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.
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.
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.
24Don't make friends with people who have hot, violent tempers. 25You might learn their habits and not be able to change.
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.
28Never move an old boundary mark that your ancestors established.
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.
231When you sit down to eat with someone important, keep in mind who he is.23.1 keep… is; 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.
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.
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.
9Don't try to talk sense to a fool; he can't appreciate it.
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.
12Pay attention to your teacher and learn all you can.
13Don't hesitate to discipline children. A good spanking won't kill them. 14As a matter of fact, it may save their lives.
15Son, if you become wise, I will be very happy. 16I will be proud when I hear you speaking words of wisdom.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
241Don't be envious of evil people, and don't try to make friends with them. 2Causing trouble is all they ever think about; every time they open their mouth someone is going to be hurt.
3Homes are built on the foundation of wisdom and understanding.24.3 Homes… understanding; or It takes care to lay the foundations of a house, and skill to build it. 4Where there is knowledge, the rooms are furnished with valuable, beautiful things.
5Being wise is better than being strong;24.5 Some ancient translations Being wise is better than being strong; Hebrew A person is wise in strength. yes, knowledge is more important than strength. 6After all, you must make careful plans before you fight a battle, and the more good advice you get, the more likely you are to win.
7Wise sayings are too deep for stupid people to understand. They have nothing to say when important matters are being discussed.
8If you are always planning evil, you will earn a reputation as a troublemaker. 9Any scheme a fool thinks up is sinful. People hate a person who has nothing but scorn for others.
10If you are weak in a crisis, you are weak indeed.
11Don't hesitate to rescue someone who is about to be executed unjustly. 12You may say that it is none of your business, but God knows and judges your motives. He keeps watch on you; he knows. And he will reward you according to what you do.
13Son, eat honey; it is good. And just as honey from the comb is sweet on your tongue, 14you may be sure that wisdom is good for the soul. Get wisdom and you have a bright future.
15Don't be like the wicked who scheme to rob honest people or to take away their homes. 16No matter how often honest people fall, they always get up again; but disaster destroys the wicked.
17Don't be glad when your enemies meet disaster, and don't rejoice when they stumble. 18The LORD will know if you are gloating, and he will not like it; and then he might not punish them.
19Don't let evil people worry you; don't be envious of them. 20A wicked person has no future — nothing to look forward to.
21Have reverence for the LORD, my child, and honour the king. Have nothing to do with people who rebel against them; 22such people could be ruined in a moment. Do you realize the disaster that God or the king can cause?
23The wise have also said these things:
It is wrong for judges to be prejudiced. 24If they pronounce a guilty person innocent, they will be cursed and hated by everyone. 25Judges who punish the guilty, however, will be prosperous and enjoy a good reputation.
26An honest answer is a sign of true friendship.
27Don't build your house and establish a home until your fields are ready, and you are sure that you can earn a living.
28Don't give evidence against someone else without good reason, or say misleading things about him. 29Don't say, “I'll do to him just what he did to me! I'll get even with him!”
30I walked through the fields and vineyards of a lazy, stupid person. 31They were full of thorn bushes and overgrown with weeds. The stone wall round them had fallen down. 32I looked at this, thought about it, and learned a lesson from it: 33
have a nap and sleep if you want to. Fold your hands and rest awhile, 34but while you are asleep, poverty will attack you like an armed robber.