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The Beginning of Knowledge
The Beginning of Knowledge
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
2To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
3To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
4To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion--
5A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
6To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Shun Evil Counsel
8 My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
9For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck.
10My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11If they say, "Come with us,
Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
12Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
13We shall find all kinds of precious possessions,
We shall fill our houses with spoil;
14Cast in your lot among us,
Let us all have one purse"--
15My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
16For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.
17Surely, in vain the net is spread
In the sight of any bird;
18But they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lurk secretly for their own lives.
19So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners.
The Call of Wisdom
20 Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
21She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
22"How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
23Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
25Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
26I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
27When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
28"Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
29Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD,
30They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
31Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
32For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil."
The Value of Wisdom
The Value of Wisdom
1 My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
2So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
3Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
4If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
6For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
8He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
9Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
10When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
11Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,
12To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things,
13From those who leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the ways of darkness;
14Who rejoice in doing evil,
And delight in the perversity of the wicked;
15Whose ways are crooked,
And who are devious in their paths;
16To deliver you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words,
17Who forsakes the companion of her youth,
And forgets the covenant of her God.
18For her house leads down to death,
And her paths to the dead;
19None who go to her return,
Nor do they regain the paths of life--
20So you may walk in the way of goodness,
And keep to the paths of righteousness.
21For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the blameless will remain in it;
22But the wicked will be cut off from the earth,
And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.
Guidance for the Young
Guidance for the Young
1 My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
2For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.
3Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
4 And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
7Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
8It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
9Honor the LORD with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
11My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor detest His correction;
12For whom the LORD loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
13Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her.
19The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
20By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds drop down the dew.
21My son, let them not depart from your eyes--
Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
22So they will be life to your soul
And grace to your neck.
23Then you will walk safely in your way,
And your foot will not stumble.
24When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
25Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
26For the LORD will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.
27Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
28Do not say to your neighbor,
"Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,"
When you have it with you.
29Do not devise evil against your neighbor,
For he dwells by you for safety's sake.
30Do not strive with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.
31Do not envy the oppressor,
And choose none of his ways;
32For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD,
But His secret counsel is with the upright.
33The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the home of the just.
34Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble.
35The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools.
Security in Wisdom
Security in Wisdom
1 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
2For I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law.
3When I was my father's son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
4He also taught me, and said to me:
"Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
5Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
7Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
8Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
9She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you."
10Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
12When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
13Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.
14Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not walk in the way of evil.
15Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16For they do not sleep unless they have done evil;
And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
18But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.
20My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
24Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
25Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
26Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.
The Peril of Adultery
Warning Against Immorality
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
Lend your ear to my understanding,
2That you may preserve discretion,
And your lips may keep knowledge.
3For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey,
And her mouth is smoother than oil;
4But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of hell.
6Lest you ponder her path of life--
Her ways are unstable;
You do not know them.
7Therefore hear me now, my children,
And do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8Remove your way far from her,
And do not go near the door of her house,
9Lest you give your honor to others,
And your years to the cruel one;
10Lest aliens be filled with your wealth,
And your labors go to the house of a foreigner;
11And you mourn at last,
When your flesh and your body are consumed,
"How I have hated instruction,
And my heart despised correction!
13I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!
14I was on the verge of total ruin,
In the midst of the assembly and congregation."
15Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.
16Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
17Let them be only your own,
And not for strangers with you.
18Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.
20For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman,
And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?
21For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD,
And He ponders all his paths.
22His own iniquities entrap the wicked man,
And he is caught in the cords of his sin.
23He shall die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
Seven Deadly Sins
1 My son, if you become surety for your friend,
If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
2You are snared by the words of your mouth;
You are taken by the words of your mouth.
3So do this, my son, and deliver yourself;
For you have come into the hand of your friend:
Go and humble yourself;
Plead with your friend.
4Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids.
5Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
The Folly of Indolence
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
9How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep--
11So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
The Wicked Man
12 A worthless person, a wicked man,
Walks with a perverse mouth;
13He winks with his eyes,
He shuffles his feet,
He points with his fingers;
14Perversity is in his heart,
He devises evil continually,
He sows discord.
15Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly;
Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.
16These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Beware of Adultery
20 My son, keep your father's command,
And do not forsake the law of your mother.
21Bind them continually upon your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
22When you roam, they will lead you;
When you sleep, they will keep you;
And when you awake, they will speak with you.
23For the commandment is a lamp,
And the law a light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
24To keep you from the evil woman,
From the flattering tongue of a seductress.
25Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her allure you with her eyelids.
26For by means of a harlot
A man is reduced to a crust of bread;
And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.
27Can a man take fire to his bosom,
And his clothes not be burned?
28Can one walk on hot coals,
And his feet not be seared?
29So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife;
Whoever touches her shall not be innocent.
30People do not despise a thief
If he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving.
31Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold;
He may have to give up all the substance of his house.
32Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;
He who does so destroys his own soul.
33Wounds and dishonor he will get,
And his reproach will not be wiped away.
34For jealousy is a husband's fury;
Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
35He will accept no recompense,
Nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts.
The Wiles of a Harlot
1 My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.
2Keep my commands and live,
And my law as the apple of your eye.
3Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Say to wisdom, "You are my sister,"
And call understanding your nearest kin,
5That they may keep you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words.
The Crafty Harlot
6 For at the window of my house
I looked through my lattice,
7And saw among the simple,
I perceived among the youths,
A young man devoid of understanding,
8Passing along the street near her corner;
And he took the path to her house
9In the twilight, in the evening,
In the black and dark night.
10And there a woman met him,
With the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart.
11She was loud and rebellious,
Her feet would not stay at home.
12At times she was outside, at times in the open square,
Lurking at every corner.
13So she caught him and kissed him;
With an impudent face she said to him:
14"I have peace offerings with me;
Today I have paid my vows.
15So I came out to meet you,
Diligently to seek your face,
And I have found you.
16I have spread my bed with tapestry,
Colored coverings of Egyptian linen.
17I have perfumed my bed
With myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18Come, let us take our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with love.
19For my husband is not at home;
He has gone on a long journey;
20He has taken a bag of money with him,
And will come home on the appointed day."
21With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
With her flattering lips she seduced him.
22Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks,
23Till an arrow struck his liver.
As a bird hastens to the snare,
He did not know it would cost his life.
24Now therefore, listen to me, my children;
Pay attention to the words of my mouth:
25Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths;
26For she has cast down many wounded,
And all who were slain by her were strong men.
27Her house is the way to hell,
Descending to the chambers of death.
The Excellence of Wisdom
Wisdom Is Everlasting
1 Does not wisdom cry out,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
3She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors:
4"To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5O you simple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
6Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
7For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
9They are all plain to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
10Receive my instruction, and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold;
11For wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
12"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And find out knowledge and discretion.
13The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
14Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, I have strength.
15By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16By me princes rule, and nobles,
All the judges of the earth.
17I love those who love me,
And those who seek me diligently will find me.
18Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring riches and righteousness.
19My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold,
And my revenue than choice silver.
20I traverse the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
22"The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23I have been established from everlasting,
From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
24When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no fountains abounding with water.
25Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was brought forth;
26While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
Or the primal dust of the world.
27When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
29When He assigned to the sea its limit,
So that the waters would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
30Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
And my delight was with the sons of men.
32"Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
For blessed are those who keep my ways.
33Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.
34Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
35For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the LORD;
36But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death."
The Way of Wisdom
1 Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
2She has slaughtered her meat,
She has mixed her wine,
She has also furnished her table.
3She has sent out her maidens,
She cries out from the highest places of the city,
4"Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
5"Come, eat of my bread
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
6Forsake foolishness and live,
And go in the way of understanding.
7"He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
8Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
12If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you will bear it alone."
The Way of Folly
13 A foolish woman is clamorous;
She is simple, and knows nothing.
14For she sits at the door of her house,
On a seat by the highest places of the city,
15To call to those who pass by,
Who go straight on their way:
16"Whoever is simple, let him turn in here";
And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
17"Stolen water is sweet,
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant."
18But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of hell.
Wise Sayings of Solomon
A Wise Son and a Foolish Son
1 The proverbs of Solomon:
A wise son makes a glad father,
But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.
2Treasures of wickedness profit nothing,
But righteousness delivers from death.
3The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish,
But He casts away the desire of the wicked.
4He who has a slack hand becomes poor,
But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5He who gathers in summer is a wise son;
He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.
6Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
7The memory of the righteous is blessed,
But the name of the wicked will rot.
8The wise in heart will receive commands,
But a prating fool will fall.
9He who walks with integrity walks securely,
But he who perverts his ways will become known.
10He who winks with the eye causes trouble,
But a prating fool will fall.
11The mouth of the righteous is a well of life,
But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
12Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.
13Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding,
But a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.
14Wise people store up knowledge,
But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
15The rich man's wealth is his strong city;
The destruction of the poor is their poverty.
16The labor of the righteous leads to life,
The wages of the wicked to sin.
17He who keeps instruction is in the way of life,
But he who refuses correction goes astray.
18Whoever hides hatred has lying lips,
And whoever spreads slander is a fool.
19In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
The heart of the wicked is worth little.
21The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of wisdom.
22The blessing of the LORD makes one rich,
And He adds no sorrow with it.
23To do evil is like sport to a fool,
But a man of understanding has wisdom.
24The fear of the wicked will come upon him,
And the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more,
But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
26As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
So is the lazy man to those who send him.
27The fear of the LORD prolongs days,
But the years of the wicked will be shortened.
28The hope of the righteous will be gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked will perish.
29The way of the LORD is strength for the upright,
But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.
30The righteous will never be removed,
But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.
31The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
But the perverse tongue will be cut out.
32The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.
The Folly of Wickedness
1 Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight.
2When pride comes, then comes shame;
But with the humble is wisdom.
3The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
4Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.
5The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
6The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.
7When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
And the hope of the unjust perishes.
8The righteous is delivered from trouble,
And it comes to the wicked instead.
9The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor,
But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
10When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices;
And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
11By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted,
But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
12He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor,
But a man of understanding holds his peace.
13A talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.
14Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
15He who is surety for a stranger will suffer,
But one who hates being surety is secure.
16A gracious woman retains honor,
But ruthless men retain riches.
17The merciful man does good for his own soul,
But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.
18The wicked man does deceptive work,
But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.
19As righteousness leads to life,
So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
20Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD,
But the blameless in their ways are His delight.
21Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished;
But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.
22As a ring of gold in a swine's snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
23The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
24There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
25The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
26The people will curse him who withholds grain,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
27He who earnestly seeks good finds favor,
But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.
28He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like foliage.
29He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind,
And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.
31If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth,
How much more the ungodly and the sinner.
The House of the Righteous Shall Stand
1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid.
2A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.
3A man is not established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.
4An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
5The thoughts of the righteous are right,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6The words of the wicked are, "Lie in wait for blood,"
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.
7The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand.
8A man will be commended according to his wisdom,
But he who is of a perverse heart will be despised.
9Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant,
Than he who honors himself but lacks bread.
10A righteous man regards the life of his animal,
But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
11He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread,
But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.
12The wicked covet the catch of evil men,
But the root of the righteous yields fruit.
13The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
But the righteous will come through trouble.
14A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth,
And the recompense of a man's hands will be rendered to him.
15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise.
16A fool's wrath is known at once,
But a prudent man covers shame.
17He who speaks truth declares righteousness,
But a false witness, deceit.
18There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
19The truthful lip shall be established forever,
But a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.
21No grave trouble will overtake the righteous,
But the wicked shall be filled with evil.
22Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
23A prudent man conceals knowledge,
But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.
24The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.
25Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad.
26The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting,
But diligence is man's precious possession.
28In the way of righteousness is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.
Wisdom Loves Righteousness
1 A wise son heeds his father's instruction,
But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth,
But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence.
3He who guards his mouth preserves his life,
But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.
4The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing;
But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.
5A righteous man hates lying,
But a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame.
6Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,
But wickedness overthrows the sinner.
7There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;
And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.
8The ransom of a man's life is his riches,
But the poor does not hear rebuke.
9The light of the righteous rejoices,
But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
10By pride comes nothing but strife,
But with the well-advised is wisdom.
11Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished,
But he who gathers by labor will increase.
12Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
13He who despises the word will be destroyed,
But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
14The law of the wise is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.
15Good understanding gains favor,
But the way of the unfaithful is hard.
16Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
But a fool lays open his folly.
17A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
But a faithful ambassador brings health.
18Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction,
But he who regards a rebuke will be honored.
19A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul,
But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.
20He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will be destroyed.
21Evil pursues sinners,
But to the righteous, good shall be repaid.
22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,
But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.
23Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor,
And for lack of justice there is waste.
24He who spares his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
25The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul,
But the stomach of the wicked shall be in want.
The Ways of Life and Death
1 The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.
2He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD,
But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.
3In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride,
But the lips of the wise will preserve them.
4Where no oxen are, the trough is clean;
But much increase comes by the strength of an ox.
5A faithful witness does not lie,
But a false witness will utter lies.
6A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it,
But knowledge is easy to him who understands.
7Go from the presence of a foolish man,
When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.
8The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way,
But the folly of fools is deceit.
9Fools mock at sin,
But among the upright there is favor.
10The heart knows its own bitterness,
And a stranger does not share its joy.
11The house of the wicked will be overthrown,
But the tent of the upright will flourish.
12There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
13Even in laughter the heart may sorrow,
And the end of mirth may be grief.
14The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways,
But a good man will be satisfied from above.
15The simple believes every word,
But the prudent considers well his steps.
16A wise man fears and departs from evil,
But a fool rages and is self-confident.
17A quick-tempered man acts foolishly,
And a man of wicked intentions is hated.
18The simple inherit folly,
But the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19The evil will bow before the good,
And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor,
But the rich has many friends.
21He who despises his neighbor sins;
But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.
22Do they not go astray who devise evil?
But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.
23In all labor there is profit,
But idle chatter leads only to poverty.
24The crown of the wise is their riches,
But the foolishness of fools is folly.
25A true witness delivers souls,
But a deceitful witness speaks lies.
26In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of refuge.
27The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.
28In a multitude of people is a king's honor,
But in the lack of people is the downfall of a prince.
29He who is slow to wrath has great understanding,
But he who is impulsive exalts folly.
30A sound heart is life to the body,
But envy is rottenness to the bones.
31He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker,
But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.
32The wicked is banished in his wickedness,
But the righteous has a refuge in his death.
33Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding,
But what is in the heart of fools is made known.
34Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people.
35The king's favor is toward a wise servant,
But his wrath is against him who causes shame.
A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath
1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
2The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
3The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4A wholesome tongue is a tree of life,
But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
5A fool despises his father's instruction,
But he who receives correction is prudent.
6In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,
But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.
7The lips of the wise disperse knowledge,
But the heart of the fool does not do so.
8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
9The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But He loves him who follows righteousness.
10Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way,
And he who hates correction will die.
11Hell and Destruction are before the LORD;
So how much more the hearts of the sons of men.
12A scoffer does not love one who corrects him,
Nor will he go to the wise.
13A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance,
But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
14The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
15All the days of the afflicted are evil,
But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
16Better is a little with the fear of the LORD,
Than great treasure with trouble.
17Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
Than a fatted calf with hatred.
18A wrathful man stirs up strife,
But he who is slow to anger allays contention.
19The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns,
But the way of the upright is a highway.
20A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother.
21Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment,
But a man of understanding walks uprightly.
22Without counsel, plans go awry,
But in the multitude of counselors they are established.
23A man has joy by the answer of his mouth,
And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
24The way of life winds upward for the wise,
That he may turn away from hell below.
25The LORD will destroy the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.
26The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD,
But the words of the pure are pleasant.
27He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house,
But he who hates bribes will live.
28The heart of the righteous studies how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.
29The LORD is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
30The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
And a good report makes the bones healthy.
31The ear that hears the rebukes of life
Will abide among the wise.
32He who disdains instruction despises his own soul,
But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
33The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor is humility.
Wisdom Is Better Than Gold
1 The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
2All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the spirits.
3Commit your works to the LORD,
And your thoughts will be established.
4The LORD has made all for Himself,
Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.
5Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.
6In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.
7When a man's ways please the LORD,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice.
9A man's heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.
10Divination is on the lips of the king;
His mouth must not transgress in judgment.
11Honest weights and scales are the LORD's;
All the weights in the bag are His work.
12It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness,
For a throne is established by righteousness.
13Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And they love him who speaks what is right.
14As messengers of death is the king's wrath,
But a wise man will appease it.
15In the light of the king's face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.
16How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
17The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who keeps his way preserves his soul.
18Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
19Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.
21The wise in heart will be called prudent,
And sweetness of the lips increases learning.
22Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it.
But the correction of fools is folly.
23The heart of the wise teaches his mouth,
And adds learning to his lips.
24Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
25There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
26The person who labors, labors for himself,
For his hungry mouth drives him on.
27An ungodly man digs up evil,
And it is on his lips like a burning fire.
28A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
29A violent man entices his neighbor,
And leads him in a way that is not good.
30He winks his eye to devise perverse things;
He purses his lips and brings about evil.
31The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness.
32He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.
The LORD Tests Hearts
1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness,
Than a house full of feasting with strife.
2A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame,
And will share an inheritance among the brothers.
3The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the LORD tests the hearts.
4An evildoer gives heed to false lips;
A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.
5He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker;
He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
6Children's children are the crown of old men,
And the glory of children is their father.
7Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool,
Much less lying lips to a prince.
8A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor;
Wherever he turns, he prospers.
9He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends.
10Rebuke is more effective for a wise man
Than a hundred blows on a fool.
11An evil man seeks only rebellion;
Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly.
13Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.
14The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.
15He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.
16Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it?
17A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.
18A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge,
And becomes surety for his friend.
19He who loves transgression loves strife,
And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.
20He who has a deceitful heart finds no good,
And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.
21He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy.
22A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
23A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back
To pervert the ways of justice.
24Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding,
But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25A foolish son is a grief to his father,
And bitterness to her who bore him.
26Also, to punish the righteous is not good,
Nor to strike princes for their uprightness.
27He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
28Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.
The Name of the LORD Is a Strong Tower
1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.
2A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart.
3When the wicked comes, contempt comes also;
And with dishonor comes reproach.
4The words of a man's mouth are deep waters;
The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.
5It is not good to show partiality to the wicked,
Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.
6A fool's lips enter into contention,
And his mouth calls for blows.
7A fool's mouth is his destruction,
And his lips are the snare of his soul.
8The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles,
And they go down into the inmost body.
9He who is slothful in his work
Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.
10The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.
11The rich man's wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own esteem.
12Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty,
And before honor is humility.
13He who answers a matter before he hears it,
It is folly and shame to him.
14The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness,
But who can bear a broken spirit?
15The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16A man's gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.
17The first one to plead his cause seems right,
Until his neighbor comes and examines him.
18Casting lots causes contentions to cease,
And keeps the mighty apart.
19A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city,
And contentions are like the bars of a castle.
20A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.
21Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
22He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the LORD.
23The poor man uses entreaties,
But the rich answers roughly.
24A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
The Fear of the Lord Leads to Life
1 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
2Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge,
And he sins who hastens with his feet.
3The foolishness of a man twists his way,
And his heart frets against the LORD.
4Wealth makes many friends,
But the poor is separated from his friend.
5A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies will not escape.
6Many entreat the favor of the nobility,
And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.
7All the brothers of the poor hate him;
How much more do his friends go far from him!
He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him.
8He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.
9A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies shall perish.
10Luxury is not fitting for a fool,
Much less for a servant to rule over princes.
11The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger,
And his glory is to overlook a transgression.
12The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.
13A foolish son is the ruin of his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping.
14Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the LORD.
15Laziness casts one into a deep sleep,
And an idle person will suffer hunger.
16He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is careless of his ways will die.
17He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD,
And He will pay back what he has given.
18Chasten your son while there is hope,
And do not set your heart on his destruction.
19A man of great wrath will suffer punishment;
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.
20Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.
21There are many plans in a man's heart,
Nevertheless the LORD's counsel--that will stand.
22What is desired in a man is kindness,
And a poor man is better than a liar.
23The fear of the LORD leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.
24A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl,
And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
25Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary;
Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.
26He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother
Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.
27Cease listening to instruction, my son,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28A disreputable witness scorns justice,
And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
29Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And beatings for the backs of fools.
Wine Is a Mocker
1 Wine is a mocker,
Strong drink is a brawler,
And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
2The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion;
Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life.
3It is honorable for a man to stop striving,
Since any fool can start a quarrel.
4The lazy man will not plow because of winter;
He will beg during harvest and have nothing.
5Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding will draw it out.
6Most men will proclaim each his own goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?
7The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.
8A king who sits on the throne of judgment
Scatters all evil with his eyes.
9Who can say, "I have made my heart clean,
I am pure from my sin"?
10Diverse weights and diverse measures,
They are both alike, an abomination to the LORD.
11Even a child is known by his deeds,
Whether what he does is pure and right.
12The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The LORD has made them both.
13Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.
14"It is good for nothing," cries the buyer;
But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.
15There is gold and a multitude of rubies,
But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress.
17Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18Plans are established by counsel;
By wise counsel wage war.
19He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets;
Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.
20Whoever curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will be put out in deep darkness.
21An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning
Will not be blessed at the end.
22Do not say, "I will recompense evil";
Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.
23Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD,
And dishonest scales are not good.
24A man's steps are of the LORD;
How then can a man understand his own way?
25It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy,
And afterward to reconsider his vows.
26A wise king sifts out the wicked,
And brings the threshing wheel over them.
27The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
28Mercy and truth preserve the king,
And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.
29The glory of young men is their strength,
And the splendor of old men is their gray head.
30Blows that hurt cleanse away evil,
As do stripes the inner depths of the heart.
The LORD Considers the Heart
1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD,
Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
2Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the hearts.
3To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4A haughty look, a proud heart,
And the plowing of the wicked are sin.
5The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.
6Getting treasures by a lying tongue
Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.
7The violence of the wicked will destroy them,
Because they refuse to do justice.
8The way of a guilty man is perverse;
But as for the pure, his work is right.
9Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
10The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
11When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
12The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked,
Overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness.
13Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be heard.
14A gift in secret pacifies anger,
And a bribe behind the back, strong wrath.
15It is a joy for the just to do justice,
But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.
16A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous,
And the unfaithful for the upright.
19Better to dwell in the wilderness,
Than with a contentious and angry woman.
20There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it.
21He who follows righteousness and mercy
Finds life, righteousness and honor.
22A wise man scales the city of the mighty,
And brings down the trusted stronghold.
23Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles.
24A proud and haughty man--"Scoffer" is his name;
He acts with arrogant pride.
25The desire of the lazy man kills him,
For his hands refuse to labor.
26He covets greedily all day long,
But the righteous gives and does not spare.
27The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
How much more when he brings it with wicked intent!
28A false witness shall perish,
But the man who hears him will speak endlessly.
29A wicked man hardens his face,
But as for the upright, he establishes his way.
30There is no wisdom or understanding
Or counsel against the LORD.
31The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance is of the LORD.
The Value of a Good Name
1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
2The rich and the poor have this in common,
The LORD is the maker of them all.
3A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.
4By humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches and honor and life.
5Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
6Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
7The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.
8He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow,
And the rod of his anger will fail.
9He who has a generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor.
10Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
Yes, strife and reproach will cease.
11He who loves purity of heart
And has grace on his lips,
The king will be his friend.
12The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the faithless.
13The lazy man says, "There is a lion outside!
I shall be slain in the streets!"
14The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;
He who is abhorred by the LORD will fall there.
15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
16He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches,
And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.
Sayings of the Wise
17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;
18For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
19So that your trust may be in the LORD;
I have instructed you today, even you.
20Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth
To those who send to you?
22Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;
23For the LORD will plead their cause,
And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.
24Make no friendship with an angry man,
And with a furious man do not go,
25Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul.
26Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge,
One of those who is surety for debts;
27If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take away your bed from under you?
28Do not remove the ancient landmark
Which your fathers have set.
29Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before unknown men.
Listen to Your Father
1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
2And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
3Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.
4Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
5Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
6Do not eat the bread of a miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
7For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
"Eat and drink!" he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
8The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
And waste your pleasant words.
9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10Do not remove the ancient landmark,
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11For their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause against you.
12Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.
13Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from hell.
15My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice--indeed, I myself;
16Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.
17Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day;
18For surely there is a hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
20Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
22Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.
26My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.
29Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
32At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35"They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?|"
Do Not Envy Evil Men
1 Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
2For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking.
3Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.
5A wise man is strong,
Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;
6For by wise counsel you will wage your own war,
And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.
7Wisdom is too lofty for a fool;
He does not open his mouth in the gate.
8He who plots to do evil
Will be called a schemer.
9The devising of foolishness is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.
10If you faint in the day of adversity,
Your strength is small.
11Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
12If you say, "Surely we did not know this,"
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?
13My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste;
14So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;
If you have found it, there is a prospect,
And your hope will not be cut off.
15Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not plunder his resting place;
16For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity.
17Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him.
19Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the wicked;
20For there will be no prospect for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21My son, fear the LORD and the king;
Do not associate with those given to change;
22For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin those two can bring?
Further Sayings of the Wise
23 These things also belong to the wise:
It is not good to show partiality in judgment.
24He who says to the wicked, "You are righteous,"
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him.
25But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
26He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.
27Prepare your outside work,
Make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterward build your house.
28Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
For would you deceive with your lips?
29Do not say, "I will do to him just as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work."
30I went by the field of the lazy man,
And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;
31And there it was, all overgrown with thorns;
Its surface was covered with nettles;
Its stone wall was broken down.
32When I saw it, I considered it well;
I looked on it and received instruction:
33A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest;
34So shall your poverty come like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
Further Wise Sayings of Solomon
Rule Your Spirit
1 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied:
2It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
3As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
So the heart of kings is unsearchable.
4Take away the dross from silver,
And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.
5Take away the wicked from before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.
6Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king,
And do not stand in the place of the great;
7For it is better that he say to you,
"Come up here,"
Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince,
Whom your eyes have seen.
8Do not go hastily to court;
For what will you do in the end,
When your neighbor has put you to shame?
9Debate your case with your neighbor,
And do not disclose the secret to another;
10Lest he who hears it expose your shame,
And your reputation be ruined.
11A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold
In settings of silver.
12Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold
Is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.
13Like the cold of snow in time of harvest
Is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
For he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14Whoever falsely boasts of giving
Is like clouds and wind without rain.
15By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded,
And a gentle tongue breaks a bone.
16Have you found honey?
Eat only as much as you need,
Lest you be filled with it and vomit.
17Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house,
Lest he become weary of you and hate you.
18A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
Is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.
19Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble
Is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.
20Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather,
And like vinegar on soda,
Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
21If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
And the LORD will reward you.
23The north wind brings forth rain,
And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.
24It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
25As cold water to a weary soul,
So is good news from a far country.
26A righteous man who falters before the wicked
Is like a murky spring and a polluted well.
27It is not good to eat much honey;
So to seek one's own glory is not glory.
28Whoever has no rule over his own spirit
Is like a city broken down, without walls.
Honor Is Not Fitting for a Fool
1 As snow in summer and rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a fool.
2Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow,
So a curse without cause shall not alight.
3A whip for the horse,
A bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the fool's back.
4Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.
5Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6He who sends a message by the hand of a fool
Cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7Like the legs of the lame that hang limp
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8Like one who binds a stone in a sling
Is he who gives honor to a fool.
9Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10The great God who formed everything
Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.
11As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly.
12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13The lazy man says, "There is a lion in the road!
A fierce lion is in the streets!"
14As a door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy man on his bed.
15The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl;
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
16The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own
Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.
18Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,
19Is the man who deceives his neighbor,
And says, "I was only joking!"
20Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;
And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.
21As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles,
And they go down into the inmost body.
23Fervent lips with a wicked heart
Are like earthenware covered with silver dross.
24He who hates, disguises it with his lips,
And lays up deceit within himself;
25When he speaks kindly, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart;
26 Though his hatred is covered by deceit,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.
27Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.
28A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.
My Son, Be Wise
1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
2Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips.
3A stone is heavy and sand is weighty,
But a fool's wrath is heavier than both of them.
4Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent,
But who is able to stand before jealousy?
5Open rebuke is better
Than love carefully concealed.
6Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
7A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb,
But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
8Like a bird that wanders from its nest
Is a man who wanders from his place.
9Ointment and perfume delight the heart,
And the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
10Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend,
Nor go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity;
Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.
11My son, be wise, and make my heart glad,
That I may answer him who reproaches me.
12A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself;
The simple pass on and are punished.
13Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress.
14He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning,
It will be counted a curse to him.
15A continual dripping on a very rainy day
And a contentious woman are alike;
16Whoever restrains her restrains the wind,
And grasps oil with his right hand.
17As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
18Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit;
So he who waits on his master will be honored.
19As in water face reflects face,
So a man's heart reveals the man.
20Hell and Destruction are never full;
So the eyes of man are never satisfied.
21The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And a man is valued by what others say of him.
22Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
23Be diligent to know the state of your flocks,
And attend to your herds;
24For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
25When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself,
And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in,
26The lambs will provide your clothing,
And the goats the price of a field;
27 You shall have enough goats' milk for your food,
For the food of your household,
And the nourishment of your maidservants.
The Righteous Are Bold as a Lion
1 The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.
2Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes;
But by a man of understanding and knowledge
Right will be prolonged.
3A poor man who oppresses the poor
Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.
4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But such as keep the law contend with them.
5Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the LORD understand all.
6Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
7Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son,
But a companion of gluttons shames his father.
8One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion
Gathers it for him who will pity the poor.
9One who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.
10Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way,
He himself will fall into his own pit;
But the blameless will inherit good.
11The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding searches him out.
12When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory;
But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves.
13He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
14Happy is the man who is always reverent,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15Like a roaring lion and a charging bear
Is a wicked ruler over poor people.
16A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor,
But he who hates covetousness will prolong his days.
17A man burdened with bloodshed will flee into a pit;
Let no one help him.
18Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved,
But he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.
19He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!
20A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
21To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.
22A man with an evil eye hastens after riches,
And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.
23He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward
Than he who flatters with the tongue.
24Whoever robs his father or his mother,
And says, "It is no transgression,"
The same is companion to a destroyer.
25He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be prospered.
26He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
27He who gives to the poor will not lack,
But he who hides his eyes will have many curses.
28When the wicked arise, men hide themselves;
But when they perish, the righteous increase.
Happy Is He Who Keeps the Law
1 He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
2When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
3Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice,
But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth.
4The king establishes the land by justice,
But he who receives bribes overthrows it.
5A man who flatters his neighbor
Spreads a net for his feet.
6By transgression an evil man is snared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.
7The righteous considers the cause of the poor,
But the wicked does not understand such knowledge.
8Scoffers set a city aflame,
But wise men turn away wrath.
9If a wise man contends with a foolish man,
Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace.
10The bloodthirsty hate the blameless,
But the upright seek his well-being.
11A fool vents all his feelings,
But a wise man holds them back.
12If a ruler pays attention to lies,
All his servants become wicked.
13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
14The king who judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.
15The rod and rebuke give wisdom,
But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
16When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.
17Correct your son, and he will give you rest;
Yes, he will give delight to your soul.
18Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.
19A servant will not be corrected by mere words;
For though he understands, he will not respond.
20Do you see a man hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21He who pampers his servant from childhood
Will have him as a son in the end.
22An angry man stirs up strife,
And a furious man abounds in transgression.
23A man's pride will bring him low,
But the humble in spirit will retain honor.
24Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.
25The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.
26Many seek the ruler's favor,
But justice for man comes from the LORD.
27An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.
The Wisdom of Agur
The Wisdom of Agur
1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel--to Ithiel and Ucal:
2Surely I am more stupid than any man,
And do not have the understanding of a man.
3I neither learned wisdom
Nor have knowledge of the Holy One.
4Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has bound the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is His Son's name,
If you know?
5Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
6Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
7Two things I request of You
(Deprive me not before I die):
8Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
Give me neither poverty nor riches--
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
9Lest I be full and deny You,
And say, "Who is the LORD?"
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God.
10Do not malign a servant to his master,
Lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.
11There is a generation that curses its father,
And does not bless its mother.
12There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,
Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
13There is a generation-- oh, how lofty are their eyes!
And their eyelids are lifted up.
14There is a generation whose teeth are like swords,
And whose fangs are like knives,
To devour the poor from off the earth,
And the needy from among men.
15The leech has two daughters--
Give and Give!
There are three things that are never satisfied,
Four never say, "Enough!":
The barren womb,
The earth that is not satisfied with water--
And the fire never says, "Enough!"
17The eye that mocks his father,
And scorns obedience to his mother,
The ravens of the valley will pick it out,
And the young eagles will eat it.
18There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Yes, four which I do not understand:
19The way of an eagle in the air,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the midst of the sea,
And the way of a man with a virgin.
20This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth,
And says, "I have done no wickedness."
21For three things the earth is perturbed,
Yes, for four it cannot bear up:
22For a servant when he reigns,
A fool when he is filled with food,
23A hateful woman when she is married,
And a maidservant who succeeds her mistress.
24There are four things which are little on the earth,
But they are exceedingly wise:
25The ants are a people not strong,
Yet they prepare their food in the summer;
26The rock badgers are a feeble folk,
Yet they make their homes in the crags;
27The locusts have no king,
Yet they all advance in ranks;
28The spider skillfully grasps with its hands,
And it is in kings' palaces.
29There are three things which are majestic in pace,
Yes, four which are stately in walk:
30A lion, which is mighty among beasts
And does not turn away from any;
A male goat also,
And a king whose troops are with him.
32If you have been foolish in exalting yourself,
Or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth.
33For as the churning of milk produces butter,
And wringing the nose produces blood,
So the forcing of wrath produces strife.
The Words of King Lemuel's Mother
The Words of King Lemuel's Mother
1 The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:
2What, my son?
And what, son of my womb?
And what, son of my vows?
3Do not give your strength to women,
Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.
4It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Nor for princes intoxicating drink;
5Lest they drink and forget the law,
And pervert the justice of all the afflicted.
6Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
7Let him drink and forget his poverty,
And remember his misery no more.
8Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
9Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy.
The Virtuous Wife
10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29"Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all."
30Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.
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