Proverbs 16–18

1 The preparations of the heart belong to man,

but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

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

but the Lord weighs the spirit.

3 Commit your works to the Lord,

and your thoughts will be established.

4 The Lord has made all things for Himself,

yes, even the wicked for the day of evil.

5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;

be assured, he will not be unpunished.

6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged;

and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

7 When a man’s ways please the Lord,

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

8 Better is a little with righteousness

than great revenues with injustice.

9 A man’s heart devises his way,

but the Lord directs his steps.

10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king;

his mouth does not transgress in judgment.

11 A just weight and balance belong to the Lord;

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 who speaks 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 favor is as 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 a fall.

19 Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly

than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20 He who handles a matter wisely will find good,

and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.

21 The wise in heart will be called prudent,

and the sweetness of the lips increases learning.

22 Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it,

but the instruction of fools is folly.

23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth,

and adds learning to his lips.

24 Pleasant words are as a honeycomb,

sweet 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 He who labors, labors for himself,

for his mouth craves it of him.

27 An ungodly man digs up evil,

and in his lips there is as 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 into the way that is not good.

30 He shuts his eyes to devise perverse things;

moving his lips he brings evil to pass.

31 The gray-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 the whole outcome is of the Lord.

Chapter 17

1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness

than a house full of sacrifices with strife.

2 A wise servant will have rule over a son who causes shame,

and will have part of the inheritance among the brothers.

3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,

but the Lord tries the hearts.

4 A wicked doer gives heed to false lips,

and a liar gives ear to a wayward tongue.

5 Whoever mocks the poor reproaches his Maker,

and he who is glad at calamities will not be unpunished.

6 Grandchildren are the crown of old men,

and the glory of children are their fathers.

7 Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool,

much less lying lips to a prince.

8 A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him who has it;

wherever he turns, it prospers.

9 He who covers a transgression seeks love,

but he who repeats a matter separates friends.

10 A reproof enters deeper into a wise man

than a hundred stripes into a fool.

11 An evil man seeks only rebellion;

therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs

rather than a fool in his folly.

13 Whoever rewards evil for good,

evil will not depart from his house.

14 The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water;

therefore abandon contention before a quarrel starts.

15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,

both of them are abomination to the Lord.

16 Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom,

seeing he has no heart for it?

17 A friend loves at all times,

and a brother is born for adversity.

18 A man void of understanding shakes hands,

and becomes a pledge in the presence of his friend.

19 He loves transgression who loves strife,

and he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.

20 He who has a deceitful heart finds no good,

and he who has a perverse tongue falls into mischief.

21 He who fathers a fool does it to his sorrow,

and the father of a fool has no joy.

22 A merry heart does good like a medicine,

but a broken spirit dries the bones.

23 A wicked man takes a bribe out of a hidden place

to pervert the ways of judgment.

24 Wisdom is before him who has understanding,

but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son is a grief to his father,

and bitterness to her who bore him.

26 Also to punish the just is not good,

nor to strike princes for their uprightness.

27 He who has knowledge spares his words,

and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

28 Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise;

and he who shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Chapter 18

1 He who separates himself seeks his own desire;

he seeks and quarrels against all wisdom.

2 A fool has no delight in understanding,

but in expressing his own heart.

3 When the wicked comes, then comes also contempt,

and with dishonor reproach.

4 The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters,

and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

5 It is not good to favor the wicked,

or to turn aside the righteous in judgment.

6 A fool’s lips enter into contention,

and his mouth calls for flogging.

7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction,

and his lips are the snare of his soul.

8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds,

and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.

9 He also who is slothful in his work

is brother to him who is a great waster.

10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;

the righteous run into it and are safe.

11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city,

and as a high wall in his own conceit.

12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty,

and before honor is humility.

13 He who answers a matter before he hears it,

it is folly and shame to him.

14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity,

but a wounded spirit who can bear?

15 The heart of the prudent gets knowledge,

and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

16 A man’s gift makes room for him,

and brings him before great men.

17 He who is first in his own cause seems just,

but his neighbor comes and searches him.

18 The lot causes contentions to cease,

and keeps the mighty ones apart.

19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city,

and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

20 A man’s stomach will be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth;

and with the increase of his lips will he be filled.

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

and those who love it will eat its fruit.

22 Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing,

and obtains favor of the Lord.

23 The poor man uses entreaties,

but the rich man answers roughly.

24 A man who has friends must show himself friendly,

and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

2 Corinthians 6

1 As workers together with God, we ask you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says:

“In an acceptable time I have listened to you,

and in the day of salvation I have helped you.”

Look, now is the accepted time; look, now is the day of salvation.

3 We give no offense in anything, that our service may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as servants of God: in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distress, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, and in hunger; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by patience, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by genuine love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and look, we live; as punished, but not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; and as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

11 O Corinthians, we have spoken frankly to you; our heart is opened wide. 12 You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections. 13 In return (I speak as to my children) you also be open.

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion has light with darkness? 15 What agreement has Christ with Belial? Or what part has he who believes with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will live in them

and walk in them.

I will be their God,

and they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore,

“Come out from among them

and be separate,

says the Lord.

Do not touch what is unclean,

and I will receive you.”

18 “I will be a Father to you,

and you shall be My sons and daughters,

says the Lord Almighty.”