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It’s Wise To Be Patient

19 It’s better to be poor
and live right
    than to be a stupid liar.
Willingness and stupidity
    don’t go well together.
    If you are too eager,
    you will miss the road.
We are ruined
by our own stupidity,
    though we blame the Lord.

The rich have many friends;
    the poor have none.
    Dishonest witnesses and liars
    won’t escape punishment.
Everyone tries to be friends
    of those who can help them.
If you are poor,
your own relatives reject you,
    and your friends are worse.
When you really need them,
    they are not there.[a]

Do yourself a favor
by having good sense—
    you will be glad you did.
Dishonest witnesses and liars
    will be destroyed.
10 It isn’t right for a fool
    to live in luxury
    or for a slave to rule
    in place of a king.
11 It’s wise to be patient
    and show what you are like
    by forgiving others.
12 An angry king roars
    like a lion,
    but when a king is pleased,
    it’s like dew on the crops.

13 A foolish son brings disgrace
    to his father.
A nagging wife goes on and on
    like the drip, drip, drip
    of the rain.
14 You may inherit all you own
    from your parents,
    but a sensible wife
    is a gift from the Lord.
15 If you are lazy
and sleep your time away,
    you will starve.

16 Obey the Lord’s teachings
and you will live—
    disobey and you will die.
17 Caring for the poor
is lending to the Lord,
    and you will be well repaid.
18 Correct your children
    before it’s too late;
    if you don’t punish them,
    you are destroying them.
19 People with bad tempers
    are always in trouble,
    and they need help
    over and over again.[b]
20 Pay attention to advice
and accept correction,
    so you can live sensibly.

21 We may make a lot of plans,
    but the Lord will do
    what he has decided.
22 What matters most is loyalty.
    It’s better to be poor
    than to be a liar.
23 Showing respect to the Lord
    brings true life—
    if you do it, you can relax
    without fear of danger.

24 Some people are too lazy
    to lift a hand
    to feed themselves.
25 Stupid fools learn good sense
    by seeing others punished;
    a sensible person learns
    by being corrected.
26 Children who bring disgrace
rob their father
    and chase their mother away.
27 If you stop learning,
    you will forget
    what you already know.
28 A lying witness makes fun
    of the court system,
    and criminals think crime
    is really delicious.
29 Every stupid fool
is just waiting
    to be punished.


  1. 19.7 When. . . there: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 19.19 and they. . . again: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

19 Better the poor whose walk is blameless
    than a fool whose lips are perverse.(A)

Desire without knowledge is not good—
    how much more will hasty feet miss the way!(B)

A person’s own folly(C) leads to their ruin,
    yet their heart rages against the Lord.(D)

Wealth attracts many friends,
    but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.(E)

A false witness(F) will not go unpunished,(G)
    and whoever pours out lies will not go free.(H)

Many curry favor with a ruler,(I)
    and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.(J)

The poor are shunned by all their relatives—
    how much more do their friends avoid them!(K)
Though the poor pursue them with pleading,
    they are nowhere to be found.[a](L)

The one who gets wisdom loves life;
    the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.(M)

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and whoever pours out lies will perish.(N)

10 It is not fitting for a fool(O) to live in luxury—
    how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!(P)

11 A person’s wisdom yields patience;(Q)
    it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

12 A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion,(R)
    but his favor is like dew(S) on the grass.(T)

13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin,(U)
    and a quarrelsome wife is like
    the constant dripping of a leaky roof.(V)

14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,(W)
    but a prudent wife is from the Lord.(X)

15 Laziness brings on deep sleep,
    and the shiftless go hungry.(Y)

16 Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life,
    but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.(Z)

17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,(AA)
    and he will reward them for what they have done.(AB)

18 Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
    do not be a willing party to their death.(AC)

19 A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
    rescue them, and you will have to do it again.

20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,(AD)
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.(AE)

21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.(AF)

22 What a person desires is unfailing love[b];
    better to be poor than a liar.

23 The fear of the Lord leads to life;
    then one rests content, untouched by trouble.(AG)

24 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
    he will not even bring it back to his mouth!(AH)

25 Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence;
    rebuke the discerning,(AI) and they will gain knowledge.(AJ)

26 Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother(AK)
    is a child who brings shame and disgrace.

27 Stop listening to instruction, my son,(AL)
    and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

28 A corrupt witness mocks at justice,
    and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.(AM)

29 Penalties are prepared for mockers,
    and beatings for the backs of fools.(AN)


  1. Proverbs 19:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this sentence is uncertain.
  2. Proverbs 19:22 Or Greed is a person’s shame

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