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Proverbs offers more than guidance for daily life. In several places it teaches that the Word of God gives eternal life. “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” (13:14 ESV) As Peter once said of Jesus: “You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

BibleGateway: Proverbs 13:1-25

ESV Text: Proverbs 13:1-25

Proverbs 13 (Listen)

13:1   A wise son hears his father’s instruction,
    but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
  From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good,
    but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
  Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
    he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
  The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
    while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
  The righteous hates falsehood,
    but the wicked brings shame1 and disgrace.
  Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,
    but sin overthrows the wicked.
  One pretends to be rich,2 yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor,3 yet has great wealth.
  The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth,
    but a poor man hears no threat.
  The light of the righteous rejoices,
    but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
10   By insolence comes nothing but strife,
    but with those who take advice is wisdom.
11   Wealth gained hastily4 will dwindle,
    but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
12   Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
13   Whoever despises the word5 brings destruction on himself,
    but he who reveres the commandment6 will be rewarded.
14   The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    that one may turn away from the snares of death.
15   Good sense wins favor,
    but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.7
16   Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
    but a fool flaunts his folly.
17   A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18   Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
19   A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
20   Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
    but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
21   Disaster8 pursues sinners,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good.
22   A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
    but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
23   The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food,
    but it is swept away through injustice.
24   Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
    but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.9
25   The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite,
    but the belly of the wicked suffers want.


[1] 13:5 Or stench

[2] 13:7 Or One makes himself rich

[3] 13:7 Or another makes himself poor

[4] 13:11 Or by fraud

[5] 13:13 Or a word

[6] 13:13 Or a commandment

[7] 13:15 Probable reading (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate); Hebrew is rugged, or is an enduring rut

[8] 13:21 Or Evil

[9] 13:24 Or who loves him disciplines him early


KJV Text: Proverbs 13:1-25

The section starts at about 0:0 and ends at about 3:1

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     1 A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

     2 A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

     3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

     4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

     5 A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.

     6 Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.

     7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

     8 The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

     9 The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

     10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

     11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

     12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

     13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

     14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

     15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

     16 Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

     17 A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.

     18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

     19 The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.

     20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

     21 Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

     22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

     23 Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

     24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

     25 The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.(KJV)

Hymn: TLH 282 : Christians, Come in Sweetest Measures

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1. Christians, come, in sweetest measures
Sing of those who spread the treasures
In the holy Gospels shrined;
Blessed tidings of salvation,
Peace on earth their proclamation,
Love from God to lost mankind.

2. See the rivers four that gladden
With their streams the better Eden,
Planted by our Savior dear.
Christ the fountain, these the waters.
Drink, O Zion’s sons and daughters;
Drink and find salvation here.

3. Here our souls, by Jesus sated,
More and more shall be translated
Earth’s temptations far above;
Freed from sin’s abhorred dominion,
Soaring on angelic pinion,
They shall reach the Source of love.

4. Then shall thanks and praise ascending
For Thy mercies without ending
Rise to Thee, O Savior blest.
With Thy gracious aid defend us,
Let Thy guiding light attend us,
Bring us to Thy place of rest.