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Proverbs 20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

On Life and Conduct

20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
And whoever [a]is intoxicated by it is not wise.
The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
He who provokes him to anger [b]forfeits his own life.
[c]Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man,
But any fool will [d]quarrel.
The sluggard does not plow after the autumn,
So he [e]begs during the harvest and has nothing.
A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding draws it out.
Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?
A righteous man who walks in his integrity—
How blessed are his sons after him.
A king who sits on the throne of justice
[f]Disperses all evil with his eyes.
Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”?
10 [g]Differing weights and differing measures,
Both of them are abominable to the Lord.
11 It is by his deeds that a lad [h]distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The Lord has made both of them.
13 Do not love sleep, or you will become poor;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with [i]food.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
But when he goes his way, then he boasts.
15 There is gold, and an abundance of [j]jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.
16 Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger;
And for foreigners, hold him in pledge.
17 Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 Prepare plans by consultation,
And make war by wise guidance.
19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,
Therefore do not associate with [k]a gossip.
20 He who curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will go out in [l]time of darkness.
21 An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning
Will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.
23 [m]Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord,
And a [n]false scale is not good.
24 Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord,
How then can man understand his way?
25 It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!”
And after the vows to make inquiry.
26 A wise king winnows the wicked,
And [o]drives the threshing wheel over them.
27 The [p]spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the [q]innermost parts of his being.
28 [r]Loyalty and truth preserve the king,
And he upholds his throne by [s]righteousness.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
And the [t]honor of old men is their gray hair.
30 Stripes that wound scour away evil,
And strokes reach the [u]innermost parts.


  1. Proverbs 20:1 Lit errs
  2. Proverbs 20:2 Lit sins against
  3. Proverbs 20:3 Lit Ceasing
  4. Proverbs 20:3 Lit burst out
  5. Proverbs 20:4 Lit asks
  6. Proverbs 20:8 Or Sifts
  7. Proverbs 20:10 Lit A stone and a stone, an ephah and an ephah
  8. Proverbs 20:11 Or makes himself known
  9. Proverbs 20:13 Lit bread
  10. Proverbs 20:15 Or corals
  11. Proverbs 20:19 Lit one who opens his lips
  12. Proverbs 20:20 Lit pupil (of eye)
  13. Proverbs 20:23 Lit A stone and a stone
  14. Proverbs 20:23 Lit balance of deceit
  15. Proverbs 20:26 Lit turns
  16. Proverbs 20:27 Lit breath
  17. Proverbs 20:27 Lit chambers of the body
  18. Proverbs 20:28 Lit Covenant loyalty
  19. Proverbs 20:28 Lit Covenant loyalty
  20. Proverbs 20:29 Or splendor
  21. Proverbs 20:30 Lit chambers of the body
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation


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