On Life and Conduct
22 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The Lord is the maker of them all.
3 The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
4 The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches, honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.
8 He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.
9 He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.
10 Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the Lord will fall into it.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.
16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have taught you today, even you.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?
22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;
23 For the Lord will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.
24 Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,
25 Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.
26 Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?
28 Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.
29 Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.
On Life and Conduct
23 When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you,
2 And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man of great appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food.
4 Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your consideration of it.
5 When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.
6 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten,
And waste your compliments.
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not move the ancient boundary
Or go into the fields of the fatherless,
11 For their Redeemer is strong;
He will plead their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to discipline
And your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My own heart also will be glad;
16 And my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak what is right.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the fear of the Lord always.
18 Surely there is a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
And direct your heart in the way.
20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.
22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.
26 Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes delight in my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit
And an adulterous woman is a narrow well.
28 Surely she lurks as a robber,
And increases the faithless among men.
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long over wine,
Those who go to taste mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it goes down smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things
And your mind will utter perverse things.
34 And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea,
Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.
35 “They struck me, but I did not become ill;
They beat me, but I did not know it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek another drink.”
Precepts and Warnings
24 Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
2 For their minds devise violence,
And their lips talk of trouble.
3 By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4 And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.
5 A wise man is strong,
And a man of knowledge increases power.
6 For by wise guidance you will wage war,
And in abundance of counselors there is victory.
7 Wisdom is too exalted for a fool,
He does not open his mouth in the gate.
8 One who plans to do evil,
Men will call a schemer.
9 The devising of folly is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.
10 If you are slack in the day of distress,
Your strength is limited.
11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
12 If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?
13 My son, eat honey, for it is good,
Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;
14 Know that wisdom is thus for your soul;
If you find it, then there will be a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.
15 Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous;
Do not destroy his resting place;
16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Or the Lord will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers
Or be envious of the wicked;
20 For there will be no future for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21 My son, fear the Lord and the king;
Do not associate with those who are given to change,
22 For their calamity will rise suddenly,
And who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?
23 These also are sayings of the wise.
To show partiality in judgment is not good.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him;
25 But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
26 He kisses the lips
Who gives a right answer.
27 Prepare your work outside
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
And do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”
30 I passed by the field of the sluggard
And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,
31 And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles;
Its surface was covered with nettles,
And its stone wall was broken down.
32 When I saw, I reflected upon it;
I looked, and received instruction.
33 “A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest,”
34 Then your poverty will come as a robber
And your want like an armed man.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)