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Proverbs 22 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

22 It is better to be respected than to be rich. A good name is worth more than silver or gold.

The rich and the poor are the same. The Lord made them all.

Wise people see trouble coming and get out of its way, but fools go straight to it and suffer for it.

Respect the Lord and be humble. Then you will have wealth, honor, and true life.

Evil people are trapped by many troubles, but those who want to live avoid them.

Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path.

The rich rule over the poor. The one who borrows is a slave to the one who lends.

Those who spread trouble will harvest trouble. In the end, they will be destroyed for the trouble they caused.

Generous people will be blessed, because they share their food with the poor.

10 Get rid of the proud who laugh at what is right, and trouble will leave with them. All arguments and insults will end.

11 Love a pure heart and kind words, and the king will be your friend.

12 The Lord watches over true knowledge, and he opposes those who try to deceive others.

13 A person who is lazy and wants to stay home says, “There is a lion outside, and I might be killed in the streets!”

14 The sin of adultery is a trap, and the Lord gets very angry with those who fall into it.

15 Children do foolish things, but if you punish them, they will learn not to do them.

16 These two things will make you poor: hurting the poor to make yourself rich and giving gifts to the rich.

Thirty Wise Sayings

17 Listen carefully to these words from the wise. Pay attention to what I have learned. 18 It will be good for you to remember these words and have them ready when they are needed. 19 I will teach you these things now. I want you to trust the Lord. 20 I have written 30 sayings for you.[a] These are words of advice and wisdom. 21 They will teach you things that you can know for sure to be true. Then you can give good answers to the one who sent you.

— 1 —

22 It is easy to steal from the poor, but don’t do it. And don’t take advantage of them in court. 23 The Lord is on their side. He supports the poor, and he will take from those who take from them.

— 2 —

24 Don’t be friends with people who become angry easily. Don’t stay around quick-tempered people. 25 If you do, you may learn to be like them. Then you will have the same problems they do.

— 3 —

26 Don’t promise to pay someone else’s debt. 27 If you cannot pay, you will lose everything you have. So why should you lose the bed you sleep on?

— 4 —

28 Never move an old property line that was marked long ago by your ancestors.

— 5 —

29 Skilled workers will always serve kings. They will never have to work for less important people.


  1. Proverbs 22:20 I have … for you Or “I wrote this for you earlier.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Proverbs 22 New International Version (NIV)

22 A good name is more desirable than great riches;
    to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Rich and poor have this in common:
    The Lord is the Maker of them all.

The prudent see danger and take refuge,
    but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Humility is the fear of the Lord;
    its wages are riches and honor and life.

In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,
    but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.

Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

The rich rule over the poor,
    and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity,
    and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.

The generous will themselves be blessed,
    for they share their food with the poor.

10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
    quarrels and insults are ended.

11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
    will have the king for a friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
    but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

13 The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!
    I’ll be killed in the public square!”

14 The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit;
    a man who is under the Lord’s wrath falls into it.

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

16 One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth
    and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.

Thirty Sayings of the Wise

Saying 1

17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
    apply your heart to what I teach,
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,
    so that you bring back truthful reports
    to those you serve?

Saying 2

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

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.

Saying 4

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

Saying 5

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

Saying 6

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

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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