A A A A A
Bible Book List

As of August 4th, Bible Gateway Classic will no longer be available. Start using the new BibleGateway.com today!

Proverbs 16 New King James Version (NKJV)

Wisdom Is Better Than Gold

16 The preparations[a] of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits.

Commit[b] your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.

The Lord has made all for Himself,
Yes, even the wicked for the day of [c]doom.

Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Though they join [d]forces, none will go unpunished.

In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.

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

Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice.

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

10 Divination is on the lips of the king;
His mouth must not transgress in judgment.
11 Honest weights and scales are the Lord’s;
All the weights in the bag are His [e]work.
12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness,
For a throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And they love him who speaks what is right.
14 As messengers of death is the king’s wrath,
But a wise man will appease it.
15 In the light of the king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before [f]a fall.
19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the [g]spoil with the proud.

20 He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.

21 The wise in heart will be called prudent,
And sweetness of the lips increases learning.

22 Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it.
But the correction of fools is folly.

23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth,
And adds learning to his lips.

24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

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

26 The person who labors, labors for himself,
For his hungry mouth drives him on.

27 [h]An ungodly man digs up evil,
And it is on his lips like a burning fire.
28 A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
29 A violent man entices his neighbor,
And leads him in a way that is not good.
30 He winks his eye to devise perverse things;
He [i]purses his lips and brings about evil.

31 The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness.

32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

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

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 16:1 plans
  2. Proverbs 16:3 Lit. Roll
  3. Proverbs 16:4 Lit. evil
  4. Proverbs 16:5 Lit. hand to hand
  5. Proverbs 16:11 concern
  6. Proverbs 16:18 stumbling
  7. Proverbs 16:19 plunder
  8. Proverbs 16:27 Lit. A man of Belial
  9. Proverbs 16:30 Lit. compresses
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Contrast of the Upright and the Wicked

16 The plans of the heart belong to a person,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a person are clean in his own sight,
But the Lord examines the [a]motives.
[b]Commit your works to the Lord,
And your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for [c]its own purpose,
Even the wicked for the day of evil.
Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
[d]Be assured, he will not go unpunished.
By mercy and truth atonement is made for wrongdoing,
And by [e]the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.
When a person’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
He causes even his enemies to make peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness
Than great income with injustice.
The mind of a person plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
10 A divine verdict is on the lips of the king;
His mouth should not [f]err in judgment.
11 A just balance and scales belong to the Lord;
All the [g]weights of the bag are His [h]concern.
12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts,
Because a throne is established on righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And one who speaks right is loved.
14 The fury of a king is like messengers of death;
But a wise person will appease it.
15 In the light of a king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud with the [i]spring rain.
16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
17 The highway of the upright is to turn away from evil;
One who watches his way protects his [j]life.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
19 It is better to be humble in spirit with the needy
Than to divide the spoils with the proud.
20 One who pays attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is one who trusts in the Lord.
21 The wise in heart will be called understanding,
And sweetness of [k]speech increases [l]persuasiveness.
22 Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it,
But the discipline of fools is foolishness.
23 The heart of the wise instructs his mouth
And adds [m]persuasiveness to his lips.
24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
25 There is a way which seems right to a person,
But its end is the way of death.
26 A worker’s appetite works for him,
For his [n]hunger urges him on.
27 A worthless person digs up evil,
While [o]his words are like scorching fire.
28 A perverse person spreads strife,
And a [p]slanderer separates close friends.
29 A person of violence entices his neighbor
And leads him in a way that is not good.
30 He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things;
He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass.
31 A gray head is a crown of glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness.
32 One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And one who rules his spirit, than one who captures a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 16:2 Lit spirits
  2. Proverbs 16:3 Lit Roll
  3. Proverbs 16:4 Or His
  4. Proverbs 16:5 Lit Hand to hand, he
  5. Proverbs 16:6 Or reverence for
  6. Proverbs 16:10 Lit be unfaithful
  7. Proverbs 16:11 Lit stones
  8. Proverbs 16:11 Lit work
  9. Proverbs 16:15 Lit latter
  10. Proverbs 16:17 Lit soul
  11. Proverbs 16:21 Lit lips
  12. Proverbs 16:21 Or learning
  13. Proverbs 16:23 Or learning
  14. Proverbs 16:26 Lit mouth
  15. Proverbs 16:27 Lit on his lips
  16. Proverbs 16:28 Or gossip
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 16 New International Version (NIV)

16 To humans belong the plans of the heart,
    but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.

All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
    but motives are weighed by the Lord.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

The Lord works out everything to its proper end
    even the wicked for a day of disaster.

The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
    Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
    through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.

When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
    he causes their enemies to make peace with them.

Better a little with righteousness
    than much gain with injustice.

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.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 16:20 Or whoever speaks prudently finds what is good
  2. Proverbs 16:21 Or words make a person persuasive
  3. Proverbs 16:23 Or prudent / and make their lips persuasive
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Proverbs 16 King James Version (KJV)

16 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.

All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.

The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

11 A just weight and balance are the Lord's: all the weights of the bag are his work.

12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.

14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.

15 In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.

16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.

21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.

22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.

23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.

24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.

28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.

30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.

31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes