21 1The Lord can control a king’s mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases. 2You may believe you are doing right, but the Lord judges your reasons. 3Doing what is right and fair is more important to the Lord than sacrifices. 4Proud looks, proud thoughts, and evil actions are sin. 5The plans of hard-working people earn a profit, but those who act too quickly become poor. 6Wealth that comes from telling lies vanishes like a mist and leads to death. 7The violence of the wicked will destroy them, because they refuse to do what is right. 8Guilty people live dishonest lives, but honest people do right. 9It is better to live in a corner on the roof[A] than inside the house with a quarreling wife. 10Evil people only want to harm others. Their neighbors get no mercy from them. 11If you punish those who make fun of wisdom, a foolish person may gain some wisdom. But if you teach the wise, they will get knowledge. 12God, who is always right, watches the house of the wicked and brings ruin on every evil person. 13Whoever ignores the poor when they cry for help will also cry for help and not be answered. 14A secret gift will calm an angry person; a present given in secrecy will quiet great anger. 15When justice is done, good people are happy, but evil people are ruined. 16Whoever does not use good sense will end up among the dead. 17Whoever loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and perfume will never be rich. 18Wicked people will suffer instead of good people, and those who cannot be trusted will suffer instead of those who do right. 19It is better to live alone in the desert than with a quarreling and complaining wife. 20Wise people’s houses are full of the best foods and olive oil, but fools waste everything they have. 21Whoever tries to live right and be loyal finds life, success, and honor. 22A wise person can defeat a city full of warriors and tear down the defenses they trust in. 23Those who are careful about what they say keep themselves out of trouble. 24People who act with stubborn pride are called “proud,” “bragger,” and “mocker.” 25Lazy people’s desire for sleep will kill them, because they refuse to work. 26All day long they wish for more, but good people give without holding back. 27The Lord hates sacrifices brought by evil people, particularly when they offer them for the wrong reasons. 28A lying witness will be forgotten, but a truthful witness will speak on. 29Wicked people are stubborn, but good people think carefully about what they do. 30There is no wisdom, understanding, or advice that can succeed against the Lord. 31You can get the horses ready for battle, but it is the Lord who gives the victory.
New Century Version® / © 2005 Thomas Nelson, Inc. About