King James Version
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
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
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
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
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
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
27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a
28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief
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
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.1
From the Lord - Men can neither think nor speak wisely and
well without Divine assistance.
Verse 2. Weigheth - Exactly knows as men do the
things which they weigh. Spirits - The hearts of men.
Verse 3. Commit - Refer all thy actions and concerns
to God, as the end of them, and depend upon God's providence
for success. Established - Thy designs shall be brought to
an happy issue.
Verse 4. Doth work - He orders or disposes. For - For
his own glory; for the discovery of his wisdom, power,
goodness, truth, justice. The wicked - Wilful and impenitent
sinners. Men make themselves wicked, and God therefore makes
Verse 6. By mercy - By a merciful and just and
faithful frame of heart and course of life. Is purged - As
they qualify a man to offer up acceptable prayers to God for
the pardon of his sins. By fear - By a filial reverence unto
God. Depart - They are kept from abusing pardoning mercy,
and from returning to folly or wickedness.
Verse 9. Deviseth - Proposes what he will do.
Directeth - Over-rules and disposes all his designs and
Verse 10. A divine sentence - Great sagacity and
piercing judgment. Of the king - Of wise kings; who only are
worthy of that name and office.
Verse 11. The Lord's - Are made by his direction and
appointment, so that no man can alter them without violating
God's rights and authority.
Verse 15. A cloud - As acceptable as those clouds
which bring the latter rain, whereby the fruits are filled
and ripened a little before the harvest.
Verse 17. The high-way - Their common road, in which
they walk, tho' through frailty or temptation they slip into
the bypath of sin. From evil - From the evil of sin, and
consequently from the evil of punishment. Keepeth - That
takes heed to walk in that high-way.
Verse 20. Good - He who orders his affairs with
Verse 21. The wise - He who is truly wise, shall be
so accounted by others. Sweetness - Eloquence added to
wisdom. Increaseth - Both in himself, for while a man
teaches others, he improves himself; and others, who by this
means are induced to hear and receive his instructions.
Verse 22. The instruction - Their most grave and
serious counsels are foolish.
Verse 23. Teacheth - Directs him what to speak, and
keeps him from speaking foolishly. Addeth - Enables him to
speak learnedly and wisely.
Verse 27. Diggeth up - Prosecutes his evil designs
with great industry. His lips - His tongue is set on fire of
Verse 30. Shutteth - That his thoughts may be more
intent. Moving - Which is the gesture of one whose thoughts
are deeply engaged.
Verse 32. Is better - Of a more gallant and generous
spirit, and more valiant and victorious.
Verse 33. The lot - As the ancient practice was in
deciding doubtful things. The event of which though casual
to men, is directed by God's providence.2
References and notes
1. King James Authorized Version
2. John Wesley's Notes on the Bible - http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/proverbs/wesley/proverbs16.htm
3. The Adam Clarke Commentary - http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?book=pr&chapter=016