28 The wicked run away even when no one is chasing them;
the right-living, however, stand their ground as boldly as lions.
2 Where there is rebellion in a land,
there are many petty and contending rulers;
But where there is a wise and intelligent leader,
peace and order endure.
3 A poor person who oppresses others who are poor
is like a driving rain that destroys the crops and leaves no food.
4 Those who turn their backs on God’s teaching applaud the wicked,
while those who observe His instruction oppose them at every turn.
5 Evil people are not able to understand justice,
but those who pursue the Eternal understand it completely.
6 It is better to be a pauper walking in integrity
than a dishonest man, even if he is rich.
7 Whoever follows God’s teaching is a wise child,
but the one who spends time with gluttons and drunks disgraces his parents.
8 Anyone who increases his wealth by charging a high rate of interest
is only collecting it for another who will deal more liberally with the poor.
9 The one who turns his ear from hearing God’s instruction
will find that even his prayers are detestable to God.
10 Whoever tries to deceive a good person into taking the path of evil
will fall into the pit he himself made,
but the truly honest shall be the heirs of all that is good.
11 A rich man may be wise in his own sight,
but a perceptive pauper will see right through him.
12 There is much glory when just men celebrate;
but when the wicked gain power, people take cover.
13 Whoever tries to hide his sins will not succeed,
but the one who confesses his sins and leaves them behind will find mercy.
14 Happy is the one who always fears the Lord,
but the person who hardens his heart to God falls into misfortune.
15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear,
so is a wicked man ruling over an impoverished people.
16 A leader who lacks intelligence cruelly oppresses the people,
but one who hates corruption will prosper and live a long life.
17 A man guilty of murder is a fugitive,
fleeing to the nearest hole in the ground but not escaping death’s cold pit.
Don’t do anything to save him.
18 Whoever walks in honesty will be safe,
but whoever travels the crooked path will suddenly fall.
19 Whoever cultivates his land will have plenty of food in the harvest,
but whoever cultivates worthless ventures will have poverty in abundance.
20 A reliable person will not escape blessings,
but one who wants to get rich quick will not escape trouble.
21 Showing favoritism is not good;
some will desert the truth for a measly crust of bread.
22 A greedy person is in a hurry to get rich,
but he is ignorant of the loss that is about to overtake him.
23 A person who offers constructive criticism will, in the end, be appreciated more
than a person who engages in empty flattery.
24 One who robs his father or his mother
and says, “There’s nothing wrong with that! I had it coming!”
walks in the company of murderers.
25 When the greedy want more, they stir up trouble;
but when a person trusts in the Eternal, he’s sure to prosper.
26 Anyone who puts confidence only in himself is a fool,
but the person who follows wisdom will be kept safe.
27 Whoever gives to the poor will have what he needs,
but the one who shuts his eyes to their plight will face curse after curse.
28 When the wicked have the upper hand, people go into hiding;
but when they perish, the good folk will begin to increase.