Proverbs 14
Contemporary English Version

Wisdom Makes Good Sense

1A woman's family

is held together

by her wisdom,

but it can be destroyed

by her foolishness.

2By living right, you show

that you respect the Lord;

by being deceitful, you show

that you despise him.

3Proud fools are punished

for their stupid talk,

but sensible talk

can save your life.

4Without the help of an ox

there can be no crop,

but with a strong ox

a big crop is possible.

5An honest witness

tells the truth;

a dishonest witness

tells nothing but lies.

6Make fun of wisdom,

and you will never find it.

But if you have understanding,

knowledge comes easily.

7Stay away from fools,

or you won't learn a thing.

8Wise people have enough sense

to find their way,

but stupid fools get lost.

9Fools don't care

if they are wrong,+

but God is pleased

when people do right.

10No one else can really know

how sad or happy you are.

11The tent of a good person

stands longer than the house

of someone evil.

12 You may think you are

on the right road

and still end up dead.

13Sorrow may hide

behind laughter,

and happiness may end

in sorrow.

14You harvest what you plant,

whether good or bad.

15Don't be stupid

and believe all you hear;

be smart and know

where you are headed.

16Only a stupid fool

is never cautious—

so be extra careful

and stay out of trouble.

17Fools have quick tempers,

and no one likes you

if you can't be trusted.

18Stupidity leads to foolishness;

be smart and learn.

19The wicked will come crawling

to those who obey God.

20You have no friends

if you are poor,

but you have lots of friends

if you are rich.

21It's wrong to hate others,

but God blesses everyone

who is kind to the poor.

22It's a mistake

to make evil plans,

but you will have loyal friends

if you want to do right.

23Hard work is worthwhile,

but empty talk

will make you poor.

24Wisdom can make you rich,

but foolishness leads

to more foolishness.

25An honest witness

can save your life,

but liars can't be trusted.

26If you respect the Lord,

you and your children

have a strong fortress

27and a life-giving fountain

that keeps you safe

from deadly traps.

28Rulers of powerful nations

are held in honor;

rulers of weak nations

are nothing at all.

29It's smart to be patient,

but it's stupid

to lose your temper.

30It's healthy to be content,

but envy can eat you up.

31If you mistreat the poor,

you insult your Creator;

if you are kind to them,

you show him respect.

32In times of trouble

the wicked are destroyed,

but even at death

the innocent have faith.+

33Wisdom is found in the minds

of people with good sense,

but fools don't know it.+

34Doing right brings honor

to a nation,

but sin brings disgrace.

35Kings reward servants

who act wisely,

but they punish those

who act foolishly.


14.9 Fools … wrong: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
14.32 but even … faith: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Some ancient translations “but good people trust their innocence.”
14.33 but … it: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text; some ancient translations “but not in the mind of a fool.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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