1A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare.
2The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing,
but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.
3The Lord is watching everywhere,
keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.
4Gentle words are a tree of life;
a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
5Only a fool despises a parent’s*15:5 Hebrew father’s. discipline;
whoever learns from correction is wise.
6There is treasure in the house of the godly,
but the earnings of the wicked bring trouble.
7The lips of the wise give good advice;
the heart of a fool has none to give.
8The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
but he delights in the prayers of the upright.
9The Lord detests the way of the wicked,
but he loves those who pursue godliness.
10Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined;
whoever hates correction will die.
11Even Death and Destruction*15:11 Hebrew Sheol and Abaddon. hold no secrets from the Lord.
How much more does he know the human heart!
12Mockers hate to be corrected,
so they stay away from the wise.
13A glad heart makes a happy face;
a broken heart crushes the spirit.
14A wise person is hungry for knowledge,
while the fool feeds on trash.
15For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
16Better to have little, with fear for the Lord,
than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.
17A bowl of vegetables with someone you love
is better than steak with someone you hate.
18A hot-tempered person starts fights;
a cool-tempered person stops them.
19A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers,
but the path of the upright is an open highway.
20Sensible children bring joy to their father;
foolish children despise their mother.
21Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense;
a sensible person stays on the right path.
22Plans go wrong for lack of advice;
many advisers bring success.
23Everyone enjoys a fitting reply;
it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!
24The path of life leads upward for the wise;
they leave the grave*15:24 Hebrew Sheol. behind.
25The Lord tears down the house of the proud,
but he protects the property of widows.
26The Lord detests evil plans,
but he delights in pure words.
27Greed brings grief to the whole family,
but those who hate bribes will live.
28The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking;
the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.
29The Lord is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayers of the righteous.
30A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;
good news makes for good health.
31If you listen to constructive criticism,
you will be at home among the wise.
32If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;
but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
33Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom;
humility precedes honor.