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Chapter 32

If you are chosen to preside at a dinner, do not be puffed up,
    but with the guests be as one of them;
Take care of them first and then sit down;
    see to their needs, and then take your place,
To share in their joy
    and receive a wreath for a job well done.
You who are older, it is your right to speak,
    but temper your knowledge and do not interrupt the singing.
Where there is entertainment, do not pour out discourse,
    and do not display your wisdom at the wrong time.
Like a seal of carnelian in a setting of gold:
    a concert of music at a banquet of wine.
A seal of emerald in a work of gold:
    the melody of music with delicious wine.
Speak, young man, only when necessary,(A)
    when they have asked you more than once.
Be brief, say much in few words;
    be knowledgeable and yet quiet.
When among elders do not be forward,
    and with officials do not be too insistent.
10 The lightning that flashes before a hailstorm:
    the esteem that shines on modesty.
11 Leave in good time and do not be the last;
    go home quickly without delay.
12 There enjoy doing as you wish,
    but do not sin through words of pride.
13 Above all, bless your Maker,
    who showers his favors upon you.

The Providence of God

14 Whoever seeks God must accept discipline;[a]
    and whoever resorts to him obtains an answer.(B)
15 Whoever seeks the law will master it,
    but the hypocrite will be ensnared by it.(C)
16 Whoever fears the Lord will understand what is right,
    and out of obscurity he will draw forth a course of action.(D)
17 The lawless turn aside warnings
    and distort the law to suit their purpose.(E)

18 The sensible will not neglect direction;
    the proud and insolent are deterred by no fear.
19 Do nothing without deliberation;
    then once you have acted, have no regrets.(F)
20 Do not go on a way set with snares,
    and do not stumble on the same thing twice.
21 Do not trust the road, because of bandits;
22     be careful on your paths.
23 Whatever you do, be on your guard,
    for whoever does so keeps the commandments.
24 Whoever keeps the law preserves himself;
    and whoever trusts in the Lord shall not be put to shame.


  1. 32:14–33:4 God is shown to reveal himself through the discipline of his law, a clear and safe plan of life for the pious. Direction and deliberation are aids in following it (32:14–16, 18–24; 33:1, 3–4). Sinners and hypocrites, hating the law or distorting it, fail in wisdom and are devoid of security (32:15b, 17, 18b; 33:2).