You Don’t Know Tomorrow
1 Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow;
you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.
2 Don’t call attention to yourself;
let others do that for you.
3 Carrying a log across your shoulders
while you’re hefting a boulder with your arms
Is nothing compared to the burden
of putting up with a fool.
4 We’re blasted by anger and swamped by rage,
but who can survive jealousy?
5 A spoken reprimand is better
than approval that’s never expressed.
6 The wounds from a lover are worth it;
kisses from an enemy do you in.
7 When you’ve stuffed yourself, you refuse dessert;
when you’re starved, you could eat a horse.
8 People who won’t settle down, wandering hither and yon,
are like restless birds, flitting to and fro.
9 Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight,
a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
10 Don’t leave your friends or your parents’ friends
and run home to your family when things get rough;
Better a nearby friend
than a distant family.
11 Become wise, dear child, and make me happy;
then nothing the world throws my way will upset me.
12 A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks;
a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.
13 Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger;
be wary of accepting what a transient has pawned.
14 If you wake your friend in the early morning
by shouting “Rise and shine!”
It will sound to him
more like a curse than a blessing.
15-16 A nagging spouse is like
the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet;
You can’t turn it off,
and you can’t get away from it.
Your Face Mirrors Your Heart
17 You use steel to sharpen steel,
and one friend sharpens another.
18 If you care for your orchard, you’ll enjoy its fruit;
if you honor your boss, you’ll be honored.
19 Just as water mirrors your face,
so your face mirrors your heart.
20 Hell has a voracious appetite,
and lust just never quits.
21 The purity of silver and gold is tested
by putting them in the fire;
The purity of human hearts is tested
by giving them a little fame.
22 Pound on a fool all you like—
you can’t pound out foolishness.
23-27 Know your sheep by name;
carefully attend to your flocks;
(Don’t take them for granted;
possessions don’t last forever, you know.)
And then, when the crops are in
and the harvest is stored in the barns,
You can knit sweaters from lambs’ wool,
and sell your goats for a profit;
There will be plenty of milk and meat
to last your family through the winter.