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Proverbs 21 (New Living Translation)

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1 The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he turns it wherever he pleases. 2 People may think they are doing what is right, but the LORD examines the heart. 3 The LORD is more pleased when we do what is just and right than when we give him sacrifices. 4 Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin. 5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. 6 Wealth created by lying is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap. a 7 Because the wicked refuse to do what is just, their violence boomerangs and destroys them. 8 The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road. 9 It is better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a contentious wife in a lovely home. 10 Evil people love to harm others; their neighbors get no mercy from them. 11 A simpleton can learn only by seeing mockers punished; a wise person learns from instruction. 12 The Righteous One b knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring the wicked to disaster. 13 Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need. 14 A secret gift calms anger; a secret bribe pacifies fury. 15 Justice is a joy to the godly, but it causes dismay among evildoers. 16 The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead. 17 Those who love pleasure become poor; wine and luxury are not the way to riches. 18 Sometimes the wicked are punished to save the godly, and the treacherous for the upright. 19 It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife. 20 The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get. 21 Whoever pursues godliness and unfailing love will find life, godliness, and honor. 22 The wise conquer the city of the strong and level the fortress in which they trust. 23 If you keep your mouth shut, you will stay out of trouble. 24 Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance. 25 The desires of lazy people will be their ruin, for their hands refuse to work. 26 They are always greedy for more, while the godly love to give! 27 God loathes the sacrifice of an evil person, especially when it is brought with ulterior motives. 28 A false witness will be cut off, but an attentive witness will be allowed to speak. 29 The wicked put up a bold front, but the upright proceed with care. 30 Human plans, no matter how wise or well advised, cannot stand against the LORD. 31 The horses are prepared for battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.
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