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Proverbs 21 (Common English Bible)

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1 The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; he directs it wherever he wants. 2 Everyone's path is straight in their own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart. 3 Acting with righteousness and justice is more valued by the LORD than sacrifice. 4 Prideful eyes, an arrogant heart, and the lamp of the wicked are all sinful. 5 The plans of the diligent end up in profit, but those who hurry end up with loss. 6 Those who gain treasure with lies are like a drifting fog, leading to death. 7 The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, for they refuse to act with justice. 8 The ways of some people are twisted and strange, but the behavior of those who do right is pure. 9 Better to live on the edge of a roof than with a contentious woman in a large house. 10 Wicked people desire evil; their neighbors receive no mercy from them. 11 When a mocker is punished, the naive person gains wisdom; when insight comes to the wise, knowledge increases. 12 The righteous one observes the house of the wicked, turning the wicked toward trouble. 13 Those who close their ears to the cries of the poor will themselves call out but receive no answer. 14 A secret gift calms anger, and a hidden bribe removesa furious wrath. 15 Acting justly is a joy to the righteous, but dreaded by those who do evil. 16 People who wander from the path of insight will rest in the company of the dead. 17 Those who love pleasure end up poor; lovers of wine and oil won't get rich. 18 The wicked are a ransom for the righteous; the treacherous will be punishedb in the place of the virtuous. 19 Better to live in a wilderness than in a house with a contentious and angry woman. 20 Precious treasure and oil stay in the home of the wise, but fools swallow them up. 21 Those who pursue righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. 22 A wise person fought a city of warriors and brought down the stronghold in which they felt safe. 23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues guard themselves from trouble. 24 Incredibly proud—mockers are their name! Their conduct involves excessive pride. 25 The desires of the lazy will kill them, because their hands refuse to do anything. 26 The lazy desire things constantly, but the righteous give without holding back. 27 The LORD detests the sacrifices of the wicked, especially when brought with devious motives. 28 A lying witness will perish, but one who listens will testify successfully. 29 The wicked person appears brash, but the virtuous think about the path ahead. 30 No wisdom, understanding, or advice can stand up against the LORD. 31 A horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the LORD.
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