Proverbs 21
1The Lord can control a king’s mind as easily as he controls a river.
He can direct it as he pleases.
2A person may believe he is doing right.
But the Lord judges his reasons.
3Do what is right and fair.
That is more important to the Lord than animal sacrifices.
4Proud looks, proud thoughts
and evil actions are sin.
5Those who plan and work hard 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 what is right.
9It is better to live in a corner on the roof# In Bible times houses were built with flat roofs. The roof was used for drying things such as flax and fruit. And it was used as an extra room, as a place for worship and as a place to sleep in the summer.
than inside the house with a quarreling wife.
10An evil person only wants to harm others.
His neighbor will get no mercy from him.
11Punish a person who makes fun of wisdom, and he will become wise.
But just teach a wise person, and he will get knowledge.
12God, who is always right, sees the house of the wicked.
And he brings about the ruin of every evil person.
13If you ignore the poor when they cry for help,
you also will cry for help and not be answered.
14A gift given secretly will calm an angry man.
A present given in secrecy will calm even great anger.
15When things are done fairly, good people are happy,
but evil people are frightened.
16A person who does not use understanding
will join the dead.
17Whoever loves pleasure will become poor.
Whoever loves wine and rich food will never be wealthy.
18Wicked people will suffer instead of good people.
And those who cannot be trusted will suffer instead of those who can.
19It is better to live alone in the desert
than with a quarreling and complaining wife.
20Wise people store up the best foods and olive oil.
But a foolish person eats up everything he has.
21A person who tries to live right and be loyal
finds life, success and honor.
22A wise person can defeat a city full of strong men.
He can tear down the defenses they trust.
23A person who is careful about what he says
keeps himself out of trouble.
24People who act with stubborn pride
are called “proud” and “bragger.”
25The lazy person’s desire for sleep will kill him
because he refuses to work.
26All day long the lazy person wishes for more.
But the good person gives without holding back.
27The Lord hates sacrifices made by evil people,
particularly when they make them for the wrong reasons.
28The words of a lying witness will die.
But the words of an obedient man will always be remembered.
29A wicked person is stubborn.
But an honest person thinks carefully about what he does.
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.
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