21
1In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
that he channels towards all who please him.
2A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
3To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4Haughty eyes and a proud heart –
the unploughed field of the wicked – produce sin.
5The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.
6A fortune made by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapour and a deadly snare.#Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts vapour for those who seek death
7The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
for they refuse to do what is right.
8The way of the guilty is devious,
but the conduct of the innocent is upright.
9Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
10The wicked crave evil;
their neighbours get no mercy from them.
11When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.
12The Righteous One#Or The righteous person takes note of the house of the wicked
and brings the wicked to ruin.
13Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
will also cry out and not be answered.
14A gift given in secret soothes anger,
and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.
15When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
16Whoever strays from the path of prudence
comes to rest in the company of the dead.
17Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.
18The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
and the unfaithful for the upright.
19Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
20The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
but fools gulp theirs down.
21Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity#Or righteousness and honour.
22One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.
23Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
keep themselves from calamity.
24The proud and arrogant person – ‘Mocker’ is his name –
behaves with insolent fury.
25The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
because his hands refuse to work.
26All day long he craves for more,
but the righteous give without sparing.
27The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable –
how much more so when brought with evil intent!
28A false witness will perish,
but a careful listener will testify successfully.
29The wicked put up a bold front,
but the upright give thought to their ways.
30There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the Lord.
31The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the Lord.
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