Proverbs 20
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

1Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
2The dread anger of a king is like the growling of a lion;
    anyone who provokes him to anger forfeits life itself.
3It is honorable to refrain from strife,
    but every fool is quick to quarrel.
4The lazy person does not plow in season;
    harvest comes, and there is nothing to be found.
5The purposes in the human mind are like deep water,
    but the intelligent will draw them out.
6Many proclaim themselves loyal,
    but who can find one worthy of trust?
7The righteous walk in integrity—
    happy are the children who follow them!
8A king who sits on the throne of judgment
    winnows all evil with his eyes.
9Who can say, “I have made my heart clean;
    I am pure from my sin”?
10Diverse weights and diverse measures
    are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
11Even children make themselves known by their acts,
    by whether what they do is pure and right.
12The hearing ear and the seeing eye—
    the Lord has made them both.
13Do not love sleep, or else you will come to poverty;
    open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14“Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
    then goes away and boasts.
15There is gold, and abundance of costly stones;
    but the lips informed by knowledge are a precious jewel.
16Take the garment of one who has given surety for a stranger;
    seize the pledge given as surety for foreigners.
17Bread gained by deceit is sweet,
    but afterward the mouth will be full of gravel.
18Plans are established by taking advice;
    wage war by following wise guidance.
19A gossip reveals secrets;
    therefore do not associate with a babbler.
20If you curse father or mother,
    your lamp will go out in utter darkness.
21An estate quickly acquired in the beginning
    will not be blessed in the end.
22Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
    wait for the Lord, and he will help you.
23Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord,
    and false scales are not good.
24All our steps are ordered by the Lord;
    how then can we understand our own ways?
25It is a snare for one to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and begin to reflect only after making a vow.
26A wise king winnows the wicked,
    and drives the wheel over them.
27The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord,
    searching every inmost part.
28Loyalty and faithfulness preserve the king,
    and his throne is upheld by righteousness.[a]
29The glory of youths is their strength,
    but the beauty of the aged is their gray hair.
30Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
    beatings make clean the innermost parts.


  1. Proverbs 20:28 Gk: Heb loyalty
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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