16 The plans of the mind and orderly thinking belong to man, but from the Lord comes the [wise] answer of the tongue.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits (the thoughts and intents of the heart).(A)
3 Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.
4 The Lord has made everything [to accommodate itself and contribute] to its own end and His own purpose—even the wicked [are fitted for their role] for the day of calamity and evil.
5 Everyone proud and arrogant in heart is disgusting, hateful, and exceedingly offensive to the Lord; be assured [I pledge it] they will not go unpunished.(B)
6 By mercy and love, truth and fidelity [to God and man—not by sacrificial offerings], iniquity is purged out of the heart, and by the reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord men depart from and avoid evil.
7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness (uprightness in every area and relation and right standing with God) than great revenues with injustice.(C)
9 A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.(D)
10 Divinely directed decisions are on the lips of the king; his mouth should not transgress in judgment.
11 A just balance and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights of the bag are His work [established on His eternal principles].
12 It is an abomination [to God and men] for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established and made secure by righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation).
13 Right and just lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right.
14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death, but a wise man will pacify it.
15 In the light of the king’s countenance is life, and his favor is as a cloud bringing the spring rain.
16 How much better it is to get skillful and godly Wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.(E)
17 The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; he who guards his way preserves his life.
18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the meek and poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 He who deals wisely and heeds [God’s] word and counsel shall find good, and whoever leans on, trusts in, and is confident in the Lord—happy, blessed, and fortunate is he.
21 The wise in heart are called prudent, understanding, and knowing, and winsome speech increases learning [in both speaker and listener].
22 Understanding is a wellspring of life to those who have it, but to give instruction to fools is folly.
23 The mind of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning and persuasiveness to his lips.
24 Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.
25 There is a way that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.
26 The appetite of the laborer works for him, for [the need of] his mouth urges him on.
27 A worthless man devises and digs up mischief, and in his lips there is as a scorching fire.
28 A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.(F)
29 The exceedingly grasping, covetous, and violent man entices his neighbor, leading him in a way that is not good.
30 He who shuts his eyes to devise perverse things and who compresses his lips [as if in concealment] brings evil to pass.
31 The hoary head is a crown of beauty and glory if it is found in the way of righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation).(G)
32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, he who rules his [own] spirit than he who takes a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord [even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him].
- Proverbs 16:2 : I Sam. 16:7; Heb. 4:12.
- Proverbs 16:5 : Prov. 8:13; 11:20-21.
- Proverbs 16:8 : Ps. 37:16; Prov. 15:16.
- Proverbs 16:9 : Ps. 37:23; Prov. 20:24; Jer. 10:23.
- Proverbs 16:16 : Prov. 8:10, 19.
- Proverbs 16:28 : Prov. 17:9.
- Proverbs 16:31 : Prov. 20:29.