14 Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
2 He who walks in uprightness reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, but he who is contrary and devious in his ways despises Him.
3 In the [a]fool’s own mouth is a rod [to shame] his pride, but the wise men’s lips preserve them.
4 Where no oxen are, the grain crib is empty, but much increase [of crops] comes by the strength of the ox.
5 A faithful witness will not lie, but a false witness breathes out falsehoods.
6 A scoffer seeks Wisdom in vain [for his very attitude blinds and deafens him to it], but knowledge is easy to him who [being teachable] understands.
7 Go from the presence of a foolish and self-confident man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.
8 The Wisdom [godly Wisdom, which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of [self-confident] fools is to deceive.
9 Fools make a mock of sin and sin mocks the fools [who are its victims; a sin offering made by them only mocks them, bringing them disappointment and disfavor], but among the upright there is the favor of God.(A)
10 The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.
11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown, but the tent of the upright shall flourish.
12 There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.
13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of mirth is heaviness and grief.
14 The backslider in heart [from God and from fearing God] shall be filled with [the fruit of] his own ways, and a good man shall be satisfied with [the fruit of] his ways [with the holy thoughts and actions which his heart prompts and in which he delights].
15 The simpleton believes every word he hears, but the prudent man looks and considers well where he is going.
16 A wise man suspects danger and cautiously avoids evil, but the fool bears himself insolently and is [presumptuously] confident.
17 He who foams up quickly and flies into a passion deals foolishly, and a man of wicked plots and plans is hated.
18 The simple acquire folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19 The evil men bow before the good, and the wicked [stand suppliantly] at the gates of the [uncompromisingly] righteous.
20 The poor is hated even by his own neighbor, but the rich has many friends.
21 He who despises his neighbor sins [against God, his fellowman, and himself], but happy (blessed and fortunate) is he who is kind and merciful to the poor.
22 Do they not err who devise evil and wander from the way of life? But loving-kindness and mercy, loyalty and faithfulness, shall be to those who devise good.
23 In all labor there is profit, but idle talk leads only to poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their wealth of Wisdom, but the foolishness of [self-confident] fools is [nothing but] folly.
25 A truthful witness saves lives, but a deceitful witness speaks lies [and endangers lives].
26 In the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children shall always have a place of refuge.
27 Reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.(B)
28 In a multitude of people is the king’s glory, but in a lack of people is the prince’s ruin.
29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is hasty of spirit exposes and exalts his folly.(C)
30 A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.
31 He who oppresses the poor reproaches, mocks, and insults his Maker, but he who is kind and merciful to the needy honors Him.(D)
32 The wicked is overthrown through his wrongdoing and calamity, but the [consistently] righteous has hope and confidence even in death.
33 Wisdom rests [silently] in the mind and heart of him who has understanding, but that which is in the inward part of [self-confident] fools is made known.(E)
34 Uprightness and right standing with God (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) elevate a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
35 The king’s favor is toward a wise and discreet servant, but his wrath is against him who does shamefully.(F)
- Proverbs 14:3 The word “fool” in the Old Testament seldom, if ever, is used to describe the feebleminded, imbecile, idiot, or moron. Rather, it always has within it the meaning of a rebel, especially against God and the laws of order, decency, and justice. Notice in Proverbs how many such characteristics of rebelliousness are listed against the fool, and see God’s attitude toward them.
- Proverbs 14:9 : Prov. 10:23.
- Proverbs 14:27 : John 4:10, 14.
- Proverbs 14:29 : Prov. 16:32; James 1:19.
- Proverbs 14:31 : Prov. 17:5; Matt. 25:40, 45.
- Proverbs 14:33 : Isa. 32:6.
- Proverbs 14:35 : Matt. 24:45, 47.