Old Testament

Proverbs 20
More Dealing With Fools
201Wine is a mocker, and beer is a brawler.
Whoever is intoxicated by them is not wise.
2The king's rage is like a lion's growl.
Whoever intrudes on him endangers his life.
3Avoiding strife brings honor to a man,
but every stubborn fool is always fighting.
4A lazy person fails to plow when it is the season for planting.[]
He expects something in harvest time, but nothing will be there.
5The intentions in a person's heart are deep water,
but a person with understanding can draw them out.
6Many people claim to be loyal,[]
but who can find a trustworthy man?
7A righteous person walks in his integrity.
How blessed are his children after him!
8When a king sits on his throne as judge,
he winnows out all evil with his eyes.
9Who can say, “I have purified my heart.
I am cleansed from my sinfulness”?
10Differing weights and differing measures—
both of them are disgusting to the Lord.
11Even a youth makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
12An ear that hears and an eye that sees—
the Lord has made both of them.
13Do not love sleep, or you will become poor.
Keep your eyes open, and you will have enough to eat.
14“It's no good! It's no good!” says the buyer,
but then he goes away and brags.
15There is gold, and there are many gems,[]
but lips that have knowledge are a precious vessel.
16Take the garment from someone who guarantees a loan for a stranger.
Hold on to it when he offers it as collateral for a foreigner.
17Food gained dishonestly tastes sweet to a person,
but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18Plans are strengthened by obtaining advice,
so do not wage war without consultation.
19A person who goes around spreading gossip reveals secrets,
so do not associate with anyone whose lips are always open.
20The person who curses his father and his mother—
his lamp will be snuffed out in total darkness.
21An inheritance easily obtained[] in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
22Do not say, “I'll get even with you!”
Wait for the Lord, and he will rescue you.
23Differing weights are disgusting[] to the Lord,
and dishonest scales are not good.
24The steps a man takes come from the Lord,
so how can anyone understand his own way?
25A person falls into a trap if he pledges something to God impulsively
and considers his pledge only later.
26A wise king winnows out the wicked.
He rolls the threshing wheel over them.
27A man's spirit is the lamp of the Lord.
It illuminates the depths of his heart.
28Mercy and truth protect a king,
and he maintains his throne with mercy.
29The splendor of young men is their strength,
but the majesty of old men is their gray hair.
30Wounds and bruises scrub away evil,
and a beating scrubs the depths of the heart.


  • 20:4 Literally at the start of the rainy season
  • 20:6 The word translated loyal often means merciful. The line is difficult.
  • 20:15 The identity of these gems is uncertain. Rubies and red coral are among the suggestions.
  • 20:21 The translation easily obtained is an alternate Hebrew reading. The main Hebrew reading is gotten by greed.
  • 20:23 Or repulsive or an abomination