281The wicked run when no one is chasing them, but an honest person is as brave as a lion.
2When a nation sins, it will have one ruler after another. But a nation will be strong and endure when it has intelligent, sensible leaders.
3Someone in authority who oppresses poor people is like a driving rain that destroys the crops.
4If you have no regard for the law, you are on the side of the wicked; but if you obey it, you are against them.
5Evil people do not know what justice is, but those who worship the LORD understand it well.
6Better to be poor and honest than rich and dishonest.
7A young man who obeys the law is intelligent. One who makes friends with good-for-nothings is a disgrace to his father.
8If you get rich by charging interest and taking advantage of people, your wealth will go to someone who is kind to the poor.
9If you do not obey the law, God will find your prayers too hateful to hear.
10If you trick an honest person into doing evil, you will fall into your own trap.
The innocent will be well rewarded.
11Rich people always think they are wise, but a poor person who has insight into character knows better.
12When good people come to power, everybody celebrates, but when bad people rule, people stay in hiding.
13You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you.
14Always obey the LORD and you will be happy. If you are stubborn, you will be ruined.
15Poor people are helpless against a wicked ruler; he is as dangerous as a growling lion or a prowling bear.
16A ruler without good sense will be a cruel tyrant. One who hates dishonesty will rule a long time.
17Someone guilty of murder is digging his own grave as fast as he can. Don't try to stop him.
18Be honest and you will be safe. If you are dishonest, you will suddenly fall.
19A hard-working farmer has plenty to eat. People who waste time will always be poor.
20Honest people will lead a full, happy life. But if you are in a hurry to get rich, you are going to be punished.
21Prejudice is wrong. But some judges will do wrong to get even the smallest bribe.
22Selfish people are in such a hurry to get rich that they do not know when poverty is about to strike.
23Correct someone, and afterwards he will appreciate it more than flattery.
24Anyone who thinks it isn't wrong to steal from his parents is no better than a common thief.
25Selfishness only causes trouble. You are much better off to trust the LORD.
26It is foolish to follow your own opinions. Be safe, and follow the teachings of wiser people.
27Give to the poor and you will never be in need. If you close your eyes to the poor, many people will curse you.
28People stay in hiding when the wicked come to power. But when they fall from power, the righteous will rule again.
291If you get more stubborn every time you are corrected, one day you will be crushed and never recover.
2Show me a righteous ruler and I will show you a happy people. Show me a wicked ruler and I will show you a miserable people.
3If you appreciate wisdom, your father will be proud of you.
It is a foolish waste to spend money on prostitutes.
4When the king is concerned with justice, the nation will be strong, but when he is only concerned with money, he will ruin his country.
5If you flatter your friends, you set a trap for yourself.29.5 yourself; or them.
6Evil people are trapped in their own sins, while honest people are happy and free.
7A good person knows the rights of the poor, but wicked people cannot understand such things.
8People with no regard for others can throw whole cities into turmoil. Those who are wise keep things calm.
9When an intelligent person brings a lawsuit against a fool, the fool only laughs and becomes loud and abusive.
10Bloodthirsty people hate anyone who's honest, but righteous people will protect29.10 Probable text protect; Hebrew seek. the life of such a person.
11Stupid people express their anger openly, but sensible people are patient and hold it back.
12If a ruler pays attention to false information, all his officials will be liars.
13A poor person and his oppressor have this in common — the LORD gave eyes to both of them.
14If a king defends the rights of the poor, he will rule for a long time.
15Correction and discipline are good for children. If they have their own way, they will make their mothers ashamed of them.
16When evil people are in power, crime increases. But the righteous will live to see the downfall of such people.
17Discipline your children and you can always be proud of them. They will never give you reason to be ashamed.
18A nation without God's guidance is a nation without order. Happy are those who keep God's law!
19You cannot correct servants just by talking to them. They may understand you, but they will pay no attention.
20There is more hope for a stupid fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.
21If you give your servants everything they want from childhood on, some day they will take over everything you own.29.21 they… own; or you will not be able to control them.
22People with quick tempers cause a lot of quarrelling and trouble.
23Arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.
24A thief's partner is his own worst enemy. He will be punished if he tells the truth in court, and God will curse him if he doesn't.
25It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe.
26Everybody wants the good will of the ruler, but only from the LORD can you get justice.
27The righteous hate the wicked, and the wicked hate the righteous.
301These are the solemn words of Agur son of Jakeh:
“God is not with me, God is not with me,
and I am helpless.30.1 Probable text “God… helpless; Hebrew unclear.
2I am more like an animal than a human being;
I do not have the sense a human being should have.
3I have never learned any wisdom,
and I know nothing at all about God.
4Who has ever mastered heavenly knowledge?
Who has ever caught the wind in his hand?
Or wrapped up water in a piece of cloth?
Or fixed the boundaries of the earth?
Who is he, if you know? Who is his son?
5“God keeps every promise he makes. He is like a shield for all who seek his protection. 6If you claim that he said something that he never said, he will reprimand you and show that you are a liar.”
7I ask you, God, to let me have two things before I die: 8keep me from lying, and let me be neither rich nor poor. So give me only as much food as I need. 9If I have more, I might say that I do not need you. But if I am poor, I might steal and bring disgrace on my God.
10Never criticize servants to their master. You will be cursed and suffer for it.
11There are people who curse their fathers and do not show their appreciation for their mothers.
12There are people who think they are pure when they are as filthy as they can be.
13There are people who think they are so good — oh, how good they think they are!
14There are people who take cruel advantage of the poor and needy; that is the way they make their living.
15A leech has two daughters, and both are named “Give me!”
There are four things that are never satisfied:
16the world of the dead,
a woman without children,
dry ground that needs rain,
and a fire burning out of control.
17Those who make fun of their father or despise their mother in her old age30.17 One ancient translation mother in her old age; Hebrew mother's obedience. ought to be eaten by vultures or have their eyes picked out by wild ravens.
18There are four things that are too mysterious for me to understand:
19an eagle flying in the sky,
a snake moving on a rock,
a ship finding its way over the sea,
and a man and a woman falling in love.
20This is how an unfaithful wife acts: she commits adultery, has a bath, and says, “But I haven't done anything wrong!”
21There are four things that the earth itself cannot tolerate:
22a slave who becomes a king,
a fool who has all he wants to eat,
23a hateful woman who gets married,
and a servant woman who takes the place of her mistress.
24There are four animals in the world that are small, but very, very clever:
25Ants: they are weak, but they store up their food in the summer.
26Rock-badgers: they are not strong either, but they make their homes among the rocks.
27Locusts: they have no king, but they move in formation.
28Lizards: you can hold one in your hand, but you can find them in palaces.
29There are four things that are impressive to watch as they walk:
30lions, strongest of all animals and afraid of none;
and kings in front of their people.30.31 Verse 31 in Hebrew is unclear.32If you have been foolish enough to be arrogant and plan evil, stop and think! 33If you churn milk, you get butter. If you hit someone's nose, it bleeds. If you stir up anger, you get into trouble.