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Proverbs chapter 15

New International Version

1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
5 A fool spurns a parent's discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings ruin.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.
8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue righteousness.
10 Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die.
11 Death and Destruction lie open before the LORD-- how much more do human hearts!
12 Mockers resent correction, so they avoid the wise.
13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
16 Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil.
17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.
18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.
20 A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother.
21 Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.
22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply-- and how good is a timely word!
24 The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.
25 The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow's boundary stones in place.
26 The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight.
27 The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live.
28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
29 The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30 Light in a messenger's eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
31 Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.
32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. 33 Wisdom's instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor.
English Standard Version

1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. 3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. 4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. 5 A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent. 6 In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked. 7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools. 8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him. 9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but he loves him who pursues righteousness. 10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way; whoever hates reproof will die. 11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD; how much more the hearts of the children of man! 12 A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise. 13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. 14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly. 15 All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast. 16 Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it. 17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it. 18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. 19 The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway. 20 A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother. 21 Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead. 22 Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. 23 To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! 24 The path of life leads upward for the prudent, that he may turn away from Sheol beneath. 25 The LORD tears down the house of the proud but maintains the widow’s boundaries. 26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, but gracious words are pure. 27 Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live. 28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. 29 The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. 30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones. 31 The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. 32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. 33 The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
King James Version

1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.
7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?
12 A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.
13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. 17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.
21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.
22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellers they are established.
23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
25 The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.
26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.
28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.
31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
New American Standard Bible

1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge pleasant, But the mouth of fools spouts foolishness. 3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. 4 A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit. 5 A fool rejects his father’s discipline, But he who complies with rebuke is sensible. 6 Great wealth is in the house of the righteous, But trouble is in the income of the wicked. 7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge, But the hearts of fools are not so. 8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. 9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves the one who pursues righteousness. 10 There is severe punishment for one who abandons the way; One who hates a rebuke will die. 11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD, How much more the hearts of mankind! 12 A scoffer does not love one who rebukes him; He will not go to the wise. 13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. 14 The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness. 15 All the days of the needy are bad, But a cheerful heart has a continual feast. 16 Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure, and turmoil with the treasure. 17 Better is a portion of vegetables where there is love, Than a fattened ox served with hatred. 18 A hot-tempered person stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute. 19 The way of the lazy one is like a hedge of thorns, But the path of the upright is a highway. 20 A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother. 21 Foolishness is joy to one who lacks sense, But a person of understanding walks straight. 22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed. 23 A person has joy in an apt answer, And how delightful is a timely word! 24 The path of life leads upward for the wise, So that he may keep away from Sheol below. 25 The LORD will tear down the house of the proud, But He will set the boundary of the widow. 26 Evil plans are an abomination to the LORD, But pleasant words are pure. 27 He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live. 28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. 29 The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous. 30 Bright eyes gladden the heart; Good news refreshes the bones. 31 One whose ear listens to a life-giving rebuke Will stay among the wise. 32 One who neglects discipline rejects himself, But one who listens to a rebuke acquires understanding. 33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.
New Living Translation

1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.
3 The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.
4 Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
5 Only a fool despises a parent's discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise.
6 There is treasure in the house of the godly, but the earnings of the wicked bring trouble.
7 The lips of the wise give good advice; the heart of a fool has none to give.
8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but he delights in the prayers of the upright.
9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue godliness.
10 Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined; whoever hates correction will die.
11 Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the LORD. How much more does he know the human heart!
12 Mockers hate to be corrected, so they stay away from the wise.
13 A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.
14 A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.
15 For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
16 Better to have little, with fear for the LORD, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.
17 A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
18 A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them.
19 A lazy person's way is blocked with briers, but the path of the upright is an open highway.
20 Sensible children bring joy to their father; foolish children despise their mother.
21 Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense; a sensible person stays on the right path.
22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
23 Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!
24 The path of life leads upward for the wise; they leave the grave behind.
25 The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he protects the property of widows.
26 The LORD detests evil plans, but he delights in pure words.
27 Greed brings grief to the whole family, but those who hate bribes will live.
28 The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.
29 The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous.
30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.
31 If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
33 Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.
Christian Standard Bible

1 A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.
2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge attractive, but the mouth of fools blurts out foolishness.
3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, observing the wicked and the good.
4 The tongue that heals is a tree of life, but a devious tongue breaks the spirit.
5 A fool despises his father's discipline, but a person who accepts correction is sensible.
6 The house of the righteous has great wealth, but trouble accompanies the income of the wicked.
7 The lips of the wise broadcast knowledge, but not so the heart of fools.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
9 The Lord detests the way of the wicked, but he loves the one who pursues righteousness.
10 Discipline is harsh for the one who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die.
11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord -- how much more, human hearts.
12 A mocker doesn't love one who corrects him; he will not consult the wise.
13 A joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit.
14 A discerning mind seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
15 All the days of the oppressed are miserable, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.
16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure with turmoil.
17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened ox with hatred.
18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but one slow to anger calms strife.
19 A slacker's way is like a thorny hedge, but the path of the upright is a highway.
20 A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother.
21 Foolishness brings joy to one without sense, but a person with understanding walks a straight path.
22 Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
23 A person takes joy in giving an answer; and a timely word--how good that is!
24 For the prudent the path of life leads upward, so that he may avoid going down to Sheol.
25 The Lord tears apart the house of the proud, but he protects the widow's territory.
26 The Lord detests the plans of the one who is evil, but pleasant words are pure.
27 The one who profits dishonestly troubles his household, but the one who hates bribes will live.
28 The mind of the righteous person thinks before answering, but the mouth of the wicked blurts out evil things.
29 The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30 Bright eyes cheer the heart; good news strengthens the bones.
31 One who listens to life-giving rebukes will be at home among the wise.
32 Anyone who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever listens to correction acquires good sense. 33 The fear of the Lord is what wisdom teaches, and humility comes before honor.

What does Proverbs chapter 15 mean?

This continues a long string of "proverbs:" short, general-case expressions of commonsense wisdom. A large section of these began in Proverbs chapter 10 and continues through Proverbs 22:16.

Solomon begins with several statements commending self-control. Cautious, gentle answers not only prevent additional strife, they reduce whatever tension already exists. A wise person carefully chooses their response, rather than babbling out whatever comes to mind. Closely connected to this is the need to humbly accept correction (Proverbs 15:1–5).

Next are several contrasts. These compare the righteous with the wicked, using the parallel ideas of those who are wise and those who are foolish. These proverbs echo themes such as the life-giving nature of godly wisdom, the disastrous consequences of sin, the importance of humility, and the value of seeking advice (Proverbs 15:6–12).

The majority of the chapter is made up of individual segments of wisdom, with a few repeating themes. Solomon notes the importance of perspective, which is more influential than wealth when it comes to happiness. Careful planning, seeking advice, hard work, and righteousness are all commended. Laziness, impatience, arrogance, and hypocrisy are condemned. The chapter ends with three proverbs echoing the recurring theme that sensible persons listen to godly wisdom—and this only comes through a reverent honor of God (Proverbs 15:13–33).