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Benefits of Wisdom

24 Don’t be envious of wicked men
or wish you were with them,
because they[a] plan violence,
    and they are always talking[b] about trouble.

By wisdom a house is built;
    it is made secure through understanding.
By knowledge its rooms are furnished
    with all sorts of expensive and beautiful goods.

A wise man is strong,[c]
    and a knowledgeable man grows in strength.
For through wise counsel you will wage your war,
    and victory lies in an abundance of advisors.

Wisdom lies beyond reach of the fool;
    he has nothing to say in court.[d]

The person who plans on doing evil
    will be called a schemer.
To devise folly is sin,
    and people detest a scoffer.

10 If you grow weary when times are troubled,
    your strength is limited.[e]

11 Rescue those who are being led away to death,
    and save those who stumble toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “Look here, we didn’t know about this,”
    doesn’t God,[f] who examines motives,[g] discern it?
Doesn’t the one who guards your soul
    know about it?
Won’t he repay each person
    according to what he has done?

13 My son, eat honey, because it’s good for you;[h]
    indeed, drippings from the honeycomb are sweet to your taste;
14 Keep in mind that wisdom is like that for your soul;
    if you find it, there will be a future for you,
        and what you hope for won’t be cut short.

15 Don’t lie in wait like an outlaw
    to attack where the righteous live;
16 for though a righteous man falls seven times,
    he will rise again,
        but the wicked stumble into calamity.

17 Don’t rejoice when your enemy falls;
    don’t let yourself be glad when he stumbles.
18 Otherwise the Lord will observe and disapprove,
    and he will turn his anger away from him.

19 Don’t be anxious about those who practice evil,
    and don’t be envious of the wicked.
20 For the wicked man has no future;
    the lamp of the wicked will be extinguished.

21 My son, fear both the Lord and the king,
    and don’t keep company with rebels.
22 They will be destroyed suddenly,
    and who knows what kind of punishment will come from these two?

Sayings of the Wise

23 Here are some more proverbs from wise people:

It isn’t good to show partiality in judgment.
24 Whoever says to the wicked, “You’re in the right,”
        will be cursed by people and hated by nations.
25 But as for people who rebuke the wicked;[i]
    a good blessing will fall upon them.

26 A kiss on the lips—
    that’s what someone who gives an honest answer deserves.[j]

27 First do your outside work,
    preparing your land for yourself.
        After that, build your house.

28 Don’t testify against your neighbor without a cause,
    and don’t lie when you speak.[k]
29 Don’t say, “I’ll do to him like he did to me,
    I’ll be sure to pay him back for what he did.”

30 I went by the field belonging to a lazy man,
    by a vineyard belonging to a senseless person.
31 There it was, overgrown with thistles,
    the ground covered with thorns,
        its stone wall collapsed.
32 As I observed, I thought about it;
    I watched, and learned a lesson:
33 “A little sleep! A little slumber!
    A little folding of my hands to rest!”
34 Then your poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    your need like an armed bandit.


  1. Proverbs 24:2 Lit. because their hearts
  2. Proverbs 24:2 Lit. and their lips talk
  3. Proverbs 24:5 So MT; LXX reads Being wise is better than being strong
  4. Proverbs 24:7 Lit. in the gate
  5. Proverbs 24:10 Or undersized
  6. Proverbs 24:12 Lit. he
  7. Proverbs 24:12 Lit. examines the heart
  8. Proverbs 24:13 The Heb. lacks for you
  9. Proverbs 24:25 The Heb. lacks the wicked
  10. Proverbs 24:26 The Heb. lacks deserves
  11. Proverbs 24:28 Lit. don’t deceive with your lips