Proverbs 16

1 We may make our plans, but God has the last word.
2 You may think everything you do is right, but the Lord judges your motives.
3 Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.
4 Everything the Lord has made has its destiny; and the destiny of the wicked is destruction.
5 The Lord hates everyone who is arrogant; he will never let them escape punishment.
6 Be loyal and faithful, and God will forgive your sin. Obey the Lord and nothing evil will happen to you. 1
7 When you please the Lord, you can make your enemies into friends.
8 It is better to have a little, honestly earned, than to have a large income, dishonestly gained. 2
9 You may make your plans, but God directs your actions.
10 The king speaks with divine authority; his decisions are always right.
11 The Lord wants weights and measures to be honest and every sale to be fair.
12 Kings cannot tolerate evil, because justice is what makes a government strong.
13 A king wants to hear the truth and will favor those who speak it.
14 A wise person will try to keep the king happy; if the king becomes angry, someone may die.
15 The king's favor is like the clouds that bring rain in the springtime - life is there.
16 It is better - much better - to have wisdom and knowledge than gold and silver.
17 Those who are good travel a road that avoids evil; so watch where you are going - it may save your life.
18 Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall.
19 It is better to be humble and stay poor than to be one of the arrogant and get a share of their loot.
20 Pay attention to what you are taught, and you will be successful; trust in the Lord and you will be happy.
21 A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.
22 Wisdom is a fountain of life to the wise, but trying to educate stupid people is a waste of time.
23 Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive.
24 Kind words are like honey - sweet to the taste and good for your health.
25 What you think is the right road may lead to death. 3
26 A laborer's appetite makes him work harder, because he wants to satisfy his hunger.
27 Evil people look for ways to harm others; even their words burn with evil.
28 Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships. 4
29 Violent people deceive their friends and lead them to disaster.
30 Watch out for people who grin and wink at you; they have thought of something evil.
31 Long life is the reward of the righteous; gray hair is a glorious crown.
32 It is better to be patient than powerful. It is better to win control over yourself than over whole cities.
33 People cast lots to learn God's will, but God himself determines the answer.

Images for Proverbs 16

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 4

  • 1. +216.6Tobit 12.9.
  • 2. +216.8Tobit 12.8.
  • 3. 16.25Proverbs 14.12.
  • 4. +216.28Ben Sira 28.13-26.

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. God . . . word; [or] God inspires our words.
  • [b]. you can make; [or] he will make.
  • [c]. Kings . . . evil; [or] It is intolerable for kings to do evil.

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

Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.