Proverbs 16

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1 The 1plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the 2LORD weighs the motives.
3 3Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established.
4 The LORD 4has made everything for its own purpose, Even the 5wicked for the day of evil.
5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.
6 By 6lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the 7fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.
7 When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, He 8makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice *.
9 The mind of 9man plans his way, But 10the LORD directs his steps.
10 A divine 11decision is in the lips of the king; His mouth should not err in judgment.
11 A 12just balance and scales belong to the LORD; All the weights of the bag are His concern.
12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a 13throne is established on righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And he who speaks right is loved.
14 The fury of a king is like messengers of death, But a wise man will appease it.
15 In the light of a king's face is life, And his favor is like a cloud with the 14spring rain.
16 How much 15better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
17 The 16highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life.
18 17Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
19 It is better to be 18humble in spirit with the lowly Than to 19divide the spoil with the proud.
20 He who gives attention to the word will 20find good, And 21blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
21 The 22wise in heart will be called understanding, And sweetness of speech 23increases persuasiveness.
22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, But the discipline of fools is folly.
23 The 24heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24 25Pleasant words are a honeycomb *, Sweet to the soul and 26healing to the bones.
25 27There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
26 A worker's appetite works for him, For his hunger urges him on.
27 A 28worthless man digs up evil, While his words are like 29scorching fire.
28 A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends.
29 A man of violence 30entices his neighbor And leads him in a way that is not good.
30 He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things; He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass.
31 A 31gray head is a crown of glory; It 32is found in the way of righteousness.
32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
33 The 33lot is cast into the lap, But its every 34decision is from 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 34

  • 1. Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 19:21
  • 2. 1 Samuel 16:7; Daniel 5:27
  • 3. Psalms 37:5; Psalms 55:22; Proverbs 3:6; 1 Peter 5:7
  • 4. Genesis 1:31; Ecclesiastes 3:11
  • 5. Romans 9:22
  • 6. Daniel 4:27; Luke 11:41
  • 7. Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 14:16
  • 8. Genesis 33:4; 2 Chronicles 17:10
  • 9. Proverbs 16:1; Proverbs 19:21
  • 10. Psalms 37:23; Proverbs 20:24; Jeremiah 10:23
  • 11. 1 Kings 3:28
  • 12. Proverbs 11:1
  • 13. Proverbs 25:5
  • 14. Job 29:23
  • 15. Proverbs 8:10, 19
  • 16. Isaiah 35:8
  • 17. Proverbs 11:2; Proverbs 18:12; Jeremiah 49:16; Obad 3, 4
  • 18. Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 29:23; Isaiah 57:15
  • 19. Exodus 15:9; Judges 5:30; Proverbs 1:13, 14
  • 20. Proverbs 19:8
  • 21. Psalms 2:12; Psalms 34:8; Jeremiah 17:7
  • 22. Hosea 14:9
  • 23. Proverbs 16:23
  • 24. Psalms 37:30; Proverbs 15:28; Matthew 12:34
  • 25. Psalms 19:10; Proverbs 15:26; Proverbs 24:13, 14
  • 26. Proverbs 4:22; Proverbs 17:22
  • 27. Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 14:12
  • 28. Prov 6:12, 14, 18
  • 29. James 3:6
  • 30. Proverbs 1:10; Proverbs 12:26
  • 31. Proverbs 20:29
  • 32. Proverbs 3:1, 2
  • 33. Proverbs 18:18
  • 34. Proverbs 29:26

Footnotes 14

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

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