21
The Lord directs the king's decisions like a stream of water that he sends whichever way he wants.
People think that whatever they do is fine, but the Lord looks at their motives.
Doing what's right and fair pleases the Lord more than sacrifices.
Pride and arrogance are the sins the wicked live by.*
Those who plan ahead and work hard will have plenty, while those who act rashly end up poor.
Money made by lies is like smoke in the wind—a chase that ends in death.
The destruction caused by the wicked will destroy them, for they refuse to do what's right.
Guilty people live crooked lives, but the innocent follow straight paths.
It's better to live in a corner of a housetop than to share a whole house with an argumentative wife.
10 Evil people love to do wrong, they don't care what pain they cause anyone.
11 When a mocker is punished, an immature person can learn wisdom. When the wise are educated, they gain knowledge.
12 The God of justice sees what happens in the homes of the wicked, and brings the wicked down in disaster.
13 If you refuse to hear the cries of the poor, your cries won't be heard either.
14 A gift given in secret calms down anger, and a hidden bribe soothes furious rage.
15 When justice is done, the good are happy, but it brings terror to those who do evil.
16 Anyone who wanders away from the path of understanding ends up with the dead.
17 If you love pleasure you'll become poor; if you love wine and olive oil§ you won't ever be rich.
18 The wicked pay the price and not the good; those who are deceitful and not those who live right.*
19 It's better to live in a desert than with an argumentative and bad-tempered wife.
20 The wise hold on to their wealth and olive oil, but stupid people use up everything they have.
21 If you pursue goodness and trustworthy love, you'll find life, prosperity, and honor.
22 The wise can overcome a city belonging to strong warriors, and tear down the fortress they trusted to protect them.
23 If you watch what you say, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.
24 A proud, conceited, mocker—that's the name of those who act with insolent arrogance.
25 Slackers die hungry because they refuse to work.
26 Some people only want more and more all the time, but the good give generously.
27 The sacrifices given by the wicked are obnoxious, worse still when they're offered with evil motives.
28 The lies of a false witness vanish away, but the words of a reliable witness will stand.
29 The wicked act as bold as brass, but those who live right consider carefully what they're doing.
30 Whatever wisdom, understanding, or guidance you may have is nothing before the Lord.
31 You can get your horse ready for battle, but the victory is the Lord's.
* 21:4 Literally, “Proud eyes and arrogant heart the lamp of the wicked sin.” 21:7 Or “violence.” 21:12 Literally, “the righteous one.” This is taken to refer to God particularly because of the second line. § 21:17 The extensive use of wine and olive oil was associated with luxury. * 21:18 The exact intention of this verse is unclear, but seems to be similar to the thought in 11:8.