On Life and Conduct
1The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it whichever way He wishes.
2Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs and examines the hearts [of people and their motives].
3To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice [for wrongs repeatedly committed].
4Haughty and arrogant eyes and a proud heart,
The lamp of the wicked [their self-centered pride], is sin [in the eyes of God].
5The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance and advantage,
But everyone who acts in haste comes surely to poverty.
6Acquiring treasures by a lying tongue
Is a fleeting vapor, the seeking and pursuit of death.
7The violence of the wicked will [return to them and] drag them away [like fish caught in a net],
Because they refuse to act with justice.
8The way of the guilty is [exceedingly] crooked,
But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.
9It is better to live in a corner of the housetop [on the flat roof, exposed to the weather]
Than in a house shared with a quarrelsome (contentious) woman.
10The soul of the wicked desires evil [like an addictive substance];
His neighbor finds no compassion in his eyes.
11When the scoffer is punished, the naive [observes the lesson and] becomes wise;
But when the wise and teachable person is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12The righteous one keeps an eye on the house of the wicked—
How the wicked are cast down to ruin.
13Whoever shuts his ears at the cry of the poor
Will cry out himself and not be answered.
14A gift in secret subdues anger,
And a bribe [hidden] in the pocket, strong wrath.
15When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous (the upright, the one in right standing with God),
But to the evildoers it is disaster.
16A man who wanders from the way of understanding (godly wisdom)
Will remain in the assembly of the dead.
17He who loves [only selfish] pleasure will become a poor man;
He who loves and is devoted to #I.e. items associated with lavish feasting and excessive luxury.wine and [olive] oil will not become rich.
18The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
And the treacherous in the place of the upright [for they fall into their own traps].
19It is better to dwell in a desert land
Than with a contentious and troublesome woman.
20There is precious treasure and oil in the house of the wise [who prepare for the future],
But a short-sighted and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it.
21He who earnestly seeks righteousness and loyalty
Finds life, righteousness, and honor.
22A wise man scales the city [walls] of the mighty
And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23He who guards his mouth and his tongue
Guards himself from troubles.
24“Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names
Who acts with overbearing and insolent pride.
25The desire of the lazy kills him,
For his hands refuse to labor;
26He craves all the day long [and does no work],
But the righteous [willingly] gives and does not withhold [what he has].
27The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable and offensive [to the Lord].
How much more [unacceptable and insulting can it be] when he brings it with evil intention?
28A false witness will perish,
But a man who listens to the truth will speak forever and go unchallenged.
29A wicked man puts on a bold face,
But as for the upright, he considers, directs, and establishes his way [with the confidence of integrity].
30There is no [human] wisdom or understanding
Or counsel [that can prevail] against the Lord.
31The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance and victory belong to the Lord.