to harm you.
31 Do not envy a violent person.
Do not choose any of his ways,
32 because a crooked person is an abomination[g] to the Lord,
but God’s friendly guidance leads[h] the upright.
33 The Lord’s curse rests on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 Although he scorns the scornful,
he gives grace to the humble.
35 Wise people inherit honor,
but proud fools receive disgrace.
- Proverbs 3:2 The Hebrew word shalom here contains both meanings.
- Proverbs 3:4 Literally good understanding
- Proverbs 3:8 Literally navel
- Proverbs 3:12 Or disciplines
- Proverbs 3:13 Or Wisdom. An issue throughout Proverbs 1-9 is when wisdom should be capitalized as the personal name of Lady Wisdom and when it is the common noun. Most translations do not capitalize wisdom in verses like verse 13 because of the parallelism with understanding. This decision also determines whether the English pronouns should be she or it. In Hebrew the noun for wisdom is feminine, so the pronouns in Hebrew are always feminine.
- Proverbs 3:15 The meaning of this word is uncertain. It may refer to a specific gemstone, such as rubies or red coral.
- Proverbs 3:32 Or is disgusting or is repulsive
- Proverbs 3:32 Or intimate counsel guides
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 4
An Address to Sons:
Your Parents Teach You Wisdom
4 Listen, you sons, to a father’s discipline.
Pay attention so that you will gain discernment,
2 because I have given you good instruction.
Do not abandon my teaching.
3 When I was a son living with my father,
a tender and only child with my mother,
4 he used to instruct me and say to me,
“Cling to my words with all your heart.
Obey my commands so that you may live.
5 Acquire wisdom. Acquire understanding.
Do not forget,
and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 Do not abandon it, and it will watch over you.
Love it and it will guard you.”
7 The beginning of wisdom is to obtain Wisdom.
Give up everything you have, in order to gain Understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you.
She will honor you when you embrace her.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head.
She will present you with a beautiful crown.
Fifth Address to a Son:
The Difference Between the Wicked and the Righteous
10 Listen, my son, and accept my words,
so that the years of your life will be many.
11 I have instructed you in the way of wisdom.
I have led you along straight paths.[a]
12 When you walk, your stride will not be hindered.
Even if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to discipline. Do not let go.
Guard it, because it is your life.
14 Do not travel on the path of the wicked.
Do not walk in the way of evil people.
15 Avoid it! Do not travel on it!
Turn away from it. Pass it by.
16 For they cannot sleep
unless they have been doing wrong,
and they are robbed of sleep
unless they are making someone stumble,
17 because wickedness is the food they eat,
and violence is the wine they drink.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
shining brighter and brighter until it is day.
19 The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness.
They never know where they will stumble.
Sixth Address to a Son:
Advice for a Righteous Life
20 My son, pay attention to my words.
Open your ears to what I say.
21 Do not let them escape from your sight.
Keep them deep in your heart,
22 because they are life for those who find them
and healing for the entire body.[b]
23 Above all else, guard your heart carefully,
because your life flows from it.
24 Turn your mouth away from perverted speech,
and keep devious lips far away from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead.
Let your gaze[c] be directly in front of you.
26 Make a level pathway for your feet,
and all your ways will be secure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or the left.
Turn your feet away from evil.
- Proverbs 4:11 Or on the right track
- Proverbs 4:22 Literally all of his flesh
- Proverbs 4:25 Literally your eyelids
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 5
Seventh Address to a Son:
Wisdom Teaches You to Avoid Adultery
5 My son, pay attention to my wisdom.
Open your ears to my understanding,
2 so that you may hold on to insight,
so your lips may guard knowledge,
3 because the lips of an immoral woman drip with honey,
and her words are[a] as smooth as olive oil,
4 but in the end she is as bitter as wormwood[b]
and as sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death.
Her steps lead to hell.[c]
6 She gives no thought to the path of life.[d]
Her ways wander, but she doesn’t realize it.
7 Now, you sons, listen to me.
Do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her.
Do not go near the doorway of her house.
9 If you do, you will give your wealth to others
and your years to a cruel person.
10 If you do, your work will satisfy strangers,
and the results of your labor will end up in another man’s house.
11 You will groan when your end comes,
when your body and flesh are consumed.
12 Then you will say, “Oh, how I hated discipline,
and my heart despised warnings!
13 I did not listen to my teachers’ voices,
and I did not open my ears to hear my instructors.
14 I soon[e] reached total ruin
in the midst of the assembly of the community.”
Encouragement to Faithfulness in Marriage
15 Drink water from your own cistern.
Drink running water from your own well.
16 Why should the water from your springs flow out into the street,
your streams of water into the public squares?
17 They should be yours, yours alone.
They are not for strangers to share with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed.
Obtain your joy from the wife you married in your youth,
19 who is a loving doe and a graceful deer.
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times.
Always be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why should you be led astray, my son, by an immoral woman?
Why embrace a woman who is not your wife?
21 For the ways of a man are in front of the eyes of the Lord,
and he weighs all of his paths.
22 The evil deeds of the wicked man will capture him,
and he will be bound by the ropes of his sin.
23 He will die for lack of discipline,
and he will go astray because of his great stupidity.
- Proverbs 5:3 Literally her palate is
- Proverbs 5:4 Wormwood is a toxic, bitter-tasting drink (absinthe).
- Proverbs 5:5 Or the grave. The Hebrew word is sheol.
- Proverbs 5:6 Or she does not make the paths of life level
- Proverbs 5:14 Or almost
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 6
Eighth Address to a Son:
Wisdom Avoids Entanglements
6 My son, if you have guaranteed your neighbor’s debts,
if you have shaken hands for a stranger,
2 you are trapped by the promises from your mouth;
you are captured by the promises from your mouth.
3 Because you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands,
go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor.
4 Do not allow your eyes to sleep,
or your eyelids to slumber.
5 Save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of a hunter,
or like a bird from the hand of a trapper.
Wisdom Warns Against Laziness
6 Go to the ant, you slacker![a]
Observe its ways and become wise.
7 Although it has no overseer, officer, or ruler,
8 it stores its food in summer.
It gathers its provisions at harvest time.
9 How long will you lie there, you slacker?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of your hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come on you like a prowler,
and scarcity will come on you like a warrior.
Dishonesty Leads to Disaster
12 A worthless, wicked scoundrel,
who goes around with a corrupt mouth,
13 who winks with his eye, signals with his foot,
and gestures with his fingers,
14 who plots evil with a deceitful heart—
he always spreads conflict.
15 Therefore his disaster will come upon him suddenly.
All at once he will be broken, and there will be no remedy.
Things That Are Disgusting to the Lord
16 These are six things the Lord hates,
seven things that really disgust him:
17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that run quickly to do evil,
19 a false witness who breathes lies,
and a person who spreads conflict between brothers.
Ninth Address to a Son:
Avoid Sexual Immorality
20 My son, keep your father’s commands,
and do not forsake your mother’s teachings.
21 Fasten them permanently to your heart,
and tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk around, they will lead you.
When you lie down, they will stand guard over you.
When you wake up, they will converse with you,
23 because a command is a lamp, teaching is a light,
and the warnings given by discipline are a road to life.
24 They guard you from an evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of a woman who is not your wife.
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart.
Do not let her captivate you with her eyes.
26 A prostitute costs you a loaf of bread,
but a married woman stalks your precious life.
27 Can a man place fire on his lap
without burning his clothes?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
without scorching his feet?
29 So it is with the man who goes to his neighbor’s wife.
No one who touches her will be forgiven.
30 No one despises a thief when he steals
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving,
31 but when he is caught, he will have to repay seven times as much.
He will have to give up all the wealth of his house.
32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks sense.
He who does it destroys himself.
33 He will find disease and dishonor,
and his disgrace will never be wiped out,
34 because jealousy ignites a husband’s anger,
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not accept any amount as a payment.
He will not relent, even if you increase your offer.
- Proverbs 6:6 Or you loafer or you lazybones
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 7
Tenth Address to a Son:
Wisdom Protects You From Adultery and Death
7 My son, guard what I say.
Keep my commands with you.
2 Obey my commands so that you may live.
Protect my teachings like the pupil of your eye.
3 Tie them to your fingers.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to Wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call Understanding your relative.[a]
5 She will keep you safe from an immoral woman,
from an unfaithful woman and her seductive words.
6 At a window of my house, I looked out through the lattice.
7 I was watching the gullible[b] people.
Among the young men I noticed a youth without sense.
8 He was crossing the street near her corner,
strolling along the road to her house,
9 in the twilight, in the evening of the day,
when the darkness of the night was coming.[c]
10 Suddenly a woman meets him.
She is dressed like a prostitute with a scheming heart!
11 She is loud and rebellious.
Her feet will not stay home.
12 One moment she is in the street.
The next moment she is in the public square.
She is on the prowl near every corner.
13 She grabs him and kisses him.
With a brazen face she says,
14 “I have food from fellowship offerings.
Today I fulfilled my vows.
15 That is why I came out to meet you.
I came eagerly to seek you,
and now I have found you!
16 I have covered my couch with a bedspread,
with colored cloth made of Egyptian yarn.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love[d] until morning.
Let’s enjoy making love.
19 Look, my husband isn’t home.
He has gone on a long trip.
20 He took a bag of silver with him.
He will not come home till the next full moon.”
21 She deceives him with enticing words.
With smooth lips she seduces him.
22 He follows right after her,
like a steer going to slaughter,
like a deer prancing into a noose,[e]
23 until an arrow pierces its liver,
like a bird darting into a trap.
He does not realize this will cost him his life.
24 Now, you sons, listen to me.
Pay attention to the words from my mouth.
25 Do not let your heart turn in her direction.
Do not wander on her pathways,
26 because she has brought down many victims.
Those she has killed are countless.
27 Her house is on the road to the grave.[f]
It goes down to the chambers of death.
- Proverbs 7:4 Or close friend
- Proverbs 7:7 Or naïve
- Proverbs 7:9 Literally in the pupil of the night and darkness
- Proverbs 7:18 The Hebrew word refers to physical expressions of love.
- Proverbs 7:22 The ancient versions support the translation. The Hebrew text reads like an anklet to the discipline of a fool. Reading the word for fool as the very similar word for deer leads to the translation above. The context seems to require the trapping of an animal.
- Proverbs 7:27 Or on the highway to hell. The Hebrew word is sheol.
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 8
8 Do you hear Wisdom calling out?
Do you hear Understanding raising her voice?
2 On the hills above the roads,
she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3 Beside the gates leading into the city,
at the entrance to the doorways, she cries out:
4 I call to you men,
and I raise my voice to the people.
5 You gullible people, get good judgment.[a]
You fools, take this to heart.
6 Listen, because I am speaking noble thoughts.
I open my lips to speak upright things,
7 for my mouth declares truth,
but wickedness is disgusting[b] to my lips.
8 All the words from my mouth are righteous.
There is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9 All of them are clear to those who have understanding,
and they are upright to those who find knowledge.
10 Accept my discipline instead of silver.
Accept knowledge rather than fine gold,
11 because Wisdom is better than gems,[c]
and anything you may desire cannot equal her.
12 I, Wisdom, dwell with good judgment.[d]
I discover knowledge and foresight.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.
I hate haughtiness, arrogance, an evil way, and a perverse mouth.
14 Good advice and sound judgment are mine.
I, Understanding, have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
and rulers administer justice.
16 By me officials govern,
as well as nobles and all just judges.
17 I certainly love those who love me,
and those who eagerly look for me find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
as well as enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, better than pure gold,
and what I produce is better than fine silver.
20 I walk on the path of righteousness,
down the middle of the pathways of justice,
21 so I can provide a rich inheritance to those who love me,
and I can fill their treasuries.
Wisdom Is the Craftsman of Creation
22 The Lord possessed[e] me at the beginning of his way,
before his works of long ago.
23 From eternity I was appointed,
from the beginning, from before the origin of the earth.
24 When there were no deep waters, I was brought forth,[f]
when there were no springs filled with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 when he had not yet made land or fields
or the first dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there.
When he drew the horizon around the surface of the deep,
28 when he placed the clouds in the sky above,
when the fountains of the deep gushed out,
29 when he established his decree for the sea,
so that the waters could not go beyond the limit set by his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 I was beside him as a master craftsman.
I was his joy day after day.
I rejoiced in his presence at all times.
31 I rejoiced in his inhabited world.
I was delighted with the children of Adam.[g]
Wisdom Is the Giver of Life
32 So now, you children, listen to me,
because those who keep my ways are blessed.
33 Listen to discipline and become wise.
Do not neglect it.
34 How blessed is the person who listens to me,
so that he can watch at my doors day after day,
so that he can stand guard beside my front door,
35 because whoever finds me finds life,
and he obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but whoever sins against me harms himself.
All who hate me love death.
- Proverbs 8:5 Or prudence
- Proverbs 8:7 Or repulsive or an abomination
- Proverbs 8:11 Perhaps rubies or red coral
- Proverbs 8:12 Or prudence
- Proverbs 8:22 Or created
- Proverbs 8:24 Or was born. Also in verse 25.
- Proverbs 8:31 Or human race
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 9
Lady Wisdom’s Banquet
9 Wisdom has built her house.
She has carved out her seven pillars.
2 She has prepared her meat.
She has mixed her wine.
She has already set her table.
3 She has sent out her servant girls.
She calls from the highest point in the city,
4 “Whoever is naïve,[a] let him turn in here.”
To someone who lacks sense she says,
5 “Come, eat my food,
and drink the wine that I have mixed.
6 Abandon your naïve ways and live.
Travel the road to understanding.”
Lady Wisdom’s Proverbs
7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults,
and whoever warns a wicked person invites abuse.
8 Do not warn a mocker, or he will hate you.
Warn a wise person, and he will love you.
9 Give advice to a wise person, and he will become even wiser.
Teach a righteous person, and he will add to his learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning[b] of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,
11 because through me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage.
But if you scoff, you alone will bear the consequences.
Lady Folly’s Banquet
13 The woman Folly is boisterous.
She is deluded. She knows nothing.
14 She sits at the doorway of her house,
on a throne on the heights of the city,
15 in order to call to those who pass by on the street,
those who are simply going along on their way,
16 “Whoever is gullible, let him turn in here.”
To someone who lacks sense she says,
17 “Stolen waters are sweet,
and food eaten in secret is delicious.”
18 But he does not know that the souls of the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of hell.[c]
- Proverbs 9:4 Or inexperienced or gullible
- Proverbs 9:10 Or prerequisite or most important part
- Proverbs 9:18 Or the grave
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 10
The Collected Proverbs of Solomon
10 The proverbs of Solomon.
Introduction to Wisdom and Righteousness
A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
2 Treasures gained by wickedness produce no profit,
but righteousness saves from death.
3 The Lord will not allow the righteous to starve,
but he frustrates the greed of the wicked.
4 Lazy hands produce poverty,
but hardworking hands bring riches.
5 Whoever gathers crops in summer is a sensible[a] son.
Whoever sleeps at harvest time is a disgraceful[b] son.
Wise Words and Wise Ways
6 Blessings crown the head of a righteous person,
but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.[c]
7 To remember a righteous person is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.
8 A wise heart accepts commands,
but a babbling fool will be ruined.
9 Whoever walks with integrity walks safely,
but whoever follows crooked ways will be found out.
10 Whoever winks at evil causes trouble,
and a babbling fool will be ruined.
11 The mouth of a righteous person is a fountain of life,
but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.[d]
12 Hatred stirs up a quarrel,
but love covers all sins.
13 Wisdom is found on the lips of a discerning person,
but a rod is appropriate for the back of one who lacks sense.
14 Wise people store up knowledge,
but the mouth of a stubborn fool brings ruin.
15 A rich person’s wealth is his strong city.
Poverty is the ruin of poor people.
16 The work of a righteous person leads to life.
The income of a wicked person leads to sin.
17 Whoever practices discipline is on the path to life,
but whoever rejects a warning goes astray.
18 Whoever conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever spreads gossip is a fool.
19 When there are many words, sin never stops,[e]
but a person who restrains his lips acts wisely.
20 The tongue of a righteous person is fine silver.
The heart of a wicked person has little value.
21 The lips of a righteous person shepherd many,
but stubborn fools die for lack of sense.
22 The blessing of the Lord makes a person wealthy,
and he adds no sorrow to it.[f]
23 Carrying out a wicked scheme is a game for the fool,
but wisdom gives pleasure to a person with understanding.
Contrasts Between the Righteous and the Wicked
24 What the wicked person dreads will come upon him,
but the Lord will grant what the righteous desire.
25 When the storm has passed, the wicked person is no more,
but the righteous person has an everlasting foundation.
26 Like vinegar to the teeth and like smoke to the eyes,
so is a lazy person to those who send him.
27 The fear of the Lord will add days to a person’s life,
but the years of wicked people will be cut short.
28 The confident hope of the righteous is joy,
but the ambitions of the wicked will perish.
29 The way of the Lord is a fortress for a person who has integrity,
but it brings destruction for evildoers.
30 A righteous person will never be toppled,[g]
but wicked people will not dwell on earth.
31 The mouth of a righteous person produces the fruit of wisdom,
but a perverse tongue will be cut off.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,[h]
but the mouth of the wicked produces depraved words.
- Proverbs 10:5 Or far-sighted
- Proverbs 10:5 Or an embarrassing
- Proverbs 10:6 Or the mouth of the wicked conceals violence
- Proverbs 10:11 Or the mouth of the wicked conceals violence
- Proverbs 10:19 Or cannot be avoided
- Proverbs 10:22 Or hard work adds nothing to it or worry adds nothing to it
- Proverbs 10:30 Or knocked off his foundation
- Proverbs 10:32 Or know what finds favor
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 11
11 Dishonest scales are disgusting[a] to the Lord
but an accurate weight wins his approval.
2 When arrogance comes, shame follows,
but with humility comes wisdom.
3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the dishonesty of the treacherous destroys them.
4 Riches are of no help on the day of fury,
but righteousness saves from death.
5 The righteousness of honest people makes their way smooth,
but because of his wickedness a wicked person falls.
6 The righteousness of upright people rescues them,
but treacherous people are trapped by their own desire.
7 At the death of a wicked man, his hope will perish,
and his confidence in his strength[b] perishes.
8 A righteous person is rescued from trouble,
and a wicked person takes his place.
9 With his mouth the godless person destroys his neighbor,
but righteous people are rescued by knowledge.
10 When the righteous prosper, a city rejoices,
and when the wicked perish, there is a shout of joy.
11 Through the blessing of upright citizens, a city is raised up,
but by the mouth of the wicked, it is torn down.
12 A person who lacks sense despises his neighbor,
but an understanding person keeps silent.
13 A gossip goes around betraying secrets,
but a trustworthy spirit keeps a matter confidential.
14 Without guidance people fall,
but in many advisors there is safety.
15 Guaranteeing a loan for a stranger leads to trouble,
but one who hates to shake hands[c] remains secure.
16 A gracious woman takes hold of honor,
but ruthless men take hold of riches.[d]
17 A merciful man benefits his own soul,
but a cruel man brings trouble on his own flesh.
18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
but one who sows righteousness reaps a true reward.
19 Just as righteousness leads to life,
pursuing evil leads to death.
20 Perverted hearts are disgusting to the Lord,
but his favor rests on those whose way has integrity.
21 Be sure of this: An evil person will not go unpunished,
but the children of the righteous will escape.
22 The beauty of a woman who lacks moral judgment
is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
23 The desire of the righteous leads only to good.
The hope of the wicked leads to fury.
24 One person scatters his wealth, but it still increases.
Another hoards it unjustly, but this leads only to poverty.
25 A person who spreads blessings will be enriched.
One who gives a refreshing drink will be refreshed.
26 People curse the person who hoards grain,
but a blessing rests on the head of one who sells it.
27 Whoever searches for good seeks favor,
but whoever pursues evil will find it.
28 Whoever trusts his wealth will fall,
but righteous people will flourish like green plants.
29 Whoever troubles his household will inherit the wind,
and a stubborn fool will be a slave to a person with a wise heart.
30 The fruit of a righteous person is a tree of life,
and one who harvests souls is wise.
31 If a righteous person is paid back on earth,
how much more a wicked person or a sinner!
- Proverbs 11:1 Or repulsive or an abomination
- Proverbs 11:7 Or wealth
- Proverbs 11:15 Or make a deal
- Proverbs 11:16 The Greek text has a longer double proverb here: A gracious woman takes hold of honor, ⎣and she who hates virtue sets up a throne for dishonor. The lazy become destitute,⎦ but ruthless men take hold of riches.
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 12
More Examples of Righteous Behavior
12 A person who loves discipline loves knowledge,
but one who hates correction is stupid.
2 A good person will obtain favor from the Lord,
but he will condemn a schemer.
3 A person cannot be made secure by wickedness,
but the roots of the righteous will never be uprooted.
4 A wife with strong character is a crown to her husband,
but one who brings shame is like rot in his bones.
5 The plans of the righteous are just,
but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the mouths of the upright will save them.
7 Wicked people are overthrown, and they are no more,
but the house of the righteous continues to stand.
8 A person is praised for the good sense that he speaks,
but a person with a twisted heart will be despised.
9 Better to be underestimated and have a servant
than to pretend to be wealthy and lack bread.
10 A righteous person understands the needs of his livestock,
but the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
11 A person who works his land will have enough food,
but whoever pursues fantasies lacks sense.
12 A wicked man covets the fortress[a] of evil people,
but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13 The rebellion on his lips is a trap for an evil person,
but a righteous person gets out of trouble.
14 From the fruit of his lips a person is filled with good,
and the labor of a person’s hands returns to him.
15 The way of a stubborn fool seems correct to him,
but whoever listens to advice is wise.
16 A stubborn fool immediately lets his annoyance be known,
but a sensible person overlooks an insult.
17 Whoever breathes the truth proclaims righteousness,
but a lying witness is deceitful.
18 Some people wield reckless words like the thrusts of a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips are established forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
20 Deceit lies in the heart of those who plot evil,
but for those who promote peace there will be joy.
21 No disaster will strike a righteous person,
but wicked people are filled with trouble.
22 Lying lips are disgusting to the Lord,
but those who act truthfully gain his favor.
23 A man who is shrewd conceals his knowledge,
but the hearts of fools broadcast stupidity.
24 Hardworking hands will rule,
but laziness results in forced labor.[b]
25 Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs him down,
but a good word brings him joy.
26 A righteous person guides his neighbor,[c]
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27 A lazy person does not roast his game,
but a diligent person uses his wealth wisely.
28 In the path of righteousness there is life,
and there is no death in following this path.[d]
- Proverbs 12:12 Or net. The verse is difficult and the meaning is uncertain.
- Proverbs 12:24 Or leads to debtor’s prison
- Proverbs 12:26 Or is cautious in friendship or works to learn about his friend
- Proverbs 12:28 The translation follows the main Hebrew reading. A variant in some Hebrew manuscripts and the ancient versions reads and another path leads to death.
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 13
Wise Ways to Live
13 A wise son accepts his father’s discipline,
but a scornful son does not listen to a reprimand.
2 From the fruit of his mouth a person eats well,
but treacherous people have an appetite for violence.
3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life.
Whoever opens his lips carelessly ruins himself.
4 The appetite of a lazy person craves things, but he gets nothing.
The appetite of hardworking people is fully satisfied.
5 A righteous person hates everything false,
but a wicked person causes disgrace and shame.
6 Righteousness guards a person who has integrity,
but wickedness perverts a sinner.
7 One person pretends to be rich but has nothing.
Another pretends to be poor but has great wealth.
8 A man’s riches may ransom his life,
but a poor man does not hear a threat.
9 The light of the righteous brings joy,
but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
10 Insolence produces only strife,
but wisdom resides with those who take advice.
11 Wealth gained out of thin air[a] shrinks,
but wealth accumulated by steady work grows.
12 Hope delayed makes a heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
13 The person who despises a word of instruction will pay the price,
but the person who respects a command will be rewarded.
14 The teaching of a wise person is a fountain of life.
It can turn someone away from the snares of death.
15 Good sense yields grace,
but the way of the treacherous is unchanging.[b]
16 Every sensible person acts with knowledge,
but a fool displays stupidity.
17 A wicked[c] messenger falls into trouble,
but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.
18 A person who ignores discipline ends up with poverty and shame,
but one who conforms to correction will be honored.
19 A desire that is fulfilled tastes sweet to the soul,
but to fools it is disgusting[d] to turn from evil.
20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm.
21 Trouble pursues sinners,
but goodness repays the righteous.
22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
23 The farmland of the poor may produce much food,
but it may be swept away by injustice.
24 A person who withholds his rod hates his son,
but one who loves him administers discipline promptly.
25 A righteous person eats until his appetite is satisfied,
but the stomach of the wicked is always empty.
- Proverbs 13:11 Or dishonestly. A variant in the versions is too quickly.
- Proverbs 13:15 Or inescapable. The Hebrew reads the way of the treacherous always flows (that is, it is enduring). The translation above attempts to make sense of this difficult reading without emendation. Common emendations are to add the word not to the sentence (the way of the treacherous does not endure) or to change enduring to hard.
- Proverbs 13:17 Or an unreliable
- Proverbs 13:19 Or an abomination
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 14
More Wise Ways to Live
14 A wise woman builds her house,
but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
2 Whoever walks in the right way fears the Lord,
but a person who is devious in his ways despises him.
3 In the mouth of a stubborn fool there is a proud rod,[a]
but the lips of the wise protect them.
4 Without cattle the manger is empty,
but a great harvest is gained by the strength of an ox.
5 A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes lies.
6 A scoffer seeks wisdom yet finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to a discerning person.
7 Keep away from a foolish person,
since you will not learn anything from his lips.
8 The wisdom of a sensible[b] person is that he understands his way,
but the stupidity of fools is deceptive.[c]
9 Fools scoff at the idea of guilt,[d]
but favor is found among the upright.
10 A heart knows its own bitterness,
and no stranger can share its joy.
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will thrive.
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it is the road to death.
13 Even in laughter a heart can ache,
and the end of joy may be grief.
14 A backslider[e] will be satisfied with his ways,[f]
and a good man will be satisfied with his.
15 A gullible person trusts anything,
but a sensible person considers his steps.
16 A wise person fears and turns from evil,
but a fool is rash and overconfident.
17 A short-tempered person acts foolishly,
and a schemer is hated.
18 Gullible people inherit stupidity,
but sensible people embrace knowledge.
19 Evil people will bow down to good people,
and wicked people will bow at the gates of the righteous.
20 A poor person is hated even by his neighbor,
but those who love a rich person are many.
21 A person who despises his neighbor is sinning,
but one who is kind to the oppressed is blessed.
22 Don’t those who plan evil go astray?
But those who plan to do good find mercy and truth.
23 In all hard work there is gain,
but empty talk leads only to poverty.
24 Their wealth is a crown for the wise,
but the stupidity of fools is just stupidity.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
but a liar breathes deceit.
26 In the fear of the Lord a person gains strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.
It turns a person away from the snares of death.
28 A large population brings glory to a king.
Without people a ruler is ruined.
29 A patient person has great understanding,
but an impatient person exalts foolishness.
30 A contented heart[g] gives life to the flesh,
but envy rots the bones.
31 A person who oppresses the poor insults his Maker,
but one who is gracious to the needy honors him.
32 A wicked person is brought down by his own evil,
but a righteous person finds refuge even at his death.
33 Wisdom rests in the heart of the discerning.
It can be recognized even among fools.
34 Righteousness lifts up a nation,
but sin brings shame to a people.
35 A king favors a servant who acts wisely,
but he is furious with one who acts shamefully.
- Proverbs 14:3 The meaning of a proud rod is uncertain, but there is no textual support for the common emendation, a rod for his back.
- Proverbs 14:8 Or prudent
- Proverbs 14:8 Or deceives them
- Proverbs 14:9 Or the need for a guilt offering
- Proverbs 14:14 Or a person who deserts God
- Proverbs 14:14 Or will be repaid for his ways
- Proverbs 14:30 Literally a healing heart
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 15
More Wise Ways to Live
15 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise enhances knowledge,
but the mouths of fools spout stupidity.
3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
watching evil people as well as the good.
4 A healing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue shatters the spirit.
5 A stubborn fool despises his father’s discipline,
but whoever heeds correction is sensible.
6 The house of the righteous contains great wealth,
but the income of the wicked brings trouble.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
but the heart of fools—not so.
8 A sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination[a] to the Lord,
but a prayer of the upright gains his favor.
9 The way of a wicked person is repulsive[b] to the Lord,
but he loves those who pursue righteousness.
10 Harsh discipline waits for anyone who leaves the path,
and a person who hates correction will die.
11 Death and Destruction[c] lie open before the Lord—
how much more human hearts!
12 A scoffer does not love anyone who corrects him.
He will not go to wise people.
13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
but a sorrowful heart crushes the spirit.
14 The heart of a discerning person seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on stupidity.
15 All the days of an oppressed person are evil,
but a cheerful heart enjoys a continuous celebration.[d]
16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord
than great wealth with turmoil.
17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love
than a fattened calf with hatred.
18 A hothead stirs up a fight,
but a patient person calms a dispute.
19 The way of a lazy person is like a thorny hedge,
but the path of upright people is a highway.
Advice for a Wise Son
20 A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish person despises his mother.
21 Stupidity delights a person who lacks sense,
but one who has understanding stays on course.
22 Plans fail without advice,
but where there are many advisors they succeed.
23 Giving an apt response with his own mouth makes a person happy,
and a word at the right time—oh how good!
24 The path of life leads upward for a person with insight,
so that he may turn away from hell[e] below.
25 The Lord tears down the house of the arrogant,
but he maintains the property line of a widow.
26 The plans of the wicked are disgusting[f] to the Lord,
but pleasant words are pure to him.
27 Someone who is greedy for gain brings trouble to his own household,
but a person who hates bribes will live.
28 The heart of a righteous person ponders his answer,
but the mouth of a wicked person gushes evil.
29 The Lord is far away from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30 A twinkle in the eyes delights the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones.
31 An ear that listens to a life-giving warning
will find a home among the wise.
32 A person who ignores discipline despises himself,
but a person who listens to a warning acquires good sense.
33 The fear of the Lord gives discipline and wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.
- Proverbs 15:8 Or is disgusting or is repulsive
- Proverbs 15:9 Or is an abomination
- Proverbs 15:11 Hebrew Sheol and Abaddon
- Proverbs 15:15 The word celebration refers to a feast which includes drinking.
- Proverbs 15:24 Or the grave. The Hebrew word is sheol.
- Proverbs 15:26 Or are an abomination
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 16
More Advice for a Wise Son
16 A person may have thought things through in his heart,
but an apt answer from his tongue comes from the Lord.
2 All of a person’s ways are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs motives.
3 Commit what you do to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
4 The Lord has made everything for his[a] own purpose,
even a wicked person for a day of trouble.
5 Anyone with an arrogant attitude is disgusting to the Lord.
Be sure of this: That person will not go unpunished.
6 Through mercy and truth, guilt is atoned for,
and through the fear of the Lord, one turns away from evil.
7 When the Lord is pleased with a man’s ways,
he causes even his enemies to live at peace with him.
Wisdom for a King and His Subjects
8 Better a little with righteousness
than a large income without justice.
9 A person’s heart plans his way,
but the Lord makes his steps secure.
10 The king’s lips speak for God,
so his mouth should not betray justice.
11 An accurate balance and scales belong to the Lord.
He has made all the weights in the bag.
12 It is disgusting for kings to commit wickedness,
because a throne is established by righteousness.
13 Kings approve of righteous lips.
They love a person who speaks upright things.
14 The king’s anger is a messenger of death,
but a wise person can appease it.
15 There is life in the light from a king’s face,
and his favor is like a cloud that brings spring rain.
16 How much better to acquire wisdom rather than gold,
and to acquire understanding is more desirable than silver.
17 The highway followed by upright people turns away from evil.
The person who guards his way preserves his life.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit precedes a fall.
19 Better to share a humble spirit with the oppressed
than to share stolen goods with the haughty.
20 Whoever gives careful consideration to a matter[b] will succeed,
and the person who trusts the Lord will be blessed.
21 A wise heart will be called discerning,
and appealing speech increases learning.
22 Good sense is a fountain of life for the person who possesses it,
but the instruction given by stubborn fools is stupidity.
23 A wise heart produces edifying speech.
It makes a person’s lips more persuasive.
24 Pleasant speech is honey from a honeycomb,
sweet to the spirit and healing for the bones.
Advice for a Wise Son
25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but it ends up being the road to death.
26 A laborer’s appetite labors for him,
because the hunger of his mouth drives him on.
27 A worthless scoundrel constantly plots evil,
and from his lips comes a scorching fire.
28 A perverse[c] man spreads conflict,
and a gossip separates intimate friends.
29 A violent man entices his neighbor.
He leads him on a way that is not good.
30 A person who squints his eyes is plotting something perverse.
One who purses his lips has completed some evil plot.
31 Gray hair is a beautiful crown.
It is found on the way to righteousness.
32 Better to be patient than to be a hero,
better to control your temper than to capture a city.
33 Lots are cast into the pouch,[d]
but the Lord determines all their decisions.
- Proverbs 16:4 Or its
- Proverbs 16:20 Or to a word or to God’s word
- Proverbs 16:28 Or twisted
- Proverbs 16:33 Or lap. It is not clear what this line means. It may allude to the pouch containing the Urim and Thummim, which the high priest wore on his chest.
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 17
More Advice for a Son
17 Better a piece of dry bread with peace
than a house full of feasting with quarreling.
2 A wise slave will rule over a shameful son.
He will share the inheritance with the brothers.
3 There is a crucible for refining silver and a smelter for gold.
In the same way the Lord examines hearts.
4 An evildoer pays attention to wicked lips.
A liar feeds upon[a] a destructive tongue.
5 Whoever mocks a poor person insults his Maker.
A person who rejoices over calamity will not escape.
6 Grandchildren are a crown for the elderly,
and parents are a source of pride for their children.
Introduction to Fools and Foolishness:
The Consequences of Being a Fool
7 Eloquent lips are[b] not fitting for a fool.
How much less lying lips for a ruler!
8 A bribe works like a charm for the person who gives it.
Wherever he turns, he prospers.
9 A person who covers an offense pursues love,
but one who repeats the matter separates friends.
10 A reprimand impresses a discerning person
more than receiving a hundred lashes impresses a fool.
11 An evil person promotes only rebellion,
and a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12 Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
than to meet a fool in his stupidity.
13 A person who repays evil for good—
evil will never leave his house.
14 Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate,
so stop the dispute before it gets started.
15 Acquitting a guilty person
and convicting an innocent person—
both of these are disgusting[c] to the Lord.
16 Why hand a fool money to buy wisdom,
since he has no aptitude for using it?
17 A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of trouble.
18 A person without sense shakes hands
to guarantee a loan for his neighbor.
19 A person who loves sin loves conflict.
A person who builds his gate high invites destruction.
20 A crooked mind does not find good.
A perverted tongue will fall into disaster.
21 The man who fathers a fool has grief,
and the father of an arrogant fool will have no joy.
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
23 A wicked person secretly accepts a bribe
to pervert the ways of justice.
24 Wisdom is right in front of a discerning person,
but a fool’s eyes wander to the end of the earth.
Avoiding Fools and Foolishness
25 A foolish son is an aggravation to his father
and bitterness to the woman who bore him.
26 It is not good to impose a fine on a righteous person
nor to flog officials because of their uprightness.
27 A person with knowledge restrains his words.
A person with understanding is even-tempered.
28 Even a stubborn fool who keeps silent will be considered wise.
He is considered to be perceptive if he keeps his lips shut.
- Proverbs 17:4 Hebrew variant listens to
- Proverbs 17:7 Or excessive chatter is
- Proverbs 17:15 Or repulsive
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 18
18 A person who is a loner seeks his own desires.
He fights against all sound judgment.
2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding,
but only in revealing his own opinions.
3 When a wicked person comes, contempt comes with him,
and with dishonor comes disgrace.
4 The words from a man’s mouth are deep waters.
The fountain of wisdom is a flowing stream.
5 It is not good to show favoritism to a wicked person
in order to deprive a righteous person of justice.
6 A fool’s lips enter a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction,
and his lips are a trap for his soul.[a]
8 The words of a gossip are like delicious food.
People gobble them right down.[b]
9 A person who fails to do his work
is a brother to a vandal.
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower.
A righteous person runs inside and is protected.
11 A rich person’s wealth is his strong city.
In his imagination it is like a high wall.
12 Before destruction a man’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
13 If a person answers before he listens,
that is foolishness that brings disgrace.
14 A man’s spirit can endure illness,
but who can bear a broken spirit?
15 A discerning heart acquires knowledge,
and the ears of the wise seek knowledge.
16 A person’s gift opens doors[c] for him.
It leads him into the presence of great people.
17 The first person to state his case appears to be right.
Then his neighbor comes and cross-examines him.
18 Casting lots[d] ends disputes and decides between powerful people.
19 A brother who has been wronged is harder to regain than a strong city,
and disputes are like a bar across the gate of a citadel.
20 From the fruit of a man’s mouth, his stomach is satisfied.
He is satisfied with the harvest of his lips.
21 Life and death lie in the power of a tongue,
and those who love to use it will eat its fruit.
22 The man who finds a wife finds a good thing,
and he obtains favor from the Lord.
23 A poor man pleads for mercy,
but a rich man answers harshly.
24 A man with many acquaintances may suffer harm,
but there is a loving friend who sticks closer than a brother.
- Proverbs 18:7 Or his life
- Proverbs 18:8 Literally they go down to the rooms of the belly
- Proverbs 18:16 Or makes room
- Proverbs 18:18 This probably does not refer to the Urim and Thummim but to ordinary ways of making a choice, like a coin toss.
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 19
19 Better to be a poor person who walks in his integrity
than one with perverse lips who is a fool.
2 Zeal without knowledge is certainly not good,
and a person who acts hastily sins.[a]
3 A person’s own foolishness undermines his way,
but his heart rages against the Lord.
4 Wealth adds many friends,
but a poor person is deserted by his friend.
5 A false witness will not go unpunished.
He breathes lies and will not escape.
6 Many seek the goodwill of a ruler,
and everyone is a friend to a person who gives gifts.
7 A poor person’s brothers all hate him.
Even his friends keep their distance from him!
Though he pursues them with words, they are not there.
8 A person who acquires intelligence[b] loves his life.[c]
A person who guards understanding finds a good thing.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished.
He breathes lies, and he will perish.
10 A life of luxury is not appropriate for a fool.
How much less appropriate for a slave to rule over princes.
11 Good sense makes a person slow to anger,
and it is to his credit when he overlooks an offense.
12 The king’s anger is like a lion’s growl,
but his favor is refreshing like dew on the grass.
Dealing With Fools
13 A foolish son is a disaster to his father,
and a nagging wife is like constantly dripping water.
14 Home and wealth are an inheritance from fathers,
but a wife with good sense is from the Lord.
15 Laziness makes a person fall into a deep sleep,
and an idle person will go hungry.
16 A person who keeps a command preserves his life.
One who despises his ways will die.
17 A person who is gracious to the poor lends to the Lord.
He will repay him in full.
18 Discipline your son while there is hope.
Do not make yourself responsible for his death.
19 Someone who has a lot of anger pays the penalty.
If you rescue him, you will have to do it again.
20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
so that you will be wise in the future.
21 There are many plans in a man’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that will prevail.
22 A desirable trait in a person is loyalty.[d]
It is better to be poor than a liar.
23 The fear of the Lord leads to life.
One who has it rests content.
He will not be disturbed by trouble.
24 A lazy person buries his hand in the dish,
but he does not even bring the food up to his mouth.
25 Strike a scoffer, and an undisciplined[e] person may learn caution.
Warn a person with understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
26 A son who attacks his father and chases away his mother
brings shame and disgrace.
27 If you stop listening to discipline, my son,
you will stray from the sayings that give knowledge.
28 A malicious witness mocks justice,
and the mouth of the wicked swallows evil.
29 Punishments have been prepared for scoffers
and beatings for the backs of fools.
- Proverbs 19:2 Or a person who runs too quickly loses his way
- Proverbs 19:8 Literally heart
- Proverbs 19:8 Or his soul
- Proverbs 19:22 Or what a person desires is loyalty. The word translated loyalty often refers to mercy.
- Proverbs 19:25 Or inexperienced
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 20
More Dealing With Fools
20 Wine is a mocker, and beer is a brawler.
Whoever is intoxicated by them is not wise.
2 The king’s rage is like a lion’s growl.
Whoever intrudes on him endangers his life.
3 Avoiding strife brings honor to a man,
but every stubborn fool is always fighting.
4 A lazy person fails to plow when it is the season for planting.[a]
He expects something in the harvest, but nothing will be there.
5 The intentions in a person’s heart are deep water,
but a person with understanding can draw them out.
6 Many people claim to be loyal,[b]
but who can find a trustworthy man?
7 A righteous person walks in his integrity.
How blessed are his children after him!
8 When a king sits on his throne as judge,
he winnows out all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I have purified my heart.
I am cleansed from my sinfulness”?
10 Differing weights and differing measures—
both of them are disgusting to the Lord.
11 Even a youth makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
12 An ear that hears and an eye that sees—
the Lord has made both of them.
13 Do not love sleep, or you will become poor.
Keep your eyes open, and you will have enough to eat.
14 “It’s no good! It’s no good!” says the buyer,
but then he goes away and brags.
15 There is gold, and there are many gems,[c]
but lips that have knowledge are a precious vessel.
16 Take the garment from someone who guarantees a loan for a stranger.
Hold on to it when he offers it as collateral for a foreigner.
17 Food gained dishonestly tastes sweet to a person,
but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 Plans are strengthened by obtaining advice,
so do not wage war without consultation.
19 A person who goes around spreading gossip reveals secrets,
so do not associate with anyone whose lips are always open.
20 The person who curses his father and his mother—
his lamp will be snuffed out in total darkness.
21 An inheritance easily obtained[d] in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, “I’ll get even with you!”
Wait for the Lord, and he will rescue you.
23 Differing weights are disgusting[e] to the Lord,
and dishonest scales are not good.
24 The steps a man takes come from the Lord,
so how can anyone understand his own way?
25 A person falls into a trap if he pledges something to God impulsively
and considers his pledge only later.
26 A wise king winnows out the wicked.
He rolls the threshing wheel over them.
27 A man’s spirit is the lamp of the Lord.
It illuminates the depths of his heart.
28 Mercy and truth protect a king,
and he maintains his throne with mercy.
29 The splendor of young men is their strength,
but the majesty of old men is their gray hair.
30 Wounds and bruises scrub away evil,
and a beating scrubs the depths of the heart.
- Proverbs 20:4 Literally at the start of the rainy season
- Proverbs 20:6 The word translated loyal often means merciful. The line is difficult.
- Proverbs 20:15 The identity of these gems is uncertain. Rubies and red coral are among the suggestions.
- Proverbs 20:21 The translation easily obtained is an alternate Hebrew reading. The main Hebrew reading is gotten by greed.
- Proverbs 20:23 Or repulsive or an abomination
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 21
Wise and Foolish Behaviors
21 A king’s heart is like streams of water in the hand of the Lord.
He directs it wherever he desires.
2 In a person’s own eyes all his ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the motives of the heart.
3 Practicing righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than a sacrifice.
4 Haughty eyes and an arrogant heart,
the unplowed field[a] of the wicked, produce sin.
5 The plans of a hard worker lead to abundance,
but everyone in a hurry rushes toward scarcity.
6 Piling up treasure by a lying tongue
is a vanishing vapor for those who seek death.
7 The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
8 A guilty person’s way is very crooked,
but the conduct of a pure person is straight.
9 Better to live on the corner of a roof
than in a house shared with a nagging wife.
10 The soul of a wicked person craves evil.
He does not look on his neighbor with mercy.
11 When a scoffer is punished, an undisciplined person becomes wise,
and when a wise person is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12 The Righteous One[b] carefully watches the house of the wicked.
He throws the wicked down to ruin.
13 Whoever shuts his ear to the cries of the poor—
he too will cry out and not be answered.
14 A gift given in secret soothes anger,
and a bribe slipped into the pocket soothes fury.
15 It is a joy for a righteous person to practice justice,
but destruction waits for those who practice evil.
16 A person who wanders from the way of understanding
will rest in the company of departed spirits.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will be poor.
Whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.
18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
and the treacherous make a payment for the upright.
19 Better to live in an arid region
than with a nagging, ill-tempered wife.
20 Good food and olive oil are stored up in the dwellings of the wise,
but a foolish person devours everything he has.
21 A person who pursues righteousness and mercy
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A wise man can climb up to a city full of warriors
and pull down the strong defenses in which they trust.
23 The person who guards his mouth and his tongue
guards himself from troubles.
24 The contemptuous, insolent person—“Scoffer” is his name—
behaves with overflowing arrogance.
25 A lazy person’s craving will kill him,
because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves something more,
but a righteous person gives and does not hold back.
27 A sacrifice offered by wicked people is an abomination.[c]
How much more when they bring it with evil intent!
28 A lying witness will perish,
but a man who listens will keep speaking forever.[d]
29 A wicked person puts on a bold front,
but an upright person gives thought to[e] his way.
30 There is no wisdom, no cleverness, and no advice
that can stand up against the Lord.
31 A horse is made ready for a day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord.
- Proverbs 21:4 Or lamp. The meaning of the word and the point of comparison are unclear.
- Proverbs 21:12 Or righteous one
- Proverbs 21:27 Or a disgusting thing
- Proverbs 21:28 The line is cryptic. Another suggestion is one who listens to him will perish forever.
- Proverbs 21:29 The translation follows an alternate Hebrew reading. The main Hebrew reading is establishes.
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 22
Wise and Foolish Behaviors
22 A good name is worth more than great wealth.
Respect is worth more than silver and gold.
2 Rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord is the maker of them all.
3 A sensible person sees trouble and hides,
but the naïve keep going and pay the penalty.
4 The outcome of humility and of the fear of the Lord
is wealth, honor, and life.
5 Thorns and traps are on the road followed by the crooked.
Whoever guards his soul[a] will stay far away from them.
6 Dedicate[b] a child to the way he should go,
and even when he becomes old, he will not turn away from it.
7 A rich person rules over poor people,
and a borrower is a slave to a lender.
8 Whoever sows injustice reaps trouble,
and the rod that inflicts his fury will be destroyed.
9 A generous person will be blessed,
because he gives some of his food to the poor.
10 Drive away a scoffer, and conflict leaves.
Quarrels and insults cease.
11 A person who loves a pure heart and whose lips are gracious
will have a king as his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over knowledge.
He overturns the words of a treacherous person.
13 A lazy person says, “There’s a lion outside!
I’ll be murdered in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit.
The man who is under the Lord’s wrath will fall there.
15 Foolishness is bound tightly to a child’s heart.
A rod of discipline will drive it far from him.
16 Whoever oppresses the poor to become great,
and whoever gives gifts to the rich—
both are sure to suffer loss.
Sayings of the Wise
17 Open your ears and listen to the words of the wise,
and set your heart on the knowledge that I offer,
18 for it is pleasant when you keep my words deep within you,[c]
and you have them ready on your lips.
19 Today I make my words known to you—yes, to you,
so that your trust will be in the Lord.
20 Have I not written to you already[d] with advice and knowledge,
21 in order to make accurate, true words known to you,
so that you may reply with true words to those who sent you?
22 Do not rob a poor person because he is poor,
and do not crush an oppressed person in court,[e]
23 because the Lord will defend their cause,
and he will rob those who rob them of their lives.
24 Do not be friends with a hothead.
Do not go along with someone who has a hot temper.
25 If you do, you will learn his ways
and set a trap for yourself.[f]
26 Do not be among those who shake hands to guarantee debts.
27 If you do not have enough to repay,
why should your bed be taken out from under you?
28 Do not move an ancient boundary marker
that your ancestors made.
29 Do you see a person who is efficient in his work?
He will serve kings.
He will not serve nobodies.[g]
- Proverbs 22:5 Or his life
- Proverbs 22:6 Or consecrate. The Hebrew word used here is not one of the usual words for teaching or training, but it is the same word used for dedicating a temple. It adds the connotation of entrusting the child to the Lord, as Hannah did.
- Proverbs 22:18 Literally in your belly
- Proverbs 22:20 The translation already follows the main Hebrew reading (literally the day before yesterday). An alternate Hebrew reading is Have I not written to you excellent sayings? Many recent English translations emend the text to read: Have I not written to you thirty wise sayings? This change is based on the belief that thirty sayings follow this heading. The supposed divisions between these thirty sayings are marked by spacer lines in the translation.
- Proverbs 22:22 Literally in the city gate
- Proverbs 22:25 Or for your soul
- Proverbs 22:29 Or unimportant people
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 23
23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
pay close attention to what is put in front of you,
2 and put a knife to your throat if you have a big appetite.
3 Do not crave his delicious food.
That food is deceptive.
4 Do not wear yourself out getting rich.
Have the good judgment to know when to stop.
5 Will your eyes get a glimpse of wealth before it is gone?
No, it will sprout wings for itself.
Like an eagle it will fly away into the sky.
6 Do not eat the food of a miser.
Do not crave his delicious food,
7 because he is calculating how much things cost him.
So when he says to you, “Eat and drink,”
he does not mean it.
8 You will vomit up the little bit you ate
and spoil your pleasant conversation.
9 Do not speak within earshot of a fool,
because he will despise your sensible words.
10 Do not move an ancient boundary marker,
and do not enter the fields of the fatherless,
11 because their Redeemer is strong.
He will defend their cause against you.
12 Apply your heart to discipline
and your ear to words that give knowledge.
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child,
for if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14 Strike him yourself with a rod,
and you will rescue his soul from death.
15 My son, if your mind[a] is wise,
my mind will rejoice as well.
16 My heart[b] will celebrate
when your lips speak upright things.
17 Do not allow your heart to envy sinners.
Instead, always fear the Lord.
18 Indeed, there is a future,
and your hope will never be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the straight way.
20 Do not be among those who drink too much wine,
or those who eat too much meat,
21 because a drunk and a glutton will become poor,
and drunken stupor dresses a person in rags.
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy truth and do not sell it.
Buy wisdom, discipline, and knowledge.
24 The father of a righteous child will celebrate greatly.
One who fathers a wise son will find joy in him.
25 Your father and your mother will find joy,
and she who gave birth to you will celebrate.
26 My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes be pleased with my ways,
27 because a prostitute is a deep pit,
and an immoral woman is a narrow well.
28 She is also like a robber waiting to ambush someone,
and she multiplies unfaithful men among the people.
29 Who has trouble? Who has misery?
Who has quarrels? Who has complaints?
Who has wounds for no reason? Who has glazed eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
those who go to search for mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly.
32 Later it bites like a snake,
and it strikes like a venomous viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
and your mind will say senseless things.
34 You will be like someone who tries to sleep in the middle of the sea,
like someone who tries to sleep at the top of a ship’s mast.
35 “They struck me, but I felt no pain.
They beat me, but I was not aware of it.
When will I wake up, so that I can try it again?”
- Proverbs 23:15 Literally heart
- Proverbs 23:16 Literally kidneys
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 24
24 Do not envy evil people,
and do not wish to be with them,
2 because their hearts plan violence,
and their lips speak trouble.
3 With wisdom a house is built.
With understanding it is established.
4 With knowledge its rooms are filled with every kind of riches,
both valuable and appealing.
5 A wise person grows strong,
and a knowledgeable man becomes more powerful,
6 because advice prepares you for battle,
and many advisors bring victory.
7 Wise decisions are out of reach[a] for a stubborn fool.
In court[b] he cannot open his mouth.
8 Whoever plans evil will be called a master schemer.
9 A foolish scheme is a sin,
and a mocker is disgusting to people.
10 If you fail to act in the day of trouble,
your strength is too little.
11 Rescue captives condemned to death,
and spare those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “We did not know about this,”
won’t the one who weighs motives notice?
Won’t the one who guards your life know about it,
and won’t he repay people according to what each one has done?
13 My son, eat honey, because it is good.
Flowing honey is sweet on your palate.
14 Know also that wisdom is sweet for your soul.
If you find it, then there is a future for you,
and your hope will never be cut off.
15 Do not be like the wicked who attack the home of the righteous.
Do not destroy his resting place,
16 because a righteous person may fall seven times, but he will get up,
while wicked people will stumble into misfortune.
17 Do not be happy when your enemy falls.
Do not let your heart celebrate when he stumbles.
18 If you do, the Lord will see it and consider it evil,
and he will turn his anger away from him.
19 Do not fret about evildoers.
Do not be jealous of wicked people,
20 because an evil person has no future.
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21 Fear the Lord, my son, and also the king.
Do not associate with those who are rebellious,
22 because their disaster will take place suddenly.
Who knows what ruin the Lord and the king will cause?
More Words of the Wise
23 These sayings also are by the wise:
To show partiality when administering justice is not good.
24 If anyone says to a guilty person, “You are innocent,”
people will curse him. Nations will denounce him.
25 However, it will be pleasant for those who convict the guilty.
A wonderful blessing will come upon them.
26 Someone who gives a straight answer gives a kiss on the lips.
27 Prepare your work outside,
and get things ready for yourself in the fields.
Afterward, build your house.
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause.
Do not practice deception with your lips.
29 Do not think, “I will do to him what he did to me.
I will pay the man back for what he did.”
30 I passed by a lazy man’s field
and by a vineyard that belonged to a senseless man.
31 It was overgrown with thistles
and covered with weeds.
Its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw this, I took it to heart.
I observed and learned a lesson:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a prowler,
and scarcity will come like a warrior.
- Proverbs 24:7 The translation follows an altered spelling of the Hebrew. The main Hebrew reading seems to be corals.
- Proverbs 24:7 Literally the city gate
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 25
More Proverbs of Solomon
25 These also are the proverbs of Solomon,
which the men of King Hezekiah of Judah compiled.[a]
2 It brings glory to God to hide a matter,
but it brings glory to kings to investigate a matter.
3 As heaven is high and earth is deep,
so there is no searching the heart of kings.
4 Remove impurities from silver,
and a vessel can be cast by a silversmith.
5 Remove a wicked person from a king’s presence,
and his throne will be established with righteousness.
6 Do not honor yourself in a king’s presence.
Do not stand in a place reserved for great people,
7 because it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
than for you to be humiliated before a ruler
whom your eyes have seen.[b]
8 Do not be in a hurry to go to court.
Otherwise, what will you do afterward,
when your neighbor humiliates you?
9 Argue your case with your neighbor,
but do not reveal someone else’s secret.
10 If you do, the person who hears it will shame you,
and your bad reputation will never leave you.
11 A word spoken at the right time
is like golden apples in silver settings.
12 To ears that listen, a wise person’s correction
is like a gold ring or like jewelry made of pure gold.
13 To those who send him, a trustworthy messenger
is like cooling snow on a warm day during harvest.
He refreshes his masters’ spirits.
14 A person who brags about a gift that is never given
is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
15 By patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a soft tongue can break a bone.
16 When you find honey, eat only what you need.
Otherwise you will be filled with it and vomit it up.
17 Do not set foot in your neighbor’s house too often.
If you do, he will have too much of you and hate you.
18 A person who gives false testimony against his neighbor
is a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.
19 Confidence in an unfaithful person during a time of crisis
is like a broken tooth or a lame foot.
20 Singing songs to a despondent heart
is like taking off a coat on a cold day
or like vinegar on baking soda.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat.
If he is thirsty, give him something to drink,
22 because you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will repay you.
23 A north wind gives birth to rain,
and a whispering tongue gives birth to angry faces.
24 Better to live on the corner of a roof
than in a home shared with a nagging wife.
25 Good news from a distant country is
like cold water for a weary soul.
26 A righteous person who is swayed by the wicked
is a muddied spring or a polluted fountain.
27 Eating too much honey is not good,
and people seeking their own glory is not glorious.[c]
28 A person who lacks self-control
is like a broken-down city without a wall.
- Proverbs 25:1 Or transcribed
- Proverbs 25:7 Many translations associate this line with verse 8: What you have seen with your eye do not bring quickly into court. Manuscript evidence supports a connection with verse 7, but sense seems to favor including it with verse 8.
- Proverbs 25:27 The line is cryptic.
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 26
26 Like snow during summer and rain during the harvest,
so honor is not appropriate for a fool.
2 Like a migrating bird or a flying swallow,
so an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
3 A whip is for horses, a bridle for donkeys,
and a rod for the backs of fools.
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly.
If you do, you yourself will become like him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly.
If you do not, he will consider himself wise.
6 It is like cutting off your own feet or drinking violence[a]
when a person sends messages in the hand of a fool.
7 The legs of a lame person dangle.
So does a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8 Giving honor to a fool is
like tying a stone in a slingshot.
9 A proverb in the mouth of a fool
is like a thorn in a drunkard’s hand.
10 One who hires a fool or someone just passing by
is like an archer who wounds at random.[b]
11 As a dog returns to his vomit,
so a fool repeats his stupidity.
12 Have you seen a person who is wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 A lazy person says, “There’s a ferocious lion in the street.
There’s a lion in the public square!”
14 A door turns on its hinges,
and a lazy person turns on his bed.
15 A lazy person buries his hand in a dish,
but he is too tired to return it to his mouth.
16 A lazy person considers himself wiser
than seven people who answer sensibly.
17 A passerby who meddles in a quarrel that is not his
is like a person who grabs a dog by the ears.
18 A person who deceives his neighbor and then says, “I was only joking,”
19 is like a madman who shoots firebrands and deadly arrows.[c]
20 When there is no more wood, a fire goes out,
and without gossip, a quarrel dies down.
21 As charcoal is to hot embers and as wood is to fire,
so a quarrelsome person is to igniting a fight.
22 Words of a gossip are like food that is easy to swallow.
They go down to the depths of one’s heart.[d]
23 Fervent[e] lips and an evil heart
are like a glaze[f] covering a clay pot.
24 With his lips a person hides his hatred,
but he hides deceit inside.
25 When his voice sounds gracious, do not believe him,
because seven abominations are in his heart.
26 His hatred covers itself with deceit,
but his evil will be revealed in the assembly.
27 The person who digs a pit will fall into it.
The person who rolls away a stone—it will roll back over him.
28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes,
and a smooth mouth causes ruin.
- Proverbs 26:6 Or poison
- Proverbs 26:10 The meaning of this verse is uncertain.
- Proverbs 26:19 Elements of verses 18 and 19 were rearranged to get smooth English word order.
- Proverbs 26:22 Literally the innermost rooms of the belly
- Proverbs 26:23 The translation follows the Hebrew. The Greek Old Testament reads smooth.
- Proverbs 26:23 The Hebrew text reads silver dross. Combining two Hebrew words into one word yields the translation glaze.
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 27
27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
because you do not know what a day may produce.
2 Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—
a stranger, not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy and sand is a burden,
but aggravation from a stubborn fool is heavier than both.
4 Cruel wrath and a flood of anger are devastating,
but who can stand up against jealousy?
5 Open correction is better than concealed love.
6 Wounds from someone who loves you can be trusted,
but the kisses of someone who hates you are too much.[a]
7 A satisfied appetite refuses honey,
but to a hungry appetite, everything bitter tastes sweet.
8 A person who wanders from his place
is like a bird that wanders from its nest.
9 Olive oil and incense bring joy to a heart,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his sincere advice.[b]
10 Do not abandon your friend or your father’s friend,
and do not go to your brother’s house when disaster strikes you.
A neighbor who is near is better than a brother who is far away.
11 Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart,
so that I may answer anyone who taunts me.
12 A sensible person sees trouble and hides,
but naïve people keep going and pay the penalty.
13 Take the garment of someone who guarantees a loan for a stranger.
Keep it when someone pledges it on behalf of an immoral woman.
14 When someone blesses his neighbor in a loud voice early in the morning,
it will be regarded as a curse.
15 Constantly dripping water on a rainy day
and a nagging wife are alike.
16 Trying to hold her back is like holding back the wind,
like grasping oil with your right hand.[c]
17 Iron sharpens iron,
and a man sharpens the insight of his friend.
18 A person who tends a fig tree eats its fruit,
and a person who takes care of his master will be honored.
19 As water reflects a person’s face,
so a person’s heart reflects the person.
20 Death and Destruction[d] are never satisfied,
and a person’s eyes are never satisfied.
21 A crucible is for refining silver and a smelter is for gold,
and a person is tested by his praise.[e]
22 Even if you grind a stubborn fool
like grain with a mortar and pestle,
his stupidity will not leave him.
23 Be certain that you know the condition of your flock very well.
Pay attention to your herds,
24 because wealth is not forever,
nor does a crown pass from generation to generation.
25 The hay is removed and new growth appears,
and grass from the mountains is gathered in.
26 Lambs provide wool for your clothing,
and the price of the field can be earned from the goats.
27 What’s more, there will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
for your household’s food,
and to maintain the life of your servant girls.
- Proverbs 27:6 Or are deceitful
- Proverbs 27:9 Or is better than your own advice
- Proverbs 27:16 The verse is difficult. Literally it reads those who hide her hide the wind, and he calls his right hand oil.
- Proverbs 27:20 Hebrew Sheol and Abaddon
- Proverbs 27:21 His praise is either the praise he gives or the praise he receives
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 28
28 The wicked flee even though no one is pursuing them,
but the righteous are bold like a lion.
2 A rebellious land has many rulers,
but one man with understanding and knowledge provides stability.
3 A poor man who oppresses the poor
is a driving rain that leaves no food.
4 Those who abandon the law[a] praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law oppose them.
5 Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand everything.
6 Better a poor person who walks in his integrity
than a rich person who is hypocritical.[b]
7 The son who keeps the law has understanding,
but a companion of gluttons brings shame upon his father.
8 A person who increases his wealth by piling up interest
gathers it for someone who is generous to the needy.
9 A person who turns his ear away from the law—
even his prayer is an abomination.
10 A person who leads the upright along an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but people of integrity will inherit good.
11 A wealthy person is wise in his own eyes,
but a needy person with understanding will expose him.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is much celebration,[c]
but when the wicked rise to power, people hide.
13 A person who conceals his sins will not prosper,
but one who confesses and abandons them will receive mercy.
14 Blessed is the person who always is afraid of sin,
but one who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15 A wicked ruler over a poor people
is a growling lion or a charging bear.
16 When a ruler lacks understanding, there will be much oppression,
but one who hates ill-gotten gain prolongs his days.
17 A person haunted by the guilt of bloodshed
will be a fugitive until he goes down to the pit.
No one should offer him support.
18 A person who walks with integrity will be saved,
but a person whose ways are crooked will fall all at once.
19 A person who works his land will have plenty of food,
but whoever pursues fantasies will have plenty of poverty.
20 A trustworthy person has many blessings,
but a person in a hurry to get rich will not go unpunished.
21 Showing favoritism is not good,
but a man may sin for a piece of bread.
22 A tightfisted person is in a hurry to get rich,
but he does not know that poverty is coming his way.
23 In the end a person who corrects someone will find more favor
than a person with a flattering tongue.
24 A person who robs his father and his mother
and says, “It’s not a sin,” is no better than[d] a vandal.
25 A greedy person stirs up strife,
but a person who trusts in the Lord will prosper.
26 A person who trusts in his own ideas is a fool,
but a person who walks in wisdom will be kept safe.
27 A person who gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but a person who closes his eyes to them will receive many curses.
28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding,
but when the wicked perish, the righteous increase.
- Proverbs 28:4 Or instruction or teaching
- Proverbs 28:6 Or twisted in his two ways
- Proverbs 28:12 Or confidence. Literally splendor.
- Proverbs 28:24 Or a partner to
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 29
29 A person who remains stiff-necked[a] after many rebukes
will be broken suddenly, and there will be no cure.
2 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
but one who visits prostitutes destroys his wealth.
4 A king brings stability to a land by justice,
but one who accepts bribes tears it down.
5 A man who flatters his neighbor
is spreading a net for his steps.[b]
6 An evil man sets a trap with his sin,
but a righteous person sings and rejoices.
7 A righteous person acknowledges the rights of the poor,
but a wicked person does not understand such knowledge.
8 Scoffers stir up a city,
but wise people turn away anger.
9 When a wise person seeks justice from a stubborn fool,
the fool rants and laughs, and there is no peace.
10 Bloodthirsty people hate anyone with integrity,
but upright people seek to save his life.[c]
11 A fool vents all his emotions,
but a wise person calmly restrains them.
12 If a ruler listens to lies,
all his officials become wicked.
13 A poor person and an oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives light to the eyes of both.
14 If a king judges poor people with truth,
his throne will be established permanently.
15 A rod used for discipline gives wisdom,
but an undisciplined child disgraces his mother.
16 When the wicked increase, sin increases,
but the righteous will see their downfall.
17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest.
He will give delight to your soul.
18 Without prophetic vision, a people is unrestrained,
but a people which follows the law is blessed.
19 A servant cannot be disciplined with words.
Although he understands, he shows no response.
20 Have you seen a person who is hasty with his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21 If someone pampers his servant from the time he is young,
later on he will have grief.
22 A hothead stirs up a fight,
and a quick-tempered person commits many sins.
23 A person’s arrogance will humble him,
but a humble spirit will attain honor.
24 The partner of a thief hates his own life.
He hears the oath,[d] but he does not reveal anything.
25 Being afraid of a man sets a trap,
but a person who trusts in the Lord will be secure.
26 Many people seek a ruler’s favor,
but a person gets justice from the Lord.
27 An unjust person is disgusting to righteous people,
but one whose way is upright is disgusting to the wicked.
- Proverbs 29:1 Or stubborn
- Proverbs 29:5 Or his own steps
- Proverbs 29:10 Or and they seek the life of the upright
- Proverbs 29:24 Or curse. He cannot testify for fear of reprisal or self-incrimination.
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 30
The Oracle of Agur
30 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. An oracle.[a]
This man declares:
I am weary, God. I am weary, God, and worn out,[b]
2 because I am too unreasoning to be a man.
I do not even possess human understanding.
3 I have not learned wisdom.
I do not have knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in the palms of his hands?
Who has wrapped the water in a garment?
Who has set up all the ends of the earth?
What is his name and the name of his son?
Tell me if you know!
5 Every word of God has been refined.
He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words.
If you do, he will correct you,
and you will be shown to be a liar.
7 Two things I have asked from you.
Do not keep them from me before I die:
8 Keep worthless speech and lies far from me.
Do not give me poverty or riches.
Give me food in the amount that is right for me.
9 Too much, and I may feel satisfied and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Too little, and I may become poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.
10 Do not slander a servant to his master.
If you do, he will curse you,
and you will be found guilty.
11 There is a type of person who curses his father
and does not bless his mother.
12 This person is pure in his own eyes,
but he is not washed from his filth.
13 This person—how lofty his eyes, how high his eyelids!
14 This person—his teeth are swords,
and his fangs are knives.
He uses them to devour oppressed people from the earth
and poor people from among humanity.
15 The leech has two daughters: Give! Give!
Three things are never satisfied.
Four never say, “Enough!”:
16 the grave,
a closed womb,
land that is never satisfied with water,
and fire that never says, “Enough!”
17 An eye that mocks its father
and despises the obedience due its mother—
ravens of the valley will peck it out,
and young vultures will eat it.
18 Three things are too wonderful for me,
and four I cannot understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.
20 This is the way of a woman who commits adultery:
She eats and wipes her mouth,
and she says, “I haven’t done anything wrong.”
21 Three things make the earth tremble.
There are four things it cannot endure:
22 a servant when he becomes king,
an arrogant fool when he is filled with food,
23 a woman who is hated when she is married,
and a slave girl when she replaces her master’s wife.
24 Four things are small on the earth,
yet they are wiser than the wisest people:
25 Ants are a species without strength,
but they store their food in summer.
26 Rock badgers are a species without power,
but they make their home in a cliff.
27 Locusts have no king,
but they all march ahead in ranks.
28 Lizards can be caught in your hands,
but they live in kings’ palaces.
29 Three things strut impressively.
Four walk with dignity:
30 a lion, which is the mightiest among the animals,
does not turn away from anything,
31 a strutting rooster,[c]
a male goat,
and a king reviewing his troops.[d]
32 If you have acted like a fool by exalting yourself,
or if you have been scheming,
put your hand over your mouth,
33 because just as pressing milk produces cheese,[e]
and pressing a nose brings forth blood,
so pressing one’s anger produces a fight.
- Proverbs 30:1 Or of Massa
- Proverbs 30:1 The main Hebrew text seems to read the words translated I am weary and worn out as proper names, to Ithiel and Ucal.
- Proverbs 30:31 The meaning of the Hebrew phrase girt of loins is uncertain. It may refer to a strutting animal, such as a rooster, or to a dandy, decked out in fine clothes.
- Proverbs 30:31 The meaning of the last phrase is uncertain.
- Proverbs 30:33 Or churning milk produces butter
Proverbs Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) 31
The Sayings of Lemuel
31 The words of Lemuel, a king.
An oracle[a] that his mother used, to teach him discipline:
2 What are you doing,[b] my son!
What are you doing, son from my womb!
What are you doing, son of my vows!
3 Do not give your strength to women.
Do not give your ways to those who destroy kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
nor for rulers to crave beer.
5 If he does, he will drink and forget what is decreed.
He will change the legal rights of all the oppressed.
6 Give beer to someone who is perishing
and wine to one whose soul is bitter.
7 He will drink and forget his poverty,
and he will no longer remember his trouble.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak.
Speak for the rights of all those who are defenseless.
9 Speak up, judge fairly,
and defend the oppressed and needy.
The Strong Wife[c]
10 Who can find a wife with strong character?[d]
Her value is greater than that of gems.
11 Her husband’s heart trusts her,
and he never lacks wealth.[e]
12 She does good for him and not evil
all the days of her life.
13 She obtains wool and flax.
She eagerly works it with her hands.
14 She is like merchant ships.
She brings her food from far away.
15 She rises while it is still night.
She gives food[f] to her household.
She gives their share to her female servants.
16 She considers a field and acquires it.
From her own income,[g] she plants a vineyard.
17 She wraps strength around her waist like a belt,
and she makes her arms strong.
18 She realizes that she makes a good profit.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands for the distaff,
and the palms of her hands grasp the spindle.[h]
20 She opens the palm of her hand to the oppressed,
and she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She does not fear for her household on account of snow,
because her entire household is clothed in scarlet clothing.[i]
22 She makes bedspreads for herself.
Fine linen and purple cloth are her clothing.
23 Her husband is known at the city gates,
where he sits with the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and she delivers belts to the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing,
and she laughs at the days to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and kind instruction is on her tongue.
27 She keeps a close eye on the conduct of her household,
and she does not eat bread that she did not work for.
28 Her children rise up and bless her.
Her husband rises up and praises her:
29 “Many daughters show strong character,
but you have surpassed all of them.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is vapor that vanishes,
but a woman who fears the Lord should be praised.
31 Give her credit for the fruit of her hands,
and let her accomplishments praise her in the city gates.
- Proverbs 31:1 The word translated an oracle may also be translated of Massa and placed with the preceding line.
- Proverbs 31:2 The Hebrew has only the single word What.
- Proverbs 31:10 This closing poem of the book is an alphabetic acrostic, which means successive verses begin with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This gives an impression of covering every aspect of the topic from A to Z.
- Proverbs 31:10 Literally a woman of strength. The Hebrew term for strength may refer to economic power, political power, military power, or strong character. Here the emphasis is on her economic contribution to the family, which is a reflection of her dedication to her family and her community.
- Proverbs 31:11 The Hebrew word translated wealth usually refers to loot or spoils of war, not to regular income. Perhaps it highlights her strenuous effort.
- Proverbs 31:15 The word translated food usually refers to prey torn by animals, not to food for humans.
- Proverbs 31:16 Literally the fruit of her hands
- Proverbs 31:19 Distaff and spindle are implements used in spinning thread or yarn.
- Proverbs 31:21 Or, with the ancient versions, double clothing