1 The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord;
he guides it wherever he pleases.
2 People may be right in their own eyes,
but the Lord examines their heart.
3 The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just
than when we offer him sacrifices.
4 Haughty eyes, a proud heart,
and evil actions are all sin.
5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity,
but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
6 Wealth created by a lying tongue
is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.
7 The violence of the wicked sweeps them away,
because they refuse to do what is just.
8 The guilty walk a crooked path;
the innocent travel a straight road.
9 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
10 Evil people desire evil;
their neighbors get no mercy from them.
11 If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise;
if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
12 The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked;
he will bring disaster on them.
13 Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor
will be ignored in their own time of need.
14 A secret gift calms anger;
a bribe under the table pacifies fury.
15 Justice is a joy to the godly,
but it terrifies evildoers.