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.
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.