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1The plans of the mind belong to man,

but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

2All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,

but the Lord weighs the spirit.

3Commit your work to the Lord,

and your plans will be established.

4The Lord has made everything for its purpose,

even the wicked for the day of trouble.

5Every one who is arrogant is an abomination to the Lord;

be assured, he will not go unpunished.

6By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,

and by the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.

7When a man’s ways please the Lord,

he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

8Better is a little with righteousness

than great revenues with injustice.

9A man’s mind plans his way,

but the Lord directs his steps.

10Inspired decisions are on the lips of a king;

his mouth does not sin in judgment.

11A just balance and scales are the Lord’s;

all the weights in the bag are his work.

12It is an abomination to kings to do evil,

for the throne is established by righteousness.

13Righteous lips are the delight of a king,

and he loves him who speaks what is right.

14A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,

and a wise man will appease it.

15In the light of a king’s face there is life,

and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.

16To get wisdom is better than gold;

to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

17The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;

he who guards his way preserves his life.

18Pride goes before destruction,

and a haughty spirit before a fall.

19It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor

than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20He who gives heed to the word will prosper,

and happy is he who trusts in the Lord.

21The wise of heart is called a man of discernment,

and pleasant speech increases persuasiveness.

22Wisdom is a fountain of life to him who has it,

but folly is the chastisement of fools.

23The mind of the wise makes his speech judicious,

and adds persuasiveness to his lips.

24Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,

sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

25There is a way which seems right to a man,

but its end is the way to death.

26A worker’s appetite works for him;

his mouth urges him on.

27A worthless man plots evil,

and his speech is like a scorching fire.

28A perverse man spreads strife,

and a whisperer separates close friends.

29A man of violence entices his neighbor

and leads him in a way that is not good.

30He who winks his eyes plans perverse things,

he who compresses his lips brings evil to pass.

31A hoary head is a crown of glory;

it is gained in a righteous life.

32He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,

and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

33The lot is cast into the lap,

but the decision is wholly from the Lord.

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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