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Living in Righteousness

11 Dishonest business practice[a]
    is something that Yahweh truly hates.
    But it pleases him when we apply the right standards
    of measurement.[b]
When you act with presumption,
    convinced that you’re right,
    don’t be surprised if you fall flat on your face!
    But humility leads to wisdom.
Integrity will lead you to success,
    but treachery will destroy your dreams.
When judgment day comes,
    all the wealth of the world won’t help you one bit.
    So be rich in righteousness,
    for that’s the only thing that can save you in death.
Those with good character walk on a smooth path,
    with no detour or deviation.
    But the wicked keep falling because of their own wickedness.
Integrity will keep a good man from falling.
    But the unbeliever is trapped,
    held captive to his sinful desires.
When an evil man dies, all hope is lost,
    for his misplaced confidence goes in the coffin,
    buried along with him.
The righteous are snatched away from trouble,
    and the wicked show up in their place.[c]
The teachings of hypocrites can destroy you,
    but revelation-knowledge will rescue the righteous.[d]
10 The blessing that rests on the righteous
    releases strength and favor to the entire city,[e]
    but shouts of joy will be heard when the wicked one dies.
11 The blessing of favor resting upon the righteous
    influences a city to lift it higher,[f]
    but wicked leaders tear it apart by their words.
12 To quarrel with a neighbor is senseless.[g]
    Bite your tongue; be wise and keep quiet!
13 You can’t trust gossipers with a secret;
    they’ll just go blab it all.
    Put your confidence instead in a trusted friend,
    for he will be faithful to keep it in confidence.
14 People lose their way without wise leadership,
    but a nation succeeds and stands in victory
    when it has many good counselors to guide it.
15 The evil man will do harm when confronted by a righteous man,
    because he hates those who await good news.[h]
16 A gracious, generous woman
    will be honored with a splendid[i] reputation,
    but the woman who hates the truth
    lives with disgrace[j] and is surrounded by men
    who are cutthroats, only greedy for money.[k]
17 A man of kindness attracts favor,
    while a cruel man attracts nothing but trouble.[l]
18 Evil people may get a short-term gain,[m]
    but to sow seeds of righteousness
    will bring a true and lasting reward.
19 A son of righteousness[n] experiences the abundant life,
    but the one who pursues evil hurries to his own death.
20 The Lord can’t stand the stubborn heart bent toward evil,
    but he treasures those whose ways are pure.[o]
21 Assault your neighbor and you will certainly be punished,[p]
    but God will rescue the children of the godly.
22 A beautiful woman who abandons good morals
    is like a fine gold ring dangling from a pig’s snout.
23 True lovers of God are filled with longings
    for what is pleasing and good,
    but the wicked can only expect doom.
24 Generosity brings prosperity,
    but withholding from charity brings poverty.
25 Those who live to bless others
    will have blessings heaped upon them,
    and the one who pours out his life to pour out blessings
    will be saturated with favor.[q]
26 People will curse the businessman with no ethics,
    but the one with a social conscience receives praise from all.[r]
27 Living your life seeking what is good for others brings untold favor,
    but those who wish evil for others will find it coming back on them.
28 Keep trusting in your riches and down you’ll go!
    But the lovers of God rise up like flowers in the spring.
29 The fool who brings trouble to his own family
    will be cut out of the will,
    and the family servant will do better than he.
30 But a life lived loving God bears lasting fruit,
    for the one who is truly wise wins souls.[s]
31 If the righteous are barely saved,
    what’s in store for all the wicked?[t]


  1. 11:1 The Hebrew phrase here literally means “scales of deception [false balances].”
  2. 11:1 The Hebrew phrase here literally means “a perfect stone.” Stones were used as the legitimate weights of balance. Jesus is the perfect stone. See Rev. 2:17.
  3. 11:8 Haman is a classic example of this principle. See Est. 7:10; 9:24–25.
  4. 11:9 Or “the righteous will be strengthened.”
  5. 11:10 As translated from the Aramaic and the Septuagint.
  6. 11:11 Jesus describes the church as a city. See Matt. 5:14.
  7. 11:12 Or “To disparage your neighbor is being heartless.”
  8. 11:15 As translated from the Aramaic and the Septuagint. The Hebrew is “You’ll be ruined if you cosign for a stranger, and a hater of handshakes will be safe.”
  9. 11:16 Or “glorious.”
  10. 11:16 As translated from the older Aramaic and Septuagint texts, but not included in newer Hebrew manuscripts. There is an additional line added by the Aramaic and the Septuagint: “The lazy will lack, but the diligent support themselves financially.”
  11. 11:16 The Septuagint is “the diligent obtain wealth.”
  12. 11:17 The Hebrew text indicates this trouble could be physical, related to one’s health.
  13. 11:18 Or “wages of deception.”
  14. 11:19 As translated from one Hebrew manuscript, the Aramaic, and the Septuagint. Most Hebrew manuscripts have “The one who pursues righteousness.”
  15. 11:20 Or “wholehearted.”
  16. 11:21 As translated from the Aramaic and the Targum (Hebrew-Aramaic commentary).
  17. 11:25 The Hebrew phrase here literally means “The soul of blessing will grow fat.”
  18. 11:26 The Hebrew phrase here literally means “The one who withholds produce will be cursed, but blessing will be on the head of the one who sells it.”
  19. 11:30 As translated from the Hebrew. The Aramaic and the Septuagint read “the souls of violent ones will be removed.”
  20. 11:31 As translated from the Septuagint. See 1 Peter 4:18.

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