1To humans belong the plans of the heart,
but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.
2All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
but motives are weighed by the Lord.
3Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.
4The Lord works out everything to its proper end –
even the wicked for a day of disaster.
5The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: they will not go unpunished.
6Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.
7When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
8Better a little with righteousness
than much gain with injustice.
9In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
10The lips of a king speak as an oracle,
and his mouth does not betray justice.
11Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord;
all the weights in the bag are of his making.
12Kings detest wrongdoing,
for a throne is established through righteousness.
13Kings take pleasure in honest lips;
they value the one who speaks what is right.
14A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
but the wise will appease it.
15When a king’s face brightens, it means life;
his favour is like a rain cloud in spring.
16How much better to get wisdom than gold,
to get insight rather than silver!
17The highway of the upright avoids evil;
those who guard their ways preserve their lives.
18Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
19Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud.
20Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,#16:20 Or whoever speaks prudently finds what is good
and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.
21The wise in heart are called discerning,
and gracious words promote instruction.#16:21 Or words make a person persuasive
22Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent,
but folly brings punishment to fools.
23The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,
and their lips promote instruction.#16:23 Or prudent / and make their lips persuasive
24Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
25There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death.
26The appetite of labourers works for them;
their hunger drives them on.
27A scoundrel plots evil,
and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.
28A perverse person stirs up conflict,
and a gossip separates close friends.
29A violent person entices their neighbour
and leads them down a path that is not good.
30Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity;
whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.
31Grey hair is a crown of splendour;
it is attained in the way of righteousness.
32Better a patient person than a warrior,
one with self-control than one who takes a city.
33The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord.