If You Desert God’s Law
1 The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off
even when no one’s after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
bold as lions.
2 When the country is in chaos,
everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
to straighten things out.
3 The wicked who oppress the poor
are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.
4 If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity;
if you love God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.
5 Justice makes no sense to the evilminded;
those who seek God know it inside and out.
6 It’s better to be poor and direct
than rich and crooked.
7 Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom;
hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.
8 Get as rich as you want
through cheating and extortion,
But eventually some friend of the poor
is going to give it all back to them.
9 God has no use for the prayers
of the people who won’t listen to him.
Wow. I could say more and have had thoughts similar. Wow is all I’ll say.
10 Lead good people down a wrong path
and you’ll come to a bad end;
do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.
11 The rich think they know it all,
but the poor can see right through them.
12 When good people are promoted, everything is great,
but when the bad are in charge, watch out!
13 You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it;
you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.
14 A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life;
a hardhearted person lives a hard life.
15 Lions roar and bears charge—
and the wicked lord it over the poor.
16 Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds,
but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.
17 A murderer haunted by guilt
is doomed—there’s no helping him.
18 Walk straight—live well and be saved;
a devious life is a doomed life.
Doing Great Harm in Seemingly Harmless Ways
19 Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food;
play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.
20 Committed and persistent work pays off;
get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.
21 Playing favorites is always a bad thing;
you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.
22 A miser in a hurry to get rich
doesn’t know that he’ll end up broke.
23 In the end, serious reprimand is appreciated
far more than bootlicking flattery.
24 Anyone who robs father and mother
and says, “So, what’s wrong with that?”
is worse than a pirate.
25 A grasping person stirs up trouble,
but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.
26 If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure;
real survivors learn wisdom from others.
27 Be generous to the poor—you’ll never go hungry;
shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gauntlet of curses.
28 When corruption takes over, good people go underground,
but when the crooks are thrown out, it’s safe to come out.
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.
Intelligence Outranks Muscle
1-2 Don’t envy bad people;
don’t even want to be around them.
All they think about is causing a disturbance;
all they talk about is making trouble.
3-4 It takes wisdom to build a house,
and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;
It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms
with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.
5-6 It’s better to be wise than strong;
intelligence outranks muscle any day.
Strategic planning is the key to warfare;
7 Wise conversation is way over the head of fools;
in a serious discussion they haven’t a clue.
8-9 The person who’s always cooking up some evil
soon gets a reputation as prince of rogues.
Fools incubate sin;
cynics desecrate beauty.
Rescue the Perishing
10 If you fall to pieces in a crisis,
there wasn’t much to you in the first place.
11-12 Rescue the perishing;
don’t hesitate to step in and help.
If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,”
will that get you off the hook?
Someone is watching you closely, you know—
Someone not impressed with weak excuses.
13-14 Eat honey, dear child—it’s good for you—
and delicacies that melt in your mouth.
and wisdom for your soul—
Get that and your future’s secured,
your hope is on solid rock.
15-16 Don’t interfere with good people’s lives;
don’t try to get the best of them.
No matter how many times you trip them up,
God-loyal people don’t stay down long;
Soon they’re up on their feet,
while the wicked end up flat on their faces.
17-18 Don’t laugh when your enemy falls;
don’t gloat over his collapse.
God might see, and become very provoked,
and then take pity on his plight.
19-20 Don’t bother your head with braggarts
or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
Those people have no future at all;
they’re headed down a dead-end street.
21-22 Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders;
don’t be defiant or mutinous.
Without warning your life can turn upside down,
and who knows how or when it might happen?
More Sayings of the Wise
An Honest Answer
23 It’s wrong, very wrong,
to go along with injustice.
24-25 Whoever whitewashes the wicked
gets a black mark in the history books,
But whoever exposes the wicked
will be thanked and rewarded.
26 An honest answer
is like a warm hug.
27 First plant your fields;
then build your barn.
28-29 Don’t talk about your neighbors behind their backs—
no slander or gossip, please.
Don’t say to anyone, “I’ll get back at you for what you did to me.
I’ll make you pay for what you did!”
30-34 One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones,
and then passed the vineyard of a slob;
They were overgrown with weeds,
thick with thistles, all the fences broken down.
I took a long look and pondered what I saw;
the fields preached me a sermon and I listened:
“A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
with poverty as your permanent houseguest!”
1-3 When you go out to dinner with an influential person,
mind your manners:
Don’t gobble your food,
don’t talk with your mouth full.
And don’t stuff yourself;
bridle your appetite.
4-5 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich;
Riches disappear in the blink of an eye;
wealth sprouts wings
and flies off into the wild blue yonder.
6-8 Don’t accept a meal from a tightwad;
don’t expect anything special.
He’ll be as stingy with you as he is with himself;
he’ll say, “Eat! Drink!” but won’t mean a word of it.
His miserly serving will turn your stomach
when you realize the meal’s a sham.
9 Don’t bother talking sense to fools;
they’ll only poke fun at your words.
Bruh. I just said earlier I wasn’t going to argue with fool because someone was being foolish. Man. God’s Word is so timely so often!
10-11 Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines
or cheat orphans out of their property,
For they have a powerful Advocate
who will go to bat for them.
12 Give yourselves to disciplined instruction;
open your ears to tested knowledge.
Don’t listen to everybody is what this is telling me…
13-14 Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones;
a spanking won’t kill them.
A good spanking, in fact, might save them
from something worse than death.
15-16 Dear child, if you become wise,
I’ll be one happy parent.
My heart will dance and sing
to the tuneful truth you’ll speak.
17-18 Don’t for a minute envy careless rebels;
soak yourself in the Fear-of-God—
That’s where your future lies.
Then you won’t be left with an armload of nothing.
19-21 Oh listen, dear child—become wise;
point your life in the right direction.
Don’t drink too much wine and get drunk;
don’t eat too much food and get fat.
Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row,
in a stupor and dressed in rags.
Buy Wisdom, Education, Insight
22-25 Listen with respect to the father who raised you,
and when your mother grows old, don’t neglect her.
Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money;
buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.
Parents rejoice when their children turn out well;
wise children become proud parents.
So make your father happy!
Make your mother proud!
26 Dear child, I want your full attention;
please do what I show you.
27-28 A prostitute is a bottomless pit;
a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.
She’ll take you for all you’ve got;
she’s worse than a pack of thieves.
29-35 Who are the people who are always crying the blues?
Who do you know who reeks of self-pity?
Who keeps getting beaten up for no reason at all?
Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot?
It’s those who spend the night with a bottle,
for whom drinking is serious business.
Don’t judge wine by its label,
or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor.
Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—
the splitting headache, the queasy stomach.
Do you really prefer seeing double,
with your speech all slurred,
Reeling and seasick,
drunk as a sailor?
“They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt;
they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing.
When I’m sober enough to manage it,
bring me another drink!”
If You Quit Listening
1 Better to be poor and honest than a rich person no one can trust.
2 Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste.
3 People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?
4 Wealth attracts friends as honey draws flies, but poor people are avoided like a plague.
5 Perjury won’t go unpunished. Would you let a liar go free?
6 Lots of people flock around a generous person;
everyone’s a friend to the philanthropist.
7 When you’re down on your luck, even your family avoids you—yes, even your best friends wish you’d get lost. If they see you coming, they look the other way—out of sight, out of mind.
8 Grow a wise heart—you’ll do yourself a favor; keep a clear head—you’ll find a good life.
9 The person who tells lies gets caught; the person who spreads rumors is ruined.
10 Blockheads shouldn’t live on easy street any more than workers should give orders to their boss.
11 Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.
12 Mean-tempered leaders are like mad dogs; the good-natured are like fresh morning dew.
13 A parent is worn to a frazzle by an irresponsible child; a nagging spouse is a leaky faucet.
14 House and land are handed down from parents,
but a congenial spouse comes straight from God.
15 Life collapses on loafers; lazybones go hungry.
16 Keep the rules and keep your life; careless living kills.
17 Mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full.
18 Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them.
19 Let angry people endure the backlash of their own anger; if you try to make it better, you’ll only make it worse.
20 Take good counsel and accept correction—that’s the way to live wisely and well.
21 We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.
22 It’s only human to want to make a buck, but it’s better to be poor than a liar.
23 Fear-of-God is life itself, a full life, and serene—no nasty surprises.
24 Some people dig a fork into the pie but are too lazy to raise it to their mouth.
25 Punish the insolent—make an example of them.
Who knows? Somebody might learn a good lesson.
26 Kids who lash out against their parents are an embarrassment and disgrace.
27 If you quit listening, dear child, and strike off on your own, you’ll soon be out of your depth.
28 An unprincipled witness desecrates justice;
the mouths of the wicked spew malice.
29 The irreverent have to learn reverence the hard way; only a slap in the face brings fools to attention.
Words Kill, Words Give Life
1 Loners who care only for themselves
spit on the common good.
2 Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
all they do is run off at the mouth.
3 When wickedness arrives, shame’s not far behind;
contempt for life is contemptible.
4 Many words rush along like rivers in flood,
but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.
5 It’s not right to go easy on the guilty,
or come down hard on the innocent.
6 The words of a fool start fights;
do him a favor and gag him.
Wow. Gag him. Lol.
7 Fools are undone by their big mouths;
their souls are crushed by their words.
8 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
do you really want junk like that in your belly?
9 Slack habits and sloppy work
are as bad as vandalism.
Uh what? Woah.
10 God’s name is a place of protection—
good people can run there and be safe.
11 The rich think their wealth protects them;
they imagine themselves safe behind it.
12 Pride first, then the crash,
but humility is precursor to honor.
13 Answering before listening
is both stupid and rude.
Ouch. Guilty at times.
14 A healthy spirit conquers adversity,
but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?
15 Wise men and women are always learning,
always listening for fresh insights.
16 A gift gets attention;
it buys the attention of eminent people.
17 The first speech in a court case is always convincing—
until the cross-examination starts!
18 You may have to draw straws
when faced with a tough decision.
19 Do a favor and win a friend forever;
nothing can untie that bond.
20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.
21 Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
22 Find a good spouse, you find a good life—
and even more: the favor of God!
23 The poor speak in soft supplications;
the rich bark out answers.
24 Friends come and friends go,
but a true friend sticks by you like family.