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Proverbs chapter 14

New International Version

1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
2 Whoever fears the LORD walks uprightly, but those who despise him are devious in their ways.
3 A fool's mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.
4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.
5 An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies.
6 The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.
7 Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.
9 Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.
10 Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
13 Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief.
14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs.
15 The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.
16 The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.
17 A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.
18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19 Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends.
21 It is a sin to despise one's neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.
22 Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.
23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
24 The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly.
25 A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.
26 Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.
28 A large population is a king's glory, but without subjects a prince is ruined.
29 Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.
33 Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known.
34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. 35 A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant arouses his fury.
English Standard Version

1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. 2 Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is devious in his ways despises him. 3 By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them. 4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. 5 A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies. 6 A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding. 7 Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge. 8 The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving. 9 Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance. 10 The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy. 11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. 12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 13 Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. 14 The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. 15 The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. 16 One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless. 17 A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated. 18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 19 The evil bow down before the good, the wicked at the gates of the righteous. 20 The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich has many friends. 21 Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor. 22 Do they not go astray who devise evil? Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness. 23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. 24 The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly. 25 A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful. 26 In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. 28 In a multitude of people is the glory of a king, but without people a prince is ruined. 29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. 30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. 31 Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. 32 The wicked is overthrown through his evildoing, but the righteous finds refuge in his death. 33 Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding, but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools. 34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. 35 A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.
King James Version

1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
2 He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.
3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.
6 A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
16 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
18 The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19 The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
24 The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
28 In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
33 Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.
34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
35 The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.
New American Standard Bible

1 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. 2 One who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, But one who is devious in his ways despises Him. 3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, But the lips of the wise will protect them. 4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean; But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. 5 A trustworthy witness will not lie, But a false witness declares lies. 6 A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, But knowledge is easy for one who has understanding. 7 Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge. 8 The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, But the foolishness of fools is deceit. 9 Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is goodwill. 10 The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy. 11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, But the tent of the upright will flourish. 12 There is a way which seems right to a person, But its end is the way of death. 13 Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, And the end of joy may be grief. 14 One with a wayward heart will have his fill of his own ways, But a good person will be satisfied with his. 15 The naive believes everything, But the sensible person considers his steps. 16 A wise person is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. 17 A quick-tempered person acts foolishly, And a person of evil devices is hated. 18 The naive inherit foolishness, But the sensible are crowned with knowledge. 19 The evil will bow down before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous. 20 The poor is hated even by his neighbor, But those who love the rich are many. 21 One who despises his neighbor sins, But one who is gracious to the poor is blessed. 22 Will they who devise evil not go astray? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good. 23 In all labor there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty. 24 The crown of the wise is their riches, But the foolishness of fools is simply foolishness. 25 A truthful witness saves lives, But one who declares lies is deceitful. 26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, By which one may avoid the snares of death. 28 In a multitude of people is a king’s glory, But in the scarcity of people is a prince’s ruin. 29 One who is slow to anger has great understanding; But one who is quick-tempered exalts foolishness. 30 A tranquil heart is life to the body, But jealousy is rottenness to the bones. 31 One who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But one who is gracious to the needy honors Him. 32 The wicked is thrust down by his own wrongdoing, But the righteous has a refuge when he dies. 33 Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But among fools it is made known. 34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people. 35 The king’s favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, But his anger is toward him who acts shamefully.
New Living Translation

1 A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
2 Those who follow the right path fear the LORD; those who take the wrong path despise him.
3 A fool's proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe.
4 Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.
5 An honest witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies.
6 A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding.
7 Stay away from fools, for you won't find knowledge on their lips.
8 The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.
9 Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.
10 Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy.
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the godly will flourish.
12 There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
13 Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.
14 Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward.
15 Only simpletons believe everything they're told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.
16 The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
17 Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated.
18 Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19 Evil people will bow before good people; the wicked will bow at the gates of the godly.
20 The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many 'friends.'
21 It is a sin to belittle one's neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.
22 If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.
23 Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!
24 Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness.
25 A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor.
26 Those who fear the LORD are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.
27 Fear of the LORD is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.
28 A growing population is a king's glory; a prince without subjects has nothing.
29 People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.
30 A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
31 Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him.
32 The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge when they die.
33 Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools.
34 Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
35 A king rejoices in wise servants but is angry with those who disgrace him.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
2 Whoever lives with integrity fears the Lord, but the one who is devious in his ways despises him.
3 The proud speech of a fool brings a rod of discipline, but the lips of the wise protect them.
4 Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is empty, but an abundant harvest comes through the strength of an ox.
5 An honest witness does not deceive, but a dishonest witness utters lies.
6 A mocker seeks wisdom and doesn't find it, but knowledge comes easily to the perceptive.
7 Stay away from a foolish person; you will gain no knowledge from his speech.
8 The sensible person's wisdom is to consider his way, but the stupidity of fools deceives them.
9 Fools mock at making reparation, but there is goodwill among the upright.
10 The heart knows its own bitterness, and no outsider shares in its joy.
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.
13 Even in laughter a heart may be sad, and joy may end in grief.
14 The disloyal one will get what his conduct deserves, and a good one, what his deeds deserve.
15 The inexperienced one believes anything, but the sensible one watches his steps.
16 A wise person is cautious and turns from evil, but a fool is easily angered and is careless.
17 A quick-tempered person acts foolishly, and one who schemes is hated.
18 The inexperienced inherit foolishness, but the sensible are crowned with knowledge.
19 The evil bow before those who are good, and the wicked, at the gates of the righteous.
20 A poor person is hated even by his neighbor, but there are many who love the rich.
21 The one who despises his neighbor sins, but whoever shows kindness to the poor will be happy.
22 Don't those who plan evil go astray? But those who plan good find loyalty and faithfulness.
23 There is profit in all hard work, but endless talk leads only to poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the foolishness of fools produces foolishness.
25 A truthful witness rescues lives, but one who utters lies is deceitful.
26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence and his children have a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning people away from the snares of death.
28 A large population is a king's splendor, but a shortage of people is a ruler's devastation.
29 A patient person shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness.
30 A tranquil heart is life to the body, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.
31 The one who oppresses the poor person insults his Maker, but one who is kind to the needy honors him.
32 The wicked one is thrown down by his own sin, but the righteous one has a refuge in his death.
33 Wisdom resides in the heart of the discerning; she is known even among fools.
34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. 35 A king favors a prudent servant, but his anger falls on a disgraceful one.

What does Proverbs chapter 14 mean?

The first verses of this section point out the consequences of wisdom, in contrast to the consequences of foolishness. This echoes other statements in the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 10:8–9; 11:8; 12:13; 13:6). Foolishness, defined as a rejection of God's truth and instruction (Psalm 14:1; Proverbs 1:7) leads to disaster. It also makes a person vulnerable to further false ideas. Those who wallow in such self-deception should be avoided (Proverbs 14:1–10).

A short segment of verses in the middle of this passage share a theme: the respective fates of the wicked and the righteous. The deceptive nature of sin can make rejecting God seem like a good idea, but the end result is tragedy. Those who follow godliness are at less risk of negative earthly consequences. They are also blessed with an eternal rescue. In either case, that which a person chooses—selfishness or godliness—is repaid to them (Proverbs 14:11–14).

The last, final segment of this chapter covers a broad range of topics. Among these are the importance of self-control, the danger of gullibility, the need to apply justice fairly to all, the benefits of a contented heart, and the cultural value of godly wisdom (Proverbs 14:15–35).

The following chapter continues this long compilation of Solomon's wise sayings.