Old Testament

Proverbs 16
More Advice for a Wise Son
161A person may have thought things through in his heart,
but an apt answer from his tongue comes from the Lord.
2All of a person's ways are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs motives.
3Commit what you do to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
4The Lord has made everything for his[] own purpose,
even a wicked person for a day of trouble.
5Anyone with an arrogant attitude is disgusting to the Lord.
Be sure of this: That person will not go unpunished.
6Through mercy and truth, guilt is atoned for,
and through the fear of the Lord, one turns away from evil.
7When the Lord is pleased with a man's ways,
he causes even his enemies to live at peace with him.
Wisdom for a King and His Subjects
8Better a little with righteousness
than a large income without justice.
9A person's heart plans his way,
but the Lord makes his steps secure.
10The king's lips speak for God,
so his mouth should not betray justice.
11An accurate balance and scales belong to the Lord.
He has made all the weights in the bag.
12It is disgusting for kings to commit wickedness,
because a throne is established by righteousness.
13Kings approve of righteous lips.
They love a person who speaks upright things.
14The king's anger is a messenger of death,
but a wise person can appease it.
15There is life in the light from a king's face,
and his favor is like a cloud that brings spring rain.
16How much better to acquire wisdom rather than gold,
and to acquire understanding is more desirable than silver.
17The highway followed by upright people turns away from evil.
The person who guards his way preserves his life.
18Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit precedes a fall.
19Better to share a humble spirit with the oppressed
than to share stolen goods with the haughty.
20Whoever gives careful consideration to a matter[] will succeed,
and the person who trusts the Lord will be blessed.
21A wise heart will be called discerning,
and appealing speech increases learning.
22Good sense is a fountain of life for the person who possesses it,
but the instruction given by stubborn fools is stupidity.
23A wise heart produces edifying speech.
It makes a person's lips more persuasive.
24Pleasant speech is honey from a honeycomb,
sweet to the spirit and healing for the bones.
Advice for a Wise Son
25There is a way that seems right to a man,
but it ends up being the road to death.
26A laborer's appetite labors for him,
because the hunger of his mouth drives him on.
27A worthless scoundrel constantly plots evil,
and from his lips comes a scorching fire.
28A perverse[] man spreads conflict,
and a gossip separates intimate friends.
29A violent man entices his neighbor.
He leads him on a way that is not good.
30A person who squints his eyes is plotting something perverse.
One who purses his lips has completed some evil plot.
31Gray hair is a beautiful crown.
It is found on the way to righteousness.
32Better to be patient than to be a hero,
better to control your temper than to capture a city.
33Lots are cast into the pouch,[]
but the Lord determines all their decisions.


  • 16:4 Or its
  • 16:20 Or to a word or to God's word
  • 16:28 Or twisted
  • 16:33 Or lap. It is not clear what this line means. It may allude to the pouch containing the Urim and Thummim, which the high priest wore on his chest.