Proverbs 21

The Proverbs of Solomon

1 The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he y turns it wherever he will.
2 z Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord a weighs the heart.
3 b To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4 c Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
d the lamp 1 of the wicked, are sin.
5 The plans of e the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is f hasty comes g only to poverty.
6 h The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a i fleeting j vapor and a k snare of death. 2
7 The violence of the wicked will l sweep them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
8 The way of the guilty m is crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright.
9 It is n better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11 When o a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12 The Righteous One p observes the house of the wicked;
he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13 q Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered.
14 r A gift in secret averts anger,
and a concealed bribe, 3 strong wrath.
15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
s but terror to evildoers.
16 One who wanders from the way of good sense
t will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18 u The wicked is a v ransom for the righteous,
and the traitor for the upright.
19 It is w better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20 x Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling,
but a foolish man y devours it.
21 Whoever z pursues righteousness and kindness
will find a life, righteousness, and honor.
22 b A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 c Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
d keeps himself out of e trouble.
24 f "Scoffer" is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
who acts with arrogant pride.
25 The desire of g the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
26 All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous h gives and does not hold back.
27 i The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more j when he brings it with evil intent.
28 k A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29 A wicked man puts on a bold face,
but the upright l gives thought to 4 his ways.
30 m No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the Lord.
31 n The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but o the victory belongs to the Lord.

  1. Cross References
    Ezra 6:22
    And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
  2. Cross References
    Proverbs 16:2
    All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.
    Proverbs 12:15
    The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
  3. Cross References
    Proverbs 24:12
    If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?
    Luke 16:15
    And he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
    1 Corinthians 4:4
    For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
    1 Samuel 16:7
    But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
  4. Cross References
    Proverbs 15:8
    The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.
    1 Samuel 15:22
    And Samuel said, "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord ? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
  5. Cross References
    Proverbs 6:17
    Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.
    Psalms 101:5
    Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.
  6. Cross References
    1 Kings 11:36
    Yet to his son I will give one tribe, that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name.
  7. Cross References
    Proverbs 10:4
    A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
  8. Cross References
    Proverbs 19:2
    Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
  9. Cross References
    Proverbs 11:24
    One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
    Proverbs 14:23
    In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
    Proverbs 22:16
    Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
  10. Cross References
    Proverbs 20:21
    An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.
    Proverbs 10:2
    Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.
  11. Cross References
    Proverbs 13:11
    Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
  12. Cross References
    Job 13:25
    Will you frighten a driven leaf and pursue dry chaff?
  13. Cross References
    Proverbs 8:36
    But he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.
  14. Cross References
    Jeremiah 30:23
    Behold the storm of the Lord! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
  15. Cross References
    Proverbs 2:15
    Men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.
  16. Cross References
    Proverbs 25:24
    It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
    Proverbs 21:19
    It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
    Proverbs 19:13
    A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
    Proverbs 27:15
    A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike.
  17. Cross References
    Proverbs 19:25
    Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
    Psalms 1:1
    Book One Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.
  18. Cross References
    Psalms 37:35 - 36
    I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
  19. Cross References
    James 2:13
    For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
    Matthew 18:30 - 34
    He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.
  20. Cross References
    Proverbs 17:8
    A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it; wherever he turns he prospers.
    Proverbs 18:16
    A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.
  21. Cross References
    Proverbs 10:29
    The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers.
  22. Cross References
    Psalms 49:14
    Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
  23. Cross References
    Proverbs 11:8
    The righteous is delivered from trouble, and the wicked walks into it instead.
  24. Cross References
    Isaiah 43:3
    For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
  25. Cross References
    Proverbs 21:9
    It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
  26. Cross References
    Psalms 112:3
    Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
  27. Cross References
    Job 20:15
    He swallows down riches and vomits them up again; God casts them out of his belly.
    Job 20:18
    He will give back the fruit of his toil and will not swallow it down; from the profit of his trading he will get no enjoyment.
  28. Cross References
    Proverbs 15:9
    The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
    Matthew 5:6
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
    Proverbs 3:3
    Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
  29. Cross References
    Proverbs 3:16
    Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
    1 Kings 3:11
    And God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right.
    Matthew 6:33
    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
    Proverbs 4:22
    For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.
  30. Cross References
    Proverbs 24:5
    A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might.
    Ecclesiastes 7:19
    Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.
    2 Samuel 5:6 - 9
    And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, "You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off" - thinking, "David cannot come in here.
    Ecclesiastes 9:14 - 18
    There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it.
  31. Cross References
    Proverbs 13:3
    Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
  32. Cross References
    Proverbs 22:5
    Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
  33. Cross References
    Proverbs 12:13
    An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous escapes from trouble.
  34. Cross References
    Proverbs 1:22
    How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
    Psalms 1:1
    Book One Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.
  35. Cross References
    Proverbs 13:4
    The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
  36. Cross References
    Psalms 37:26
    He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.
  37. Cross References
    Isaiah 66:3
    He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig's blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations.
    Proverbs 15:8
    The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.
  38. Cross References
    Proverbs 24:9
    The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.
  39. Cross References
    Proverbs 19:5
    A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
    Proverbs 19:9
    A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.
  40. Cross References
    Psalms 119:5
    Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
  41. Cross References
    Isaiah 8:9 - 10
    Be broken, you peoples, and be shattered; give ear, all you far countries; strap on your armor and be shattered; strap on your armor and be shattered.
    1 Corinthians 3:19 - 20
    For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness.
    Proverbs 19:21
    Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
  42. Cross References
    Psalms 20:7
    Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
    Psalms 33:17
    The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
    Isaiah 31:1
    Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!
  43. Cross References
    Jeremiah 3:23
    Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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