20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a riotous brawler; and whoever errs or reels because of it is not wise.(A)
2 The terror of a king is as the roaring of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger or angers himself against him sins against his own life.
3 It is an honor for a man to cease from strife and keep aloof from it, but every fool will quarrel.
4 The sluggard does not plow when winter sets in; therefore he begs in harvest and has nothing.
5 Counsel in the heart of man is like water in a deep well, but a man of understanding draws it out.(B)
6 Many a man proclaims his own loving-kindness and goodness, but a faithful man who can find?
7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; blessed (happy, fortunate, enviable) are his children after him.
8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows out all evil [like chaff] with his eyes.
9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?(C)
10 Diverse weights [one for buying and another for selling] and diverse measures—both of them are exceedingly offensive and abhorrent to the Lord.(D)
11 Even a child is known by his acts, whether [or not] what he does is pure and right.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye—the Lord has made both of them.
13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes and you will be satisfied with bread.
14 It is worthless, it is worthless! says the buyer; but when he goes his way, then he boasts [about his bargain].
15 There is gold, and a multitude of pearls, but the lips of knowledge are a vase of preciousness [the most precious of all].(E)
16 [The judge tells the creditor] Take the garment of one who is security for a stranger; and hold him in pledge when he is security for foreigners.
17 Food gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 Purposes and plans are established by counsel; and [only] with good advice make or carry on war.
19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely.(F)
20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in complete darkness.
21 An inheritance hastily gotten [by greedy, unjust means] at the beginning, in the end it will not be blessed.(G)
22 Do not say, I will repay evil; wait [expectantly] for the Lord, and He will rescue you.(H)
23 Diverse and deceitful weights are shamefully vile and abhorrent to the Lord, and false scales are not good.
24 Man’s steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way?
25 It is a snare to a man to utter a vow [of consecration] rashly and [not until] afterward inquire [whether he can fulfill it].
26 A wise king winnows out the wicked [from among the good] and brings the threshing wheel over them [to separate the chaff from the grain].
27 The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.(I)
28 Loving-kindness and mercy, truth and faithfulness, preserve the king, and his throne is upheld by [the people’s] loyalty.
29 The glory of young men is their strength, and the beauty of old men is their gray head [suggesting wisdom and experience].
30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil, and strokes [for correction] reach to the innermost parts.
- Proverbs 20:1 : Prov. 23:29, 30; Isa. 28:7; Hos. 4:11.
- Proverbs 20:5 : Prov. 18:4.
- Proverbs 20:9 : I Kings 8:46; II Chron. 6:36; Job 9:30; 14:4; Ps. 51:5; I John 1:8.
- Proverbs 20:10 : Deut. 25:13; Mic. 6:10, 11.
- Proverbs 20:15 : Job 28:12, 16-19; Prov. 3:15; 8:11.
- Proverbs 20:19 : Rom. 16:17, 18.
- Proverbs 20:21 : Prov. 28:20; Hab. 2:6.
- Proverbs 20:22 : II Sam. 16:12; Rom. 12:17-19; I Thess. 5:15; I Pet. 3:9.
- Proverbs 20:27 : I Cor. 2:11.