Proverbs 20:1-30, NLT

Proverbs 20

1Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls.

Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.

2The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar;

to rouse his anger is to risk your life.

3Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;

only fools insist on quarreling.

4Those too lazy to plow in the right season

will have no food at the harvest.

5Though good advice lies deep within the heart,

a person with understanding will draw it out.

6Many will say they are loyal friends,

but who can find one who is truly reliable?

7The godly walk with integrity;

blessed are their children who follow them.

8When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence,

distinguishing the bad from the good.

9Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart;

I am pure and free from sin”?

10False weights and unequal measures*20:10 Hebrew A stone and a stone, an ephah and an ephah.

the Lord detests double standards of every kind.

11Even children are known by the way they act,

whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.

12Ears to hear and eyes to see—

both are gifts from the Lord.

13If you love sleep, you will end in poverty.

Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!

14The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,”

then brags about getting a bargain!

15Wise words are more valuable

than much gold and many rubies.

16Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt.

Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.*20:16 An alternate reading in the Masoretic Text is for a promiscuous woman.

17Stolen bread tastes sweet,

but it turns to gravel in the mouth.

18Plans succeed through good counsel;

don’t go to war without wise advice.

19A gossip goes around telling secrets,

so don’t hang around with chatterers.

20If you insult your father or mother,

your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.

21An inheritance obtained too early in life

is not a blessing in the end.

22Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”

Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.

23The Lord detests double standards;

he is not pleased by dishonest scales.

24The Lord directs our steps,

so why try to understand everything along the way?

25Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God

and only later counting the cost.

26A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat,

then runs his threshing wheel over them.

27The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,*20:27 Or The human spirit is the Lord’s light.

exposing every hidden motive.

28Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king;

his throne is made secure through love.

29The glory of the young is their strength;

the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.

30Physical punishment cleanses away evil;*20:30 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

such discipline purifies the heart.