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12 Those who love discipline love knowledge,
    but fools hate any kind of correction.
The Eternal prefers those who do good,
    but He condemns those who plot evil.
Doing what is wrong keeps everyone off balance and insecure,
    but those who do right will never be uprooted.
A dignified wife brings honor to her husband,
    but a shameful wife is like decay eating away at his bones.
The thoughts of the right-living tend toward justice,
    but the guidance of the wicked is trickery and treachery.
The words of the wicked ambush from the shadows, seeking blood,
    but the speech of the honest keeps them free.
The wrongdoers are overthrown—no one is left!
    But the house of the right-living remains strong.
A person is commended for expressing insight,
    but a perverted heart is despised.
It is better to be overlooked and have a servant
    than to be pretentious and have nothing to eat.
10 Those who are righteous treat their animals humanely,
    but the compassion of the wicked is really inhumane.

A person in a positive relationship with God stands in a right relationship with His creation. How we treat animals may mirror our souls—not just the pets in our home, but the pets in our neighborhood and the animals in our food supply. One who is truly right with God considers the needs of His creatures.

11 Whoever works the land will have more than enough food,
    but whoever follows empty pursuits lacks sense.
12 The wicked envy what the evil plunder,
    but the root of the right-living produces fruit for all.
13 A wrongdoer is soon boxed in by his deceitful talk,
    but the one who does right escapes from trouble unharmed.
14 Words spoken wisely result in much good,
    and working with your hands pays a large reward.
15 Fools follow their own directions and think they are right,
    but wise people listen intently to advice.
16 A fool’s anger is quickly evident,
    but a clever person knows how to hide his flaws.
17 A faithful witness speaks the truth,
    but a false witness utters lies.
18 Thoughtless words cut deeply like a thrusting sword,
    but the speech of the wise is a healing balm.
19 Truth spoken will stand forever,
    but lies survive only briefly.
20 Deceit darkens the hearts of those who plot evil,
    but advocates of peace have joy.
21 The right-living are not overcome with calamity,
    but wrongdoers have their fill of it.
22 Lying lips disgust the Eternal,
    but those who act faithfully delight Him.
23 A clever man is careful in revealing what he knows,
    but a fool betrays his incompetence.
24 The hand of the hard workers will one day rule,
    and slackers will be forced to labor.
25 The weight of worry drags us down,
    but a good word lightens our day.
26 Those who live right are good guides to those who follow,[a]
    but wrongdoers will steer their friends down the wrong path.
27 Slackers don’t take time to cook their food,[b]
    but hard workers prize everything they have.
28 Life springs up along the path of integrity,
    and death has no place along its course.


  1. 12:26 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  2. 12:27 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

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