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Proverbs 21

The King’s Heart
(Psalm 21:1–13)

1 The king’s heart is a waterway in the hand of the LORD;

He directs it where He pleases.

2 All a man’s ways seem right to him,

but the LORD weighs the heart.

3 To do righteousness and justice

is more desirable to the LORD than sacrifice.

4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart—

the guides of the wicked—are sin.

5 The plans of the diligent bring plenty,

as surely as haste leads to poverty.

6 Making a fortune by a lying tongue

is a vanishing mist, a deadly pursuit.

7 The violence of the wicked will sweep them away

because they refuse to do what is just.

8 The way of a guilty man is crooked,

but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

9 Better to live on a corner of the roof

than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

10 The soul of the wicked man craves evil;

his neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;

and when a wise man is instructed, he acquires knowledge.

12 The Righteous One a considers the house of the wicked

and brings the wicked to ruin.

13 Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor,

he too shall cry out and receive no answer.

14 A gift in secret soothes anger,

and a covert bribe b pacifies great wrath.

15 Justice executed is a joy to the righteous,

but a terror to the workers of iniquity.

16 The man who strays from the path of understanding

will rest in the assembly of the dead.

17 He who loves pleasure will become poor;

the one who loves wine and oil will never be rich.

18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,

and the faithless for the upright.

19 Better to live in the desert

than with a contentious and ill-tempered wife.

20 Precious treasures and oil are in the dwelling of the wise,

but a foolish man consumes them.

21 He who pursues righteousness and loving devotion

finds life, righteousness, and honor.

22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty

and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.

23 He who guards his mouth and tongue

keeps his soul from distress.

24 Mocker is the name of the proud and arrogant man—

of him who acts with excessive pride.

25 The craving of the slacker kills him

because his hands refuse to work.

26 All day long he covets more,

but the righteous give without restraint.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—

how much more so when brought with ill intent!

28 A lying witness will perish,

but the man who listens to truth will speak forever.

29 A wicked man hardens his face, c 

but the upright man makes his way sure.

30 There is no wisdom, no understanding, no counsel

that can prevail against the LORD.

31 A horse is prepared for the day of battle,

but victory is of the LORD.



12 a Or The righteous one
14 b Hebrew a bribe in the bosom
29 c Or puts up a bold front

Next Chapter: Proverbs 22 >

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