Devotions

Proverbs 25

Similitudes and Instructions

1 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
So the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Take away the impurities from the silver,
And there comes out a vessel for the smith;
Take away the wicked before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.
Do not boast in the presence of the king,
And do not stand in the same place as great people;
For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,”
Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince,
Whom your eyes have seen.

Do not go out hastily to argue your case;
Otherwise, what will you do in the end,
When your neighbor humiliates you?
Argue your case with your neighbor,
And do not reveal the secret of another,
10 Or one who hears it will put you to shame,
And the evil report about you will not pass away.

11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver,
Is a word spoken at the proper time.
12 Like an earring of gold and a jewelry piece of fine gold,
Is a wise person who offers rebukes to a listening ear.
13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
Is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
For he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
Is a person who boasts of his gifts falsely.
15 Through patience a ruler may be persuaded,
And a gentle tongue breaks bone.
16 Have you found honey? Eat only what you need,
So that you do not have it in excess and vomit it.
17 Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor’s house,
Or he will become weary of you and hate you.
18 Like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow
Is a person who gives false testimony against his neighbor.
19 Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot
Is confidence in a treacherous person in time of trouble.
20 Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda,
Is one who sings songs to a troubled heart.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 For you will heap burning coals on his head,
And the Lord will reward you.
23 The north wind brings rain,
And a gossiping tongue brings an angry face.
24 It is better to live on a corner of the roof,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
25 Like cold water to a weary soul,
So is good news from a distant land.
26 Like a trampled spring and a polluted well,
So is a righteous person who gives way before the wicked.
27 It is not good to eat much honey,
Nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory.
28 Like a city that is broken into and without walls
So is a person who has no self-control over his spirit.

Proverbs 23

On Life and Conduct

1 When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you,
And put a knife to your throat
If you are a person of great appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food.

Do not weary yourself to gain wealth;
Stop dwelling on it.
When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

Do not eat the bread of a selfish person;
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten
And waste your compliments.

Do not speak to be heard by a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10 Do not move the ancient boundary
Or go into the fields of the fatherless,
11 For their Redeemer is strong;
He will plead their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to discipline,
And your ears to words of knowledge.

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
Though you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My own heart also will be glad,
16 And my innermost being will rejoice
When your lips speak what is right.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the fear of the Lord always.
18 Certainly there is a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
And direct your heart in the way.
20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.

22 Listen to your father, who fathered you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.

26 Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes delight in my ways.
27 For a prostitute is a deep pit,
And a strange woman is a narrow well.
28 Certainly she lurks as a robber,
And increases the treacherous among mankind.

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has red eyes?
30 Those who linger long over wine,
Those who go to taste mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it goes down smoothly;
32 In the end it bites like a snake
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things
And your mind will say perverse things.
34 And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea,
Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.
35 “They struck me, but I did not become ill;
They beat me, but I did not know it.
When will I awake?
I will seek another drink.”

Proverbs 22

On Life and Conduct

1 good name is to be more desired than great wealth;
Favor is better than silver and gold.
The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The Lord is the Maker of them all.
A prudent person sees evil and hides himself,
But the naive proceed, and pay the penalty.
The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor, and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
One who guards himself will be far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he grows older he will not abandon it.
The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
One who sows injustice will reap disaster,
And the rod of his fury will perish.
One who is generous will be blessed,
Because he gives some of his food to the poor.
10 Drive out the scoffer, and strife will leave,
Even quarreling and dishonor will cease.
11 One who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord protect knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous person.
13 The lazy one says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the Lord will fall into it.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.
16 One who oppresses the poor to make more for himself,
Or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

17 Extend your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
So that they may be ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have taught you today, you indeed.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 To make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
So that you may correctly answer him who sent you?

22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor crush the needy at the gate;
23 For the Lord will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.

24 Do not make friends with a person given to anger,
Or go with a hot-tempered person,
25 Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.

26 Do not be among those who shake hands,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to repay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?

28 Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

29 Do you see a person skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure people.

Proverbs 21

On Life and Conduct

1 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever He pleases.
Every person’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord examines the hearts.
To do righteousness and justice
Is preferred by the Lord more than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
The lamp of the wicked, is sin.
The plans of the diligent certainly lead to advantage,
But everyone who is in a hurry certainly comes to poverty.
The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue
Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
Because they refuse to act with justice.
The way of a guilty person is crooked,
But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.
It is better to live on a corner of a roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor is shown no compassion in his eyes.
11 When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12 The righteous one considers the house of the wicked,
Bringing the wicked to ruin.
13 One who shuts his ear to the outcry of the poor
Will also call out himself, and not be answered.
14 A gift in secret subdues anger,
And a bribe in an inside pocket, strong wrath.
15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous,
But terror to those who practice injustice.
16 A person who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 One who loves pleasure will become a poor person;
One who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.
19 It is better to live in a desert land
Than with a contentious and irritating woman.
20 There is precious treasure and oil in the home of the wise,
But a foolish person swallows it up.
21 One who pursues righteousness and loyalty
Finds life, righteousness, and honor.
22 A wise person scales the city of the mighty
And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23 One who guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles.
24 “Proud,” “Arrogant,” “Scoffer,” are his names,
One who acts with insolent pride.
25 The desire of the lazy one puts him to death,
For his hands refuse to work;
26 All day long he is craving,
While the righteous gives and does not hold back.
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,
How much more when he brings it with evil intent!
28 A false witness will perish,
But a person who listens will speak forever.
29 A wicked person displays a bold face,
But as for the upright, he makes his way sure.
30 There is no wisdom, no understanding,
And no plan against the Lord.
31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But the victory belongs to the Lord.

Proverbs 20

On Life and Conduct

1 Wine is a mocker, intoxicating drink a brawler,
And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.
The terror of a king is like the roaring of a lion;
One who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.
Avoiding strife is an honor for a person,
But any fool will quarrel.
The lazy one does not plow after the autumn,
So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.
A plan in the heart of a person is like deep water,
But a person of understanding draws it out.
Many a person proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy person?
A righteous person who walks in his integrity—
How blessed are his sons after him.
A king who sits on the throne of justice
Disperses all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”?
10 Differing weights and differing measures,
Both of them are abominable to the Lord.
11 It is by his deeds that a boy distinguishes himself,
If his conduct is pure and right.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The Lord has made both of them.
13 Do not love sleep, or you will become poor;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
But when he goes his way, then he boasts.
15 There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
But lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.
16 Take his garment when he becomes guarantor for a stranger;
And for foreigners, seize a pledge from him.
17 Bread obtained by a lie is sweet to a person,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 Prepare plans by consultation,
And make war by wise guidance.
19 One who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets;
Therefore do not associate with a gossip.
20 He who curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will go out in time of darkness.
21 An inheritance gained in a hurry at the beginning
Will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.
23 Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord,
And a false scale is not good.
24 A man’s steps are ordained by the Lord;
How then can a person understand his way?
25 It is a trap for a person to say carelessly, “It is holy!”
And after the vows to make inquiry.
26 A wise king scatters the wicked,
And drives a threshing wheel over them.
27 The spirit of a person is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the innermost parts of his being.
28 Loyalty and truth watch over the king,
And he upholds his throne by loyalty.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
And the honor of old men is their gray hair.
30 Bruising wounds clean away evil,
And blows cleanse the innermost parts.



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