21 1A king’s heart is like streams of water in the Lord’s hand: He directs it wherever He chooses. 2All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives.[C] 3Doing what is righteous and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. 4The lamp[D] that guides the wicked— haughty eyes and an arrogant heart—is sin. 5The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor. 6Making a fortune through a lying tongue is a vanishing mist,[E] a pursuit of death.[F][G] 7The violence of the wicked sweeps them away because they refuse to act justly. 8A guilty man’s conduct is crooked, but the behavior of the innocent is upright. 9Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife. 10A wicked person desires evil; he has no consideration[H] for his neighbor. 11When a mocker is punished, the inexperienced become wiser; when one teaches a wise man, he acquires knowledge. 12The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked; He brings the wicked to ruin. 13The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will himself also call out and not be answered. 14A secret gift soothes anger, and a covert bribe,[I] fierce rage. 15Justice executed is a joy to the righteous but a terror to those who practice iniquity. 16The man who strays from the way of wisdom will come to rest in the assembly of the departed spirits. 17The one who loves pleasure will become a poor man; whoever loves wine and oil will not get rich. 18The wicked are a ransom for the righteous, and the treacherous, for[J] the upright. 19Better to live in a wilderness than with a nagging and hot-tempered wife. 20Precious treasure and oil are in the dwelling of a wise person, but a foolish man consumes them.[K] 21The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love will find life, righteousness, and honor. 22A wise person went up against a city of warriors and brought down its secure fortress. 23The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble. 24The proud and arrogant person, named “Mocker,” acts with excessive pride. 25A slacker’s craving will kill him because his hands refuse to work. 26He is filled with craving[L] all day long, but the righteous give and don’t hold back. 27The sacrifice of a wicked person is detestable— how much more so when he brings it with ulterior motives! 28A lying witness will perish, but the one who listens will speak successfully. 29A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright man considers his way. 30No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel will prevail against the Lord. 31A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory comes from the Lord.
Holman Christian Standard Bible® / © 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers About