14 A woman’s family is held together by her wisdom, but it can be destroyed by her foolishness. 2 By living right, you show that you respect the Lord; by being deceitful, you show that you despise him. 3 Proud fools are punished for their stupid talk, but sensible talk can save your life. 4 Without the help of an ox there can be no crop, but with a strong ox a big crop is possible. 5 An honest witness tells the truth; a dishonest witness tells nothing but lies.
6 Make fun of wisdom, and you will never find it. But if you have understanding, knowledge comes easily. 7 Stay away from fools, or you won’t learn a thing. 8 Wise people have enough sense to find their way, but stupid fools get lost. 9 Fools don’t care if they are wrong,[a] but God is pleased when people do right.
10 No one else can really know how sad or happy you are. 11 The tent of a good person stands longer than the house of someone evil. 12 You may think you are on the right road and still end up dead. 13 Sorrow may hide behind laughter, and happiness may end in sorrow. 14 You harvest what you plant, whether good or bad.
15 Don’t be stupid and believe all you hear; be smart and know where you are headed. 16 Only a stupid fool is never cautious— so be extra careful and stay out of trouble. 17 Fools have quick tempers, and no one likes you if you can’t be trusted. 18 Stupidity leads to foolishness; be smart and learn.
19 The wicked will come crawling to those who obey God. 20 You have no friends if you are poor, but you have lots of friends if you are rich. 21 It’s wrong to hate others, but God blesses everyone who is kind to the poor. 22 It’s a mistake to make evil plans, but you will have loyal friends if you want to do right. 23 Hard work is worthwhile, but empty talk will make you poor. 24 Wisdom can make you rich, but foolishness leads to more foolishness. 25 An honest witness can save your life, but liars can’t be trusted.
26 If you respect the Lord, you and your children have a strong fortress 27 and a life-giving fountain that keeps you safe from deadly traps.
28 Rulers of powerful nations are held in honor; rulers of weak nations are nothing at all. 29 It’s smart to be patient, but it’s stupid to lose your temper. 30 It’s healthy to be content, but envy can eat you up. 31 If you mistreat the poor, you insult your Creator; if you are kind to them, you show him respect. 32 In times of trouble the wicked are destroyed, but even at death the innocent have faith.[b]
33 Wisdom is found in the minds of people with good sense, but fools don’t know it.[c] 34 Doing right brings honor to a nation, but sin brings disgrace. 35 Kings reward servants who act wisely, but they punish those who act foolishly.
14.9Fools. . . wrong: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
14.32but even. . . faith: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Some ancient translations “but good people trust their innocence.”
14.33but. . . it: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text; some ancient translations “but not in the mind of a fool.”
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