Proverbs 16

Listen to Proverbs 16
1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but 1the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
2 2All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD 3 weighs the spirit.
3 4Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
4 5The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even 6the wicked for the day of trouble.
5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is 7an abomination to the LORD; 8be assured, he will not go unpunished.
6 By 9steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by 10the fear of the LORD one 11turns away from evil.
7 When a man's ways please the LORD, 12he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 13Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.
9 14The heart of man plans his way, but 15the LORD establishes his steps.
10 16An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment.
11 17A just balance and scales are the LORD's; all the weights in the bag are his work.
12 It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for 18the throne is established by righteousness.
13 19Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right.
14 20A king's wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will 21appease it.
15 22In the light of a king's face there is life, and his 23favor is like 24the clouds that bring the spring rain.
16 25How much better to get wisdom than 26gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than 27silver.
17 The highway of the upright 28turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life.
18 29Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 30It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to 31divide the spoil with the proud.
20 Whoever gives thought to the word[a]32will discover good, and blessed is he 33who trusts in the LORD.
21 The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech 34increases persuasiveness.
22 Good sense is 35a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly.
23 36The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24 37Gracious words are like 38a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and 39health to the body.
25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.[b]
26 A worker's appetite works for him; his 40mouth urges him on.
27 41A worthless man plots evil, and his speech[c] is like 42a scorching fire.
28 43A dishonest man spreads strife, and 44a whisperer 45separates close friends.
29 A man of violence 46entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good.
30 Whoever winks his eyes plans[d]47dishonest things; he who 48purses his lips brings evil to pass.
31 49Gray hair is 50a crown of glory; it 51is gained in a righteous life.
32 52Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33 53The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is 54from the LORD.

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Proverbs 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

Verse 1 The renewing grace of God alone prepares the heart for every good work. This teaches us that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think or speak any thing wise and good. Verse 2 . Ignorance, pride, and self-flattery render us partial judges respecting our own conduct. Verse 3 . Roll the burden of thy care upon God, and leave it with him, by faith and dependence on him. Verse 4 . God makes use of the wicked to execute righteous vengeance on each other; and he will be glorified by their destruction at last. Verse 5 . Though sinners strengthen themselves and one another, they shall not escape God's judgments. Verse 6 . By the mercy and truth of God in Christ Jesus, the sins of believers are taken away, and the power of sin is broken. Verse 7 . He that has all hearts in his hand, can make a man's enemies to be at peace with him. Verse 8 . A small estate, honestly come by, will turn to better account than a great estate ill-gotten. Verse 9 . If men make God's glory their end, and his will their rule, he will direct their steps by his Spirit and grace. 10. Let kings and judges of the earth be just, and rule in the fear of God. Verse 11 . To observe justice in dealings between man and man is God's appointment. Verse 12 . The ruler that uses his power aright, will find that to be his best security. Verse 13 . Put those in power who know how to ( proverbs 16:14-15 ) the favour of an earthly prince, throw themselves out of God's favour. Verse 16 . There is joy and satisfaction of spirit, only in getting wisdom. Verse 17 . A sincerely religious man keeps at a distance from every appearance of evil. Happy is the man that walks in Christ, and is led by the Spirit of Christ. Verse 18 . When men defy God's judgments, and think themselves far from them, it is a sign they are at the door. Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves. Verse 19 . Humility, though it exposes to contempt in the world, is much better than high-spiritedness, which makes God an enemy. He that understands God's word shall find good. Verse 21 . The man whose wisdom dwells in his heart, will be found more truly prudent than many who possess shining talents. Verse 22 . As waters to a thirsty land, so is a wise man to his friends and neighbours. Verse 23 . The wise man's self-knowledge, always suggests something proper to be spoken to others. Verse 24 . The word of God cures the diseases that weaken our souls. Verse 25 . This is caution to all, to take heed of deceiving themselves as to their souls. Verse 26 . We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish. ( proverbs 16:27-28 ) be needful to do good. The whisperer separates friends: what a ( proverbs 16:29-30 ) mischief they can by force and violence, and are blind to the result. Verse 31 . Old people especially should be found in the way of religion and godliness. Verse 32 . To overcome our own passions, requires more steady management, than obtaining victory over an enemy. Verse 33 . All the disposal of Providence concerning our affairs, we must look upon to be the determining what we referred to God; and we must be reconciled to them accordingly. Blessed are those that give themselves up to the will of God; for he knows what is good for them.

Cross References 54

  • 1. [Matthew 10:19, 20]
  • 2. Proverbs 21:2; [Proverbs 12:15]; See Proverbs 30:12
  • 3. Proverbs 24:12; See 1 Samuel 16:7
  • 4. See Psalms 37:5
  • 5. Romans 11:36
  • 6. Job 21:30; [Exodus 9:16]
  • 7. Proverbs 6:16, 17; Proverbs 8:13; Luke 16:15
  • 8. Proverbs 11:21; [Proverbs 28:20]
  • 9. Daniel 4:27
  • 10. Proverbs 14:16
  • 11. ver. 17; Job 28:28
  • 12. [Genesis 26:28; 2 Chronicles 17:10]
  • 13. See Proverbs 15:16
  • 14. [ver. 1; Proverbs 19:21]
  • 15. Proverbs 20:24; [Psalms 37:23; Jeremiah 10:23]
  • 16. [1 Kings 3:28]
  • 17. See Proverbs 11:1
  • 18. Proverbs 25:5; [Proverbs 20:28; Proverbs 29:14; Isaiah 16:5]
  • 19. [Proverbs 14:35; Proverbs 22:11]
  • 20. Proverbs 19:12; Proverbs 20:2
  • 21. [Proverbs 25:15]
  • 22. [Job 29:24]
  • 23. [See ver. 13 above]
  • 24. [Psalms 72:6]; See Job 29:23
  • 25. Proverbs 8:10, 11, 19
  • 26. See Proverbs 3:14
  • 27. Proverbs 10:20
  • 28. ver. 6
  • 29. See Proverbs 11:2
  • 30. Proverbs 29:23; Isaiah 57:15
  • 31. See Exodus 15:9
  • 32. Proverbs 19:8
  • 33. See Psalms 2:12
  • 34. ver. 23
  • 35. See Proverbs 10:11
  • 36. [Psalms 37:30; Matthew 12:34]
  • 37. Proverbs 15:26
  • 38. Psalms 19:10
  • 39. See Proverbs 4:22
  • 40. [Ecclesiastes 6:7]
  • 41. [Proverbs 6:12, 14, 19]
  • 42. James 3:6
  • 43. See Proverbs 15:18
  • 44. [Proverbs 18:8; Proverbs 26:20, 22]
  • 45. Proverbs 17:9
  • 46. Proverbs 1:10
  • 47. See Proverbs 2:12
  • 48. [Proverbs 6:13]
  • 49. Proverbs 20:29
  • 50. Proverbs 17:6
  • 51. See Proverbs 3:1, 2
  • 52. Proverbs 14:29; [Proverbs 19:11; Proverbs 25:28]
  • 53. [Acts 1:26]
  • 54. Proverbs 29:26

Footnotes 4

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of the building of the temple, for which preparations were before made and begins with the time of its building, 1Ki 6:1; gives the dimensions of it and the porch before it, 1Ki 6:2,3; observes the windows in it and chambers about it, 1Ki 6:4-10; and while it was building, Solomon had a word from the Lord relative to it, 1Ki 6:11-14; and then the account goes on concerning the walls of the house, and the flooring of it, 1Ki 6:15-18; and the oracle in it, and the cherubim in that, 1Ki 6:19-30; and the doors into it, and the carved work of them, 1Ki 6:31-36; and the chapter is concluded with observing the time when it was begun and finished 1Ki 6:37,38.

Proverbs 16 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.