Proverbs 21

1Like channeled water is the mind of the king in Hashem's hand; He directs it to whatever He wishes.

אפַּלְגֵי־מַיִם לֶב־מֶלֶךְ בְּיַד־יְהֹוָה עַל־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר יַחְפֹּץ יַטֶּנּוּ׃

2All the ways of a man seem right to him, But Hashem probes the mind.

בכָּל־דֶּרֶךְ־אִישׁ יָשָׁר בְּעֵינָיו וְתֹכֵן לִבּוֹת יְהֹוָה׃

3To do what is right and just Is more desired by Hashem than sacrifice.

געֲשֹׂה צְדָקָה וּמִשְׁפָּט נִבְחָר לַיהֹוָה מִזָּבַח׃

4Haughty looks, a proud heart— The tillage of the wicked is sinful.

דרוּם־עֵינַיִם וּרְחַב־לֵב נִר רְשָׁעִים חַטָּאת׃

5The plans of the diligent make only for gain; All rash haste makes only for loss.

המַחְשְׁבוֹת חָרוּץ אַךְ־לְמוֹתָר וְכָל־אָץ אַךְ־לְמַחְסוֹר׃

6Treasures acquired by a lying tongue Are like driven vapor, heading for extinction.

ופֹּעַל אוֹצָרוֹת בִּלְשׁוֹן שָׁקֶר הֶבֶל נִדָּף מְבַקְשֵׁי־מָוֶת׃

7The violence of the wicked sweeps them away, For they refuse to act justly.

זשֹׁד־רְשָׁעִים יְגוֹרֵם כִּי מֵאֲנוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁפָּט׃

8The way of a man may be tortuous and strange, Though his actions are blameless and proper.

חהֲפַכְפַּךְ דֶּרֶךְ אִישׁ וָזָר וְזַךְ יָשָׁר פָּעֳלוֹ׃

9Dwelling in the corner of a roof is better Than a contentious wife in a spacious house.

טטוֹב לָשֶׁבֶת עַל־פִּנַּת־גָּג מֵאֵשֶׁת מִדְיָנִים וּבֵית חָבֶר׃

10The desire of the wicked is set upon evil; His fellowman finds no favor in his eyes.

ינֶפֶשׁ רָשָׁע אִוְּתָה־רָע לֹא־יֻחַן בְּעֵינָיו רֵעֵהוּ׃

11When a scoffer is punished, the simple man is edified; When a wise man is taught, he gains insight.

יאבַּעְנָשׁ־לֵץ יֶחְכַּם־פֶּתִי וּבְהַשְׂכִּיל לְחָכָם יִקַּח־דָּעַת׃

12The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked man; He subverts the wicked to their ruin.

יבמַשְׂכִּיל צַדִּיק לְבֵית רָשָׁע מְסַלֵּף רְשָׁעִים לָרָע׃

13Who stops his ears at the cry of the wretched, He too will call and not be answered.

יגאֹטֵם אָזְנוֹ מִזַּעֲקַת־דָּל גַּם־הוּא יִקְרָא וְלֹא יֵעָנֶה׃

14A gift in secret subdues anger, A present in private, fierce rage.

ידמַתָּן בַּסֵּתֶר יִכְפֶּה־אָף וְשֹׁחַד בַּחֵק חֵמָה עַזָּה׃

15Justice done is a joy to the righteous, To evildoers, ruination.

טושִׂמְחָה לַצַּדִּיק עֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁפָּט וּמְחִתָּה לְפֹעֲלֵי אָוֶן׃

16A man who strays from the path of prudence Will rest in the company of ghosts.

טזאָדָם תּוֹעֶה מִדֶּרֶךְ הַשְׂכֵּל בִּקְהַל רְפָאִים יָנוּחַ׃

17He who loves pleasure comes to want; He who loves wine and oil does not grow rich.

יזאִישׁ מַחְסוֹר אֹהֵב שִׂמְחָה אֹהֵב יַיִן־וָשֶׁמֶן לֹא יַעֲשִׁיר׃

18The wicked are the ransom of the righteous; The traitor comes in place of the upright.

יחכֹּפֶר לַצַּדִּיק רָשָׁע וְתַחַת יְשָׁרִים בּוֹגֵד׃

19It is better to live in the desert Than with a contentious, vexatious wife.

יטטוֹב שֶׁבֶת בְּאֶרֶץ־מִדְבָּר מֵאֵשֶׁת מדונים [מִדְיָנִים] וָכָעַס׃

20Precious treasure and oil are in the house of the wise man, And a fool of a man will run through them.

כאוֹצָר נֶחְמָד וָשֶׁמֶן בִּנְוֵה חָכָם וּכְסִיל אָדָם יְבַלְּעֶנּוּ׃

21He who strives to do good and kind deeds Attains life, success, and honor.

כארֹדֵף צְדָקָה וָחָסֶד יִמְצָא חַיִּים צְדָקָה וְכָבוֹד׃

22One wise man prevailed over a city of warriors And brought down its mighty stronghold.

כבעִיר גִּבֹּרִים עָלָה חָכָם וַיֹּרֶד עֹז מִבְטֶחָה׃

23He who guards his mouth and tongue Guards himself from trouble.

כגשֹׁמֵר פִּיו וּלְשׁוֹנוֹ שֹׁמֵר מִצָּרוֹת נַפְשׁוֹ׃

24The proud, insolent man, scoffer is his name, Acts in a frenzy of insolence.

כדזֵד יָהִיר לֵץ שְׁמוֹ עוֹשֶׂה בְּעֶבְרַת זָדוֹן׃

25The craving of a lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to work.

כהתַּאֲוַת עָצֵל תְּמִיתֶנּוּ כִּי־מֵאֲנוּ יָדָיו לַעֲשׂוֹת׃

26All day long he is seized with craving While the righteous man gives without stint.

כוכָּל־הַיּוֹם הִתְאַוָּה תַאֲוָה וְצַדִּיק יִתֵּן וְלֹא יַחְשֹׂךְ׃

27The sacrifice of the wicked man is an abomination, The more so as he offers it in depravity.

כזזֶבַח רְשָׁעִים תּוֹעֵבָה אַף כִּי־בְזִמָּה יְבִיאֶנּוּ׃

28A false witness is doomed, But one who really heard will testify with success.

כחעֵד־כְּזָבִים יֹאבֵד וְאִישׁ שׁוֹמֵעַ לָנֶצַח יְדַבֵּר׃

29The wicked man is brazen-faced; The upright man discerns his course.

כטהֵעֵז אִישׁ רָשָׁע בְּפָנָיו וְיָשָׁר הוּא יכין [יָבִין] דרכיו [דַּרְכּוֹ׃]

30No wisdom, no prudence, and no counsel Can prevail against Hashem.

לאֵין חָכְמָה וְאֵין תְּבוּנָה וְאֵין עֵצָה לְנֶגֶד יְהֹוָה׃

31The horse is readied for the day of battle, But victory comes from Hashem.

SUS mu-KHAN l'-YOM mil-kha-MAH v'-la-do-NAI ha-t'-shu-AH

לאסוּס מוּכָן לְיוֹם מִלְחָמָה וְלַיהֹוָה הַתְּשׁוּעָה׃

21:31   But victory is of the LORD

Throughout the Bible, horses are mentioned as animals of war. Here, King Shlomo is emphasizing an important lesson that is no less true today than it was when he said it centuries ago: Man prepares as much as possible, but ultimately, all victory and success comes only from Hashem.