Proverbs Chapter 29 to 31 : English Standard Version   | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

Other Versions29 29:1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing. 2When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan. 3He who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. 4By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts[1] tears it down. 5A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet. 6An evil man is ensnared in his transgression, but a righteous man sings and rejoices. 7A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge. 8Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise turn away wrath. 9If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet. 10Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless and seek the life of the upright.[2] 11A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. 12If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked. 13The poor man and the oppressor meet together; the Lord gives light to the eyes of both. 14If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever. 15The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. 16When the wicked increase, transgression increases, but the righteous will look upon their downfall. 17Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. 18Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,[3] but blessed is he who keeps the law. 19By mere words a servant is not disciplined, for though he understands, he will not respond. 20Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 21Whoever pampers his servant from childhood will in the end find him his heir.[4] 22A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression. 23One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. 24The partner of a thief hates his own life; he hears the curse, but discloses nothing. 25The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. 26Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice. 27An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.

[1] Or who taxes heavily  [2] Or but the upright seek his soul  [3] Or the people are discouraged  [4] The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered his heir is uncertain


The Words of Agur

30:1 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.[5]

The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out.[6] 2Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. 3I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. 4Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!

5Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

7Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: 8Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, 9lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

10Do not slander a servant to his master, lest he curse you and you be held guilty.

11There are those[7] who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers. 12There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth. 13There are those—how lofty are their eyes, how high their eyelids lift! 14There are those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind.

15The leech has two daughters; “Give” and “Give,” they cry.[8] Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough”: 16Sheol, the barren womb, the land never satisfied with water, and the fire that never says, “Enough.”

17The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.

18Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: 19the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.

20This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.”

21Under three things the earth trembles; under four it cannot bear up: 22a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food; 23an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.

24Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise: 25the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; 26the rock badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; 27the locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank; 28the lizard you can take in your hands, yet it is in kings’ palaces.

29Three things are stately in their tread; four are stately in their stride: 30the lion, which is mightiest among beasts and does not turn back before any; 31the strutting rooster,[9] the he-goat, and a king whose army is with him.[10]

32If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth. 33For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.

[5] Or Jakeh, the man of Massa  [6] Revocalization; Hebrew The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal  [7] Hebrew There is a generation; also verses 12, 13, 14  [8] Or “Give, give,” they cry  [9] Or the magpie, or the greyhound; Hebrew girt-of-loins  [10] Or against whom there is no rising up

31 The Words of King Lemuel

31:1 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

2What are you doing, my son?[11] What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? 3Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. 4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, 5lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. 6Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress;[12] 7let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. 8Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. 13] 9Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10 [14] An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 13She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. 15She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. 16She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17She dresses herself[15] with strength and makes her arms strong. 18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[16] 22She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. 24She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. 25Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 26She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 30Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

[11] Hebrew What, my son?  [12] Hebrew those bitter in soul  [13] Hebrew are sons of passing away  [14] Verses 10-31 are an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet  [15] Hebrew She girds her loins  [16] Or in double thickness

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