Proverbs 17-20

June 1, 2024

Proverbs 17

Better a dry crust with peace
than a house full of feasting with strife.
2 A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son
and share an inheritance among brothers.
3 A crucible for silver, and a smelter for gold,
and the Lord is the tester of hearts.
4 A wicked person listens to malicious talk;
a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.
5 The one who mocks the poor insults his Maker,
and one who rejoices over calamity
will not go unpunished.
6 Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly,
and the pride of children is their fathers.
7 Eloquent words are not appropriate on a fool’s lips;
how much worse are lies for a ruler.
8 A bribe seems like a magic stone to its owner;
wherever he turns, he succeeds.
9 Whoever conceals an offense promotes love,
but whoever gossips about it separates friends.
10 A rebuke cuts into a perceptive person
more than a hundred lashes into a fool.
11 An evil person desires only rebellion;
a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12 Better for a person to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
than a fool in his foolishness.
13 If anyone returns evil for good,
evil will never depart from his house.
14 To start a conflict is to release a flood;
stop the dispute before it breaks out.
15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the just —
both are detestable to the Lord.
16 Why does a fool have money in his hand
with no intention of buying wisdom?
17 A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a difficult time.
18 One without sense enters an agreement
and puts up security for his friend.
19 One who loves to offend loves strife;
one who builds a high threshold invites injury.
20 One with a twisted mind will not succeed,
and one with deceitful speech will fall into ruin.
21 A man fathers a fool to his own sorrow;
the father of a fool has no joy.
22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
23 A wicked person secretly takes a bribe
to subvert the course of justice.
24 Wisdom is the focus of the perceptive,
but a fool’s eyes roam to the ends of the earth.
25 A foolish son is grief to his father
and bitterness to the one who bore him.
26 It is certainly not good to fine an innocent person
or to beat a noble for his honesty.
27 The one who has knowledge restrains his words,
and one who keeps a cool head
is a person of understanding.
28 Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps silent ​—
discerning, when he seals his lips.

Proverbs 18

One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires;
he rebels against all sound wisdom.
2 A fool does not delight in understanding,
but only wants to show off his opinions.
3 When a wicked person comes, contempt also comes,
and along with dishonor, derision.
4 The words of a person’s mouth are deep waters,
a flowing river, a fountain of wisdom.
5 It is not good to show partiality to the guilty,
denying an innocent person justice.
6 A fool’s lips lead to strife,
and his mouth provokes a beating.
7 A fool’s mouth is his devastation,
and his lips are a trap for his life.
8 A gossip’s words are like choice food
that goes down to one’s innermost being.
9 The one who is lazy in his work
is brother to a vandal.
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are protected.
11 The wealth of the rich is his fortified city;
in his imagination it is like a high wall.
12 Before his downfall a person’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
13 The one who gives an answer before he listens —
this is foolishness and disgrace for him.
14 A person’s spirit can endure sickness,
but who can survive a broken spirit?
15 The mind of the discerning acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks it.
16 A person’s gift opens doors for him
and brings him before the great.
17 The first to state his case seems right
until another comes and cross-examines him.
18 Casting the lot ends quarrels
and separates powerful opponents.
19 An offended brother is harder to reach
than a fortified city,
and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.
20 From the fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is filled with the product of his lips.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 A man who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.
23 The poor person pleads,
but the rich one answers roughly.
24 One with many friends may be harmed,
but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.

Proverbs 19

Better a poor person who lives with integrity
than someone who has deceitful lips and is a fool.
2 Even zeal is not good without knowledge,
and the one who acts hastily sins.
3 A person’s own foolishness leads him astray,
yet his heart rages against the Lord.
4 Wealth attracts many friends,
but a poor person is separated from his friend.
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and one who utters lies will not escape.
6 Many seek a ruler’s favor,
and everyone is a friend of one who gives gifts.
7 All the brothers of a poor person hate him;
how much more do his friends
keep their distance from him!
He may pursue them with words,
but they are not there.
8 The one who acquires good sense loves himself;
one who safeguards understanding finds success.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and one who utters lies perishes.
10 Luxury is not appropriate for a fool ​— ​
how much less for a slave to rule over princes!
11 A person’s insight gives him patience,
and his virtue is to overlook an offense.
12 A king’s rage is like the roaring of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13 A foolish son is his father’s ruin,
and a wife’s nagging is an endless dripping.
14 A house and wealth are inherited from fathers,
but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
15 Laziness induces deep sleep,
and a lazy person will go hungry.
16 The one who keeps commands preserves himself;
one who disregards his ways will die.
17 Kindness to the poor is a loan to the Lord,
and he will give a reward to the lender.
18 Discipline your son while there is hope;
don’t set your heart on being the cause of his death.
19 A person with intense anger bears the penalty;
if you rescue him, you’ll have to do it again.
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction
so that you may be wise later in life.
21 Many plans are in a person’s heart,
but the Lord’s decree will prevail.
22 What is desirable in a person is his fidelity;
better to be a poor person than a liar.
23 The fear of the Lord leads to life;
one will sleep at night without danger.
24 The slacker buries his hand in the bowl;
he doesn’t even bring it back to his mouth!
25 Strike a mocker, and the inexperienced learn a lesson;
rebuke the discerning, and he gains knowledge.
26 The one who plunders his father and evicts his mother
is a disgraceful and shameful son.
27 If you stop listening to correction, my son,
you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28 A worthless witness mocks justice,
and a wicked mouth swallows iniquity.
29 Judgments are prepared for mockers,
and beatings for the backs of fools.

Proverbs 20

Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler;
whoever goes astray because of them is not wise.
2 A king’s terrible wrath is like the roaring of a lion;
anyone who provokes him endangers himself.
3 Honor belongs to the person who ends a dispute,
but any fool can get himself into a quarrel.
4 The slacker does not plow during planting season;
at harvest time he looks, and there is nothing.
5 Counsel in a person’s heart is deep water;
but a person of understanding draws it out.
6 Many a person proclaims his own loyalty,
but who can find a trustworthy person?
7 A righteous person acts with integrity;
his children who come after him will be happy.
8 A king sitting on a throne to judge
separates out all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
I am cleansed from my sin”?
10 Differing weights and varying measures —
both are detestable to the Lord.
11 Even a young man is known by his actions —
by whether his behavior is pure and upright.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye —
the Lord made them both.
13 Don’t love sleep, or you will become poor;
open your eyes, and you’ll have enough to eat.
14 “It’s worthless, it’s worthless! ” the buyer says,
but after he is on his way, he gloats.
15 There is gold and a multitude of jewels,
but knowledgeable lips are a rare treasure.
16 Take his garment,
for he has put up security for a stranger;
get collateral if it is for foreigners.
17 Food gained by fraud is sweet to a person,
but afterward his mouth is full of gravel.
18 Finalize plans with counsel,
and wage war with sound guidance.
19 The one who reveals secrets is a constant gossip;
avoid someone with a big mouth.
20 Whoever curses his father or mother ​— ​
his lamp will go out in deep darkness.
21 An inheritance gained prematurely
will not be blessed ultimately.
22 Don’t say, “I will avenge this evil! ”
Wait on the Lord, and he will rescue you.
23 Differing weights are detestable to the Lord,
and dishonest scales are unfair.
24 Even a courageous person’s steps are determined by the Lord,
so how can anyone understand his own way?
25 It is a trap for anyone to dedicate something rashly
and later to reconsider his vows.
26 A wise king separates out the wicked
and drives the threshing wheel over them.
27 The Lord’s lamp sheds light on a person’s life,
searching the innermost parts.
28 Loyalty and faithfulness guard a king;
through loyalty he maintains his throne.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
and the splendor of old men is gray hair.
30 Lashes and wounds purge away evil,
and beatings cleanse the innermost parts.

— Proverbs 17-20 (CSB)