Thirty Sayings of the Wise

Saying 1

17 Pay attention(A) and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;(B)
    apply your heart to what I teach,(C)
18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
    and have all of them ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
    I teach you today, even you.
20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
    sayings of counsel and knowledge,
21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,(D)
    so that you bring back truthful reports
    to those you serve?

Saying 2

22 Do not exploit the poor(E) because they are poor
    and do not crush the needy in court,(F)
23 for the Lord will take up their case(G)
    and will exact life for life.(H)

Saying 3

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
    do not associate with one easily angered,
25 or you may learn their ways
    and get yourself ensnared.(I)

Saying 4

26 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge(J)
    or puts up security for debts;
27 if you lack the means to pay,
    your very bed will be snatched from under you.(K)

Saying 5

28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone(L)
    set up by your ancestors.

Saying 6

29 Do you see someone skilled(M) in their work?
    They will serve(N) before kings;(O)
    they will not serve before officials of low rank.

Saying 7

23 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
    note well what[a] is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
    if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies,(P)
    for that food is deceptive.

Saying 8

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
    do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,(Q)
    for they will surely sprout wings
    and fly off to the sky like an eagle.(R)

Saying 9

Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
    do not crave his delicacies;(S)
for he is the kind of person
    who is always thinking about the cost.[b]
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
    but his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the little you have eaten
    and will have wasted your compliments.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 23:1 Or who
  2. Proverbs 23:7 Or for as he thinks within himself, / so he is; or for as he puts on a feast, / so he is

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