16 People go about making their plans,
but the Eternal has the final word.
2 Even when you think you have good intentions,
He knows your real motives.
3 Whatever you do, do it as service to Him,
and He will guarantee your success.
4 The Eternal made everything for a reason.
Even wrongdoers fit in His plans; troubled times await them.
5 He abhors arrogant people.
Make no mistake about it! They will be punished!
6 The penalty of sin is removed by love and loyalty;
and by devotion to the Eternal, evil is avoided.
7 When people make good choices, He is pleased;
He even causes their enemies to live peacefully near them.
8 Better to have little and stand for what is right
than to become rich by doing what is wrong.
9 People do their best making plans for their lives,
but the Eternal guides each step.
10 The king makes a decision under divine inspiration,
but he must never render an unfair judgment.
11 The Eternal requires that business be conducted honestly;
He wants fairness in all your dealings.
12 When kings commit evil, it is despicable,
because their thrones should be built on justice.
13 Kings admire those who tell the truth;
they adore those who set the record straight.
14 A king’s rage signals that people will die,
but whoever is wise will pacify him.
15 If a king is smiling brightly, life will be granted;
his favor is like a cloud swelled with the first spring rain.
16 How much better it is to receive wisdom than the riches of gold
and to gain understanding over some silver prize!
17 The highway of the just bypasses evil;
those who watch where they’re going protect their lives from sin.
18 Pride precedes destruction;
an arrogant spirit gives way to a nasty fall.
19 It is better to be humble and live among the poor,
than to divide up stolen property with the proud.
20 Those devoted to instruction will prosper in goodness;
those who trust in the Eternal will experience His favor.
21 The wise at heart have a reputation for understanding;
pleasant words make the lips more persuasive.
22 Understanding for those who have it is a spring of life,
but it is pointless to try and instruct a fool.
23 From a wise heart flow careful words;
wise words make the lips more persuasive.
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb:
they drip sweet food for life and bring health to the body.
25 Before every person lies a road that seems to be right,
but at the end of that road death and destruction wait.
26 People work to stay alive,
pressed daily by their need to eat.
27 Good-for-nothings conjure up evil ideas;
their conversations fuel destructive fires.
28 Perverse people stir up contention;
gossip makes best friends into enemies.
29 Violent people try to recruit their neighbors,
wanting to lead them down the vile path of evil they have chosen.
30 Body language can expose a person’s intentions:
whoever winks the eye is planning perversity;
whoever purses his lips is intent on evil.
31 Gray hair is a crown of honor,
earned by living the right kind of life.
32 It is better to be a patient man than a mighty warrior,
better to be someone who controls his temper than someone who conquers a city.
33 We may try to control the roll of the dice,
but actually, the Eternal decides what they will determine.