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Proverbs 16 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

16 The reflections of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

All a man’s ways seem right to him,
but the Lord evaluates the motives.[a]

Commit your activities to the Lord,
and your plans will be achieved.

The Lord has prepared everything for His purpose—
even the wicked for the day of disaster.

Everyone with a proud heart is detestable to the Lord;
be assured,[b] he will not go unpunished.

Wickedness is atoned for by loyalty and faithfulness,
and one turns from evil by the fear of the Lord.

When a man’s ways please the Lord,
He[c] makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Better a little with righteousness
than great income with injustice.

A man’s heart plans his way,
but the Lord determines his steps.

10 God’s verdict is on the lips of a king;[d]
his mouth should not give an unfair judgment.

11 Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s;
all the weights in the bag[e] are His concern.

12 Wicked behavior[f] is detestable to kings,
since a throne is established through righteousness.

13 Righteous lips are a king’s delight,
and he loves one who speaks honestly.

14 A king’s fury is a messenger of death,
but a wise man appeases it.

15 When a king’s face lights up, there is life;
his favor is like a cloud with spring rain.

16 Get wisdom—
how much better it is than gold!
And get understanding—
it is preferable to silver.

17 The highway of the upright avoids evil;
the one who guards his way protects his life.

18 Pride comes before destruction,
and an arrogant spirit before a fall.

19 Better to be lowly of spirit with the humble[g]
than to divide plunder with the proud.

20 The one who understands a matter finds success,
and the one who trusts in the Lord will be happy.

21 Anyone with a wise heart is called discerning,
and pleasant speech[h] increases learning.

22 Insight is a fountain of life for its possessor,
but the discipline of fools is folly.

23 A wise heart instructs its mouth
and increases learning with its speech.[i]

24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb:
sweet to the taste[j] and health to the body.[k]

25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.

26 A worker’s appetite works for him
because his hunger[l] urges him on.

27 A worthless man digs up evil,
and his speech is like a scorching fire.

28 A contrary man spreads conflict,
and a gossip separates close friends.

29 A violent man lures his neighbor,
leading him in a way that is not good.

30 The one who narrows his eyes is planning deceptions;
the one who compresses his lips brings about evil.

31 Gray hair is a glorious crown;
it is found in the way of righteousness.

32 Patience is better than power,
and controlling one’s temper,[m] than capturing a city.

33 The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord.


  1. Proverbs 16:2 Lit weighs spirits
  2. Proverbs 16:5 Lit hand to hand
  3. Proverbs 16:7 Or he
  4. Proverbs 16:10 Or A divination is on the lips of a king
  5. Proverbs 16:11 Merchants kept the stones for their scales in a bag.
  6. Proverbs 16:12 Either the king’s or someone else’s behavior
  7. Proverbs 16:19 Alt Hb tradition reads afflicted
  8. Proverbs 16:21 Lit and sweetness of lips
  9. Proverbs 16:23 Lit learning upon his lips
  10. Proverbs 16:24 Lit throat
  11. Proverbs 16:24 Lit bones
  12. Proverbs 16:26 Lit mouth
  13. Proverbs 16:32 Lit and ruling over one’s spirit

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