The Bible in Its Traditions

Proverbs 20:1–30

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Wine is a mocker, strong drink is riotous; and whosoever reeleth thereby is not wise.

Wine is an intemperate thing, and strong drink full of violence: but every fool is entangled with them.

It is a luxurious thing, wine, and inebriation is tumultuous. Anyone who is delighted by this will not be wise.

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The terror of a king is as the roaring of a lion: he that provoketh him to anger forfeiteth his life.

Just like the roaring of a lion, so also is the dread of a king. Whoever provokes him sins in his own soul.

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It is an honour for a man to keep aloof from strife; but every fool will be snarling.

It is a glory to a man to turn aside from railing; but every fool is entangled with such matters.

Honor is for the man who separates himself from contentions. But all the foolish meddle in altercations.

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The sluggard will not plow when winter setteth in; therefore he shall beg in harvest, and have nothing.

A sluggard when reproached is not ashamed: so also he who borrows corn in harvest.

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Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

The counsel in a king's heart is deep; but a wise man will draw it out.

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Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness; but a faithful man who can find?

A man is valuable, and a merciful man precious: but it is hard to find a faithful man.

Many men are called merciful. But who will find a faithful man?

He that walketh in his integrity as a just man, happy are his children after him.

He that walks blameless in justice, shall leave his children blessed.

The just who walks in his simplicity shall leave behind him blessed sons.

A king that sitteth on the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.

Whenever a righteous king sits on the throne, no evil thing can stand before his presence.

The king who sits on the throne of judgment scatters all evil with his gaze.

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Who can say: 'I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin'?

Who will boast that he has a pure heart? or who will boldly say that he is pure from sins.

Who is able to say: “My heart is clean. I am pure from sin?”

10  Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them alike are an abomination to YHWH.

10  A large and small weight, and divers measures, are even both of them unclean before the Lord; and so is he that makes them.

10  Diverse weights, diverse measures: both are abominable with God.

11  Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

11  A youth when in company with a godly man, will be restrained in his devices, and then his way will be straight.

11  A child may be understood by his interests: whether his works may be clean and upright.

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12  The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, YHWH hath made even both of them.

12  The ear hears, and the eye sees: even both of them are the Lord’s work.

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13  Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt have bread in plenty.

13  Love not to speak ill, lest thou be cut off: open thine eyes, and be filled with bread.

13  Do not love sleep, lest deprivation oppress you. Open your eyes and be satisfied with bread.

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14  'It is bad, it is bad', saith the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

14  “It is bad, it is bad,” says every buyer; and when he has withdrawn, then he will boast.

14  A friend says to his friend, I have made a gain; then he boasts.

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15  There is gold, and a multitude of rubies; but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

15  Again he says, Here is gold and a multitude of precious stones and precious vessels; but the lips of knowledge are precious jewels.

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16  Take his garment that is surety for a stranger; and hold him in pledge that is surety for an alien woman.

16  Take away the vestments of him who stands up to vouch for a stranger, and take a pledge from him instead of from outsiders.

16  Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger; and take his pledge for the sake of a stranger.

17  Bread of falsehood is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

17  The bread of lies is sweet to a man. But afterwards, his mouth will be filled with pebbles.

17  He who becomes surety for a man by means of deceitful gain will afterwards have his mouth filled with gravel.

18  Every purpose is established by counsel; and with good advice carry on war.

18  Plans are strengthened by counsels. And wars are to be handled by governments.

18  A good purpose is established by counsel; but by provocation war is made.

19  He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets; therefore meddle not with him that openeth wide his lips.

19  Do not become involved with him who reveals mysteries, and who walks deceitfully, and who enlarges his lips.

19  He who reveals a secret causes slander; therefore do not meddle with him who is hasty with his lips.

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20  Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in the blackest darkness.

20  The lamp of him that reviles father or mother shall be put out, and his eyeballs shall see darkness.

20  Whoever curses his father and mother, his lamp will be extinguished in the midst of darkness.

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21  An estate may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.

21  A portion hastily gotten at first shall not be blessed in the end.

21  When an inheritance is obtained hastily in the beginning, in the end it will be without a blessing.

22  Say not thou: 'I will requite evil'; wait for YHWH, and He will save thee.

22  Say not, I will avenge myself on my enemy; but wait on the Lord, that he may help thee.

22  Do not say, “I will repay evil.” Wait for the Lord, and he will free you.

23  Divers weights are an abomination to YHWH; and a false balance is not good.

23  A double weight is an abomination to the Lord; and a deceitful balance is not good in his sight.

23  Diverse weights are an abomination with the Lord. A deceitful balance is not good.

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24  A man's goings are of YHWH; how then can man look to his way?

24  The steps of men are directed by the Lord. But who is the man able to understand his own way?

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25  It is a snare to a man rashly to say: 'Holy', and after vows to make inquiry.

25  It is a snare to a man hastily to consecrate some of his own property: for in that case repentance comes after vowing.

25  It is ruin for a man to devour what is holy, or, after making vows, to retract them.

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26  A wise king sifteth the wicked, and turneth the wheel over them.

26  A wise king utterly crushes the ungodly, and will bring a wheel upon them.

26  A wise king scatters the impious and bends an archway over them.

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27  The spirit of man is the lamp of YHWH, searching all the inward parts.

27  The spirit of a man is a lamp to the Lord, which investigates all the secrets of the inner self.

27  The soul of a man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the heart.

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28  Mercy and truth preserve the king; and his throne is upheld by mercy.

28  Mercy and truth are a guard to a king, and will surround his throne with righteousness.

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29  The glory of young men is their strength; and the beauty of old men is the hoary head.

29  Wisdom is an ornament to young men; and grey hairs are the glory of old men.

29  The joy of youths is their strength. And the dignity of old men is their grey hairs.

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30  Sharp wounds cleanse away evil; so do stripes that reach the inward parts.

30  Bruises and contusions befall bad men; and plagues shall come in the inward parts of their belly.