New International Reader's Version

Proverbs 14

1A wise woman builds her house.
    But a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.

Whoever has respect for the Lord lives a good life.
    But those who hate him walk down an evil path.

The proud words of a foolish person sting like a whip.
    But the things wise people say keep them safe.

Where there are no oxen, the feed box is empty.
    But a strong ox brings in huge harvests.

An honest witness does not lie.
    But a dishonest witness pours out lies.

Those who make fun of others look for wisdom and don’t find it.
    But knowledge comes easily to those who understand what is right.

Stay away from a foolish person.
    You won’t find knowledge in what they say.

People are wise and understanding when they think about the way they live.
    But people are foolish when their foolish ways trick them.

Foolish people laugh at making things right when they sin.
    But honest people try to do the right thing.

10 Each heart knows its own sadness.
    And no one else can share its joy.

11 The houses of sinners will be destroyed.
    But the tents of honest people will stand firm.

12 There is a way that appears to be right.
    But in the end it leads to death.

13 Even when you laugh, your heart can be hurting.
    And your joy can end in sadness.

14 Those who aren’t faithful will be paid back
    for what they’ve done.
And good people will receive rewards
    for how they’ve lived.

15 A childish person believes anything.
    But a wise person thinks about how they live.

16 A wise person has respect for the Lord and avoids evil.
    But a foolish person has a bad temper and yet feels secure.

17 Anyone who gets angry quickly does foolish things.
    And a person who is tricky is hated.

18 Childish people act in keeping with their foolish ways.
    But knowledge makes wise people feel like kings.

19 Evil people will bow down in front of good people.
    And those who do wrong will bow down at the gates of those who do right.

20 Poor people are avoided even by their neighbors.
    But rich people have many friends.

21 It is a sin to hate your neighbor.
    But blessed is the person who is kind to those in need.

22 Those who plan evil go down the wrong path.
    But those who plan good find love and truth.

23 All hard work pays off.
    But if all you do is talk, you will be poor.

24 The wealth of wise people is their crown.
    But the foolish ways of foolish people lead to what is foolish.

25 An honest witness saves lives.
    But a dishonest witness tells lies.

26 Anyone who shows respect for the Lord has a strong tower.
    It will be a safe place for their children.

27 Respect for the Lord is like a fountain that gives life.
    It turns you away from the jaws of death.

28 A large population is a king’s glory.
    But a prince without followers is destroyed.

29 Anyone who is patient has great understanding.
    But anyone who gets angry quickly shows how foolish they are.

30 A peaceful heart gives life to the body.
    But jealousy rots the bones.

31 Anyone who crushes poor people makes fun of their Maker.
    But anyone who is kind to those in need honors God.

32 When trouble comes, sinners are brought down.
    But godly people seek safety in God even as they die.

33 Wisdom rests in the hearts of those who understand what is right.
    And even among foolish people she makes herself known.

34 Doing what is right lifts people up.
    But sin brings judgment to any nation.

35 A king is pleased with a wise servant.
    But a servant who is full of shame stirs up the king’s anger.

The Message

Proverbs 14

A Way That Leads to Hell

1Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home;
    Sir Fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick.

An honest life shows respect for God;
    a degenerate life is a slap in his face.

Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile;
    wise speech evokes nothing but respect.

No cattle, no crops;
    a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow.

A true witness never lies;
    a false witness makes a business of it.

Cynics look high and low for wisdom—and never find it;
    the open-minded find it right on their doorstep!

Escape quickly from the company of fools;
    they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words.

The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track;
    the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch.

The stupid ridicule right and wrong,
    but a moral life is a favored life.

10 The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends
    will be an outsider at their celebrations.

11 Lives of careless wrongdoing are tumbledown shacks;
    holy living builds soaring cathedrals.

12-13 There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough;
    look again—it leads straight to hell.
Sure, those people appear to be having a good time,
    but all that laughter will end in heartbreak.

Sift and Weigh Every Word

14 A mean person gets paid back in meanness,
    a gracious person in grace.

15 The gullible believe anything they’re told;
    the prudent sift and weigh every word.

16 The wise watch their steps and avoid evil;
    fools are headstrong and reckless.

17 The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret;
    the coldhearted get the cold shoulder.

18 Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion;
    wise realists plant their feet on the ground.

19 Eventually, evil will pay tribute to good;
    the wicked will respect God-loyal people.

20 An unlucky loser is shunned by all,
    but everyone loves a winner.

21 It’s criminal to ignore a neighbor in need,
    but compassion for the poor—what a blessing!

22 Isn’t it obvious that conspirators lose out,
    while the thoughtful win love and trust?

23 Hard work always pays off;
    mere talk puts no bread on the table.

24 The wise accumulate wisdom;
    fools get stupider by the day.

25 Souls are saved by truthful witness
    and betrayed by the spread of lies.

26 The Fear-of-God builds up confidence,
    and makes a world safe for your children.

27 The Fear-of-God is a spring of living water
    so you won’t go off drinking from poisoned wells.

28 The mark of a good leader is loyal followers;
    leadership is nothing without a following.

29 Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding;
    a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.

30 A sound mind makes for a robust body,
    but runaway emotions corrode the bones.

31 You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless;
    when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God.

32 The evil of bad people leaves them out in the cold;
    the integrity of good people creates a safe place for living.

33 Lady Wisdom is at home in an understanding heart—
    fools never even get to say hello.

34 God-devotion makes a country strong;
    God-avoidance leaves people weak.

35 Diligent work gets a warm commendation;
    shiftless work earns an angry rebuke.