Proverbs

From the Greek Septuagint text as was used by First Century Christians
Mostly written by Solomon about 1000-BCE, but it was later added to by others.

Chapter 1

1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, who reigned over Israel.

2 To get to be wise and to learn,
You must understand intelligent words.
3 [You must see how] words can be shifted and turned,
And used to unlock puzzling problems.
You need to understand true justice
And how to make judgments that are straight,
4 So that all your decisions are guileless and wise,
Yet perceive and reflect like a child.

5 If you'll listen, the wise will get wiser
And receive intelligent guidance.
6 You'll understand dark illustrations…
The sayings of the wise and enigmas.

7 Wisdom starts with the fear of the Lord;
And all who follow that rule
Will be understanding and good,
Since perception begins with reverence for God.
For those who fail to respect Him
Treat wisdom and learning with contempt.

8 Hear, O son, the laws of your father,
And don't reject the rules of your mother.
9 Then a garland of favor you'll get for your head,
And a gold chain for your neck.

10 O son;
Don't let the godless lead you astray,
And do not follow their ways.
11 For they'll offer you comforting words and then say:
'Come with us and we will [shed] blood!
For we'll treat the righteous unfairly,
Then we'll hide their bodies under the ground.
12 Like the grave, we'll swallow them down still alive,
And remove their memory from the land.
13 Then we'll take everything that has value
And fill our houses with loot.
14 So, come with us and join in,
And we'll each gain large sacks of money!'

15 Don't ever follow their ways…
Turn your feet from their paths!
16 For their feet run to do evil things,
And they are quick to shed blood.
17 Haven't they wrongfully spread out their traps,
As they would do to catch birds,
18 Then murder to gain evil treasures?
19 Yes, these are the ways of the unrighteousness;
And because of their lack of respect,
They are bringing destruction on their own lives.

20 But the praises of wisdom are sung in the streets…
She's celebrated in all public places.
21 She shouts aloud from the tops of the walls,
And at city gates, she courageously says:
22 'As long as the honest have justice,
They will never be shamed.
But the insolent fools who crave [what's not theirs],
And those who do not fear [God]
Are the ones who are lacking good sense.
23 So, they will receive discipline.'

{Look!} Now I'll free the sayings of my spirit,
And to teach you, I'll be speaking [wise] words.

24 I called to you, but you failed to obey;
I explained it, but you wouldn't listen.
25 You have ignored all my council,
And to my scolding, you've paid no attention.
26 So I'll laugh when you are destroyed,
And I'll shout in joy at your ruin.
27 When troublesome times come upon you,
And in a blast, you're quickly undone…
When you're oppressed and assaulted,
28 And you feel the need to cry out to me,
I won't listen to you.
For when evil men search, they can't find me,
29 Because they've detested what's wise,
And they've failed to show fear for Jehovah.

30 To my council, they chose not to listen,
And when they were scolded, they sneered.
31 So they'll have to eat their own fruitage,
And then receive their own disrespect.
32 Because they've done wrong to the simple,
They will soon be destroyed…
Yes, after they're tried, they'll be slaughtered.
33 But those who have chosen to listen to me
Have camped in peace and not feared any evil.

Chapter 2

1 O son; hear the things that I'm saying…
Take them and hide them within you.
2 Your ears should obey these wise sayings…
Understand them and put them deep your heart,
Then pass them along to your sons.

3 Now, if you call out for wisdom,
And if you seek understanding…
4 If you'll search for perception like treasure,
5 You'll learn the fear of the Lord
And find the knowledge of God.
6 For, wisdom comes from Jehovah
In His presence, you'll find understanding and knowledge.

7 For those who are walking straight paths,
He has treasured away their salvation
And He'll shield them wherever they travel,
8 Since He guards the ways of the righteous,
And He protects those who show Him respect.
9 Then you'll understand justice and judgments,
And set yourself on a course to do right.

10 Now, should you decide to make wisdom your goal…
If your soul decides to search for perception…
11 If you choose to follow good council,
And if you'll be careful to do holy things;
12 From evil ways, this will save you,
And from [the wiles] of men who tell lies.

13 They're the ones who've abandoned straight paths,
And in ways of darkness, they've chosen to walk.
14 For, badness is what makes them happy,
And on what's perverse, they rejoice.
15 All of their pathways are crooked,
And curved are all of their tracks.
16 Away from straight paths, they will lead you,
And from righteous plans, they'll drive you away.

So, don't let bad council mislead you,
17 But [follow] the things that you've learned since your youth,
And don't overlook God's Agreement with us.

18 There are women who put death near their homes,
For the things that they do lead to the grave,
19 Since those who approach them never come back…
They don't return to straight paths,
For they've strayed from the road to long life.

20 But, smooth are the roads that the righteous have found;
For the meek will inherit the earth,
And the honest are those who'll remain here.
21 Then, only the upright will camp in the land,
And those who'll be left are the holy.
22 Disrespectful ways will be gone from the earth,
And those who break laws will be banished.

Chapter 3

1 O son;
Don't forget the laws [that I've shown you],
And keep the things that I've said in your heart;
2 For, this will add length to your life.
Yes, you will live [many] years,
And peace will be added to you.

3 May charity and faith never fail you.
For if around your neck, you will tie them,
And write them on the tablet in your heart,
4 You will find the favor [of God].

Before Jehovah and men
You should always plan to do what is good.
5 Wholeheartedly put trust in your God,
And on your own wisdom, never rely.

6 Keep sight of [wisdom] in all of your ways;
For before you, she cuts a straight path.
7 And in your own skills never trust…
Fear God and turn from all that is bad.
8 Then, healing will come to your body,
And care will be shown to your bones.

9 You must honor Jehovah…
Work hard at doing what's good.
As first fruits, offer Him your righteousness ways,
10 Then with grain, your stores will be filled,
And wine will gush from your vats.

11 O son;
Never take lightly the instructions of God,
Or be upset when He disciplines you.
12 For Jehovah loves those who accept His correction,
And He whips those whom He welcomes as sons.

13 The man who finds wisdom is blest,
As is the mortal who's smart.
14 She's a better trade than silver or gold…
15 She's worth more than all that's expensive.
Nothing of value is worth more than her;
16 For long life and survival are in her right hand,
And in her left, is glory and wealth.
Out of her mouth flows true justice;
On her tongue, there is mercy and law.
17 Goodness is found in her ways,
And all of her paths lead to peace.
18 She's a tree of life to all who'll grab hold
(Those leaning on her as they do on the Lord)…
They're the ones who'll get away safely.

19 In wisdom, God founded the earth,
And with intelligence, He assembled the skies.
20 By His perceptions, the valleys were formed,
As dew flowed down from the clouds.

21 So don't let my council slip by…
Pay attention and learn to gain insight,
22 So the person you are will continue to live
And [God's] favor will be tied 'round your neck.
For, to your flesh, this brings healing,
As well as comfort to all of your bones;
23 Peace will follow in all of your ways,
And your feet will never be stumbled.
24 When you sit down, it'll be without fear;
And when you lie down, your sleep will bring rest.
25 No terrible thing will you fear,
Nor will the godless push you aside.
26 For Jehovah will watch all your ways
And make straight paths for your feet,
So you won't stumble and fall.

27 Don't overlook those who are poor
When you have what they need in your hands.
28 Don't say, 'Come back at some other time…
I'll give you what you need tomorrow.'
Give them what's good when you have it,
So you'll never see the birth of what's bad.

29 And never plot to do bad to a friend,
Or to those with whom you must travel…
Those who've put trust in you.
30 And don't quarrel without a good reason,
So people don't try to get even.

31 Don't follow the evil of those you despise,
Nor ever be jealous of the bad things they do.
32 For Jehovah considers lawbreakers unclean,
So the righteous will not sit among them.

33 The houses of those who show no respect
Have all been cursed by the Lord,
While the homes of the righteous are blest.
34 For Jehovah opposes the proud,
And shows favor to those who are humble.
35 So the wise will inherit all glory,
While the godless will just get dishonor.

Chapter 4

1 O child; Hear the words of your father!
Listen, so you can gain insight!
2 For I'm going to give you a gift,
And from these instructions, don't stray!

3 I was also the son of a father,
And one who was loved by his mother;
4 So, by them both, I was taught.
[They said], 'Keep our words in your heart!
Keep our commandments… do not forget!
5 Seek understanding and wisdom…
Don't forget or ignore the words from our mouths,
And never turn aside from these things.
6 Stick with this way… do not leave it.
Love it with passion and you'll be kept [safe].'

7 Wisdom is the basis for all [that is good];
So with all you acquire, gain wisdom!
And among all the things you possess,
Be sure that you gain understanding!
8 Build her a fort and she'll lift you…
Hold her in esteem and she'll watch over you…
She'll place a crown on your head…
9 A luxurious crown that will shield you.

10 Hear, O son, and receive all my words;
For they'll multiply the years of your life,
And many ways, you'll then understand.

11 I'm teaching you the ways of the wise…
I'm piling on you tracks that are straight,
12 So the ways that you go will not hem you in,
Or ever be a block to your footsteps;
Thus, when you must run, you won't tire.

13 Grab my instructions and don't let them go…
Hold them tight for yourself and your life!

14 Don't follow in the ways of the godless
Or be jealous of the ways of lawbreakers.
15 Don't go to the places where they hang out…
16 Alter your course and divert,
Because they won't sleep until they've done wrong.
And since they can't sleep, they don't go to bed…
17 On the grain of irreverence, they feed,
And on the wine of lawless ways, they get drunk.

18 But the ways of the righteous are light…
They shine and give light until morning,
19 While the ways of the irreverent are dark,
And they don't realize how often they fall.

20 O son;
Pay attention to the things that I'm saying
And listen to my words with your ears;
21 For then, your wells will not fail you.
Store them deep in your heart,
22 For those who find them will live,
And to your flesh, they'll bring healing.

23 With all the things that you guard,
Pay close attention to your heart,
Because it's the source of your life.

24 From your mouth, remove all that's crooked,
And keep unrighteous lips far away.
25 Let your eyes always look straight ahead…
Let their lids not wink at injustice.

26 Make straight tracks for your feet,
And straighten out all of your ways.
27 Don't turn aside to the right or the left…
Just turn your feet from what's bad.
For God knows the ways that are right,
And those who pervert them, He puts on His left.
But if you'll make your tracks straight,
He'll lead you in ways that are peaceful.

Chapter 5

1 O son; pay attention to my wisdom
And lend your ears to my words
So that you can understand clearly…
2 Then my lips will tell you the things I've perceived.

Pay no attention to bad women!
3 For the lips of a whore drip with honey,
Which fattens the throat for a while…
4 But you'll find them more bitter than bile
And sharper than a double-edged sword.

5 Foolish are the feet of those turning to her,
For they lead to death and the grave
And her tracks aren't easily noticed.
6 Her ways do not lead to life,
And the tracks that she makes are slippery and dark.

7 O son, please listen to me…
Don't ignore these things that I'm saying!
8 From them, you should stay far away…
Don't go near to the doors of their homes
9 So you don't pass your life onto others
And share your vigor with those without mercy.

10 Don't fill a stranger with your vigor…
Your strength shouldn't enter [a whore]…
11 For you'll be sorry when your flesh falls away.
12 You'll say, 'O how I hated to be told…
How discipline [bothered] my heart!
13 So I wouldn't accept their correction…
My ears didn't hear the things I was taught.
14 Then little by little, I fell into bad
Among the gathering [of my people].'

15 O son;
Drink your water from your own jar
And from the flow of your own well!
16 Let the waters of your springs overflow…
Carry your own water when you enter the squares!

17 Let it be yours all alone…
Do not share it with strangers!
18 Let your spring be just yours,
And find your joy in the wife of your youth…
19 Your friendly hind and your favored filly.

Let her share conversation with you;
Hold her high and keep her nearby,
For this friendship will mean a great deal.

20 Don't spend time with strange women,
And never hold one that's not yours.
21 For the eyes of God watch the ways of a man,
And He's tracking the things that we do.

22 Unlawful acts are a snare to all men,
And you'll be bound in the chains of your sins.
23 Those who don't learn this will come to their end,
And then they will lose all they own…
They'll perish in their own foolish ways.

Chapter 6

1 O son;
When you co-sign a loan for a friend,
You've put yourself in your enemy's hands.
2 From your own lips you've been captured and snared…
By words that came from your own mouth.

3 O son;
Save yourself by heeding my words.
For, if you choose to do such a thing,
Into evil hands, you will fall.

Don't leave yourself [in this position].
For you'll find that you've even angered your friend…
The one for whom you co-signed the loan!

4 So don't let your eyes go to sleep
5 Or allow your eyelids to slumber,
Before you've escaped like a doe from a noose,
And as wild fowl from a snare.

6 Lazy one, you should be like the ant…
Feel zeal, when you see what he does.
You should become just like him…
But, you should also be wiser!

7 For he doesn't own his own farm,
And he has no one to urge him to work,
Nor is he under a master.
8 But during the summer, he gathers much food,
As he prepares to feast in the harvest.

9 O lazy one, how long will you lie there…
When will you awaken from sleep?
10 You sit for a while, then rest for a while,
And after a while, you slumber
With your hands and arms on your chest,
11 As poverty overtakes you like a mugger,
And lack catches you like a sprinter.

12 A man (a fool and lawbreaker)
Will travel in ways that are evil.
13 He beckons with his eyes,
Makes signs with his feet,
And teaches with the motions of his fingers.

14 He plans to do bad, since his heart is perverse,
And he brings disturbance to his own town.
15 But because of this, his death will come soon…
He'll be cut off and not be brought back,
16 Since he rejoices over things that God hates.

He'll be destroyed, since his life is unclean…
17 Because his eyes are insulting…
Because his tongue is unrighteous…
Because his hands have shed righteous blood…
18 Because his heart conspires to do bad
And his feet have run to do evil.

19 When [a man] tells a lie [in a courtroom],
This unrighteous witness lights fires…
Bringing lawsuits between even brothers.

20 O son, guard the laws of your father
And don't cast aside the rules of your mother!
21 Fastened them tight to your soul…
Tie them around your neck with a cord!

22 Bring them along wherever you walk,
And make sure they are always nearby.
When you fall asleep, let them keep watch,
And have them remind you when you arise.

23 For the Law's Commandments are a lamp and a light…
They are a complete way of life!
They're correction and instruction to guard you
24 From bad women who are already married,
And from the distractions that come from strange tongues.

25 Son, don't let their beauty entice you…
Don't get trapped by the things you can see,
Or be beguiled by their eyes.
26 For, less than bread is the value of a whore,
And a woman of men ensnares precious lives.

27 Can a man light a fire upon his own chest
Without it burning his clothes?
28 Can someone walk on live coals
Without them consuming his feet?

29 For, when you [have sex with] another man's wife,
This is what happens to you,
Since none who touch her are found free from guilt.

30 It's no surprise when someone's caught stealing,
For to fill a hungry soul, men will steal.
31 Then, when he's caught, seven times he'll repay…
He'll give all he owns to be saved.

32 But by the lack of good sense,
The man who's committing adultery
Upon himself, brings destruction.
33 For he suffers both grief and dishonor,
And his scorn will not be forgotten
Throughout the rest of the age.

34 Because of the jealous rage of her man,
You won't be spared in the day that you're judged.
35 And because of the hate of this person,
You'll not be able to bargain,
Nor will many gifts buy your freedom.

Chapter 7

1 O son;
Keep my words and commandments…
Hide them inside of yourself!
2 Have deep respect for Jehovah,
And He will make you grow stronger…
In addition to Him, fear no other!

Keep His commands and live [a long] life.
Like the pupil of your eye, guard His words.
3 Wrap them around all your fingers,
And inscribe them in the depths of your heart.

4 Guard wisdom as your own sister
And intelligence as your best friend
5 So they'll keep you away from strange women,
As well as from all that is wicked,
So about you, good things will be said.

6 She leans from the window of her house on the square,
7 And whenever she views foolish offspring
(Young men who are lacking good sense)
8 Passing the corner near the path to her house;
9 She speaks from the darkness of the evening,
When all are at rest in the dimness of night.

10 She meets with him and she looks like a whore,
And the young man's heart starts to flutter.
11 She's so enticing and carnal…
But don't let your feet stop by her [door].

12 At times, she'll stray outside her house,
And stand on the corner of the square.
13 There she reaches out and she fondles,
And with an impudent face she might say:

14 'A sacrifice of peace, I must offer,
And today, I must render my vows…
15 So, that's why I've met up with you.
I noticed your face [as you're passing],
And I came over here just to find you.

16 'Now, while I was sewing, I laid out my bed,
And spread it with sheets [made in] Egypt.
17 With saffron, I sprinkled my bed,
And cinnamon, I've put 'round my house.

18 'So, come and enjoy my friendship 'til dawn…
Come, and we'll wrap up in passion!
19 For my husband isn't at home…
He's gone away on a journey.
20 He left with a bundle of silver,
And he'll not be back for several more days.'

21 She leads him astray and acts like a friend,
While tying a noose 'round his neck.
By the words from her lips, she then reels him in;
22 And he follows like an ox to the slaughter…
Like a dog that's being led on a leash,
Or a stag that's been shot in the liver.
23 So he hurries like fowl to a snare,
Not knowing that he's running for his life.

24 Now, hear and pay close attention
To the sayings that come from my mouth!
25 Don't turn aside to her ways in your heart,
And don't be misled by her wiles.

26 Many she's stabbed and then thrown away…
Unnumbered are those whom she's murdered.
27 Her house is on the road to the grave,
And it leads to the storeroom of death.

Chapter 8

1 If you will call out for wisdom,
Intelligence will also obey you!
2 He is higher than all of the others,
And he stands in the midst of all roads.

3 He is the home of the mighty,
And in their doorway, he sings:
4 'O men, I will bring comfort to you,
And I'll sing this aloud to your sons…
5 All you guileless should learn to be shrewd,
And the unlearned should store it deep in their hearts.

6 'So, you should listen to me,
For I'm speaking of serious things…
From my lips comes something that's true!
7 So my throat will be speaking truly,
Since those with lying lips, I have hated.

8 'Righteous are the sayings that come from my mouth…
Nothing in them is crooked or bad.
9 And the discerning should stand face to face
With the one who is teaching them knowledge.

10 'Seek instruction, not silver…
Put knowledge above proven gold!
11 And wisdom is better than most precious gems…
Nothing is worth more than it.
12 For wisdom camps with counsel and knowledge!'

'And as I'm reflecting, I'll say,
13 Those fearing Jehovah will hate all injustice,
As well as insolence and pride,
And ways that lead to what's evil…
For He hates the perversions of those who do bad.

14 'Council and safety are mine!
Intelligence and strength are mine also!
15 For by me, the kings start their reigns,
And the mighty write about justice.

16 'By me, the great become sovereigns…
Through me, they rule the whole earth.
17 Those fond of me are always beloved,
And those who seek me find favor.

18 'By me, wealth and glory exist,
As well as lands that are just.
19 So the blest will gather my fruitage
Before seeking gold or precious gems…
For my reward is better than silver.

20 'I walk in the ways of the righteous,
And return in the pathways of reason.
21 I provide for all those who love me,
And I fill their treasuries with things that are good.

22 'I'll proclaim what happens each day,
And I'll speak of the things of the ages.
For, by Jehovah, I came to be,
And He made the head of His ways…
The one [in charge] of His works.

23 'In the beginning, He made me…
Before this age came to be…
Before He decreed the creation of lands…
24 Before He made the abysses…
Before the springs gushed with water.

25 'Yes, I was fathered by Him
Before the mountains and hills…
26 Before He made the places to live…
Or the ends of man's home under the sky.

27 'As He was preparing the heavens,
I'm the one who presented them to Him.
Then He placed His throne on the winds,
28 And moved clouds above with His strength.

'Then He made all the springs under the skies,
29 And set limits for the waters of the seas
So they couldn't cross over their borders.
And when the foundations of the earth were made strong,
I'm the one who stood there beside Him.

30 'By Him, all things worked together,
And He found joy in them all.
Each day that I stood there before Him,
In this, I also found much delight.
31 Then He was pleased when He finished man's home,
And over sons of men, He was happy.'

32 Now, listen to me, O my son:
Blest are those who are guarding his ways!
33 Learn from wisdom and you will be wise…
Do not cover it over!

Blest is the man who listens to it…
The man who guards all its ways…
34 The one who's awake at its entrance each day,
And who pays close attention at its doors!

35 For, those who seek it find life
And receive the favor of God!
36 But, those who are sinning against it
Are disrespecting their souls
All who hate it are lovers of death.

Chapter 9

1 Wisdom has built a house for himself,
And atop seven columns, he's propped it.
2 He has offered the needed sacrifices…
He has mixed the wine in their jars…
And he has readied his table.
3 Then he sends his servants to call [all the guests],
And in a grand proclamation, he says:
4 'All you who are foolish; turn here to me!'

5 He says to those who are lacking good sense:
'Come eat my bread and drink my wine
That I have mixed up for you!
6 Stop being a fool, become smarter,
So you will live a long time…
Get straight with wisdom and knowledge!'

7 Those who attempt to correct the irreverent,
Upon themselves, bring dishonor.
For, when you scold the ungodly,
You just make a fool of yourself.

8 Never scold those who are evil
So they don't start to detest you!
Reprove the wise and they'll love you…
9 Give them help and they will be wise.
Explain things to someone who's righteous,
And he will proceed to gain more.

10 Wisdom starts with the fear of the Lord,
And counsel of the holy brings understanding.
Knowledge of the Law is good to consider;
11 For if you learn it, you'll live a long time…
Many years, you will add to your life.

12 O son, if you choose to seek wisdom,
You will make yourself wise.
But if you choose to seek evil,
You'll bring bad things on yourself.

13 A woman without food who is foolish and bold,
Has no knowledge of shame.
14 She sits at the door of her house in a chair
To make herself seen in the square.

15 Then she calls out to those who pass on the street,
And to those who are walking straight paths:
16 'You who are the most foolish;
Turn aside and come here to me!'

She arouses the stupid by saying,
17 'You'll touch secret bread loaves in pleasure,
And steal sweet water to drink!'

18 But the thing that they don't understand,
Is that she's bringing destruction upon earthly men…
For she's perching them on the edge of the grave!

Chapter 10

1 A wise son gladdens a father;
But a foolish son brings his mother distress.

2 Treasures are no help to the lawless;
But they can rescue the righteous from death.

3 Jehovah won't let the righteous go hungry;
But impious ways [lead to famine].

4 Poverty humbles a man;
But hard-working hands will enrich him.

Correcting a son makes him wiser;
So the foolish, he'll treat as his servants.

5 An intelligent son will be saved
And he'll not [have to slave in] sweltering heat;
But wind will destroy all the harvest
Of the son who is a lawbreaker.

6 Jehovah sends blessing to the heads of the righteous,
And mourning to the mouths of the wicked.

7 The righteous are remembered and commended;
While the names of the irreverent will perish.

8 A wise heart does as it's told;
But back-talking lips will be stumbled.

9 For those who comply, things go easy;
But resistance will not be forgotten.

10 The eye that winks at bad things
Is creating distress for all others.
But the man who openly scolds,
Is the one who is bringing them peace.

11 Mouths of the righteous are like springs of life;
But a cursing mouth leads to destruction.

12 Hatred is what causes war;
But those who won't fight create friendships.

13 Those whose lips bring forth wisdom
Are beating the heartless with a stick.

14 The wise learn to hide their perceptions;
But the mouth that speaks rashly brings its destruction.

15 The rich man's wealth is his fortress;
But poverty is the ruin of the poor.

16 The deeds of the righteous bring life;
But the fruit of the irreverent is sin.

17 Following instructions leads you to life;
For without instructions, you'll stray.

18 Righteous lips cover hatred;
But those who shout insults are fools.

19 A sin can't be covered with many words;
So it's wise for your lips to say little.

20 A righteous tongue is like refined silver;
But the hearts of the irreverent are worthless.

21 The lips of the righteous speak of high things;
But fools die for the lack of understanding.

22 Jehovah blesses the heads of the righteous…
He enriches and brings no distress to their hearts.

23 The fool will laugh when he's doing what's bad;
But wisdom makes a man act much smarter.

24 By destruction, the impious are carried away,
While the righteous will receive the things that they crave.

25 A blast will come to destroy the impious;
But the righteous will turn and escape in that age.

26 As green grapes are bad for your teeth,
And smoke is bad for your eyes;
So are lawless ways to those who are harmed.

27 The fear of Jehovah adds days to your life,
While the lives of the irreverent are shortened by years.

28 Happiness stays with the righteous,
While the irreverent one's hopes are destroyed.

29 Jehovah's a fort of those who show mercy;
But a ruin to those who are doing what's bad.

30 The righteous will live through the ages;
But the impious will not live long in the land.

31 From the mouths of the righteous, drips wisdom,
While unrighteous tongues lead to ruin.

32 From the lips of the righteous, drips loving care;
But rejection comes from the mouths of the godless.

Chapter 11

1 [Market] scales that are rigged,
Are disgusting things to Jehovah
Fair weights are what He approves.

2 Those who shout insults show their dishonor;
But the mouths of the humble speak wisely.

3 The righteous leave no regrets when they die;
But when the irreverent are destroyed,
Ridicule is what they receive.

4 The perfection of the righteous will guide them,
While the Godless will be plundered by failure…
In the day of [God's] rage their possessions will fail,
As the righteous are rescued from death.

5 Holiness keeps the righteous ones straight;
But their godless ways make the unrighteous fail.

6 The right ways of the good will save them;
But thoughtless ways of lawbreakers lead them to jail.

7 When a righteous man comes to his end,
The things that he's hoped for are never destroyed.
But the boastful ways of the godless
Will soon bring about their destruction.

8 When the righteous are saved from a trap,
The irreverent are then put back in it.

9 The mouths of the irreverent are snares to their friends;
But the mouths of the righteous bring blessings.

10 By the good of the righteous, a city is born;
And the destruction of the irreverent brings joy.

11 By the praises of the upright, a city is raised;
But the mouths of the impious tear it back down.

12 A senseless man sneers at his comrades;
But an intelligent man leads them to rest.

13 A double-tongued man reveals plans;
But the trustworthy keep matters hidden.

14 Those with no guidance will fall just like leaves;
For salvation is found [by seeking] advice.

15 The wicked act badly among righteous men,
And the sounds of their safety, they hate.

16 A praiseworthy woman brings her man glory;
But those hating what's right bring them dishonor.

The lazy will never be wealthy;
But those who work hard will be rich.

17 A merciful man brings good to his soul;
But the merciless bring themselves ruin.

18 The impious receive what is wrong as their wage;
But the seed of the righteous is their reward.

19 A righteous son will soon gain life,
While an irreverent son will bring his own death.

20 Twisted ways are disgusting to [God]…
He only approves of those walking straight paths.

21 Those who wrongly lay hands on another
Won't go unpunished for their evil ways.
But those who are just are assured a reward.

22 As a gold ring in the snout of a pig,
Is a pretty woman with evil desires.

23 The righteous hope for things that are good,
While the hopes of the godless will perish.

24 There are those who'll plant seeds and reap more…
But there are also those who'll also reap less.

25 A generous man will be blest…
Those who water will also be watered.

26 A man who hoards grain will leave it to gentiles;
But the heads of those who share it are blest.

27 Those who plan to do good, seek its blessings;
But, those who plan to do what is bad
Will be captured by those who plan to do good.

28 Those who trust in wealth won't succeed;
But those who help the righteous will last.

29 The man who doesn't love those in his home
Will just inherit the wind…
To the intelligent, he'll be just a slave and a fool.

30 From the tree of life, the righteous [gather] fruit,
While the souls of the lawless are lost.

31 If the righteous will be saved [by the skin of their teeth];
What hope is there for the impious and sinners?

Chapter 12

1 Those who love to be taught, love understanding,
While those hating correction are fools.

2 Those who find the favor of [God],
Are the ones who'll receive what is best;
While the lawless just get condemnation.

3 Those who break laws won't endure;
But the righteous won't be uprooted.

4 A virtuous wife is a crown to her man;
But one who is bad will eat him away
Like a worm that is boring through wood.

5 True judgments are the ways of the righteous;
But treacherous are the ways of the godless.

6 The impious lie in wait to shed blood,
While righteous mouths offer protection.

7 When the irreverent lose, they just disappear,
While the homes of the righteous remain.

8 The mouths of the discerning are praised by all men;
But those dull of heart will be sneered at.

9 It's best for the dishonored to be servants
Than to be proud and go without bread.

10 The righteous pity the lives of their cattle;
But the impious have no compassion or mercy.

11 Those who work their ground will eat bread,
While those who chase vain things go hungry.

There are those who drink wine as their pastime;
But they leave their honor behind them.

12 The desires of the impious are evil;
But the roots of those who are showing respect
Will become strongly entrenched.

13 By the sins of his lips, a sinner is snared;
But the righteous will flee from such things.

14 From the fruits of his mouth, a man's soul receives good…
He'll be repaid for the things his lips say.

15 Fools will follow in their own ways;
But the wise will follow advice.

16 A fool bares his rage before all;
But the wise will hide their dishonor.

17 The righteous put trust in telling the truth;
But an unrighteous witness will lie.

18 There are some who speak as though stabbing with swords,
While the tongues of the wise will send healing.

19 Lips that are straight will tell what is true,
While lips of the unrighteous speak quickly.

20 Those planning to do bad have treacherous hearts;
But those who plan peace will find joy.

21 The righteous aren't pleased by injustice;
But the godless [find pleasure] in doing what's bad.

22 Lying lips are disgusting to [God]…
He only accepts those whose lips He can trust.

23 The wise don't show all they know;
But the hearts of fools blurt out their folly.

24 Hands that are honest easily win,
While the hands of the deceitful are plundered.

25 Frightful words disturb hearts of men;
But a message that's good brings them joy.

26 A friend is one who suggests what is right;
But sinners support evil and impious ways.

27 A deceitful man won't get what he wants;
But those with pure hearts will be wealthy.

28 The ways of the righteous lead them to life…
From death, it turns them away.

Chapter 13

1 A wise son does as his father directs;
But those who won't listen will meet with destruction.

2 From the fruit of righteous lips, the good ones will eat,
As the lives of the lawless are destroyed.

3 Those who guard the things that they say
Are keeping watch on their lives;
While those who let their lips go
Are turning their lives into failure.

4 While idle men think of the things that they want,
Hardworking hands bring results.

5 The righteous hate words that aren't true;
But the lies of the wicked bring shame.

6 Righteousness guards the ways of the honest,
While the irreverent are led into sin.

7 There are those who seek wealth and get nothing;
And there are those who put themselves low that get rich.

8 A man's wealth may be used to ransom his life;
But the poor have nothing to fear.

9 The righteous will always have light,
While the light of the irreverent is extinguished.

10 Those practicing evil, [shout] insults;
But the wise argue just with themselves.

11 Things gained in haste by the lawless
Will soon lose all of their value;
But things that are gathered by the righteous
Will keep on growing in worth.

12 Those who plan in their hearts to help others,
Are better than those who just promise
And raise [false] hopes in [the poor].

A tree of life is the desire to do good.
13 But, those who hate to do what is good
Will be hated for that very reason.

Those who deceive will get nothing good;
But a servant's wise ways will be prospered.

14 The Law is a well of life to the wise,
Which turns them away from death's snares.

15 Understanding what's good brings [God's] favor…
Knowing and considering [His] Law is what's good.
But the roads of all those who hate it
Are the paths that lead to destruction.

16 A wise man acts on the things he has learned;
But the fool continues in his evil ways.

17 A hasty king will find trouble;
But wise counselors can save him from this.

18 Poverty and dishonor are removed by instruction,
And those following correction will be blest.

19 The irreverent desire the things that delight them…
But ignorance is all they accomplish.

20 Those who travel with the wise will be wise,
While those traveling with fools will be fools.

21 Sinners will do evil things;
But the righteous will do what is good.

22 A good man will inherit the sons of his sons,
And the wealth of the impious is reserved for the righteous.

23 The righteous will spend many years in their wealth,
While the wicked will suddenly perish.

24 Those who don't spank them, dislike their sons,
While those who love them give careful correction.

25 The righteous will eat and make their lives full,
As the lives of the godless go lacking.

Chapter 14

1 A woman who's wise will strengthen her home;
But the foolish rips their's down with their own hands.

2 Those on straight paths fear Jehovah;
But those on crooked roads [truly] hate Him.

3 From the mouth of a fool comes an insult,
While the lips of the wise hold it back.

4 Where there are no cattle, the stables are clean;
But the strength of the ox is very apparent
In barns that are prospering well.

5 A trustworthy witness won't lie;
But a lying witness will commit other sins.

6 The bad who seek wisdom, won't find it;
But to the discerning, it comes easily.

7 Whatever the foolish say will be wrong;
But wise lips are the weapons of those with good sense.

8 From their wisdom, the wise get direction;
But fools are misled by their own thoughtless ways.

9 The homes of the lawless need cleaning,
While the homes of the righteous are worthy of praise.

10 A man whose heart is easily hurt
Will always be in distress.
But, insults won't bother a heart filled with joy.

11 The homes of the impious will meet with destruction,
While the tents of the upright will last.

12 There are ways that may seem straight to a man,
But end in the depths of the grave.

13 Bold hearts are always filled with their ways,
While a good man is filled with his thoughts.

14 –

15 A gullible man believes every word,
While the wise will think it all through.

16 In fear, a wise man turns from what's bad;
But a fool gives in and breaks laws.

17 A man prone to rage will act without thought,
While the wise will endure many things.

18 A fool will share in doing what's bad;
But the capable keep their good senses.

19 The evil slip in among those who are good,
And the irreverent watch the doors of the righteous.

20 Friends dislike friends who are poor,
While many are the friends of the rich.

21 Those who dishonor the needy have sinned;
But those showing mercy to the poor will be blest.

22 Those who stray, contrive evil schemes;
But the good contrive mercy and truth.

The bad have no mercy or faith,
While the good are generous and trusting.

23 For those who are caring, there's more than enough;
But those who don't care will seek pleasure and lack.

24 The crown of the wise is their wealth;
But evil is the pastime of fools.

25 A trustworthy witness snatches lives from the bad;
But a man who's deceitful will lie.

26 Those who trust in the strength of Jehovah,
Will leave an inheritance for their children.

27 The rules of Jehovah are life-giving springs
That lead men away from death-dealing snares.

28 A prosperous nation brings glory to its king;
But a nation in want brings him ruin.

29 An intelligent man forgives freely;
But a faint-hearted man [holds a grudge].

30 A practical man is a healer of hearts;
But a sensitive man is a moth to the bones.

31 The man who's extorting the needy
Is provoking the One by whom he was made;
But those whom He holds in esteem
Are the ones who show mercy to the poor.

32 For their evil, the irreverent will be shunned,
While the righteous will be looked on as holy.

33 In the heart of a good man, rests wisdom,
Which can't be found in the heart of a fool.

34 Justice will build up a nation;
But sinners will bring its decline.

35 Wise counselors are [a joy to] the king,
For they can remove his dishonor
In very ingenious ways.

Chapter 15

1 Even the smart are destroyed by their rage;
For harsh words will make others angry,
While an answer that's mild turns back rage.

2 Tongues of the wise bring forth knowledge;
But the mouths of fools just speak evil.

3 The eyes of Jehovah see all…
He watches both the evil and the good.

4 A tree of life, is the tongue that brings healing…
Those who have it are filled with [God's] Breath.

5 A fool will sneer at his father's instructions;
But the wise will do what he days.

Where there's justice, [a nation] is strong…
Their irreverent will be rooted from their land and destroyed.

6 There is strength in the homes of the righteous;
But the fruits of the impious destroy them.

7 The lips of the wise are bound by good sense;
But the hearts of fools can't be trusted.

8 Sacrifices of the irreverent are disgusting to God…
He accepts just the vows of those who walk straight.

9 The ways of the irreverent are disgusting to God;
But He loves those who do what is righteous.

10 Those who heed the instructions of the guileless
Will be the ones who follow straight paths.

Those who dislike correction
Will come to their end in disgrace.

11 Of destruction and the grave, God has warned us;
So, why isn't this in the hearts of all men?

12 The ignorant hate those who correct them,
And they don't wish to stay near the wise.

13 A happy heart makes a face shine;
But a heart in distress makes it downcast.

14 An upright heart will seek understanding;
But an ignorant heart knows just evil.

15 Evil eyes enjoy seeing what's bad;
But the [eyes] of the good [search for] peace.

16 It's better to have little and the fear of Jehovah,
Than to have great treasures and no fear of God.

17 It's better to eat vegetables in a place where there's love
Than to dine on calves where there's hatred.

18 An outraged man is ready to fight;
But with an apology, he can be soothed.

The forgiving man prevents lawsuits;
But the irreverent would rather create them.

19 The roads of the lazy lead into thorns;
But the industrious travel highways that are busy.

20 A father is happy with a son who is wise;
But a foolish son sneers at his mother.

21 The paths of the unthinking don't make any sense;
But the ways of the wise lead a straight line.

22 From the hearts of advisors, there's much to be [learned];
23 But a man who is bad won't [take their advice],
Nor will he learn anything useful.
For to him, what's good is mundane.

24 The thoughts of the discerning lead men to life,
And they'll turn a man back from the grave.

25 Jehovah tears down the homes of the proud;
But He gives support to the widows.

26 The ways of the unrighteous are disgusting to God…
He only respects the requests of the pure.

27 Those who takes bribes, bring themselves ruin,
While those who hate them are saved.

Mercy and faith wipe away sins,
And the fear of Jehovah turns us from bad.

28 Faithful hearts think of what's righteous,
While irreverent mouths speak of what's evil.

The ways of the righteous are accepted by God…
By them, even enemies become friends.

29 From the irreverent, God stays far away;
But He hears the vows of the righteous.

It's better to be fair and gain little,
Than to gain much through injustice.

30 An eye that sees good, brings joy to the heart,
And good news puts fat on the bones.

31 Those who heed the corrections of life
Will find themselves lodging with those who are wise.

32 Those who reject instruction,
Really don't care for themselves;
But those who heed correction, love life.

33 The fear of Jehovah is instruction and wisdom…
Heeding Him is the sum of all glory,
And the humble will be led to this glory.

Chapter 16

1 May hearts of men consider what's righteous,
So God can set their feet on straight paths.

2 The deeds of the humble are apparent to God;
But the irreverent will be destroyed in His day.

3, 4, –

5 To God, proud hearts are unclean,
And He will never forgive
Those who lay their hands on another unjustly.

6 Goodness starts with doing what's right…
7 It's better than offering sacrifices.

8 Those seeking Jehovah find knowledge and justice…
Those who righteously seek Him, find peace.

9 A man's heart is what sets his direction;
But Jehovah sets the course for his feet.

10 Though a curse may be on the lips of a king,
His mouth must not err in his judgments.

11 A scale that gives a true measure
Is something that's righteous with God…
His ways require honest weights.

12 The evil are disgusting to the king,
For the sovereignty of his throne is based upon justice.

13 Righteous lips are what the king will accept;
For your lord loves all that is straight.

14 The rage of a king is an angel of death;
But a man who is wise can appease him.

15 The sons of a king are the light of his life,
For to Him, those he loves are like gentle rain.

16 Sources of wisdom are better than gold,
And understanding is worth more than silver.

17 The road [to long] life avoids what is bad,
And righteous ways lead to old age.

Those willing to learn are counted as good,
And those accepting correction are wiser.

Those who guard their ways are protecting their souls,
And those who love life will watch what [they say].

18 Insolent ways lead to destruction,
And evil thoughts lead to a downfall.

19 It's better to share a little with the meek
Than to share great spoils with the haughty.

20 The discerning are inventers of good things,
And those yielding to God find His blessings.

21 Though the vile may shout to the wise and discerning,
Those with sweet words are the ones they will hear.

22 Understanding brings life to its seekers;
But the instruction of fools is just bad.

23 From their own mouths, the hearts of wise ones will learn,
And from their own lips, they'll gain knowledge.

24 Sweet words are like combs filled with honey,
For their sweetness brings healing to the soul.

25 There are ways that may seem straight to a man;
But they end on the road to the grave.

26 A hardworking man works for himself,
And this leads him from poverty,
As the rest wear failure over their mouths.

27 The foolish search for things that are evil,
And upon their own lips, they heap fire.

28 A man who is crooked spreads evil…
With treachery, he lights many fires,
And in this, he drives away friends.

29 A lawbreaking man puts his friends to the test,
And he leads them into corruption.
30 His eyes are fixed as he plans to do wrong,
And he confirms what's bad with his lips…
Such a man is a furnace of evil.

31 Old age is a crown of which one can boast
When it's found among those who are righteous.

32 It's better to be forgiving than strong,
And smartness is better than owning much land;
But, better than taking a city,
Is the ability to keep your temper in check.

33 Unrighteous lips will bring what is bad;
But all that's good comes from [God].

Chapter 17

1 A scrap of food that's eaten in peace,
Is better than a house of feasting with fights.

2 Over foolish masters, a smart slave will win,
And he'll divide what he takes with his brothers.

3 As silver and gold are refined in a furnace…
That's how Jehovah tries hearts.

4 A bad man obeys what lawbreakers say,
And the unrighteous will heed lying lips.

5 Those who make fun of the poor
Provoke the One by whom they were made.

Those who rejoice at the downfall of others
Won't [find their sins overlooked];
For, mercy comes to those who show empathy.

6 The crown of old age is grandchildren
And fathers will boast of their sons.

The arrangements of [God] can be trusted;
But the faithless won't know how [He] did it.

7 Trustworthy lips aren't enough for a fool,
Nor will lying lips please the righteous.

8 Instruction pays well to all who would learn,
And all who use it will prosper.

9 Those covering offenses are looking for love;
But the unforgiving leave family and friends.

10 Intimidation breaks the hearts of the wise;
But a fool who is whipped never learns.

11 Evil men search for ways to dispute;
But God sends merciless angels against them.

12 An intelligent man will be anxious [for right];
But about evil things fools will argue.

13 The one who repays good with bad,
Will never see evil removed from his home.

14 When a ruler supports righteous words,
There are fewer fights and divisions.

15 When the righteous must judge the unjust,
They'll find them unclean and disgusting.

16 What value has wealth before fools?
For in their hearts, there's no wisdom.

As those who are building tall houses
Make plans for something that will fall…
Evil plans bring the downfall of the crooked.

17 Use your time to gain friends,
For in bad days they will be your brothers…
It's for such favor that they have been born!

18 A foolish man claps and shakes hands,
Then he [co-signs] a loan for a friend.

19 Those fond of sinning bring strife,
And those with hard hearts bring nothing good.

20 A tongue that twists words will bring evil,
And the heart of a fool brings grief to himself.

21 A father won't be proud of an ignorant son;
But smart ones bring joy to their mothers.

22 A joyful heart brings good health;
But a worried heart dries a man's bones.

23 The unrighteous want gifts to be dropped in their laps
So that they can pervert true justice.

24 Faces of the discerning look wise;
But the eyes of the foolish look distant.

25 A foolish son angers his father
And brings grief to the [mother] that bore him.

26 It is wrong to penalize the righteous,
And unholy to plot against a just king.

27 Those who hold back harsh words show their insight,
And a man who concedes shows his wisdom.

28 When an unthinking man asks a question,
He is often thought of as wise;
And when he refuses to argue,
He will be thought of as smarter.

Chapter 18

1 Those making excuses are rejected by friends,
And they'll always be spoken of poorly.

2 Those lacking good sense have no use for wisdom;
For, by what's foolish, they wish to be led.

3 When they reach the depths of their evils,
The irreverent simply don't notice
That they are dishonored and scorned.

4 A word that touches the heart
Is like very deep water…
Like a river and life-giving spring.

5 It is evil to favor the wicked,
And unholy to deny justice to the righteous.

6 A fool's lips will lead him toward bad,
And the boldness of his mouth beckons his death.

7 The mouth of a fool will destroy him,
For his lips are snares to his own soul.

8 The lazy are easily frightened,
And timid souls will go hungry.

9 A man who won't work for himself
Is a brother to the one who brings himself ruin.

10 In the Name of the Lord there is power…
It's where the righteous can turn for their strength.

11 The wealth of the rich is a fortified town,
And its glory casts a long shadow.

12 Before his ruin, a man's heart is proud,
And just before glory, it's humbled.

13 When a man replies before hearing,
It's foolish and brings him much scorn.

14 A man can endure a [long] illness;
But who can endure a worrisome spirit?

15 The hearts of the smart gain perception
And the ears of the wise search for insight.

16 When a man brings a gift, he makes friends,
And he will sit beside rulers.

17 Before speaking, the righteous examine themselves;
For they know that they'll be reproved
By those who do not agree.

18 Choosing by lottery ends a dispute
And defines the boundaries of rulers.

19 A brother who is helped by his brothers
Is like a high city with fortified walls,
And like a castle that's well-built and strong.

20 From the fruits of his mouth, a man's belly is filled,
And from the fruits of his lips, he'll get what he needs.

21 The handle of the tongue carries both life and death,
And those who fail to restrain it
Will end up eating its fruitage.

22 The man who's found a good wife
Has done himself a great favor…
Joy from Jehovah is what he's received.

The man who sends a good woman away
Doesn't recognize things that have value;
But the one who keeps an adulteress
Is a foolish and irreverent person.

23 Though those in need make many requests,
The rich will respond very harshly.

24 A man should seek many friendships,
For some friends will stick closer than brothers.

Chapter 19

1, 2, –

3 Doing what's foolish lays waste to men's ways;
But in their hearts, they'll blame it on God.

4 Wealth will bring many friends;
But friends will be few when you're poor.

5 A lying witness will not go unpunished,
And a false accuser will never escape.

6 Many seek the favor of the king,
And all who bring gifts are his friends.

7 Those who hate a brother who's poor
Will never be good at making friends.

Insight is good for all those who seek it,
And an intelligent man will soon find it.

The evil are good at doing what's bad,
And those who aggravate won't be saved.

8 Those [willing to learn], love themselves;
For those seeking intelligence will find what is good.

9 A lying witness will not go unpunished,
And those bringing evil will perish by it.

10 Luxury is no advantage to the fool;
And it's wrong for a servant who's been given some power
To use it in ways that are haughty.

11 A merciful man is forgiving,
And he triumphs over those who have sinned against him.

12 Intimidation from a king is like a lion's [roar];
But bringing him joy is like dew on the grass.

13 A foolish son will bring shame to his father.

Impure are all of the vows
That are paid with the wage of a whore.

14 Though fathers may leave us homes and possessions,
A sensible wife comes from [God].

15 Worry holds back a cowardly man,
And the lives of the idle go hungry.

16 Those keeping the Commandments are protecting their lives;
But those hating their ways will soon perish.

17 God lends to those showing mercy to the poor,
And He repays them according to the gifts that they give.

18 Though correction builds confidence in sons,
You can't make them better with insults.

19 An evil-minded man will be punished;
And if he [kills], he must pay with his life.

20 Listen, O son, to the words of your father,
So that in your last days, you'll be wise.

21 There are many choices in the heart of a man;
But counsel from God lasts through ages.

22 Charity is what is desired of a man;
For it's better to be righteous and poor
Than to be rich and a liar.

23 The fear of Jehovah brings life to a man;
But those who have no such fear
Will lodge where no knowledge is found.

24 Behind folded arms, the hands of the unrighteous are hidden,
So they can't bring [what's good] to their mouths.

25 When a foolish man is whipped for his mischief,
It will make all simple men wiser;
But an intelligent man will understand more,
And he'll make the needed corrections.

26 Those who dishonor their fathers
And who push their mothers away
Will be reviled and disgraced.

27 A son who disobeys his father's instructions
Will focus on the evil that he hears.

28 Those who [co-sign] loans are like foolish children,
For they are insulting the Law,
And the mouths of the irreverent will swallow them down.

29 Whips are prepared for all those
Who fail to hold back their words,
And for the backs of the foolish.

Chapter 20

1 Wine and strong drink can make you drunk,
And fools will get involved in such things.

2 The intimidation of a king is as a lion's rage,
And all of those who provoke him
Are sinning against their own lives.

3 It's glory for a man to avoid shouting insults;
But a fool stays involved in such matters.

4 If you scold the lazy, he'll never be shamed…
He even borrows grain in the harvest.

5 Instruction is deep water within a man's heart
From which the intelligent can draw.

6 A respected man has much value,
And a merciful man isn't easily found…
But it's harder to find one who's faithful.

7 Those who offer true justice
Will leave many blessings for their children.

8 When a just king sits on a throne,
He won't abide evil in his presence.

9 Who can boast that he has a pure heart,
And openly say that he's clean from all sins?

10 An untrue weight, whether large or small,
Is something unclean to Jehovah…
For both the weight and its maker
11 Will be bound hand and foot for the the things that he made.

A young man who's [a friend] to the holy
Will surely find his ways to be straight.

12 The ears can hear and the eyes see;
For they're both the works of Jehovah.

13 Do not love too much sleep
So that you won't end up as poor;
Rather, open your eyes and be filled with bread!

14 The barterer says, 'It's no good, it's no good!'
But after he [buys it], he'll boast.

15 There [are treasures] of gold and precious gems;
But understanding lips have more value.

16 If you should offer all of your clothes
As security for the loan of a stranger;
May that stranger thereafter reclaim them.

17 The bread of deceit may seem good to a man;
But he'll find his mouth filled with gravel.

18 Make plans with discussion, counsel, and guidance
Before you go to fight battles.

19 Double-tongued is the man who reveals someone's plan
When he is speaking to others;
For his lips shouldn't speak of things not his own.

20 The man who speaks badly to a father or mother
Will find that his torch is extinguished,
And the pupils of his eyes will see darkness.

21 Whenever a thing is easily gained,
In the end, it will have little value.

22 Don't ever say you'll get even…
Just wait on Jehovah to help you.

23 Two different weights are disgusting to [God],
And a balance that's off is evil to Him.

24 A man's steps must be set straight by [God];
For, how can mortals know the right ways to go?

25 It's a snare to offer something holy too quickly;
For after you vow, you might change your mind.

26 A wise king rejects those with little respect,
And he'll have them put on the wheel.

27 The spirit of men is the light of the Lord,
Which He uses to see what's inside them.

28 Mercy and truth safeguard a king;
For, to his throne, they'll bring justice.

29 The glory of young men is their strength,
And the glory of old age is gray hair.

30 The bad will have bruises and broken [bones],
And illness will come to their bellies.

Chapter 21

1 A king's heart is like the waves [of the sea]
When it's in the hand of our God.
For wherever He wishes He nods,
And that's the way he will go.

2 All men like to think themselves righteous;
But Jehovah's the One who weighs hearts.

3 Telling the truth and doing what's right
Is more pleasing to God than a blood sacrifice.

4 A high-minded man is insolent and bold,
And the lamp of the impious is their sins.

5 The thoughts of hard-workers are of [gaining much] more;
But those who are hasty will end up with less.

6 Those who seek treasures by lying
Are really pursuing in vain;
For, in death's snares, they'll be caught.

7 The ruin of the irreverent is welcomed as a guest,
For they prefer not to do righteous things.

8 To the crooked, God sends crooked ways;
For His works are all straight and pure.

9 It's better to live on the corner of a roof
Than in a house whitewashed with injustice,
Or to live in one that's unclean.

10 The godless prefer to do what is bad,
So they'll never see mercy from others.

11 When you discipline men for their lack of restraint,
You make the guileless more clever;
For, by his insight, the wise man will learn.

12 Impious hearts are examined by the righteous
Who treat their evil ways with contempt.

13 Those who close their ears to the weak
Will call out and no one will listen.

14 A gift that is given in private
Will soothe [a person who's angry];
But where there's no gift, the rage may remain.

15 The pure are joyful when the righteous get justice;
But this terrifies those who do evil.

16 A person who travels in righteous ways
Will rest among the gatherings of the great.

17 A man who loves pleasure won't end up with much;
And those fond of wine and [olive] oil
Will never [find themselves] wealthy.

18 To the righteous, the wicked are trash,
And they view law-breakers the same.

19 It's better to live in the desert
Than with a wife who likes to argue and fight,
Or with one who is prone to be angry.

20 Treasure rests in the mouths of the wise;
But the foolish just swallow theirs down.

21 Those who seek charity and justice
Will also find glory and life.

22 The wise build forts all around them;
But the forts of the wicked will all be destroyed.

23 Those who keep watch on their mouths and their tongues
Are saving their souls from the problems they bring.

24 A bold, self-willed, and presumptuous man,
Is one who's considered a plague;
For, all resent those who live without law.

25 Lazy desires bring death a man,
For his hands will choose to do nothing.

26 A disrespectful man lusts for evil,
While the righteous show pity and mercy.

27 The sacrifices that the irreverent bring
Are viewed as disgusting by [God];
For whatever they bring is not by the Law.

28 Since a witness who lies deserves death;
A [wise man] will watch what he says.

29 Though irreverent men like to stand in the front,
The upright know what they're planning.

30 The godless have no wisdom or courage,
And the advice that they offer is bad.

31 Though a horse is prepared for the day of the war,
Help really comes from Jehovah.

Chapter 22

1 A good name is better than wealth,
And good favor is better than silver and gold.

2 The rich and the poor should meet with each other;
For, both were made by Jehovah.

3 When a clever man sees the bad being punished,
He makes corrections within his own self…
But this is all lost on fools passing by.

4 The fear of Jehovah is the father of wisdom…
Its rewards are wealth, glory, and life.

5 Thistles and snares line ways of the crooked;
But those guarding their souls will avoid them.

6 Raise your child [in good] ways,
And when he grows old, he won't leave them.

7 The rich are in control of the poor…
They're the masters of all those who borrow.

Those planting evil will harvest what's bad…
Calamity is what they'll reap from the bad things they've sown.

8 God loves those who cheerfully give,
And overlooks the foolish things that they do.

9 Those who show mercy to the poor
Will eat the same bread that they give.

The givers of gifts buys victory and honor,
While those who withhold them may soon lose their lives.

10 If you keep mischief-makers out of your group,
Their unpleasantness also goes with them.
For they dishonor you when they sit in your midst.

11 Jehovah loves hearts that are holy…
Those with pure ways, He accepts.

12 The eyes of Jehovah keep guard on good sense,
And He treats lawbreakers as [refuse].

13 The lazy make many excuses…
They say, 'There's a lion in the street,
So I could be killed in the square.'

14 The mouths of the lawless are cesspools,
Into which those whom God hates will fall.

15 Foolish ways delight the hearts of the young;
But instruction and spankings will drive them away.

16 Those who swindle the needy,
Upon themselves, brings much evil…
For they'll give it all away to the rich.

17 Turn your ears to these words that are wise…
Listen to the things that I'm saying,
And prepare your heart to understand them.
18 For, what I am saying is good.
And if you'll take this all into your heart,
It will bring joy to your lips.

19 Put your hope in Jehovah,
And He will show you His ways.
20 Write them down three times for yourself,
For your own instruction and knowledge.

21 I'm teaching you words that are true;
So, listen closely and learn;
Then, you can reply with words that are true,
When people are asking you questions.

22 Don't push away the needy and poor,
And don't dishonor the weak at your gates;
23 Because, it's Jehovah who argues their cause,
You'll save your life from reprisal.

24 Don't be a friend to a man prone to rage,
And don't lodge with a man prone to anger,
25 So you don't learn from his ways,
And bring a noose to your life.

26 Don't shame your face by ensuring a loan;
For if [your friend] can't repay it,
They'll take the bed from under your back.

28 Don't move the markers of the ages,
Which were set in place by your fathers.

29 An observant man who is sharp in his ways,
Will also stand beside kings…
He won't stand beside the dull witted.

Chapter 23

1 If you're invited to dine with a ruler,
Pay attention to all that's around you.
2 Especially pay attention to your hands…
Have them prepared at such [times].
And though you may be very hungry,
3 Don't be too fond of his food,
For that will not save your life.

4 And should you find yourself in great need,
Don't reach out to those who are rich…
Use insight and stay at a distance.
5 For, though you keep watch, they will not appear,
Since they have the wings of an eagle,
And they can [escape] to their homes.

6 Don't dine with a man prone to envy,
Nor should you desire his food…
7 Eat and drink as though swallowing a hair.
And don't bring him into your house for a meal,
8 For he will just vomit it out
And lay waste to the things you've prepared.

9 Don't speak into the ears of a fool,
So he doesn't sneer at your wisdom.

10 Don't move the markers of the ages,
And never take an orphan's possessions,
Since their ransom is paid by the Lord…
11 He's mighty and He'll argue their case.

12 Open your hearts to great learning,
And prepare your ears for sensible words!
13 Don't avoid correcting the young…
For if you spank him, no way will he die.
14 And if you give him a spanking;
From death, you may rescue his soul.

15 Son, if you teach your heart to be wise,
You will bring much joy to my heart.
16 And if [what you say] should prove to be straight,
We'll spend much time sharing words from our lips.

17 Don't let your heart be jealous of sinners…
Rather, fear Jehovah all day!
18 For, if choose to take this advice,
You will have many descendants,
And you'll get everything that you've hoped for.

19 Hear me O son and be wise;
Straighten the thoughts in your heart!
20 Don't be a person who drinks too much wine,
Or reclines with the meat in the markets!
21 For whoremongers and drunks will be poor…
The nightgowns they wear will be ragged and torn.

22 O son; pay attention to your father,
And don't disrespect your old mother.
23 With all you have, [search for] truth…
And don't reject wisdom, instruction, or knowledge!

24 A righteous father is one who provides,
And a son who is wise brings joy to his soul.
25 So, please bring joy to your father and mother…
May the one who bore you, rejoice!

26 Lend me your heart and your eyes…
O son, pay attention to my words!
27 The house of a [whore] is a keg with a hole…
It's a well that is narrow and strange,
28 And all [who go there] will perish!
For, lawbreakers will be destroyed.

29 Who is it that has problems and woes?
For whom are there many disputes?
For whom is there intrigue and rancor?
Who is destroyed for no reason?
And who's the one with dark eyes?
30 It is those who linger with wine,
And those who go looking for parties!
So, don't be a man who gets drunk on wine,
Or hangs out with [the unrighteous]…
Don't go around [with the bad]!
31 For, if you search for [the contents of] cups,
You'll end up as bare as a pestle…
32 Stretched out like one who's been struck by a snake,
Or one poisoned by the bite of horned vipers.

33 When your eyes behold a strange woman,
And your mouth starts to speak perverse things;
34 When you lie down with her it will be
As though you're in the depths of the sea…
As a sailor who's covered by waves!
35 (You'll say): 'They beat me, but I felt no pain;
They mocked me, but I didn't know it.
How long will it be 'til it's dawn
So I can go back and do it again?'

Chapter 24

1 Son;
Never be jealous of evil men,
Or desire to go along with them.
2 For their hearts just think about lies,
And misery is found in their lips.

3 Wisdom has built a house for himself,
And it was erected with skill.
4 Its storerooms are filled with good sense…
Things of value, goodness, and wealth.

5 Gaining wisdom is better than gaining strength,
And being smart is better than owning much land.

6 Seek guidance before going to war,
For from the hearts of advisors, comes aid.

7 Wisdom and insight are good,
And they're found within the gates of the wise.

8 The wise won't turn from the Laws of Jehovah,
And they consider His things in their meetings.
9 Those who fail to learn this will die,
9 Since the fool will fail because of his sins.

10 With dirty things, don't get involved;
For when a day of trouble arrives,
You'll see how such things have worked out.

11 Rescue those being led to their deaths,
And ransom those about to be slain!
12 Don't say that you never knew them,
For the Lord knows what's in the hearts of all men,
Since He's the One who put breath in them all.
So He's aware of all that we do,
And He pays us back for the things that we've done.

13 Son;
Eating honey from the comb is delightful,
For into your throat this brings sweetness!
14 And that's how wisdom should be in your life;
For if you find it, your death will be good,
And your hopes will not be abandoned.

15 Never lead the irreverent
Into the pastures of righteous men,
Or join with them in deception.
16 For, though the righteous may fall seven times,
They will stand up again,
While the irreverent will be plagued for their badness.

17 Do not rejoice if your enemy falls,
And after his fall, he can't rise.
18 For Jehovah will see this and He'll be displeased,
Then He'll send His rage down upon you.

19 Do not rejoice over those who do bad,
Nor ever be jealous of sinners!
20 For the lives of the wicked will come to an end,
And the torch of the irreverent will be doused.

21 Fear God, O son, as well as the king…
Never resist their persuasion!
22 For they both can bring sudden death
Upon those who show no respect.
So, who can know how they'll punish?

23 I'm saying this to the wise and to you:
If you're in awe of a person you must judge,
That's a poor way to start out a trial.
24 For a man who declares the irreverent just
Will be cursed among all his people
And detested in every nation.
25 But those who reprove will look better,
And upon such a person comes praise
26 Lips will kiss his righteous decisions.

27 Now, prepare to stop what you're doing,
And let's go out to work in your field…
Then follow me, and we'll work on your house!

28 Don't be a witness who lies,
And don't be too quick to open your lips.
29 Don't say, 'I'll do what he did to me…
I'll get even with the one who has wronged me!'

30 A foolish man is much like a farm,
And one lacking good sense, like a vineyard.
31 For, if you just leave them alone,
They will become overgrown…
Their stone fences will fail and fall down.

32 I once decided to change…
I planned to just [sit back] and learn.
33 Then I started to doze and fell fast asleep
With my hands folded over my chest.
34 And if you allow this to happen to you,
Poorness will soon overtake you,
And lack will catch up like a sprinter.

Chapter 25

1 These are the [proverbs] of Solomon that were recorded by friends of HezekiAh, the king of Judah.

2 God's glory covers a matter;
But kings view all things as important.

3 As the heavens are high over the earth…
So is the heart of a king.

4 Beating out unrefined silver
Is the way to make it more [pure].

5 Slay the impious surrounding the king,
And you'll make his throne one of justice.

6 Don't boast when you're standing in front of the king,
Nor do it in a gathering of the mighty.

7 It's better if [a king] says, 'Come closer,'
Than to be humbled in the presence of the mighty.

Tell the king only those things
That you have seen with your eyes.

8 Don't be too quick to start fights,
Or in the end, you'll wish that you hadn't.

Whenever a friend chooses to scold you,
9 Don't pull away or get angry.
10 For if his scolding has caused you to hate him,
It's the same as bringing his death.
Since favor and friendships bring freedom,
Pay close attention to the things that you do,
And give him no reasons to scold you…
Act in ways that will not cause trouble!

11 As a gold apple in a pendant of rubies
Is the value of words that are wise.
12 And as a gold earring with a setting of [gems]
Are wise words to ears that will listen.

13 A messenger who can be trusted
Is like falling snow in the heat of the harvest;
For he benefits the lives of all whom he tells.

14 As winds, clouds, and rain are apparent;
So is the man who chooses to boast
Of gifts that he didn't give.

15 Patience before a king brings success,
And a mild reply will break bones.

16 When you find honey, just eat what's enough,
Lest you should get filled and vomit it out.

17 Be sparing in the way that you [visit] friends
So they don't get tired and start to detest you.

18 The same as clubs, swords, and arrows,
Is the person who slanders a friend.

19 For their evil, the lawless will die
In the bad day that is [coming].

20 As vinegar on a [cut] that brings [pain]
Is a heart in distress to its body.
Like a moth in [wool] clothes and as worms inside wood
Is how worry [will eat] a man's heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, you should feed him;
And if he's thirsty, you should give him a drink!
22 By this, you'll pile burning coals on his head,
And Jehovah will repay you for the good things you did.

23 As a wind from the north will bring clouds…
Impudent tongues bring aggravation.

24 It's better to live on the corner of a roof
Than with a woman who likes to complain.

25 As cold water is enjoyed by the thirsty;
So is good news that comes from afar.

26 As unbecoming as plugging a spring,
Which results in wasting the water,
Is the fall of someone who's righteous
Before those whose ways are impious.

27 As eating too much honey isn't good;
Kind words can give too much praise.

28 As a city without walls and protection
Is the person who won't take advice.

Chapter 26

1 As snow in the summer and rain in the harvest;
It's wrong for a fool to be honored.

2 As sparrows and other winged creatures
May spread [their wings, but not] fly;
An oath said in vain won't be honored.

3 As a whip to a horse or a spur to a mule;
A Lawless nation must also be beaten.

4 Don't answer a fool in his same foolish way,
So you're not thought [as foolish as] him.
5 Reply to show how he's foolish,
So he will not think himself wise.

6 The man who sends a foolish report
Heaps scorn upon all his ways.

7 Remove from fools their reasons [to speak],
And take their proverbs out of their mouths.
8 For as one who ties a stone to a sling,
Is the person who gives glory to fools.

9 As thorns will grow in the hands of a drunk;
Slavery grows in the hands of a fool.

10 As a storm may cause damage;
The flesh of fools will meet with destruction
Over things in which they find pleasure.

11 As a dog returns to its vomit;
A fool will return to the evil he's done
And commit very same sins once again.

12 I've seen men who think themselves wise
Who are no better than fools.

13 When you send the lazy, they'll say:
'There are lions in the roads and murderers in the squares.'

14 The lazy one rolls in his bed
Like a door that's swinging on hinges.

15 When the lazy one hides his hands in [his robe],
He's unable to bring them up to his mouth.

16 The lazy one thinks himself wiser
When something he says appears to be true.

17 As one who grabs hold of the tail of a dog
Is the man who joins a quarrel not his.

18 As doctors also need healing;
Those [giving instructions] will stumble.

19 When a man is caught seeking friends [as his prey],
He'll claim that he was pretending.

20 When there's plenty of wood, a fire will grow;
But when there's no reason to disagree,
There's also no reason to fight.

21 As a grate filled with coals or wood on a fire;
A man who shouts insults is seeking a fight.

22 The words of those who are bad may sound soft;
But they beat the insides of the bowels.

23 Silver that comes from treacherous deeds
Is the same as a fine pot that's cracked.

Comforting [words] will bring rest
To hearts that are deeply distressed.

24 An enemy who cries will always agree,
As he makes wicked plans in his heart.

25 When an enemy shouts out to you,
Don't pay him any attention;
For in his heart, there are seven kinds of evil.

26 Treacherous are those who hide hatred;
But their sins can be shown up in court.

27 The man who digs a pit for his neighbor
Will be the one who falls in it;
And the one who's rolling a boulder
Will roll it back on himself.

28 A lying tongue hates the truth,
And an open mouth can cause problems.

Chapter 27

1 Don't boast of the things that you'll do tomorrow;
For [no one] knows what tomorrow will bring.

2 Let your praises come from friends (not from you)…
Let them come from the lips of strangers (not yours).

3 Rocks and sand are heavy to bear;
But the rage of a fool is greater than both.

4 Rage has no mercy and anger is sharp;
But before the zealous, no one can stand.

5 It is better to offer correction
Than to use flattering words.

6 The wounds of a friend can be trusted
More than an enemy's kisses.

7 At honeycombs, the foolish will laugh;
And to the starving, what's bitter tastes sweet.

8 Like a bird that flies from its nest,
Is the man who strays from his home.

9 Perfume, incense, and wine
Each make the heart very happy;
But things that go wrong will shatter a soul.

10 Don't leave a friend or a friend of your father,
And in hard times don't go to the house of your brother.
For a friend who is near is much better
Than a brother who lives far away.

11 Become wise, my son, and make my heart glad…
Do not shout hateful words!

12 When the clever see evil, they flee;
But a fool passing by gets involved.

13 Take the clothes from the man who shouts insults
And who destroys the goods of a stranger.

14 Shouting praises of a friend too early in the day
Is the same as when you shout curses.

15 As a house leaking rain in the winter;
A nagging wife drives a man from his home.

16 Since wind from the north blows so hard,
It is fittingly called the north wind.

17 As iron is sharpened by iron;
A man can sharpen the face of a friend.

18 The man who is planting a fig tree
Is the one who will gather its fruit;
And the man who guards [the life of] his master
Is the one who'll be held in esteem.

19 As faces aren't like other faces;
Men's hearts are also quite different.

20 As the grave and destruction can never be filled;
The eyes of men can't be satisfied.
But the [desires] of the eyes are disgusting to [God],
As are the stupid who don't mind their tongues.

21 As silver and gold are refined in a fire;
A man is refined by correction.

22 You can dishonor a fool with a whip before crowds,
But you can't drive his foolishness from him.

23 Know the condition of the lives of your flock,
And keep your herd in your heart.

24 A man's might and strength won't last through the ages
Through generations, he cannot retain them.

25 If you tend the greens that grows in your field,
You'll take their cuttings for food.
And if you'll gather hay from the hills,
26 You'll also have wool for your clothes.
Therefore, hold your fields in high esteem,
So you can own many lambs.

27 O son;
These many proverbs that I've spoken
Will add years to your life…
And they'll also bring life to your servants.

Chapter 28

1 The godless will flee when they're not being chased;
But as secure as lions, are the righteous.

2 From the sins of the irreverent come lawsuits;
But a clever man can avoid them.

3 An energetic man who does godless things
Can damage the poor like a storm.

4 Those leaving the Law will praise godless ways;
But for those who love it, the Law is a wall.

5 The evil don't comprehend fairness;
But those seeking Jehovah know what it means.

6 It's better to be poor and walking in truth
Than to be rich and a liar.

7 A discerning son will follow the Law;
But those driven by lust dishonor their parents.

8 Those who gain wealth from interest on loans
Will [pay it] to those who are kind to the poor.

9 [God] hates the prayers of any man
Who turns his ears from the Law.

10 Those who lead the righteous toward evil
Will also fall into corruption.
Then the honest will claim all their good things,
And won't let them enter among them.

11 A rich man thinks himself wise;
But an intelligent poor man sees through him.

12 When the righteous triumph, there's glory;
But when wicked succeed, men will hide.

13 Those who excuse their ungodly ways
Won't live to see prosperity.
But, those who admit and make the correction
Will find themselves truly loved.

14 Blest is the man who worships in awe
When those with hard hearts only see bad.

15 Like a thirsty wolf or a lion that's hungry
Is the king who rules a poor nation.

16 A king who doesn't tax quickly learns to extort;
But those hating corruption will live a long life.

17 The man who stands good for a loan
Is the same as a man blamed for murder;
For he will be sent into exile,
Where he won't find a safe place to hide.

18 The one who travels right ways will be helped,
While those walking crooked paths will get tangled.

19 The man who works his land will eat bread;
But those who seek easy lives will be poor.

20 A trustworthy man will be praised over much;
But the evil will not go unpunished.

21 Those who look down on the righteous are evil…
For a scrap of food, I'd sell such a man.

22 Evil eyes are in a hurry to get rich;
But they don't know that poverty awaits them.

23 Those offering correction will be loved
More than those who just flatter.

24 The man who throws out his father and mother
Assumes he's not guilty of sin;
But he's truly a partner to the godless.

25 A dissatisfied man makes bad choices;
But those yielding to God find His [love].

26 A fool will yield to rash ways in his heart,
While those who are wise will stay safe.

27 Those who give to the poor will not be in want,
While those who pass by will never be filled.

28 Where the rulers are godless, the righteous will moan;
And the righteous will prosper when they're destroyed.

Chapter 29

1 It's better to accept your correction
Than to be someone who's [too proud].
For upon the proud will come flames
From which they will never be healed.

2 When the righteous are honored, the people rejoice;
But when godless men rule, people moan.

3 Lovers of wisdom bring joy to their parents;
But those seeking whores destroy wealth.

4 A righteous king makes his land firm;
But a lawless king tears it down.

5 The one who sets a snare for a friend,
Wraps it around his own feet.

6 A snare is set for those who choose sin…
Which brings gladness and joy to the righteous.

7 The righteous give justice to the poor…
But the irreverent do not understand this;
So of the poor, they're bad judges.

8 Those fond of mischief will burn down their town;
But the wise can turn back their rage.

9 A wise man will judge many nations,
While the ignorant only bring rage
With ridicule and disrespect.

10 Partners in blood hate the holy and upright,
So they're always seeking their lives.

11 A fool will show all his rage;
But the wise will hold it inside.

12 A king who will listens to unrighteous things
Brings joy to [the hearts] of the lawless.

13 In meetings between lenders and debtors;
Jehovah observes their agreements.

14 When a king gives justice to the poor,
He brings good reports to his throne.

15 Spankings and scoldings bring wisdom;
But a child who is left to his own ways
Will soon bring shame to his parents.

16 When the godless are many, many will sin.
But when they fall, the righteous learn fear.

17 Correct your son and he'll bring you rest…
He'll be a decoration to your life.

18 No one will save lawbreaking nations;
But those keeping the laws will be blest.

19 Stubborn servants can't be corrected with words;
For if they understand, they still won't obey.

20 When you see a man who speaks hasty words;
Know that he shares the same hopes as a fool.

21 A man who is raised without purpose
Will soon become somebody's servant,
And he'll grieve for himself in the end.

22 A man who's enraged looks for reasons to fight,
And a man who's angry will seek ways to sin.

23 Insolence tears down a man;
But meekness brings glory from God.

24 The man who shares with a thief
Is a man who hates his own life.
And if he should hear public cursing,
He will never report it.

25 Those who fear men will be stumbled;
But those yielding to God will find joy.

Disrespect is what stumbles a man;
But the one who yields to his lord will be saved.

26 Many come to stand before rulers;
But true justice comes from Jehovah.

27 To the wicked, the righteous are foolish;
And to the lawless, those walking in straight paths [are fools].

Chapter 30

The proverbs of Agur, son of JahYeh.

1 Thus says this man to those trusting in God:
'I'm weary, 2 for I'm the most foolish of men,
And the intelligence of man isn't in me.
3 Yet, God has taught me much wisdom,
And the holiest of knowledge, I know.'

4 Who has gone into the sky and returned?
Who has gathered the winds to His chest?
Who has bundled the seas in His robe?
Who has laid hold of the ends of the earth?
What is the name He's been given,
And what names do you know that He's called His sons?

5 All of God's words are truly pure,
And He's a shield to those who respect Him.
6 Don't add to His words or He'll whip you,
And He will prove you a liar.

7 These are the things that I've asked Him to do:
Š Don't remove Your favor until I have died.
Š 8 Take away my vain, foolish words.
Š Don't give me poverty or wealth…
Just give me the things that I need
So I can remain self-sufficient.
Š 9 Don't leave me in need, so I'd steal,
And profane the Name of my God.

10 Don't return a [slave] to his master
So he'll have reason to curse you.

11 A bad son curses his father
And doesn't speak in praise of his mother.

12 A bad son is one who judges himself
And refuses to clean up his ways.

13 A bad son is one that is [proud]
And holds himself high in his own eyes.

14 A bad son has teeth that are swords
And molars that are like pruning knives,
Which he uses to consume the weak of the land
And to take from the needy.

15 To the leech was [born] three dearly-loved daughters;
But the three weren't enough to fulfill her.
So then she also [gave birth to] a fourth,
Since she could not say 'That's enough!'
16 For, the desires of a woman and the grave can't be filled,
As the ground never gets too much water…
As with fire and water, it's never enough!

17 May the eyes of those who make fun of their fathers
And dishonor their mothers in their old age
Be removed by crows in ravines,
And devoured by the young ones of vultures.

18 There are three things I can't comprehend,
And there's a fourth that I do not know:
Š 19 The tracks of the flight of an eagle
Š The ways of a snake on a rock
Š The path of a ship as it travels the seas
Š And the ways of a man in his youth.

20 As an adulterous wife is still washing herself,
She'll claim that she has done nothing wrong.

21 These three things shake the ground,
And the fourth it's unable to bear:
Š 22 When someone's servant becomes king
Š When a fool has plenty of food
Š 23 When a handmaid's released by her lady
Š When a hateful woman gets a good man.

24 There are four lesser things on the earth,
And these are wiser than the wise:
Š 25 The ants that are weak,
But spend their summers storing food.
Š 26 Rabbits that form a weak nation,
But make their houses in rocks.
Š 27 The locust; for though they live all alone,
They march in order when given the command.
Š 28 And the lizard with sticky hands…
For though he is easily caught,
He lives in the castles of kings.

29 There are three things that continue to prosper,
And a fourth that is best overlooked:
Š 30 The cub of a lion; for though it's not strong,
It won't turn away and it doesn't know fear.
Š 31 A rooster that struts among hens.
Š A male goat who takes the lead of his flock.
Š And a king who speaks to his nation.

32 When you lose your joy and raise fists to fight,
You are already dishonored.

33 If you churn milk, you'll have butter;
If you squeeze your nose, it will bleed;
And if you just keep on talking,
Arguments and fights will result.

Chapter 31

The words of the King Belonging to God.

1 These words [that I've written] were spoken by God…
Through a king came an answer divine.

He was once asked by his mother:
2 'What, O my child, what should I tell you?
Which saying of God should I tell my firstborn?
What, O child of my belly?
What, O child of my vows?

3 'Don't [waste] your money on women,
Nor your abilities and mind upon pleasure.
Think it all over and follow [my] words…
And [do not] drink [too much] wine!

4 'The mighty are easy to anger;
So, never offer them wine,
5 Lest they lose their wisdom in drink.
For they make poor decisions when they are weak.

6 'Give liquor to those in distress;
Offer wine to those who are grieving
7 So they can forget their condition,
And remember their misery no more.

8 'O son;
Open your mouth to speak words of God
And offer fair judgments to all.
9 Open your mouth for righteous decisions…
Stand up for the needy and weak!

10 'Who can find an industrious wife?
More than precious gems, is her value!
11 If the heart of her man courageously guards her,
He'll never be lacking good treasures;
12 For she'll uses her strength to support him,
And she'll not waste her life in doing what's bad!
13 She'll work with her hands spinning linen and wool,
14 And act like a ship that trades far away…
For, that's how she'll gather her money.

15 'She gets up while it's still night,
Along with her female attendants,
To ready the food for her household.
16 She may see a farm and then buy it…
From the fruits of her hands, she'll gain more.

17 'She wraps her waist to give it support,
And readies her arms to do work.
18 She's tasted and found work to be good,
And keeps her lamp lit through the night.

19 'She reaches for things advantageous,
And applies her hands to the spindle.
20 She opens her hands to the needy,
And stretches her arms toward the poor.

21 'She wouldn't consider using what's yours
Whenever you're gone for a while;
And all who are hers will have enough clothes.

22 'A doubled coat made out of goat's hair,
She has sewn for her man;
And from the bolt-ends of linen and purple,
She also made one for herself.
23 'So her man is admired when he sits at the gate,
And meets with the rest of the elders.

24 'She takes fine linen to make loincloths
For all of her CanaAnite [slaves].
25 She's [proud] of her strength and her beauty,
And is happy throughout the rest of her days.

26 'She opens her mouth to speak wisdom and Law,
And charity rests on her tongue.
27 Her pastimes are things that shelter her home,
And the grain of laziness, she doesn't eat.

28 'She raises her sons so they will grow rich,
And she's spoken in praise by her man.
29 Her many daughters will also be wealthy
By doing the things that she's [taught them].

'But you are still the first [in her eyes]…
Above all the rest, she holds you.

30 'Beauty and allurement are false;
So, that isn't what you should seek.
Find a woman who's praised and discerning…
One who's known for her fear of [the Lord].
31 Take from her, the fruit of her lips,
And you'll always be praised at the gates.'

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