17 Better to gnaw on a bit of dry crust in peace
than to feast in a house full of stress.
2 A wise servant will be put in charge of a child who behaves badly
and will take a share of the inheritance like one of the family.
3 Silver is purified in the crucible, gold in the furnace,
but motives of the heart are judged by the Eternal.
4 Wrongdoers perk up when listening to gossip,
and liars lean in close to hear talk of mischief.
5 Anyone who makes fun of the poor disparages his Maker,
and those who celebrate another’s misfortune will not escape certain punishment.
6 Grandchildren are the crowning glory and ultimate delight of old age,
and parents are the pride of their children.
7 Elegant speech sounds odd when it comes from a fool,
and a lie on the lips of a leader is even more out of place!
8 A bribe is like an enchanting charm to one who counts on it—
everywhere he looks he sees the illusion of success.
9 Those who forgive faults foster love,
but those who repeatedly recall them ruin relationships.
10 A single correction makes a more lasting impression on one who is wise
than a hundred lashes do on a fool.
11 Evil people are determined to rebel,
and so a merciless messenger will chase them down.
12 Better to face a mother bear stripped of her cubs
than to encounter a fool caught up in his foolishness.
13 Those who repay good with evil
bring unrelenting trouble upon their families.
14 Picking a fight is like leaking water from a crack in a dam,
so walk away from an argument before the outburst.
15 Both of these deeply offend the Eternal:
one who acquits the guilty and one who condemns the innocent.
16 Even if fools had the means to obtain wisdom,
they would not be able to benefit from it.
17 A true friend loves regardless of the situation,
and a real brother exists to share the tough times.
18 Only a fool shakes hands on a deal
and guarantees repayment of someone else’s loan.
19 A person who loves sin loves a fight,
and one who builds a grand entrance dares others to tear it down.
20 Crooked-hearted people never recognize anything good,
and those who distort the truth court disaster.
21 Having a fool for a child is misery;
there is no joy in parenting a fool.
22 A joy-filled heart is curative balm,
but a broken spirit hurts all the way to the bone.
23 A wicked person accepts a bribe under the table
to derail the course of justice.
24 Those who understand look to wisdom for guidance,
but fools fasten their eyes on some distant horizon.
25 Foolish children irritate their fathers
and embitter their mothers.
26 Also know this: It is wrong to penalize those who do what is right
or to lash the noble because of their integrity.
27 Those with knowledge know when to be quiet,
and those with understanding know how to remain calm.
28 Even a fool who keeps quiet is considered wise,
for when he keeps his mouth shut, he appears clever.