Proverbs 16

The Lord Has the Final Word

16 We humans make plans,
    but the Lord
        has the final word.
2 We may think we know
        what is right,
    but the Lord is the judge
        of our motives.
3 Share your plans with the Lord,
        and you will succeed.

4 The Lord has a reason
        for everything he does,
    and he lets evil people live
        only to be punished.
5 The Lord doesn’t like
        anyone who is conceited—
    you can be sure
        they will be punished.
6 If we truly love God,
        our sins will be forgiven;
    if we show him respect,
        we will keep away from sin.
7 When we please the Lord,
    even our enemies
        make friends with us.
8 It’s better to be honest
        and poor
    than to be dishonest
        and rich.

9 We make our own plans,
    but the Lord decides
        where we will go.
10 Rulers speak with authority
        and are never wrong.
11 The Lord doesn’t like it
        when we cheat in business.
12 Justice makes rulers powerful.
    They should hate evil
13     and like honesty and truth.
14 An angry ruler
        can put you to death.
    So be wise!
        Don’t make one angry.
15 When a ruler is happy
        and pleased with you,
    it’s like refreshing rain,
        and you will live.

16 It’s much better to be wise
    and sensible
        than to be rich.
17 God’s people avoid evil ways,
    and they protect themselves
        by watching where they go.
18 Too much pride
        will destroy you.
19 You are better off
        to be humble and poor
    than to get rich
        from what you take by force.
20 If you know what you’re doing,
        you will prosper.
    God blesses everyone
        who trusts him.
21 Good judgment proves
        that you are wise,
    and if you speak kindly,
        you can teach others.
22 Good sense is a fountain
        that gives life,
    but fools are punished
        by their foolishness.
23 You can persuade others
    if you are wise
        and speak sensibly.

24 Kind words are like honey—
    they cheer you up
        and make you feel strong.
25 Sometimes what seems right
        is really a road to death.
26 The hungrier you are,
        the harder you work.
27 Worthless people plan trouble.
    Even their words burn
        like a flaming fire.
28 Gossip is no good!
    It causes hard feelings
        and comes between friends.

29 Don’t trust violent people.
    They will mislead you
        to do the wrong thing.
30 When someone winks
    or grins behind your back,
        trouble is on the way.
31 Gray hair is a glorious crown
    worn by those
        who have lived right.
32 Controlling your temper
    is better than being a hero
        who captures a city.
33 We make our own decisions,
    but the Lord alone
        determines what happens.

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary