The Proverbs of Solomon

Proverbs 20

1 y Wine is a mocker, z strong drink a brawler,
and whoever a is led astray by it is not wise. 1
2 The terror of a king is like b the growling of a lion;
whoever provokes him to anger c forfeits his life.
3 It is an honor for a man to d keep aloof from strife,
but every fool will be quarreling.
4 e The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
f he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
5 The purpose in a man's heart is like g deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out.
6 Many a man h proclaims his own steadfast love,
but i a faithful man who can find?
7 The righteous who j walks in his integrity -
k blessed are his children after him!
8 l A king who sits on the throne of judgment
m winnows all evil with his eyes.
9 n Who can say, "I have made my heart pure;
I am clean from my sin"?
10 o Unequal 2 weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
11 Even a child p makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright. 3
12 q The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
r the Lord has made them both.
13 s Love not sleep, lest you t come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have u plenty of bread.
14 "Bad, bad," says the buyer,
but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15 There is gold and abundance of v costly stones,
w but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 x Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and y hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners. 4
17 z Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
but afterward his mouth will be full of a gravel.
18 b Plans are established by counsel;
by c wise guidance d wage war.
19 Whoever e goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with f a simple babbler. 5
20 g If one curses his father or his mother,
h his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
21 i An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, j "I will repay evil";
k wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
23 l Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord,
and m false scales are not good.
24 A man's n steps are from the Lord;
how then can man understand his way?
25 It is a snare to say rashly, "It is holy,"
and to reflect only o after making vows.
26 A wise king p winnows the wicked
and drives q the wheel over them.
27 r The spirit 6 of man is the lamp of the Lord,
s searching all t his innermost parts.
28 u Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
and by steadfast love his v throne is upheld.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
but w the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30 x Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean t the innermost parts.

  1. Cross References
    Genesis 9:21
    He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.
    Proverbs 23:29 - 32
    Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?
  2. Cross References
    Proverbs 31:4
    It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink.
  3. Cross References
    Isaiah 28:7
    These also reel with wine and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed by wine, they stagger with strong drink, they reel in vision, they stumble in giving judgment.
    Hosea 4:11
    Whoredom, wine, and new wine, which take away the understanding.
  4. Cross References
    Proverbs 19:12
    A king's wrath is like the growling of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.
  5. Cross References
    Numbers 16:38
    As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they offered them before the Lord, and they became holy. Thus they shall be a sign to the people of Israel.
    Habakkuk 2:10
    You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many peoples; you have forfeited your life.
    Proverbs 8:36
    But he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.
  6. Cross References
    Proverbs 17:14
    The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
  7. Cross References
    Proverbs 19:24
    The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
  8. Cross References
    Proverbs 19:15
    Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
    Proverbs 6:11
    And poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
  9. Cross References
    Proverbs 18:4
    The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
  10. Cross References
    Proverbs 25:14
    Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
    Matthew 6:2
    Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
    Luke 18:11
    The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
  11. Cross References
    Psalms 12:1
    Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
  12. Cross References
    Proverbs 19:1
    Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
  13. Cross References
    1 Kings 15:4
    Nevertheless, for David's sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem.
    Psalms 37:26
    He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.
    Psalms 112:2
    His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
    Jeremiah 33:20 - 21
    Thus says the Lord : If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time.
  14. Cross References
    Proverbs 16:10
    An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.
  15. Cross References
    Proverbs 20:26
    A wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them.
    Proverbs 25:5
    Take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.
    Psalms 101:5
    Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.
  16. Cross References
    1 Kings 8:46
    If they sin against you - for there is no one who does not sin - and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near.
  17. Cross References
    Proverbs 20:23
    Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good.
    Proverbs 11:1
    A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.
  18. Cross References
    Matthew 7:16
    You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
  19. Cross References
    Proverbs 15:31
    The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.
    Proverbs 25:12
    Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
  20. Cross References
    Exodus 4:11
    Then the Lord said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord ?
    Psalms 94:9
    He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?
  21. Cross References
    Proverbs 6:4
    Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber.
    Proverbs 19:15
    Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
    Proverbs 31:15
    She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.
    Romans 12:11
    Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
  22. Cross References
    Proverbs 20:4
    The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
  23. Cross References
    Proverbs 12:11
    Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
  24. Cross References
    Job 28:18
    No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls.
  25. Cross References
    Proverbs 3:14 - 15
    For the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.
  26. Cross References
    Proverbs 27:13
    Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.
    Proverbs 6:1
    My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger.
    Proverbs 22:26
    Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts.
  27. Cross References
    Job 22:6
    For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing and stripped the naked of their clothing.
  28. Cross References
    Proverbs 9:17
    "Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."
  29. Cross References
    Lamentations 3:16
    He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes.
  30. Cross References
    Proverbs 11:14
    Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
    Proverbs 15:22
    Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
  31. Cross References
    Proverbs 24:6
    For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
  32. Cross References
    Luke 14:31
    Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
  33. Cross References
    Proverbs 11:13
    Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
  34. Cross References
    Proverbs 13:3
    Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
    Romans 16:18
    For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
  35. Cross References
    Proverbs 30:11
    There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers.
    Proverbs 30:17
    The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.
    Exodus 21:17
    Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death.
  36. Cross References
    2 Samuel 21:17
    But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David's men swore to him, "You shall no longer go out with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.
    Job 18:5
    Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of his fire does not shine.
  37. Cross References
    Proverbs 13:11
    Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
  38. Cross References
    Proverbs 24:29
    Do not say, "I will do to him as he has done to...
    Proverbs 17:13
    If anyone returns evil for good, evil will not ...
    Matthew 5:39
    But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is ...
    Romans 12:17
    Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to...
    Romans 12:19
    Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it ...
    1 Thessalonians 5:15
    See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, bu...
    1 Peter 3:9
    Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for revi...
  39. Cross References
    Psalms 27:14
    Wait for the Lord ; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
  40. Cross References
    Proverbs 20:10
    Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
  41. Cross References
    Proverbs 11:1
    A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.
  42. Cross References
    Proverbs 16:9
    The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
  43. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 5:4 - 5
    When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow.
  44. Cross References
    Matthew 3:12
    His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
  45. Cross References
    Isaiah 28:27
    Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod.
  46. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 2:11
    For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
  47. Cross References
    Zephaniah 1:12
    At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, 'The Lord will not do good, nor will he do ill.
  48. Cross References
    Proverbs 18:8
    The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
  49. Cross References
    Proverbs 3:3
    Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
  50. Cross References
    Proverbs 16:12
    It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness.
  51. Cross References
    Proverbs 16:31
    Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
  52. Cross References
    Isaiah 53:5
    But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
  53. Cross References
    Proverbs 20:27
    The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.
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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