Proverbs 16
Contemporary English Version

The Lord Has the Final Word

1We humans make plans,

but the Lord

has the final word.

2We may think we know

what is right,

but the Lord is the judge

of our motives.

3Share your plans with the Lord,

and you will succeed.

4The Lord has a reason

for everything he does,

and he lets evil people live

only to be punished.

5The Lord doesn't like

anyone who is conceited—

you can be sure

they will be punished.

6 If we truly love God,

our sins will be forgiven;

if we show him respect,

we will keep away from sin.

7When we please the Lord,

even our enemies

make friends with us.

8 It's better to be honest

and poor

than to be dishonest

and rich.

9We make our own plans,

but the Lord decides

where we will go.

10Rulers speak with authority

and are never wrong.

11The Lord watches to see

if we are fair

or if we cheat others.

12Justice makes rulers powerful.

They should hate evil

13and like honesty and truth.

14An angry ruler

can put you to death.

So be wise!

Don't make one angry.

15When a ruler is happy

and pleased with you,

it's like refreshing rain,

and you will live.

16It's much better to be wise

and sensible

than to be rich.

17God's people avoid evil ways,

and they protect themselves

by watching where they go.

18Too much pride

will destroy you.

19You are better off

to be humble and poor

than to get rich

from what you take by force.

20If you know what you're doing,+

you will prosper.

God blesses everyone

who trusts him.

21Good judgment proves

that you are wise,

and if you speak kindly,

you can teach others.

22Good sense is a fountain

that gives life,

but fools are punished

by their foolishness.

23You can persuade others

if you are wise

and speak sensibly.

24Kind words are like honey—

they cheer you up

and make you feel strong.

25 Sometimes what seems right

is really a road to death.

26The hungrier you are,

the harder you work.

27Worthless people plan trouble.

Even their words burn

like a flaming fire.

28 Gossip is no good!

It causes hard feelings

and comes between friends.

29Don't trust violent people.

They will mislead you

to do the wrong thing.

30When someone winks

or grins behind your back,

trouble is on the way.

31Gray hair is a glorious crown

worn by those

who have lived right.

32Controlling your temper

is better than being a hero

who captures a city.

33We make our own decisions,

but the Lord alone

determines what happens.


16.20 know what … doing: Or “do what you're taught.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

© 2006 American Bible Society.  All rights reserved.

Bible text from the Contemporary English Version 2nd Edition (CEV®) is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by American Bible Society, 101 North Independence Mall East, Floor 8, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2155  ( Learn more at Discover .BIBLE resources for your ministry at

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