Proverbs 20
New King James Version Par ▾ 

Wine Is a Mocker

1Wine is a mocker,
Strong drink is a brawler,
And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

2The [a]wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion;
Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life.

3It is honorable for a man to stop striving,
Since any fool can start a quarrel.

4The lazy man will not plow because of winter;
He will beg during harvest and have nothing.

5Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding will draw it out.

6Most men will proclaim each his own [b]goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?

7The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.

8A king who sits on the throne of judgment
Scatters all evil with his eyes.

9Who can say, “I have made my heart clean,
I am pure from my sin”?

10Diverse weights and diverse measures,
They are both alike, an abomination to the Lord.

11Even a child is known by his deeds,
Whether what he does is pure and right.

12The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The Lord has made them both.

13Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.

14It is [c]good for nothing,” cries the buyer;
But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.

15There is gold and a multitude of rubies,
But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

16Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress.

17Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

18Plans are established by counsel;
By wise counsel wage war.

19He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets;
Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.

20Whoever curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will be put out in deep darkness.

21An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning
Will not be blessed at the end.

22Do not say, “I will [d]recompense evil”;
Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.

23Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord,
And dishonest scales are not good.

24A man’s steps are of the Lord;
How then can a man understand his own way?

25It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy,
And afterward to reconsider his vows.

26A wise king sifts out the wicked,
And brings the threshing wheel over them.

27The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the [e]inner depths of his heart.

28Mercy and truth preserve the king,
And by [f]lovingkindness he upholds his throne.

29The glory of young men is their strength,
And the splendor of old men is their gray head.

30Blows that hurt cleanse away evil,
As do stripes the [g]inner depths of the heart.


  1. Proverbs 20:2 Lit. fear or terror, produced by the king’s wrath
  2. Proverbs 20:6 Lit. mercy
  3. Proverbs 20:14 Lit. evil, evil
  4. Proverbs 20:22 repay
  5. Proverbs 20:27 Lit. rooms of the belly
  6. Proverbs 20:28 mercy
  7. Proverbs 20:30 Lit. rooms of the belly
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Copyright © 1982 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

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