The Lord Considers the Heart
21 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the [a]rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts.
3 To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4 A haughty look, a proud heart,
And the [b]plowing of the wicked are sin.
5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.
6 Getting treasures by a lying tongue
[c]Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.
7 The violence of the wicked will [d]destroy them,
Because they refuse to do justice.
8 The way of [e]a guilty man is perverse;
But as for the pure, his work is right.
9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
11 When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12 The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked,
Overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness.
13 Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be heard.
14 A gift in secret pacifies anger,
And a bribe [f]behind the back, strong wrath.
15 It is a joy for the just to do justice,
But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.
16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous,
And the unfaithful for the upright.
19 Better to dwell [g]in the wilderness,
Than with a contentious and angry woman.
20 There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it.
21 He who follows righteousness and mercy
Finds life, righteousness, and honor.