Proverbs 16

1 To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.
2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
4 The LORD works out everything to its proper end— even the wicked for a day of disaster.
5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided.
7 When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
8 Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.
9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.
10 The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth does not betray justice.
11 Honest scales and balances belong to the LORD; all the weights in the bag are of his making.
12 Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness.
13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right.
14 A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, but the wise will appease it.
15 When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!
17 The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives.
18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,[a]and blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD.
21 The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.[b]
22 Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent, but folly brings punishment to fools.
23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.[c]
24 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
25 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
26 The appetite of laborers works for them; their hunger drives them on.
27 A scoundrel plots evil, and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.
28 A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
29 A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good.
30 Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity; whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.
31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision 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 50

  • 1. ver 9; Proverbs 19:21
  • 2. S Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 30:12
  • 3. S 1 Samuel 2:3
  • 4. S 2 Chronicles 6:30; Proverbs 20:27; Proverbs 21:2; Luke 16:15
  • 5. S 2 Chronicles 20:20; S Psalms 20:4; Psalms 37:5-6; S Proverbs 3:5-6
  • 6. Exodus 9:16; Isaiah 43:7
  • 7. S 2 Chronicles 34:24; S Psalms 18:18; Romans 9:22
  • 8. S Psalms 40:4; S Proverbs 6:16
  • 9. Proverbs 11:20-21
  • 10. S Genesis 20:11; S Exodus 1:17
  • 11. S Exodus 20:20; Proverbs 14:16
  • 12. S Genesis 39:21
  • 13. Psalms 105:15; Jeremiah 39:12; Jeremiah 40:1; Jeremiah 42:12; Daniel 1:9
  • 14. S Psalms 37:16
  • 15. S Proverbs 15:16; Proverbs 17:1; Ecclesiastes 4:6
  • 16. S ver 1; S Job 33:29; S Psalms 90:12; Jeremiah 10:23
  • 17. Proverbs 17:7
  • 18. S Proverbs 11:1; Ezekiel 45:10
  • 19. Proverbs 26:28; Proverbs 25:5; Proverbs 29:14; Proverbs 31:5
  • 20. Proverbs 22:11; Proverbs 14:35
  • 21. S Genesis 40:2; S Job 29:24; Proverbs 20:2; Proverbs 19:12
  • 22. Proverbs 25:15; Proverbs 29:8; Ecclesiastes 10:4
  • 23. S Genesis 40:2; S Job 29:24
  • 24. Proverbs 19:12; Proverbs 25:2-7
  • 25. Psalms 49:20
  • 26. S Job 28:15; S Proverbs 3:13-14; Proverbs 8:10,19
  • 27. Proverbs 19:16
  • 28. S 1 Samuel 17:42
  • 29. Psalms 18:27; Isaiah 13:11; Jeremiah 48:29
  • 30. S Esther 5:12; Proverbs 11:2; S Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 18:12; Proverbs 29:23
  • 31. Proverbs 13:13
  • 32. S Psalms 32:10; Psalms 40:4; Psalms 2:12; Psalms 34:8; Proverbs 19:8; Proverbs 29:25; Jeremiah 17:7
  • 33. ver 23
  • 34. S Proverbs 10:11; Proverbs 13:14
  • 35. Job 15:5
  • 36. ver 21
  • 37. S 1 Samuel 14:27
  • 38. Proverbs 24:13-14
  • 39. S Proverbs 12:15
  • 40. Esther 3:6; Proverbs 14:12
  • 41. S Psalms 140:2
  • 42. James 3:6
  • 43. S Proverbs 14:17; Proverbs 15:18
  • 44. Proverbs 17:9
  • 45. S Proverbs 1:10; Proverbs 12:26
  • 46. S Proverbs 6:13
  • 47. Proverbs 20:29
  • 48. S Leviticus 16:8; S 1 Samuel 10:21; Ezekiel 21:21
  • 49. 1 Samuel 14:41
  • 50. Joshua 7:14; Proverbs 18:18; Proverbs 29:26; John 1:7

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Or "whoever speaks prudently finds what is good"
  • [b]. Or "words make a person persuasive"
  • [c]. Or "prudent" / "and make their lips persuasive"

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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