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1A soft answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.

2The tongue of the wise dispenses knowledge,

but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

3The eyes of the Lord are in every place,

keeping watch on the evil and the good.

4A gentle tongue is a tree of life,

but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

5A fool despises his father’s instruction,

but he who heeds admonition is prudent.

6In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,

but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.

7The lips of the wise spread knowledge;

not so the minds of fools.

8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,

but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

9The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,

but he loves him who pursues righteousness.

10There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;

he who hates reproof will die.

11Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord

how much more the hearts of men!

12A scoffer does not like to be reproved;

he will not go to the wise.

13A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance,

but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.

14The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,

but the mouths of fools feed on folly.

15All the days of the afflicted are evil,

but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

16Better is a little with the fear of the Lord

than great treasure and trouble with it.

17Better is a dinner of herbs where love is

than a fatted ox and hatred with it.

18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,

but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

19The way of a sluggard is overgrown with thorns,

but the path of the upright is a level highway.

20A wise son makes a glad father,

but a foolish man despises his mother.

21Folly is a joy to him who has no sense,

but a man of understanding walks aright.

22Without counsel plans go wrong,

but with many advisers they succeed.

23To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,

and a word in season, how good it is!

24The wise man’s path leads upward to life,

that he may avoid Sheol beneath.

25The Lord tears down the house of the proud,

but maintains the widow’s boundaries.

26The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,

the words of the pure are pleasing to him.

27He who is greedy for unjust gain makes trouble for his household,

but he who hates bribes will live.

28The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer,

but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

29The Lord is far from the wicked,

but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

30The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,

and good news refreshes the bones.

31He whose ear heeds wholesome admonition

will abide among the wise.

32He who ignores instruction despises himself,

but he who heeds admonition gains understanding.

33The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,

and humility goes before honor.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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