Old Testament

Proverbs 14
More Wise Ways to Live
141A wise woman builds her house,
but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
2Whoever walks in the right way fears the Lord,
but a person who is devious in his ways despises him.
3In the mouth of a stubborn fool there is a proud rod,[]
but the lips of the wise protect them.
4Without cattle the manger is empty,
but a great harvest is gained by the strength of an ox.
5A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes lies.
6A scoffer seeks wisdom yet finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to a discerning person.
7Keep away from a foolish person,
since you will not learn anything from his lips.
8The wisdom of a sensible[] person is that he understands his way,
but the stupidity of fools is deceptive.[]
9Fools scoff at the idea of guilt,[]
but favor is found among the upright.
10A heart knows its own bitterness,
and no stranger can share its joy.
11The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will thrive.
12There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it is the road to death.
13Even in laughter a heart can ache,
and the end of joy may be grief.
14A backslider[] will be satisfied with his ways,[]
and a good man will be satisfied with his.
15A gullible person trusts anything,
but a sensible person considers his steps.
16A wise person fears and turns from evil,
but a fool is rash and overconfident.
17A short-tempered person acts foolishly,
and a schemer is hated.
18Gullible people inherit stupidity,
but sensible people embrace knowledge.
19Evil people will bow down to good people,
and wicked people will bow at the gates of the righteous.
20A poor person is hated even by his neighbor,
but those who love a rich person are many.
21A person who despises his neighbor is sinning,
but one who is kind to the oppressed is blessed.
22Don't those who plan evil go astray?
But those who plan to do good find mercy and truth.
23In all hard work there is gain,
but empty talk leads only to poverty.
24Their wealth is a crown for the wise,
but the stupidity of fools is just stupidity.
25A truthful witness saves lives,
but a liar breathes deceit.
26In the fear of the Lord a person gains strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.
27The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.
It turns a person away from the snares of death.
28A large population brings glory to a king.
Without people a ruler is ruined.
29A patient person has great understanding,
but an impatient person exalts foolishness.
30A contented heart[] gives life to the flesh,
but envy rots the bones.
31A person who oppresses the poor insults his Maker,
but one who is gracious to the needy honors him.
32A wicked person is brought down by his own evil,
but a righteous person finds refuge even at his death.
33Wisdom rests in the heart of the discerning.
It can be recognized even among fools.
34Righteousness lifts up a nation,
but sin brings shame to a people.
35A king favors a servant who acts wisely,
but he is furious with one who acts shamefully.


  • 14:3 The meaning of a proud rod is uncertain, but there is no textual support for the common emendation, a rod for his back.
  • 14:8 Or prudent
  • 14:8 Or deceives them
  • 14:9 Or the need for a guilt offering
  • 14:14 Or a person who deserts God
  • 14:14 Or will be repaid for his ways
  • 14:30 Literally a healing heart