Proverbs 16 – New International Version (NIV)

  1. To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.
  2. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.
  3. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
  4. The Lord works out everything to its proper end— even the wicked for a day of disaster.
  5. The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
  6. Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.
  7. When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
  8. Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.
  9. In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
  10. The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth does not betray justice.
  11. Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of his making.
  12. Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness.
  13. Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right.
  14. A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, but the wise will appease it.
  15. When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.
  16. How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!
  17. The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives.
  18. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
  19. Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
  20. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,[a] and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.
  21. The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.[b]
  22. Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent, but folly brings punishment to fools.
  23. The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.[c]
  24. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
  25. There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
  26. The appetite of laborers works for them; their hunger drives them on.
  27. A scoundrel plots evil, and on their lips it is like a scorching fire.
  28. A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
  29. A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good.
  30. Whoever winks with their eye is plotting perversity; whoever purses their lips is bent on evil.
  31. Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
  32. Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
  33. The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.


a. Proverbs 16:20 Or whoever speaks prudently finds what is good
b. Proverbs 16:21 Or words make a person persuasive
c. Proverbs 16:23 Or prudent / and make their lips persuasive

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Proverbs 16 – King James Version (KJV)

  1. The preparations of the heart in man, And the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
  2. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; But the LORD weigheth the spirits.
  3. Commit thy works unto the LORD, And thy thoughts shall be established.
  4. The LORD hath made all things for himself: Yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
  5. Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: Though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
  6. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: And by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
  7. When a man’s ways please the LORD, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
  8. Better is a little with righteousness Than great revenues without right.
  9. A man’s heart deviseth his way: But the LORD directeth his steps.
  10. A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: His mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
  11. A just weight and balance are the LORD’s: All the weights of the bag are his work.
  12. It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: For the throne is established by righteousness.
  13. Righteous lips are the delight of kings; And they love him that speaketh right.
  14. The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: But a wise man will pacify it.
  15. In the light of the king’s countenance is life; And his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.
  16. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
  17. The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: He that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
  18. Pride goeth before destruction, And an haughty spirit before a fall.
  19. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
  20. He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: And whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
  21. The wise in heart shall be called prudent: And the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
  22. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: But the instruction of fools is folly.
  23. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, And addeth learning to his lips.
  24. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, Sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
  25. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death.
  26. He that laboureth laboureth for himself; For his mouth craveth it of him.
  27. An ungodly man diggeth up evil: And in his lips there is as a burning fire.
  28. A froward man soweth strife: And a whisperer separateth chief friends.
  29. A violent man enticeth his neighbour, And leadeth him into the way that is not good.
  30. He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: Moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
  31. The hoary head is a crown of glory, If it be found in the way of righteousness.
  32. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; And he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
  33. The lot is cast into the lap; But the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.