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Proverbs 20

Wine Is a Mocker

1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler,

and whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

2 The terror of a king is like the roar of a lion;

whoever provokes him forfeits his own life. a 

3 It is honorable for a man to resolve a dispute,

but any fool will quarrel.

4 The slacker does not plow in season;

at harvest time he looks, but nothing is there.

5 The intentions of a man’s heart are deep waters,

but a man of understanding draws them out.

6 Many a man proclaims his loving devotion,

but who can find a trustworthy man?

7 The righteous man walks with integrity;

blessed are his children after him.

8 A king who sits on a throne to judge

sifts 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 unequal measures b

both are detestable to the LORD.

11 Even a young man is known by his actions—

whether his conduct is pure and upright.

12 Ears that hear and eyes that see—

the LORD has made them both.

13 Do not love sleep, or you will grow poor;

open your eyes, and you will have plenty of food.

14 “Worthless, worthless!” says the buyer,

but on the way out, he gloats.

15 There is an abundance of gold and rubies,

but lips of knowledge are a rare treasure.

16 Take the garment of the one who posts security for a stranger;

get collateral if it is for a foreigner. c 

17 Food gained by fraud is sweet to a man,

but later his mouth is full of gravel.

18 Set plans by consultation,

and wage war under sound guidance.

19 He who reveals secrets is a constant gossip;

avoid the one who babbles d with his lips.

20 Whoever curses his father or mother,

his lamp will be extinguished in deepest darkness.

21 An inheritance gained quickly

will not be blessed in the end.

22 Do not say, “I will avenge this evil!”

Wait on the LORD, and He will save you.

23 Unequal weights are detestable to the LORD,

and dishonest scales are no good.

24 A man’s steps are from the LORD,

so how can anyone understand his own way?

25 It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly,

only later to reconsider his vows.

26 A wise king separates out the wicked

and drives the threshing wheel over them.

27 The spirit e of a man is the lamp of the LORD,

searching out his inmost being.

28 Loving devotion and faithfulness preserve a king;

by these he maintains his throne.

29 The glory of young men is their strength,

and gray hair is the splendor of the old.

30 Lashes and wounds scour evil,

and beatings cleanse the inmost parts.



2 a Literally sins against his own soul
10 b Hebrew A stone and a stone, an ephah and an ephah
16 c Or a wayward woman
19 d Or the one who is simple
27 e Or breath or speech

Next Chapter: Proverbs 21 >

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