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Proverbs 20

1Wine and beer make people loud and uncontrolled;
it is not wise to get drunk on them.
2An angry king is like a roaring lion.
Making him angry may cost you your life.
3Foolish people are always fighting,
but avoiding quarrels will bring you honor.
4Lazy farmers don’t plow when they should;
they expect a harvest, but there is none.
5People’s thoughts can be like a deep well,
but someone with understanding can find the wisdom there.
6Many people claim to be loyal,
but it is hard to find a trustworthy person.
7The good people who live honest lives
will be a blessing to their children.
8When a king sits on his throne to judge,
he knows evil when he sees it.
9No one can say, “I am innocent;
I have never done anything wrong.”
10The Lord hates both these things:
dishonest weights and dishonest measures.
11Even children are known by their behavior;
their actions show if they are innocent and good.
12The Lord has made both these things:
ears to hear and eyes to see.
13If you love to sleep, you will be poor.
If you stay awake, you will have plenty of food.
14Buyers say, “This is bad. It’s no good.”
Then they go away and brag about what they bought.
15There is gold and plenty of rubies,
but only a few people speak with knowledge.
16Take the coat of someone who promises to pay a stranger’s debts,
and keep it until he pays what the stranger owes.
17Stolen food may taste sweet at first,
but later it will feel like a mouth full of gravel.
18Get advice if you want your plans to work.
If you go to war, get the advice of others.
19Gossips can’t keep secrets,
so avoid people who talk too much.
20Those who curse their father or mother
will be like a light going out in darkness.
21Wealth inherited quickly in the beginning
will do you no good in the end.
22Don’t say, “I’ll pay you back for the wrong you did.”
Wait for the Lord, and he will make things right.
23The Lord hates dishonest weights,
and dishonest scales do not please him.
24The Lord decides what a person will do;
no one understands what his life is all about.
25It’s dangerous to promise something to God too quickly.
After you’ve thought about it, it may be too late.
26A wise king sorts out the evil people,
and he punishes them as they deserve.
27The Lord looks deep inside people
and searches through their thoughts.
28Loyalty and truth keep a king in power;
he continues to rule if he is loyal.
29The young glory in their strength,
and the old are honored for their gray hair.
30Hard punishment will get rid of evil,
and whippings can change an evil heart.

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