Good News Translation (GNB)

211The LORD controls the mind of a king as easily as he directs the course of a stream.

2You may think that everything you do is right, but remember that the LORD judges your motives.

3Do what is right and fair; that pleases the LORD more than bringing him sacrifices.

4Wicked people are controlled by their conceit and arrogance, and this is sinful.

5Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough.

6The riches you get by dishonesty soon disappear, but not before they lead you into the jaws of death.

7The wicked are doomed by their own violence; they refuse to do what is right.

8Guilty people walk a crooked path; the innocent do what is right.

9Better to live on the roof than share the house with a nagging wife.

10Wicked people are always hungry for evil; they have no mercy on anyone.

11When someone who is conceited gets his punishment, even an unthinking person learns a lesson. One who is wise will learn from what he is taught.

12God, the righteous one, knows what goes on in the homes of the wicked, and he will bring the wicked down to ruin.

13If you refuse to listen to the cry of the poor, your own cry for help will not be heard.

14If someone is angry with you, a gift given secretly will calm him down.

15When justice is done, good people are happy, but evil people are brought to despair.

16Death is waiting for anyone who wanders away from good sense.

17Indulging in luxuries, wine, and rich food will never make you wealthy.

18The wicked bring on themselves the suffering they try to cause good people.

19Better to live out in the desert than with a nagging, complaining wife.

20Wise people live in wealth and luxury, but stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it.

21Be kind and honest and you will live a long life; others will respect you and treat you fairly.

22A shrewd general can take a city defended by strong men, and destroy the walls they relied on.

23If you want to stay out of trouble, be careful what you say.

24Show me a conceited person and I will show you someone who is arrogant, proud, and inconsiderate.

25Lazy people who refuse to work are only killing themselves; 26all they do is think about what they would like to have. The righteous, however, can give, and give generously.

27The LORD hates it when wicked people offer him sacrifices, especially if they do it from evil motives.

28The testimony of a liar is not believed, but the word of someone who thinks matters through is accepted.

29Righteous people are sure of themselves; the wicked have to pretend as best they can.

30Human wisdom, brilliance, insight — they are of no help if the LORD is against you.

31You can get horses ready for battle, but it is the LORD who gives victory.


221If you have to choose between a good reputation and great wealth, choose a good reputation.

2The rich and the poor have this in common: the LORD made them both.

3Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later.

4Obey the LORD, be humble, and you will get riches, honour, and a long life.

5If you love your life, stay away from the traps that catch the wicked along the way.

6Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives.

7Poor people are slaves of the rich. Borrow money and you are the lender's slave.

8If you sow the seeds of injustice, disaster will spring up, and your oppression of others will end.

9Be generous and share your food with the poor. You will be blessed for it.

10Get rid of a conceited person, and then there will be no more arguments, quarrelling, or calling of names.

11If you love purity of heart and graciousness of speech, the king will be your friend.

12The LORD sees to it that truth is kept safe by disproving the words of liars.

13Lazy people stay at home; they say a lion might get them if they go outside.

14Adultery is a trap — it catches those with whom the LORD is angry.

15Children just naturally do silly, careless things, but a good spanking will teach them how to behave.

16If you make gifts to rich people or oppress the poor to get rich, you will become poor yourself.

The Thirty Wise Sayings

17Listen, and I will teach you what the wise have said. Study their teachings, 18and you will be glad if you remember them and can quote them. 19I want you to put your trust in the LORD; that is why I am going to tell them to you now. 20I have written down thirty sayings for you. They contain knowledge and good advice, 21and will teach you what the truth really is. Then when you are sent to find it out, you will bring back the right answer.

The First Saying

22Don't take advantage of the poor just because you can; don't take advantage of those who stand helpless in court. 23The LORD will argue their case for them and threaten the life of anyone who threatens theirs.

The Second Saying

24Don't make friends with people who have hot, violent tempers. 25You might learn their habits and not be able to change.

The Third Saying

26Don't promise to be responsible for someone else's debts. 27If you should be unable to pay, they will take away even your bed.

The Fourth Saying

28Never move an old boundary mark that your ancestors established.

The Fifth Saying

29Show me someone who does a good job, and I will show you someone who is better than most and worthy of the company of kings.


The Sixth Saying

231When you sit down to eat with someone important, keep in mind who he is.23.1 keepis; or notice carefully what is before you. 2If you have a big appetite, restrain yourself. 3Don't be greedy for the fine food he serves; he may be trying to trick you.

The Seventh Saying

4Be wise enough not to wear yourself out trying to get rich. 5Your money can be gone in a flash, as if it had grown wings and flown away like an eagle.

The Eighth Saying

6Don't eat at the table of a stingy person or be greedy for the fine food he serves. 7“Come on and have some more,” he says, but he doesn't mean it. What he thinks is what he really is. 8You will vomit up what you have eaten, and all your flattery will be wasted.

The Ninth Saying

9Don't try to talk sense to a fool; he can't appreciate it.

The Tenth Saying

10Never move an old boundary mark or take over land owned by orphans. 11The LORD is their powerful defender, and he will argue their case against you.

The Eleventh Saying

12Pay attention to your teacher and learn all you can.

The Twelfth Saying

13Don't hesitate to discipline children. A good spanking won't kill them. 14As a matter of fact, it may save their lives.

The Thirteenth Saying

15Son, if you become wise, I will be very happy. 16I will be proud when I hear you speaking words of wisdom.

The Fourteenth Saying

17Don't be envious of sinful people; let reverence for the LORD be the concern of your life. 18If it is, you have a bright future.

The Fifteenth Saying

19Listen, my child, be wise and give serious thought to the way you live. 20Don't associate with people who drink too much wine or stuff themselves with food. 21Drunkards and gluttons will be reduced to poverty. If all you do is eat and sleep, you will soon be wearing rags.

The Sixteenth Saying

22Listen to your father; without him you would not exist. When your mother is old, show her your appreciation.

23Truth, wisdom, learning, and good sense — these are worth paying for, but too valuable for you to sell.

24A righteous man's father has good reason to be happy. You can take pride in a wise son.

25Make your father and mother proud of you; give your mother that happiness.

The Seventeenth Saying

26Pay close attention, son, and let my life be your example. 27Prostitutes and immoral women are a deadly trap. 28They wait for you like robbers and cause many men to be unfaithful.

The Eighteenth Saying

29-30Show me someone who drinks too much, who has to try out some new drink, and I will show you someone miserable and sorry for himself, always causing trouble and always complaining. His eyes are bloodshot, and he has bruises that could have been avoided. 31Don't let wine tempt you, even though it is rich red, though it sparkles in the cup, and it goes down smoothly. 32The next morning you will feel as if you had been bitten by a poisonous snake. 33Weird sights will appear before your eyes, and you will not be able to think or speak clearly. 34You will feel as if you were out on the ocean, sea-sick, swinging high up in the rigging of a tossing ship. 35“I must have been hit,” you will say; “I must have been beaten up, but I don't remember it. Why can't I wake up? I need another drink.”