Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord , she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:10-31 NKJV
He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan. Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice, But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth. The king establishes the land by justice, But he who receives bribes overthrows it. A man who flatters his neighbor Spreads a net for his feet. By transgression an evil man is snared, But the righteous sings and rejoices. The righteous considers the cause of the poor, But the wicked does not understand such knowledge. Scoffers set a city aflame, But wise men turn away wrath. If a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace. The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, But the upright seek his well-being. A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back. If a ruler pays attention to lies, All his servants become wicked. The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The Lord gives light to the eyes of both. The king who judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever. The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall. Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. An angry man stirs up strife, And a furious man abounds in transgression. A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor. Many seek the ruler’s favor, But justice for man comes from the Lord . An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked. Proverbs 29:1-17, 22-23, 26-27 NKJV
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts. To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. Getting treasures by a lying tongue Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. The way of a guilty man is perverse; But as for the pure, his work is right. The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes. When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge. The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked, Overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness. Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard. A gift in secret pacifies anger, And a bribe behind the back, strong wrath. A man who wanders from the way of understanding Will rest in the assembly of the dead. He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not be rich. There is desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it. He who follows righteousness and mercy Finds life, righteousness, and honor. Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles. The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor. He covets greedily all day long, But the righteous gives and does not spare. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the Lord . Proverbs 21:2-3, 5-6, 8, 10-14, 16-17, 20-21, 23, 25-26, 31 NKJV
Better is a dry morsel with quietness,
Than a house full of feasting[a] with strife.
A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame,
And will share an inheritance among the brothers.
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the Lord tests the hearts.
An evildoer gives heed to false lips;
A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.
He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker;
He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
Children’s children are the crown of old men,
And the glory of children is their father.
Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool,
Much less lying lips to a prince.
A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor;
Wherever he turns, he prospers.
He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends.
Rebuke is more effective for a wise man
Than a hundred blows on a fool.
An evil man seeks only rebellion;
Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly.
Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.
The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it?
A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.
A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge,
And becomes surety for his friend.
He who loves transgression loves strife,
And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.
He who has a deceitful heart finds no good,
And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.
He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy.
A merry heart does good, like medicine,[b]
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back[c]
To pervert the ways of justice.
Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding,
But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
A foolish son is a grief to his father,
And bitterness to her who bore him.
Also, to punish the righteous is not good,
Nor to strike princes for their uprightness.
He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. Proverbs 17:1-28
The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord , But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him. In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands. Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor. The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above. The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps. A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated. The simple inherit folly, But the prudent are crowned with knowledge. The evil will bow before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous. The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich has many friends. He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he. Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good. In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty. The crown of the wise is their riches, But the foolishness of fools is folly. A true witness delivers souls, But a deceitful witness speaks lies. In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death. He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly. A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones. He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. The king’s favor is toward a wise servant, But his wrath is against him who causes shame. Proverbs 14:1-3, 6-9, 11-12, 14-27, 29-31, 34-35 NKJV
- Listen to your father’s instruction and heed rebuke. Verse 1, 7-8, 10, 13
- Let the fruit of your mouth be good. Verses 2 & 3
- Riches come to those who are diligent and honest. Laziness does not fulfill your desires. Verse 4, 11
- Righteousness guards those whose ways are blameless and wickedness will overthrow sinners. Verse 6, 9
- When you reach a desire and it is fulfilled, it is good and brings life. Hope not achieved makes the heart sick. Verse 12, 19
- The law of the wise brings life and turns people away from sin. Verse 14
- Prudence and understanding gains favor and the way of the unfaithful is hard. Verses 15-16
- A faithful ambassador brings health and a wicked messenger falls into trouble. Verse 17
- Poverty and shame come to those who disdain correction. Those who listen to rebuke will be honored. Verse 18
- He who walks with wise men will be wise. He who walks with fools will be destroyed. Evil pursues sinnsers. Verses 20-21
- A good man will leave an inheritance to his grandkids. The wealth of sinner is stored up for those who are righteous. Verse 22
- There is much food in the unplanted ground of the poor and for a lack in justice there is waste. The righteous eats to the satisfying of their sour. Verse 23, 25
- The father who spares the rod of correction hates his son. He who loves his son disciplines him promptly. Verse 24
Proverbs 12 contains many values to live by: hard work, instruction/council, and truth.
Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. A good man obtains favor from the Lord , But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn. A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. The thoughts of the righteous are right, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,” But the mouth of the upright will deliver them. The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand. A man will be commended according to his wisdom, But he who is of a perverse heart will be despised. Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, Than he who honors himself but lacks bread. A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding. The wicked covet the catch of evil men, But the root of the righteous yields fruit. The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will come through trouble. A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise. A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame. He who speaks truth declares righteousness, But a false witness, deceit. There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy. No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, But the wicked shall be filled with evil. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord , But those who deal truthfully are His delight. A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness. The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor. Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad. The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession. In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway there is no death.
Proverbs 12:1-28 NKJV
Proverbs 11 has great one liners that remind us of key values: humility, honesty, righteousness, understanding, discretion, etc.
Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord , But a just weight is His delight. When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust. When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, And the hope of the unjust perishes. The righteous is delivered from trouble, And it comes to the wicked instead. The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace. A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, But one who hates being surety is secure. A gracious woman retains honor, But ruthless men retain riches. The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh. The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. As righteousness leads to life, So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death. Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord , But the blameless in their ways are His delight. Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered. As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion. The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath. There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. The people will curse him who withholds grain, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, But trouble will come to him who seeks evil. He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage. He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise. If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, How much more the ungodly and the sinner.
Proverbs 11:1-31 NKJV
Choose wisdom over foolishness.
The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother. Proverbs 10:1 NKJV
Choose righteousness over wickedness.
Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, But righteousness delivers from death. The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, But He casts away the desire of the wicked. Proverbs 10:2-3 NKJV
Choose diligence over laziness.
He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame. Proverbs 10:4-5 NKJV
Walk with integrity and humility.
The wise in heart will receive commands, But a prating fool will fall. He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known. Proverbs 10:8-9 NKJV
Choose love over hatred.
Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins. Proverbs 10:12 NKJV
Choose wisdom, knowledge and understanding over foolishness.
Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, But a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding. Wise people store up knowledge, But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. Proverbs 10:13-14 NKJV
My son, keep your father’s command,And do not forsake the law of your mother.Bind them continually upon your heart;Tie them around your neck.When you roam, they will lead you;When you sleep, they will keep you;And when you awake, they will speak with you.For the commandment is a lamp,And the law a light;Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,To keep you from the evil woman,From the flattering tongue of a seductress.Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,Nor let her allure you with her eyelids. Proverbs 6:20-25
For by means of a harlotA man is reduced to a crust of bread;And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.Can a man take fire to his bosom,And his clothes not be burned?Can one walk on hot coals,And his feet not be seared?So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;Whoever touches her shall not be innocent. Proverbs 6:26-29Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;He who does so destroys his own soul.Wounds and dishonor he will get,And his reproach will not be wiped away. Proverbs 6:30-33