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

a 1 Or will not become wise
b 10 Or Two kinds of; also verse 23
c 11 Or Even a child can dissemble in his actions, though his conduct seems pure and upright
d 16 Or for an adulteress (compare 27:13)
e 19 Hebrew with one who is simple in his lips
f 27 Hebrew breath
ESV Text Edition® (2016).

The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.

The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.

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