21 1The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord. He directs it like a stream of water anywhere he pleases. 2Everything a man does might seem right to him. But the Lord knows what he is thinking. 3Do what is right and fair. The Lord accepts that more than sacrifices. 4Proud eyes and a proud heart are the lamp of sinful people. But those things are evil. 5The plans of people who work hard succeed. You can be sure that those in a hurry will become poor. 6A fortune made by people who tell lies amounts to nothing and leads to death. 7The harmful things that evil people do will drag them away. They refuse to do what is right. 8The path of those who are guilty is crooked. But the conduct of those who are not guilty is honest. 9It is better to live on a corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife. 10A sinful person longs to do evil. He doesn’t show his neighbor any mercy. 11When you punish someone who makes fun of others, childish people get wise. If you teach a person who is already wise, he will get even more knowledge. 12The Blameless One knows where sinners live. And he destroys them. 13If you refuse to listen to the cries of poor people, you too will cry out and not be answered. 14A secret gift calms anger down. A hidden favor softens great anger. 15When you do what is fair, you make godly people glad. But you terrify those who do what is evil. 16A man who leaves the path of understanding ends up with those who are dead. 17Anyone who loves pleasure will become poor. Anyone who loves wine and oil will never be rich. 18Those who do what is evil pay the price for setting godly people free. Those who aren’t faithful pay the price for honest people. 19It is better to live in a desert than to live with a nagging, angry wife. 20The best food and olive oil are stored up in the houses of wise people. But a foolish man eats up everything he has. 21Anyone who wants to be godly and loving finds life, success and honor. 22Those who are wise can attack a strong city. They can pull down the place of safety its people trust in. 23Anyone who is careful about what he says keeps himself out of trouble. 24A proud person is called a “mocker.” He thinks much too highly of himself. 25Some people will die while they are still hungry. That’s because their hands refuse to work. 26All day long they hunger for more. But godly people give without holding back. 27God hates sacrifices that are brought by evil people. He hates it even more when they bring them for the wrong reason. 28Witnesses who aren’t honest will die. And anyone who listens to them will be destroyed forever. 29A sinful man tries to look as if he were bold. But an honest person thinks about how he lives. 30No wisdom, wise saying or plan can succeed against the Lord. 31You can prepare a horse for the day of battle. But the power to win comes from the Lord.
New International Readers Version® / © 1984 Biblica, Inc. About