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Proverbs 21 Common English Bible (CEB)

21 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
    he directs it wherever he wants.
Everyone’s path is straight in their own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.
Acting with righteousness and justice
    is more valued by the Lord than sacrifice.
Prideful eyes, an arrogant heart, and
    the lamp of the wicked are all sinful.
The plans of the diligent end up in profit,
    but those who hurry end up with loss.
Those who gain treasure with lies
    are like a drifting fog, leading to death.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    for they refuse to act with justice.
The ways of some people are twisted and strange,
    but the behavior of those who do right is pure.
Better to live on the edge of a roof
    than with a contentious woman in a large house.
10 Wicked people desire evil;
    their neighbors receive no mercy from them.
11 When a mocker is punished, the naive person gains wisdom;
    when insight comes to the wise, knowledge increases.
12 The righteous one observes the house of the wicked,
    turning the wicked toward trouble.
13 Those who close their ears to the cries of the poor
    will themselves call out but receive no answer.
14 A secret gift calms anger,
    and a hidden bribe removes[a] furious wrath.
15 Acting justly is a joy to the righteous,
    but dreaded by those who do evil.
16 People who wander from the path of insight
    will rest in the company of the dead.
17 Those who love pleasure end up poor;
    lovers of wine and oil won’t get rich.
18 The wicked are a ransom for the righteous;
    the treacherous will be punished[b] in the place of the virtuous.
19 Better to live in a wilderness
    than in a house with a contentious and angry woman.
20 Precious treasure and oil stay in the home of the wise,
    but fools swallow them up.
21 Those who pursue righteousness and kindness
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A wise person fought a city of warriors
    and brought down the stronghold in which they felt safe.
23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
    guard themselves from trouble.
24 Incredibly proud—mockers are their name!
    Their conduct involves excessive pride.
25 The desires of the lazy will kill them,
    because their hands refuse to do anything.
26 The lazy desire things constantly,
    but the righteous give without holding back.
27 The Lord detests the sacrifices of the wicked,
    especially when brought with devious motives.
28 A lying witness will perish,
    but one who listens will testify successfully.
29 The wicked person appears brash,
    but the virtuous think about the path ahead.
30 No wisdom, understanding,
    or advice can stand up against the Lord.
31 A horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but victory belongs to the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 21:14 Heb lacks removes.
  2. Proverbs 21:18 Heb lacks will be punished.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Proverbs 21 New International Version (NIV)

21 In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
    that he channels toward all who please him.

A person may think their own ways are right,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.

To do what is right and just
    is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
    the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.

The plans of the diligent lead to profit
    as surely as haste leads to poverty.

A fortune made by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.[a]

The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
    for they refuse to do what is right.

The way of the guilty is devious,
    but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

Better to live on a corner of the roof
    than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

10 The wicked crave evil;
    their neighbors get no mercy from them.

11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
    by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.

12 The Righteous One[b] takes note of the house of the wicked
    and brings the wicked to ruin.

13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
    will also cry out and not be answered.

14 A gift given in secret soothes anger,
    and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.

15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
    but terror to evildoers.

16 Whoever strays from the path of prudence
    comes to rest in the company of the dead.

17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
    whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.

18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
    and the unfaithful for the upright.

19 Better to live in a desert
    than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.

20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
    but fools gulp theirs down.

21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
    finds life, prosperity[c] and honor.

22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
    and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
    keep themselves from calamity.

24 The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—
    behaves with insolent fury.

25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
    because his hands refuse to work.
26 All day long he craves for more,
    but the righteous give without sparing.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable
    how much more so when brought with evil intent!

28 A false witness will perish,
    but a careful listener will testify successfully.

29 The wicked put up a bold front,
    but the upright give thought to their ways.

30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
    that can succeed against the Lord.

31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but victory rests with the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
  2. Proverbs 21:12 Or The righteous person
  3. Proverbs 21:21 Or righteousness
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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