1To the Lord, a king’s mind is like a ditch used to water the fields. He can lead the king wherever he wants him to go.
2People think that whatever they do is right, but the Lord judges the reasons for everything they do.
3Do what is right and fair. The Lord loves that more than sacrifices.
4Proud looks and proud thoughts are sins. They show a person is evil.
5Careful planning leads to profit. Acting too quickly leads to poverty.
6Wealth that comes from telling lies disappears quickly and leads to death.
7The bad things that evil people do will destroy them, because they refuse to do what is right.
8Criminals cause trouble wherever they go, but good people are honest and fair.
9It is better to live in a small corner on the roof than to share the house with a woman who is always arguing.
10Evil people always want to do more evil, and they show no mercy to people around them.
11When you punish a proud person who laughs at what is right, even fools will learn something.#21:11 Or “Punish a rude, arrogant person, and the others will become wise.” But a little instruction is enough for the wise to learn what they should.
12God is good. He knows what the wicked are doing, and he will punish them.
13Those who refuse to help the poor will not receive help when they need it themselves.
14If anyone is angry with you, give them a gift in private. A gift given in secret will calm even the strongest anger.
15A decision that is fair makes good people happy, but it makes those who are evil very afraid.
16Whoever leaves the path of wisdom will be on their way to an early death.
17Loving pleasure leads to poverty. Wine and luxury will never make you wealthy.
18The wicked must pay for what happens to good people—the cheaters will be taken in exchange for the honest.
19It is better to live alone in the desert than with a quick-tempered wife who loves to argue.
20Wise people save the nice things they have. Fools use up everything as soon as they get it.
21People who try hard to do good and be faithful will find life, goodness, and honor.
22A wise person can defeat a city full of warriors and tear down the defenses they trust in.
23People who are careful about what they say will save themselves from trouble.
24Proud people think they are better than others. They show they are evil by what they do.
25Lazy people will cause their own destruction because they refuse to work.
26Some people are greedy and never have enough. Good people are generous and have plenty.
27God hates sacrifices from the wicked, especially when their reason for offering them is evil.
28Witnesses who lie will be caught and punished. A careful listener will always be there to speak up.
29Good people know they are right, but the wicked have to pretend.
30There is no one wise enough to make a plan that can succeed if the Lord is against it.
31You can prepare your horses for battle, but only the Lord can give you the victory.