Proverbs Chapter 16 to 17 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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16 People make their plans. But it is the Lord who makes those things happen. 2A person thinks everything he does is right. But the Lord judges the real reasons people do things. 3Always turn to the Lord for help in everything you do, and you will be successful. 4The Lord has a plan for everything. And in the Lord’s plan, evil people will be destroyed. 5The Lord hates every person who thinks that he is better than other people. The Lord will surely punish all those proud people. 6True love and loyalty will make you pure.* Respect the Lord, and you will stay far away from evil. 7If a person is living a good life, pleasing to the Lord, then even that person’s enemies will be at peace with him. 8It is better to gain only a little the right way than to gain much through cheating.  9A person can make plans about the things that he wants to do. But it is the Lord who decides what will happen. 10When a king speaks, his words are law. His decisions should always be fair. 11The Lord wants all scales and balances to be honest. He wants all business agreements to be fair. 12Kings hate people who do evil. Goodness will make his kingdom stronger. 13Kings want to hear the truth. Kings like people who don’t lie. 14When a king is angry, he can kill someone. And a wise person will try to keep the king happy. 15When the king is happy, life will be better for everyone. If the king is pleased with you, then it will be like spring rain falling from a cloud. 16Wisdom is worth much more than gold. Understanding is worth much more than silver. 17Good people live their lives trying to stay away from evil. The person who is careful with his life, is guarding his soul. 18If a person is proud, then he is in danger of destruction. If a person thinks he is better than other people, then he is in danger of defeat. 19It is better to be humble and live with poor people than to share wealth with people who think they are better than other people. 20The person who listens when people try to teach him will profit. And the person who trusts in the Lord will be blessed. 21People will know if a person is wise. And a person that carefully chooses his words can be very persuasive. 22Wisdom brings true life to people who have it. But fools only learn to be more foolish. 23A wise man always thinks before he speaks. And the words he says are good and worth hearing. 24Kind words are like honey. They are easy to accept and good for your health. 25There is a way that seems right to people. But that way leads only to death. 26A worker’s appetite keeps him working. His hunger makes him work so that he can eat. 27A worthless person plans bad things to do. His advice destroys like fire. 28A troublemaker is always causing problems. That person spreads gossip and causes trouble between close friends. 29A troublemaker causes a lot of trouble for his friends. He will lead them in a way that is not good. 30That person winks his eye while planning something destructive. He smiles while he is planning to hurt his neighbor. 31Gray hair is the crown of glory on people who have lived good lives. 32It is better to be patient than to be a strong soldier. It is better to control your anger than to take control over a whole city. 33People throw lots* to make decisions. But the decisions always come from God.

make … pure Or, “make atonement.” The Hebrew word means “to cover or erase a person’s sins.” lots Sticks, stones, or pieces of bone used like dice for making decisions.

17 It is better to have only a dry piece of bread to eat in peace than to have a whole house full of food with everyone arguing. 2A smart servant will gain control over his master’s foolish son. That wise servant will be treated like a son and get a share of the inheritance. 3Gold and silver are put into fire to make them pure. But the Lord is the One who makes peoples’ hearts pure. 4An evil person listens to the evil things other people say. People who tell lies also listen to lies. 5Some people make fun of poor people. They laugh at people who have problems. This shows that those bad people don’t respect God who made them. These bad people will be punished. 6Grandchildren make old people happy. And children are proud of their parents. 7It is not wise for a fool to speak too much. In the same way, it is not wise for a ruler to tell lies. 8Some people think a bribe is like a lucky charm—wherever they go, it seems to work. 9If you forgive a person who does wrong to you, then you can be friends. But if you continue to remember the wrong that he did, then it will hurt your friendship. 10A smart person learns from the things he does wrong. But a fool learns nothing, even after a hundred lessons.  11An evil person only wants to do wrong. In the end, God will send a messenger to punish him. 12It is very dangerous to meet a mother bear that is angry because her cubs are stolen. But that is better than to meet a fool that is busy doing his foolishness. 13Don’t do bad things to people who do good things to you. If you do, then you will have trouble for the rest of your life. 14If you start an argument, it is like breaking a hole in a dam. So stop the argument before it becomes bigger and bigger. 15The Lord hates these two things—punishing someone that has done nothing wrong, and forgiving someone that is guilty. 16If a foolish person has money, it is wasted. Why? Because that foolish person does not use the money to become wise. 17A friend loves at all times. A true brother always supports you, even in times of trouble. 18Only a fool will promise to be responsible for another person’s debts. 19A troublemaker loves to start arguments. A person that likes to brag is setting himself up for a fall. Both of them will end up in trouble.* 20A crooked person will not get a good profit. A liar will get into bad trouble. 21A father with a foolish son will be very sad. A fool’s father won’t be happy. 22Happiness is like good medicine. But sorrow is like a sickness. 23An evil person accepts secret payment for cheating other people. 24The wise man is always thinking of the best thing to do. But a foolish person is always dreaming about faraway places. 25A foolish son brings sorrow to his father. And a foolish son brings sadness to the mother that gave birth to him. 26It is wrong to punish a person who has done nothing wrong. It is wrong to punish leaders when they are honest. 27A wise person uses words carefully. A wise person does not become angry easily. 28Even a fool seems wise if he keeps quiet. People think he is wise if he doesn’t say anything.

A troublemaker ... in trouble This parable is hard to translate because of several word plays in Hebrew.

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