Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
16 The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. 2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives. 3 Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established. 4 The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. 5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished. 6 By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil. 7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. 8 Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice. 9 The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. 10 A divine decision is in the lips of the king; His mouth should not err in judgment. 11 A just balance and scales belong to the Lord; All the weights of the bag are His concern. 12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a throne is established on righteousness. 13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And he who speaks right is loved. 14 The fury of a king is like messengers of death, But a wise man will appease it. 15 In the light of a king’s face is life, And his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain. 16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. 17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life. 18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. 19 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20 He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. 21 The wise in heart will be called understanding, And sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. 22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, But the discipline of fools is folly. 23 The heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 25 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 26 A worker’s appetite works for him, For his hunger urges him on. 27 A worthless man digs up evil, While his words are like scorching fire. 28 A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. 29 A man of violence entices his neighbor And leads him in a way that is not good. 30 He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things; He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass. 31 A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness. 32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. 33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.
Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
17 Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife. 2 A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, And will share in the inheritance among brothers. 3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests hearts. 4 An evildoer listens to wicked lips; A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. 5 He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker; He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished. 6 Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory of sons is their fathers. 7 Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, Much less are lying lips to a prince. 8 A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; Wherever he turns, he prospers. 9 He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends. 10 A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding Than a hundred blows into a fool. 11 A rebellious man seeks only evil, So a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly. 13 He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house. 14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. 15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. 16 Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no sense? 17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. 18 A man lacking in sense pledges And becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor. 19 He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction. 20 He who has a crooked mind finds no good, And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil. 21 He who sires a fool does so to his sorrow, And 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 man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice. 24 Wisdom is in the presence of the one who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. 25 A foolish son is a grief to his father And bitterness to her who bore him. 26 It is also not good to fine the righteous, Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness. 27 He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. 28 Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.
Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
18 He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom. 2 A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind. 3 When a wicked man comes, contempt also comes, And with dishonor comes scorn. 4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. 5 To show partiality to the wicked is not good, Nor to thrust aside the righteous in judgment. 6 A fool’s lips bring strife, And his mouth calls for blows. 7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul. 8 The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, And they go down into the innermost parts of the body. 9 He also who is slack in his work Is brother to him who destroys. 10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe. 11 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination. 12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor. 13 He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him. 14 The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for a broken spirit who can bear it? 15 The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. 16 A man’s gift makes room for him And brings him before great men. 17 The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. 18 The cast lot puts an end to strife And decides between the mighty ones. 19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel. 20 With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied 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 He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord. 23 The poor man utters supplications, But the rich man answers roughly. 24 A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)